How Much Can a Mobile Car Washing Business Make?

The car wash industry is a massive one, with a market size of more than $30 billion worldwide. Thus, starting a mobile car wash is a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs, or for people who simply love cars.

Also, new car prices are continuously rising every year, with an average increase of around $1,000/year. With this fact, many vehicle owners realize that taking care of the car’s condition is very important: people are keeping their cars longer, and they’d also like to maintain a high resell value.

This is why the car wash industry is continuously growing, making it an excellent business to start in 2021.

So how much can a mobile car washing business make? In this guide, we will answer that question, along with all you need to know about the finances of running a mobile car wash business.

How Much Can a Mobile Car Washing Business Make?

How Much Can a Mobile Car Washing Business Make

A basic mobile car wash service can go from $20 to $50, but alongside the basic car wash services we can also offer various detailing services such as: 

  • Water spot removal can go between $50 to $80
  • Engine cleaning/detailing, $40 to $60
  • Tire dressing, around $10 to $20
  • Plastic dressing, between $20 to $40
  • Interior carpet shampooing, $40-$70

A full car detailing job (both interior and exterior) can cost $100 to $150 on average. 

With that being said, if a full-time, established mobile car wash business has an average of three jobs per day, five days a week, charging $100 per job, the business can make $78,000 per year. 

Different Types of Car Wash Businesses

As discussed, mobile car wash businesses can come in various forms and sizes, but we can divide them into two: mobile and physical shops. 

The main benefit of a mobile car wash business is the low initial start-up cost since you don’t have to purchase or rent a physical location. 

There are actually customers who prefer the convenience of having their cars washed and detailed at their premises. You going to your customer’s location is an attractive upsell in today’s busy lifestyle. And if you package your business right, you can actually get higher rates from clients. 

Startup capital for Mobile Car Wash Business

Hare some conservative assumptions for the startup capital you’ll need for starting a mobile car wash business, assuming it’s a one-man business:

  • Vehicle+mobile car wash system: $8,000 
  • Water reclamation system: $800
  • Incorporation fee: $1,000
  • Office equipment and tools: $200
  • Accountant: $1,000
  • Initial supplies: $500
  • Initial marketing budget: $1,000
  • Uniform: $200
  • Licenses and Permits: $200
  • Cash on hand: $5,000

The estimated total startup capital: $17,900

Ongoing expense for mobile car wash business

  • Vehicle lease (if not purchasing a vehicle): $500/month
  • Insurance: $300/month
  • Cellular plan: $100/month
  • Accountant: $100/month
  • Cleaning supplies: $300/month
  • Office supplies: $30/month
  • Marketing: $100/month
  • Miscellaneous fees: $100/month

The estimated total of monthly fee: $1,530/month

Your Income Per Job Against Expenses

In order to ensure your mobile car wash business stays profitable, you’ll want to know how much income you can make per job while also weighing your ongoing expenses and startup capital, as discussed above. 

If you are already in business, you can figure out this number by analyzing your previous invoices. Add the total of the invoices to get your total revenue, then divide this total by the number of jobs you did. This is your average income per job. 

If you are just starting out your business, then you obviously can’t use this approach yet. This is when you should develop a pricing strategy. A good starting point is to check your competitors’ prices to figure out how much they are charging. This will give you a good indication of who offers what in your area. Note, If you can offer something unique or more valuable, then it’s perfectly okay to charge more than your competitors. 

Once you have your income per job, then you can calculate how many jobs you’d need per day to break even and make a profit. As discussed above, the average monthly expenses for a mobile car wash business is $1,530, so if you make $100 per job and you do one job per day for five days a week, you are already making $470 in profit per month.

Boosting Your Income Through Service Excellence

The secret to a successful mobile car wash is to always provide a great service experience to your customers. This is how you can convert clients into advocates who will recommend your business to their network. 

First, make sure you prioritize your customer’s safety: make sure you are using appropriate equipment and chemical supplies that are environmentally friendly and in compliance with existing regulations. Also, if you are using pressure washers, make sure your team is properly trained to use them safely. 

Time management is essential for a mobile car wash. Thus, even by only always showing up on time and finishing your job during the promised time frame, you are already better than most of your competitors. 

This is where an advanced mobile detailing and car wash software like fieldd can help you by providing the following benefits: 

  • Field Service CRM tools to ensure optimal service
  • Offering quick online booking
  • Generating and sending professionally-made digital invoices
  • Collect online payment 
  • Real-time reporting and analytics for more accurate decision making
  • Interactive recording and documentation for better risk management


As you can see, a mobile car wash business can be a lucrative business opportunity with relatively minimal startup investment and affordable monthly expenses. However, you’ll still need proper planning and strategy to achieve success.

The best competitive advantage you can create is to always provide high-quality service to your customers, especially by always showing up on time and delivering timely car washing services. 

Start your Mobile Car Wash Business Today

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