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US Car Wash Market

US Car Wash Market Size, Trends, and Share Analysis 2024 – 2031 – By Car Wash Type, By Payment Mode, By Region

US Car Wash Market Outlook

The US car wash market represents a soaring industry prominently fueled by the growing consumer urge for convenience. The market is worth around US$14.9 Bn in the year 2024 and gears up for promising growth at a CAGR of approximately 5.8% between 2024 and 2031, reaching US$19.8 Bn.

Report Attribute

Details

Market size value in 2024(E)

US$14.9 Bn

Revenue forecast in 2031(F)

US$19.8 Bn

CAGR (2024-2031)

5.8%

CAGR (2019-2023)

5.1%

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Market Introduction and Trend Analysis

North America currently boasts more than 80,000 professional car washes. Car washes in North America likely get to see around 8 million vehicles coming in for a wash in a day, which means over 2 billion washes a year.

Most of these car wash service providers are based in the US and research shows the average car owner in the US washes their car more than 12 times annually. An interesting trend identified in the US car wash market is the transition of over 70% of car owners in the US from handwashing to professional car wash services over the past 10 years.

While car wash service providers have been popular in the US auto service industry, consumers are increasingly opting for professional car washes due to time constraints, and a preference for convenience. The number of companies in the US car wash market is thus constantly on the rise.

Rising disposable income allows car owners to spend more on car care services, which prominently include car washes. Moreover, subscription-based car wash services are experiencing rocketing popularity in the states, providing consumers with convenient and affordable car wash options. This will keep the US car wash market size afloat.

With an expanding consumer population considering vehicle maintenance and car care an important responsibility, the need for convenience is leading car owners to invest in regular washes, preferably by professionals. The necessity of frequent interior cleaning and exterior protection further elevates the prospects of the US car wash market.

The COVID-19 pandemic played out as a temporary setback, causing market disruptions, causing substantial revenue drops – monthly and annually, till 2021. However, this challenging scenario brought in a new wave of opportunity for service providers.

Car wash centers started offering disinfection services, contactless or touchless car washes, and value-added packages to regain customers. Those with time constrains appreciated the value addition along with time-saving benefits, giving the much-needed push to industry after the pandemic subsided.

Key Market Trends in US Car Wash Industry

  • The rise of contactless or touchless car wash technology
  • Growing demand for eco-friendly car washes
  • Rocketing popularity of express car wash services
  • Rising preference for self-service car wash centers
  • Widening adoption of subscription-based car wash service models
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Key Drivers Shaping Market Growth

Technological Advancements

The e-commerce boom has fueled the growth of on-demand car wash services. Mobile applications, and online portals allow for convenient scheduling and payment options, further enhancing the customer experience.

Companies like WashCard offer payment portals specifically designed for car washes, enabling features like mobile payments, and automated billing for regular cleanings. Increasing technology intervention is expected to drive revenue in the US car wash market.

Sustainability Captures the Limelight

Consumers are increasingly making environmentally conscious choices, and the car wash industry is taking note. Eco-friendly car wash services are gaining traction. Traditional car washing can use significant amounts of water, from 15 to 80 gallons per vehicle.

Eco-friendly alternatives, often equipped with filtration technology or water reclamation systems, can reduce water usage to 8-70 gallons per vehicle. This focus on water conservation reflects a commitment to sustainability shared by consumers, car wash businesses, and policymakers.

Stricter environmental regulations may limit home car washing consuming excess water, further driving demand for professional services. Growing adoption of environmentally conscious car wash techniques by companies will be a strong growth driving factor for the market in the years to come.

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Factors Impeding Market Growth

Environmental regulations remain the key limiting factor impacting the growth of the US car wash market. Regulations surrounding water usage, and disposal of car wash wastewater can pose challenges in front of car wash businesses, to a significant extent.

Some communities are pushing back against the proliferation of car wash centers in the US, citing concerns about traffic, noise, pollution, and most importantly, water usage.

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Market Opportunities

Exploding E-commerce Expansion

Rapid expansion of e-commerce has led to consumer’s growing inclination towards booking a car wash through online portals, and mobile apps. Companies have thus moved to payment gateways that allow easy mobile payments.

Growing adoption of technology to facilitate automated billing and cleaning schedules also indicates a prominently growing trend. Various offers, subscription deals, value-added packages, and loyalty programs are well leveraged by car wash service providers for customer retention.

Environmentally Sustainable Car Wash in the US

The sustainability boom has taken center stage, in car wash industry as well. The industry uses massive amounts of water, which compels providers to be considerate regarding various eco-sustainable possibilities to regulate water and detergent requirements.

Sustainable car wash services in the US is marking a booming trend that comprises the use of recycled water, car wash detergents and soap, and other materials. Companies are strategically investing efforts in installation of low-flow pumps, water-saving nozzle, and water collection systems.

Organizations and business associations like the International Car Wash Association (ICA) are involved to a great extent in providing car owners with the required resources to intensify their sustainability efforts.

Under the umbrella of eco-sustainable car washes, many car wash companies in the US are launching their green wash services, as well dry car wash services. This marks another remunerative opportunity for industry participants.

Segment-wise Analysis

Roll-Over/In-Bay Most Preferred Car Wash Type, Convenience Drives Demand

This is the most popular car wash type, accounting for over 42% of the market revenue in 2022.  Roll-over/in-bay washes are known for their speed and convenience. Self-service, and tunnel washes follow.

These compact set-ups feature a variety of features like brushes, water jets, wheel washers, and even options to apply waxes, dryers, or foams.  Their small size allows for a thorough cleaning in a limited space.  Think of them as the express option for busy car owners

Market Segment by Car Wash Type

Market Share (2023)

Roll-Over/In-Bay

42%

Tunnel

xx%

Self-Service

xx%

Self-Service Gains Momentum as Detail-Oriented Drivers Eye Customization

For car owners who like a hands-on approach, self-service car washes offer a haven.  This segment is expected to grow steadily at a CAGR of around 5.5% from 2024 to 2031. 

These facilities provide customers with the tools and cleaning products they need to detail their vehicles themselves, allowing them to customize the washing process to their preferences.

According to JBS Industries, there were over 36,000 self-service car washes in the US in 2020, offering not just exterior cleaning but often interior vacuuming options as well.

Market Segment by Mode of Payment

Market Share (2023)

Cashless

71%

Cash

xx%

Others

xx%

Cashless Mode of Payment Reigns Supreme

The way we pay for car washes is undergoing a digital revolution. In 2023, cashless transactions dominated the market, capturing over 71% of all revenue. This shift reflects the growing consumer preference for convenient online payment methods.

Technology Penetrates Deeper

Car wash businesses are increasingly adopting integrated payment solutions at pay stations.  These systems not only streamline the payment process but also provide valuable customer insights, allowing car washes to better understand their clientele.

Millennials are Leading the Charge

Millennial consumers, in particular, expect a variety of payment options.  This includes traditional methods like tokens and debit cards, but also extends to more modern solutions like loyalty cards, EMV-enabled credit card payments, and even mobile payment options.

Cash Use Fades, Yet Sustains

While the trend is towards cashless transactions, coin-operated machines are still a familiar sight at many car washes. Findings of Pew Research Center indicate nearly 28% of Americans still prefer using cash at car washes. 

However, with the increasing popularity of digital wallets and online payments, cash usage in the car wash market is expected to decline steadily in the coming years.

Region-wise Analysis

Areas with higher population densities are likely to create higher demand for car wash services. Those with population having higher disposable income levels may have a larger market for car wash services as consumers in such areas often record higher expenditure on discretionary services.

Regional variations are there in the US car wash market that highlight the adaptability of the car wash industry, catering to diverse customer needs, and considering the preferential shifts across the US.

Convenience Reigns Supreme with 24-Hour Options in the Northeast

Fast-paced urban life in the Northeast has fueled a surge in demand for 24-hour car washes. Companies are responding by expanding their offerings. Automatic car washes, and self-service bays have been recently witnessing rising popularity in the light of changing consumer behavior.

Spotless Auto Laundries in Hackensack, New Jersey boasts 24/7 self-service bays, and automatic washes.  They cater to busy customers by offering additional services like quick lube, oil changes, and even soft cloth washes.  Subscription plans and coupons for oil changes, and detailing further enhance their customer appeal.

Subscription Services Take the Wheel in the West Coast

The competitive landscape in the West is driving innovation.  Players are focusing on service differentiation to attract customers.  Subscription-based car washes are a hot trend, offering a convenient and cost-effective way to keep vehicles clean. 

California Hand Wash exemplifies this approach, providing customers with various monthly membership plans that include full-service washes.

Leading Car Wash Service Providers in the US

  • Wash Depot
  • Splash Car Wash
  • Mister Car Wash
  • Driven Brands, Inc.
  • Suds Car Wash
  • Take Five Oil Change
  • Magic Hand Carwash
  • True Blue Car Wash
  • Squeaky Clean Car Wash
  • Autobell Car Wash, Inc.
  • Zips Car Wash
  • Quick Quack Car Wash
  • Tommy's Express Car Wash

Significant Industry Developments

September 2022

Super Star Car Wash, a reputable car wash business purchased a leading conveyor car wash company, Wave Wash.

August 2022

Mister Car Wash Inc. announced the acquisition of Top Wash, three express outdoor facilities in Anoka, Fridley, and Champlin. The acquisition increased Mister Car Wash's footprint in Minneapolis's northern suburbs. It highlights the consolidation trend in the US car wash industry.

July 2022

El Car Wash, one of the quick express car-washing firms in the US, was purchased by Warburg Pincus.

June 2022

Mister Car Wash, Inc. declared the launch of its new branch in Oviedo, Florida. The Platinum package available at the new facility includes several of Mister's distinctive goods, including HotShine® Carnauba wax, Repel Shield, and Platinum Seal. A cutting-edge tunnel experience with Mister's unique cleaning systems is available at the new location.

November 2021

With the announcement of its 100th car wash acquisition, Driven Brands, Inc. increased the total number of Driven Brands Car Washes in the US to 300.

Market Report Scope

Attributes

Details

Forecast Period

2024 to 2031

Historical Data Available for

2019 to 2023

Market Analysis

US$ Billion for Value

Key Regions Covered

  • Northeast US
  • West US
  • Southwest US
  • Others

Key Market Segments Covered

  • By Car Wash Type
  • By Mode of Payment
  • By Process
  • By Component
  • By Region

Key Companies Profiled

  • Wash Depot
  • Splash Car Wash
  • Mister Car Wash
  • Driven Brands, Inc.
  • Suds Car Wash
  • Take Five Oil Change
  • Magic Hand Carwash
  • True Blue Car Wash
  • Squeaky Clean Car Wash
  • Autobell Car Wash, Inc.
  • Zips Car Wash
  • Quick Quack Car Wash
  • Tommy's Express Car Wash

Report Coverage

  • Market Forecast
  • Company Share Analysis
  • Competition Intelligence
  • DROT Analysis
  • Market Dynamics and Challenges
  • Strategic Growth Initiatives  

Customization & Pricing

Available upon request

US Car Wash Market Segmentation

By Car Wash Type

  • Roll-Over/In Bay
  • Self-Service
  • Tunnel

By Mode of Payment

  • Cashless
  • Cash
  • Others

By Process

  • Touch Less Car Washing
  • Cloth Friction Car Washing

By Component

  • Motors
  • Drivers
  • Dryers
  • Pumps
  • Foam System

By Region

  • Northeast US
  • West US
  • Southwest US
  • Others

- Companies Covered in This Report -

- Frequently Asked Questions -

Time constraints, urge for convenience, growing focus on car care, and ready availability and accessibility of professional car wash service providers are some of the primary driving factors for market growth.

As of 2024, the US car wash market size is around US$14.9 billion.

Eco-sustainable car wash, and online (rather mobile) bookings mark the two most important market trends.

The roll-over/in-bay car wash type remains sought-after, followed by self-service car wash.

The US market for car wash is projected to see a CAGR of 5.8% over 2024 – 2031.

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