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Carwash Toolkit: Getting Started

The first in a series of documents from the Canadian Carwash Association (CCA), entitled Carwash Toolkit™: Getting Started, is now available for members to download for free from the Association’s website (

Getting Started Toolkit Cover

Intended for those new to the industry looking to either build a carwash or purchase an existing site, the 31-page document provides an overview of the Canadian industry, what is required for a site, cost estimates and more. The document is equally valuable for existing carwash operators to help in evaluating their own sites against best practices.

A new section on evaluating an existing carwash will help both owners and prospective buyers understand how to determine how viable revenue forecasts are. Whether it is checking on sales expenses or potential revenue, suggestions help the operator through the jumble of conflicting claims which might be made.

For those planning to build, the document includes a series of best practices for optimizing a location for current and future possible business. Discussed also are what an operator should be looking for in terms of location, traffic and competition.

The link to the Toolkit document is available to members who have logged into the CCA website. A left side navigation button will in red will appear with Toolkit on it once logged on. Pressing that button will take the member to the pages where they can download a PDF format of the document.

The Getting Started Toolkit is intended to be the first in a series, with future planned documents to cover:

  • Water Reclaim
  • Marketing
  • Selling a Site
  • Chemistry of a Wash


PDF Document available if logged in. A PDF copy of the Toolkit document and some Wash Volume Report data is available on this page for members who are logged in. Click on icon to left to login to view download buttons.
Table of Contents:
Canadian Carwash Industry Overview
   Industry Success Factors 1
   Disclaimer and Terms of Use 1
   Copyright Notice 2
Types of Carwashes
   1. The Self-Serve Wash 3
   2. The Rollover (In-Bay Automatic) Wash 6
   3. The Tunnel (Conveyor) Wash 6
   4. The Automatic Debate: Touch versus Touchless/Tunnel versus Rollover 7
   5. Other types of Carwashes 9
   6. Combo Wash Sites 10
What Makes for a Great Carwash Site?
   How Do I Get Started? 12
   Basic Land Requirements 14
   Steps to Take: 14
   Site Analysis and Considerations before Purchasing 15
   The Offer 16
General Tips
   Zoning Matters 17
   Environmental Concerns 18
   Impact Studies 18
   Feasibility Study 18
   Staffing 18
   The Competition 19
Purchasing an Existing Carwash Site
   What to Look For 20
   Verifying Revenue 21
Estimatin g Building Costs, Operating Costs and Revenue
   Building Cost 24
   Annual Operating Expenses 24
   Estimating Revenue 25
   Best Practices for Carwash Site Construction 25
Preparing a Business Plan
   Developing a Team 30
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