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Who Buys Source

In its 2011 Detailing Survey, which included free-standing detail shops, carwash combos and mobile services, the Auto Laundry News determined that 53% of auto detailing customers are men and 47% are women.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

How far customers travel to the typical self-service car wash facility: 2 miles or less, 16%; 3 miles or less, 48%; 4 miles or less, 53%; 5 miles or less, 74%; 8 miles or less, 81%; 10 miles or less, 91%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

According to the 2011 Auto Laundry News Detailing Survey, which included free-standing detail shops, carwash/detailiing combos and mobile detailing services, the retail category accounts for 80% of their customers, with auto dealers accounting for 14%, taxi/limo services 3%, and 3% coming from other sources (fleets, body shops, etc.).

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Based on the Auto Laundry News 2011 Detailing Survey, which included free-standing detail shops, carwash/detailing combos and mobile detailing services, the share of retail vehicles they serviced, by age of vehicle: New (under 1-yr. old), 17%; 1-2 years old, 23%; 3-5 years old, 35%; 5+ years old, 25%. 

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Profiling adults 18+ who purchased any auto detailing/washing products in the past year:

GfK MRI, 2010

Of those adults 18+ who bought auto detailing/washing products in the past year, 60.1% were men and 39.9% were women.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who purchased any auto detailing/washing products in the previous year, by age group: 18-24, 10.4%; 25-34, 15.0%; 35-44, 17.4%; 45-54, 22.1%; 55-64, 18.1%; 65+, 17.0%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any auto detailing/washing products in the past year, by income bracket: $100,000+, 24.4%; $75-99,999, 14.0%; $60-74,999, 13.3%; $50-59,999, 9.4%; $40-49,999, 9.0%; $30-39,999, 10.6%; $20-29,999, 9.0%; under $20,000, 10.3%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who purchased auto detailing/washing products in the past year, by ethnic group: White, 75.2%; Black, 11.5%; Other, 13.3%; Hispanic origin, 14.2%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who bought any auto detailing/washing products in the previous year, by region: Northeast, 16.7%; Midwest, 22.8%; South, 39.5%; West, 21.0%.

GfK MRI, 2010

Adults 18+ who purchased auto detailing/cleaning products in the past year, by marital status: Single, 22.1%; married, 60.7%; separated/widowed/divorced, 17.2%.

GfK MRI, 2010

When They Buy Source

Based on a survey conducted by Auto Laundry News, March ranks as the busiest month of the year for car washes, followed by January and February.  

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Percentage of wash business done by self-service facilities, according to days of the week: Monday, 10%; Tuesday, 9%; Wednesday, 8%; Thursday, 12%; Friday, 19%; Saturday, 25%; Sunday 17%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Busiest hours of the day for self-service car wash facilities: 3-7 PM, 29%; Noon-3 PM, 26%; 10 AM-Noon, 20%; 8-10 AM, 12%; 7 PM-Midnight, 10%; Midnight-8 AM, 3%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

The 2011 Auto Laundry News Detailing Survey, which included free-standing detail shops, carwash combos and mobile services, determined the best season for business (according to region): New England, Spring; Mid-Atlantic, Summer; Southeast, Spring; South Central, Summer; Central, Spring; Midwest, Spring; Mountain, Summer; Pacific, Summer.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Best seasons of the year for business at self-service carwash facilities, by region: New England, Winter; Mid-Atlantic, Winter; Southeast, Spring; South Central, Spring; Central, Winter; Midwest, Winter; Mountain, Summer; Pacific, Summer.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

According to the Auto Laundry News 2011 Detailing Survey, the share of business done by carwash/detailing combo facilities, by days of the week: Monday, 15%; Tuesday, 12%; Wednesday, 13%; Thursday, 17%; Friday, 21%; Saturday, 18%; Sunday, 4%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011


How They Buy Source

According to the 2011 Conveyor Carwash Benchmark Survey, conducted by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, the average price of the best-selling wash for those respondents offering full-service exterior/interior packages was $19.78, while the average price of the best-selling wash for exterior-only facilities was $8.88.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

The average price per minute for wash bays at self-serve car wash facilities was 44.4 cents in 2010, compared to 42.4 cents in 2009 and 40.1 cents in 2008. The average price per minute for vacuums at self-serve car wash locations was 23.0 cents in 2010, up from 22.2 cents in 2009 and 21.4 cents in 2008.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Average prices charged for the following services at free-standing detail shops in 2010: Hand wax, $72.59; carpet shampoo, $50.83; upholstery cleaning, $53.24; machine wax/buff, $98.28; leather/vinyl (int.) dressing, $23.85; vinyl/rubber (ext.) dressing, $34.50; deodorizing, $42.08; paint touch-up, $43.75; paintless dent removal, $98.57; windshield repair, $55.00; headlight restoration, $64.85; engine cleaning, $32.50; window tinting, $175.00; pinstriping, $66.38; extended upholstery protectant, $49.82; extended protective paint sealant, $116.56.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

According to the Auto Laundry News 2011 Detailing Survey, the average package price for a complete interior/exterior detail job at a free-standing detail shop is $174.60, compared to $142.91 at a carwash/detail combo facility, and $185.81 through a mobile detailing service.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

According to the 2011 Conveyor Carwash Benchmark Survey, done by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, of those facilities that offer detailing services, the average price of a full-detail package is $166.93, $57.53 for an express interior job, and $46.26 for an express hand wax job.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

According to Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine's 2010 In-Bay Automatic Carwash Benchmarking Survey, the average price of the operators' best-selling wash job was $9.06.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2010

What They Buy Source

According to a 2011 survey by Auto Laundry News, of those operators who manage a combined automatic/self-service facility, the automatic segment accounts fo 58% of total income, compared to 42% for the self-serve portion.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Based on the 2011 Conveyor Carwash Benchmark Survey, conducted by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, features included in the best-selling packages offered by full-service exterior/interior shops and exterior-only facilities: Undercarriage wash, 86%; wheel treatment, 86%; foam polish, 73%; sealer wax, 73%; clearcoat treatment, 73%; exterior protectant, 68%; spot-free rinse, 50%; polish wax, 50%; fragrance, 50%; whitewall cleaning, 45%; rust inhibitor, 45%; floormat cleaning, 18%; interior protectant, 9%.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

Percent of self-service car wash locations offering the following equipment/services in 2011: Vacuums, 100%; bill changer, 100%; foaming brushes, 98%; trigger guns, 97%; vending machines, 96%; spray wax, 95%; floor mat hangers, 91%; pre-soak, 89%; water heater, 87%; cold water rinse, 78%; liquid tire/engine cleaner, 76%; spot free rinse, 75%; water softener, 74%; fragrance dispenser, 69%; foaming tire/engine cleaner, 49%; carpet cleaning machine, 47%; multi-colored foam, 40%. 

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Percent of freestanding auto detail shops and carwash/detailing combo facilities offering the following services in 2010: Hand wax, 73%; carpet shampoo, 72%; engine cleaning, 56%; upholstery cleaning, 70%; machine wax/buff, 65%; leather/vinyl (int.) dressing, 60%; deodorizing, 46%; vinyl/rubber (ext.) dressing, 56%; paintless dent removal, 14%; pinstriping, 19%; extended protective paint sealant, 27%; extended upholstery protectant, 33%; paint touch-up, 22%; windshield repair, 17%; window tinting, 10%; headlight restoration, 46%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

According to the 2011 Self-Serve Carwash Benchmark Report, prepared by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, 45% of self-serve facilities have additional profit centers on site, such as gasoline retailing (40%), pet wash services (40%), quick-lube facilities (36%), coin laundries (36%), self-storage facilities (22%) and detail services (2%).

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

Based on the 2011 Conveyor Carwash Benchmark Survey, conducted by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, ancillary profit centers on site at full-service exterior/interior businesses and exterior-only shops: Detail shop, 49%; lobby, 33%; fast lube, 19%; convenience store, 12%; gas pumps, 11%; self-service bays, 8%; in-bay automatic, 2%.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

Where They Buy Source

Largest full-serve conveyorized car wash chains, according to number of locations in 2010: 1. Wash Depot (Malden, MA), 76; 2. Mister Car Wash (Tucson, AZ), 65; 3. Autobell Car Wash (Charlotte, NC), 58; 4. Mike's Express Car Wash (Indianapolis, IN), 37; 5. (tie) Delta Sonic (Buffalo, NY), Original $2 Car Wash (Livonia, MI), Terrible Herbst (Las Vegas, NV) and Goo Goo Car Wash (Columbus, GA), 28; 9. Octopus Car Wash (Albuquerque, NM), 24; 10. Drive Clean (North Little Rock, AR), 22.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2010

Business Trends Source

Consumers spend more than $24 billion each year having their vehicles cleaned.

International Carwash Association, 2011

Concerning their 2010 income, 27% of self-service operators said theirs was greater than the previous year, while 24% reported it to be the same, and 49% said it was less.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Average number of cars detailed annually, according to type of business: Free-standing detail shop, 1,187; carwash/detail combo, 2,375; mobile detailing service, 490.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

The average self-serve carwash operator has 5 self-serve bays (earning $1,713.11 monthly per bay), 1 in-bay automatic facility (earning $5,339.32 per month), and 7 coin-operated vacuums (earning $209.86 monthly per vacuum). These self-serve car washes have an estimated market radius of 6.5 miles, and serve an estimated population of 32,900.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

Number of competitors in the immediate area for self-service car wash facilities: 1 competitor, 30%; 2 competitors, 16%; 3 competitors, 21%; 4 competitors, 5%; 5 competitors, 3%; more than 5 competitors, 13%; no competitors, 12%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Number of competitors in immediate area for detail shops: None, 5%; one, 7%; two, 23%; three, 31%; four, 13%; five, 9%; more than five, 12%.

Auto Laundry News, 2011

Based on the 2011 Self-Serve Industry Benchmark Report, prepared by Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine, the distance to the typical self-serve carwash's nearest competitor: Less than 1/4 mile, 16%; 1/4 mile to 1 mile, 23%; 1-2 miles, 19%; 2-5 miles, 26%; 5-10 miles, 3%; more than 10 miles, 13%.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2011

Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine's 2010 In-Bay Automatic Carwash Benchmarking Survey showed that the average market radius for these facilities was 7 miles, with an average market area population of 33,667.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2010

According to Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine's 2010 In-Bay Automatic Carwash Benchmarking Survey, the distance to the operators' nearest competitor: Less than 1/4 mile, 11%; 1/4 mile to 1 mile, 25%; 1-2 miles, 27%; 2-5 miles, 16%; 5-10 miles, 11%; more than 10 miles, 9%.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing, 2010

Misc Source

According to the 2011 Auto Laundry News Detailing Survey, how long it takes to complete a standard detail package at different types of facilities: Free-standing detail shop, 4.6 hours; carwash/detail combo shop, 3.7 hours; mobile detailing service, 3.5 hours.

Auto Laundry News, 2011