Car Wash Investor Guide

Property Costs

For more information on selecting property for your lot, see our
online [39]Site Evaluation Survey. This survey will help you to
"grade" your site for its income potential.

Property Costs

Although the Self-service carwash business generates good income, it
does not have the ability to support any property investment,
regardless of cost. A conservative formula for calculating the cost of
affordable property is 20% of the projected monthly gross income. For
Example: If the wash is expected to gross $8,000.00 monthly, $1,600.00
would be an affordable monthly lease or interest payment.

If you are purchasing the property, you should always keep in mind
that good commercial property is a limited commodity. Good property
will probably appreciate in value faster than the wash itself and so
you may be justified in buying a more expensive lot if it is "just

Sizing Your Lot

The following are recommended lot sizes, based on the number of bays
your wash is to have. These sizes are not necessarily the least you
can get by with. In fact many carwashes have been built on lots
smaller than these. These dimensions do not include any consideration
for setback requirements. Either dimension can be the frontage.
2 bays: 115' x60' 3 bays: 115' x 75'
4 bays: 115' x 105' 5 bays: 115' x 105'
6 bays: 115' x 120' 7 bays: 115' x 135'
8 bays: 115' x 150' 9 bays: 115' x 165'
10 bays: 115' x 180'

Buy or Lease Your Property

Both methods of land acquisition are acceptable. The purchase of
commercial property is usually a good investment, which should
appreciate in value. However, if your capital resources are limited,
you may wish to lease the property. If you are leasing, make sure that
the term of the lease is long enough so that it will not be
detrimental to the resale value of the wash, should you decide to
sell. A twenty-year term is usually considered adequate.

Next Section: Planning Your Carwash Building

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