It was like yesterday when I visited my uncle in his car wash work space around Basorun in Ibadan, it was a good experience that I carry around.

All the staff were always on to something either washing or rinsing. Even though I was young I could deduced how much my uncle was making from his car wash business.


Car wash business has been in existence for a long time now and it is not going anywhere soon as long as people keep using car. It does not need a a lot of introduction I’m sure you would have seen one or two car wash center before, just that you might not know how those car wash business came to be.

Well, that is what I will be dishing out in this article, how you can set up a profitable car wash business weather large scale or small scale. But before we go into the steps l will want you to take note of the following.

Capital require to start car wash in Nigeria

Capital require depend on the scale of your business, for small scale the require capital ranges between 20,000 to 50,000 provided that land is available. You don’t need to buy heavy equipment just soap, brush, source of water, bucket e.t.c.


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For large scale car wash, you will need between #300,000 to #500,000 depending on your location. A location with source of water such as well or borehole will require less capital compare to location where you will have to buy water.

Operation process in car wash

Though many people think car wash is simple.

is it not washing car?

I often heard them saying this. Sure it is, but do you know that car wash at home is no where near car wash by professional why? Because there are process they follow to ensure you have a clean car.

Below is how to wash car commercially

Outside car washing

Before I will go into it I will like you to note this

In car wash business your job is split into four to five which are

1). outside car washing

2).  Inside car washing

3). Engine washing

4). Bonnet washing

5) . Tyre washing

While some customer can request the combination of two or three some might request one so you need to know how to price each.

The price allotted to each will depend on your location. In Ibadan the price are:

Outside car – #1,000
Inside car – # 1,500
Bunnet – # 1,500
Tyre – #700

To wash outside car follow below steps

First rinse the car with water, this will soften any hard impurities, then you can start washing.

Make sure you wash gently to avoid scratching your customers car.

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Inside car

Here, you clean the interior with a wet towel.
Apply the towel gently when cleaning the interior.


If you are not starting a large scale car wash business don’t go into Bonnet washing because it require sophisticated equipment and skill.

To wash Bonnet close all the openings with nylon after that you can spray water on the Bonnet .

Wash gently to avoid breakage.

Tyre washing

Washing tyre also require skill. To have dark sparkling tyre follow the steps below

Pour some sugar inside water and allow it to dissolve.

Stir the solution, if there is no sugar left over young can start using it to wash tire.

After all these steps what you will notice is a clean dark tire that look like new.

Equipment needed in car wash business

To start a car wash business you need to have the following on ground.

Car wash machine

This will make your job easier and you will be able to collect more work such as bunnet and engine car wash.


Car vacuum cleaner

Hose and pipes

Water source (borehole, well, river )





Generator set

Storage tanks

Workspace and office.

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How profitable is car wash business

Car wash business is profitable, if you choose a good location you should be able to wash noting less down 10 cars per day. Let say you wash 10 cars at #1,500 each that will be #15,000 per day making #450,000 per month.

Cost analysis

Depending on your negotiation skill, your worker will want to collet their money per day, yes that’s how it works in the industry, but if you are able to negotiate better they might accept monthly payment.

You pay your wokers #25,000 per month
Two workers will collect #50,000 per month
Revenue – cost = # 400,000 per month

Steps to starting a car wash business in Nigeria

Feasibility study

Before starting any business it is a good ideal to conduct a feasibility study, to know if the business would be profitable in the proposed location. Interview two or three people where you want to set up your business, ask how they have been washing their cars all this while.

Include this question in your feasibility study
What source of water is suitable for that location? (Well, bore hole, river)

What of labour?

How is competition?

What is economic potential of the dwellers?

Business plan

What do you see your business becoming in the next five years and how do you get there, write it down in clear and consise manner such that if bankers and investor pick it they would understand what your business is all about.

Register your business

To avoid unnecessary confrontation with the authority you need to register your business with the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission). Also there are some benefit you might enjoy by registering your business such as SME grant.


You can’t do it alone, you will surely need a hand. When hiring try as much a a possible to hire employee that will collect salary per month, it will be a great benefit to you because they will not be able to leave at any time which is normal for car wash workers.

Also hire those that have been in the business for years, you don’t want to hire novice at the beginning of your business, it will be a blind leading blind.

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If you do your feasibility study well it will tell at this stage because you would have known your target customer and have their buyer persona at hand not only that you will know the best advertising medium that will convert them to customer.

Below are the medium to reach your customer

Distribute flyers



Social media ad

Google ad

Have a booking website (contact us for that)
Increase your profit.

To maximize your profit set up bar and pepper soup joint beside your car wash, your customer can easily wait inside the bar before their car will be washed. not only will it help to increase your profit it will also help you to retain customer, it just common sense everybody will like to go to a lively place.

Challenges in car wash business


Your car wash location will mar or make your business, if you locate your business in a low traffic source, it might be hard to make a sell. So be patient when looking for location, don’t rush at all and make sure you inspect it well.


This also boil down to location, make sure you chose a secure location, you don’t want thieves to steal your customers car during rushing hour.

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Nigerians are copy cat once they see you succeed in a business they set the same up sometimes very close to you, so you should expect competitor.

To outshine the competitor make sure you treat your customer well, car owner are often loyal once they know you are good they will not want to try another car wash which might damage their car, also make your workspace lively.


From the top to the bottom of this article I’m sure the most stresses word is location, so make sure you have a good location and follow all the other steps.

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