Kevin Bell

How To Value Self Serve Car Washes

Twitter Post


Heard from a Carwash owner today about the ins and outs of his business.

Here’s the 10,000 ft view of the numbers to this business👇


3-5x gross revenue multiple Ex: 100k gross = 300k - 500k valuation

When you start talking the express model, it’s a different ball game. But self serve still fits in the example above.

Self serve is fairly heavy capex, BUT can be written off year one with taxes.

Replacement costs:

It costs about 25k-35k per bay for self serve car washes vs. 150k-250k for automatic car washes.

Capital reserves:

Repairs are about 5-7%, so if you plan for about 10-14% you’d be pretty good.

Self serve doesn’t normally require replacing the equipment. For the most part, you can fix what’s broken.

Is there still opportunity today with self serve car washes?

👉 Yes, but it’s not a growing segment of the car wash industry. It is still a GOOD segment nonetheless.

Why did private equity become interested in car washes?

👉 The subscriptions. As soon as recurring revenue became popular in this industry.

Advice to anyone that wants to get into the industry:

👉 Get involved in an association and go to an industry show. Talk to people and learn as much about the industry as you can.