by Nate Edwards and Tim Fitzpatrick, Territory Sales Managers/Equipment, Howco Inc.
Car wash operators or investors searching for a space- and cost-effective mid-tier option between self-serve and full/express exterior choices may want to consider the In-Bay Automatic Express model, a low- to no-labor wash that can operate on a lot as small as half an acre.
The In-Bay Automatic Express model consists of a drive-through wash bay with rollover equipment and pre/post-wash functions. Wash options include high-pressure touchless and friction or a combination thereof. The structure incorporates the wash bay with car wash equipment, a chemical/equipment room, and small office. There are no public areas such as a lobby or restroom.
The price for In-Bay Automatic Express equipment with one bay typically starts at less than $500,000, excluding land and building. Options such as additional bays, equipment choice, number of vacuums and arches, and other add-on services and amenities like tire shine, floor mat cleaner, dog wash, self-serve equipment, point-of-sale system, and dryers determine package cost variations.
Howco assists with the entire facility design and placement to ensure space for expansion with more bays or vacuums, should the wash volume level justify it. Operators can expect to wash 20 to 30 cars per hour, with typical wash prices ranging from $10 to $25 depending on add-on services chosen by customers. The In-Bay Automatic Express is a conducive model for club or unlimited wash memberships at approximately $25 per month. Total wash time per car is less than three minutes and can be adjusted if needed.
One of the great advantages of an In-Bay Automatic Express is the ability to operate 24/7 without employees. There are multiple manufacturers with excellent equipment and building options to suit a variety of criteria. An operator with a desirable piece of property that isn’t large enough for a conveyor car wash should definitely consider this model. Once car wash construction commences, it typically takes less than 90 days to complete.
Please connect with a Howco equipment representative to learn more about how an In-Bay Automatic Express car wash may be the perfect fit for your space and budget needs.