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How to Start Car Wash Business in Kenya

Starting a car wash business in Kenya is a worthy investment as a business owner. As car owners increase in the Kenyan economy, a car wash will yield profit from its owners. To start a successful car wash, it is important to follow these steps: 

Step 1: Carry out a market research

Just like any other business opportunity, it is important to do your research on 

• Identify what your prospective customers would look like.

• Research those already in the car wash business in Kenya

• Find out what a good location of starting a car wash business in Kenya would be.

• Determine the distinguishing factor, to make sure your customers are retained.

Step 2: Get a car wash business permit

Before entering the business, it is very important to make sure that  you have the correct certification. One business permit is required  to open a car wash in Kenya. However, it is necessary to know that the cost of getting this permit varies from city to city. This means that major cities such as Mombasa and Nairobi will charge a higher fee to obtain this permit.

If you want to open a very large car wash facility, you need to get a permit from the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA).

Step 3: Find a suitable location

Finding a good place for a car wash is one of the most important factors in the success of  your car wash business in Kenya. Once upon a time, the car wash industry thrived near Nyamachoma’s grills and bars, mechanic shops, and even at bus stops. Another determinant is that the selected location 

should be near a busy street or near a busy mall. 

When starting this business in Nairobi, it is ideal to choose a location near or inside the parking lot. This is very convenient for customers because of accessibility. Make sure you have easy access to the car wash and  all the visibility you can provide. 

Needless to say, this location should be away from places with physical obstacles such as utility poles, ditches, or too many trees that can cause harm or restrict customer accessibility. 

Other areas in Kenya that are suitable for buying or leasing land for a car wash business are shopping malls, public facilities and churches, to name a few. When looking for a location, make sure that the selected area  has a stable supply of water. Water  from  natural springs is a bonus as it  never runs out without your knowledge. 

Drilling holes and wells can be dug, but be sure to process them regularly. Finally, make sure you reserve an area for the tank that should  be filled with water whenever your business starts.

Step 4: Revamp the site and stand out 

Once you’ve chosen the right location, it’s a good idea to make it  more accessible to your customers. Customers are attracted to dignity as well as  efficiency.

 It is not recommended to start the car wash without rehabilitating the terrain by removing the barrier or fencing the area. Trench excavation and ground leveling  are also essential steps in property redevelopment.

Other tips to keep your car wash business successful are: 

  • Make sure the site is large enough to accommodate multiple vehicles. A large space increases the number of cars you can wash at one time. 
  •  Provides space for customers to wait for a car wash.
  • Keep your car wash clean and attractive. Make sure it has good drainages to prevent floods. 

Revamping the car wash site may also include adding some security features to your site to ensure safety for the customer’s vehicles

Step 5: Acquire the necessary pieces of equipment

A high pressure car washing machine

As an investor, The first thing you should buy for this business is a high pressure washing machine. These machines are available in different capacities from different brands and can be new or used. The purchase of the best car washing machine should be determined by the estimated number of cars visiting the car wash every day. Your best bet is a durable machine. Extra spending hurts your budget, but it guarantees longevity. The price of a car washing machine is about KSH 20,000- KSH 40,000

For models, just check the features that come with each brand. Some of the features to watch out for are spray guns, pressure options, anti-rotation systems, weight and dust blasting, to name a few. The more features you have, the more likely you are to improve the  service delivery of your automated car wash business in Kenya. The pressure washer is available in major supermarkets across the country, with popular brands such as Karcher and Honda dominating the market.

Water tank

Water tanks are important for the fulfillment of your automobile wash business. These usually are available in large capacities as properly starting from 1,000 to 10,000 litres. 

The length of the water tank you pick ought to be primarily based totally at the availability of water withinside the region you desire to set up your automobile wash business. The larger the tank, the better.

Vacuum Cleaner, brushes, buckets, towels/cloths detergents, and squeezers

Buying a vacuum cleaner for a car wash  is different from  buying the same equipment for your home. Move to the commercial vacuum cleaner area that have more features and are not designed for limited use like the regular vacuum cleaners. 

Buckets, squeezers, cloths and brushes do not have to meet specific criteria or criteria, but the higher the quality, the better.

When it comes to cleaning supplies, be careful not to shop for basic detergents at local stores or supermarkets. There are special detergents for washing vehicles available in some local stores. With a good scent, you can make your car wash stand out from the competition. However, some people are allergic to strong odors, so be sure to ask the customer. There are many options for these cleaning agents, including mild and strong odors.

Finally, it is important to note that while purchasing the above equipment, also be aware of some of the services offered by car wash. Some of these services may require equipment found only  in high-end car wash machines, but they are needed to ensure a stable flow of customers.

You can offer the following additional services:

• Night parking

• Engine and under-wash

• Dusting

• Carpet cleansing

• Motorbike washes

• Selling spare parts and any other relevant or related products

• Buffing

Jakub Borowiec
Jakub Borowiec
Financial markets enthusiast. I studied management at the University of Economics in Wroclaw.

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