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Car Wash Business 101: Equipment and Investment Requirements

We’ve already given you some tips on how to start a car wash business. Now, we’re taking it further by getting to the nitty-gritty and discussing the numbers, so to speak.

Mr. Edwin Pasahol, Senior Trade and Industry Development Specialist for the Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED), gave us a general and estimated rundown of the equipment, costs, price options, and profit you’ll get when you venture into this business.

Boy washing a vehicle at a carwash

INVESTMENT REQUIREMENTS (All prices are in PHP, and based on 2017 market prices)

A. Equipment

  • 1 Pressure washer compact electric 1600 watts, 5.5 liters/minute – P6,700
  • 1 Vacuum cleaner with blower, 750 watts 6 meter – P3,500
  • 1 Power sprayer 1/2 horsepower, 26 inch – P4,800
  • 1 Pressure tank 340 liters – P7,100
  • 1 2-step ladder – P450
  • 3 Drums (for storing water) at P390 per piece – P1,170
  • 2 Hose at P335 per piece – P680
  • 3 Pails/buckets at P90 per piece – P270

TOTAL – (P24,670) or rounded off: P25,000

B. Direct Cost (Materials and Supplies per Month)

  • 3 pcs Chamois at P110.00 per piece – P330
  • 24 pcs All-purpose rags at P5.50 for 4 pieces – P33
  • 4 pcs Car sponge (big) at P45 per piece – P180

Sub-Total – (P543) or rounded off: P540

C. Supplies

  • 60 liters Car shampoo – P8,690
  • 15 liters Car wax liquid wax hi-gloss finish – P7,500
  • 15 liters Tire black – P7,010
  • 450 ml Car polisher/shine (for detailing) scratch remover ultra hi-gloss finish – P1,420

Sub-Total – (P24,620) or rounded off: P24,600

TOTAL – (P25,140) or rounded off: P25,000

D. Indirect Cost

  • Labor cost (350.00/day x 30 days) – P10,500
  • Electricity – P2,210
  • Water – P890.00
  • Contingency (10% of direct costs) – P1,600

TOTAL – (P15,200) or rounded off: P 15,000 

 Price List

  • Van   –  P120.00
  • Taxi  –   P60.00
  • Suv’s – P120.00
  • Sedan-  P80 – P100
  • Exterior auto detailing – P1,500.00
  • Interior auto detailing – P1,000 – P1,500.00

 Estimated Sales for a One-Month Operation

  • 17 cars @80.00 x 30 days – P40,800
  • 3 vans @120.00 x 30 days – P10,800
  • 10 cars @45 x 30 days (only for tire black and vacuuming) – 13,500.00
  • 8 cars @550 (for detailing) – 4,400

Sub-total – P69,500


  • Direct cost – P25,000
  • Indirect cost – P15,000

Sub-total – P40,000



Men cleaning a van at a carwash

Remember: This is just an estimated guide that will give you an idea of the equipment, costs, price options, and profit you’ll get when you start out a car wash business.

The computation does not include monthly rent space and insurance costs (if any). Please do a more extensive research if you seriously plan to get into this venture.


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  1. Mark
    May 11, 2017 at 11:12 am — Reply

    Is there a seminar on car wash. Can you provide also the site.

    • May 12, 2017 at 3:46 am — Reply

      Hi Mark,
      It’s rare. So far, the only one we know is Business Coach. Franchise car washes give seminars/training as well, so you can ask around.

      You can also try DOST and TESDA for some leads.

  2. Mica Balagtas
    May 31, 2017 at 2:38 am — Reply

    Is there any shops you can advice where to buy equipments? Thank you!

    • May 31, 2017 at 11:14 am — Reply

      Hi Mica,
      There’s no particular shop I can recommend, since each and every equipment listed here can be bought from different auto power tools / equipment shops. You can try the more popular ones, or ask around in Banawe.

      If you want, there are some available car wash franchises or car wash business packages available online. They already have the equipment needed to start a business — but make sure they’re reputable sellers first.

  3. Anonymous
    June 28, 2017 at 8:14 pm — Reply

    Hi mam can you give the contact no. Of seller of equipment of car wash business thanks

    • June 29, 2017 at 10:20 am — Reply

      As of now, I don’t have any information regarding this. Try to call DOST and TESDA to get some leads.

  4. August 3, 2017 at 10:28 am — Reply

    Are there any automatic car wash business yet in the Philippines?

    If there are, do you know one?

    Do you know what equipments they use and where to find them? Preferably only in the Philippines

    • August 3, 2017 at 11:00 am — Reply

      Hi Jonathan,
      It’s quite a new niche, so I’m not aware of any business that does it — yet.
      You can try KKE Wash Systems. So far, they’re the only ones I know that sell equipment for automatic car wash businesses.

  5. Daniel
    August 29, 2017 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    Hi! how many people are hired for the labor? are they enough to support that many cars to wash a day?

    • August 30, 2017 at 7:42 am — Reply

      Hi Daniel,
      I think 2 people will be enough for this. If the business is picking up, you can add another person to make things faster.

  6. Wyn
    September 19, 2017 at 1:14 am — Reply

    Hi 🙂

    I am planning to put a business in my hometown CDO
    do you think the Karcher brands can be a useful for
    carwash business? beside for the traditional carwash
    equipment have or had you heard even seen using karcher pressure
    washer? i want to have a pressure washer without needing air compressor,
    foam tank, because karcher brand can be use a foam cannon which is much better for foam tank. looking forward for your responds


    • September 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm — Reply

      Hi Wyn,
      It’s a good brand, especially the Karcher K4, K2, and K7 models. They’re known for cleaning tough dirt, and with the right settings and attachments, can go even with delicate and sensitive surfaces very well. They’re a bit pricey though, but if you have the budget, then go for it. 🙂

      Nilfisk and Bosch are also good options.

      • Anonymous
        September 20, 2017 at 2:20 pm — Reply

        Thank you for the responds 🙂 🙂

        • September 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm — Reply

          You’re welcome. 🙂

          • Wyn
            October 22, 2017 at 1:34 am

            Hi Ma’am Cherryl,

            I read your comment from other person and you mentioned about hybrid salary and that is monthly or weekly depends to the owner?? and how about the Performance commission abot ang qouta? how to deal with that or can you give me example? every washer boy po ba at least my estimation example, 10 cars kada isa sa washer pag lagpas saka pa pasok yong incentive tama po ba? mag kano naman po? 🙂 hoping for your kind responds 🙂


          • October 22, 2017 at 3:45 pm

            Hi Wyn,
            Yung salary monthly. Yung performance incentive depende sa performance goals mo sa kanila. For example, pag lumampas sila ng quota nilang 12 vehicles per week, or they were able to get your customers to avail of added services (like additional car waxing services on top of the car wash), then perhaps you can give them a certain amount for each added car or service they make.

            This is just an example. I really can’t give an exact amount, kasi depende yan sa financial health ng business mo. So you need to compute that yourself.

            Aside from money, pwede ka ring magbigay ng other incentives, like free meals daily or transportation allowance. 🙂

          • Wyn
            October 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

            Hi Ma’am

            maraming salamat po God Bless.. 🙂

          • October 24, 2017 at 2:57 pm

            Hi Wyn,
            No problem. And good luck with your car wash business. 🙂

  7. francisco franco
    September 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm — Reply

    im interested of the car wash business

  8. Sukarno Mantukay
    October 1, 2017 at 3:37 pm — Reply

    I am also interested for the Car Wash business. I am planning to start this Car Wash business maybe this coming December 2017 if I can find a good space good for this business.

    Still I am searching for a location where I want to have this Car Wash business.


  9. Ruwan
    October 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm — Reply

    Hello Anne,

    Nice Article to startup. Do you consult the Business plan and advice to start from the beginning for the clients? As I am planning start Car wash at Kabankalan and looking forward reliable source as consultant?

    • October 1, 2017 at 6:07 pm — Reply

      Hi Ruwan,
      This business plan was created by Mr. Edwin Pasahol as part of his car wash business training for BSMED before. I personally talked to him regarding this, and he helped me make some modifications to it as well (since he created this a long time ago).

      I would suggest you contact him at BSMED if you need a consultant. 🙂

      • mercedita c. reyes
        December 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm — Reply

        good pm mam, im interested into carwash business where can i contact Mr. Edwin Pasahol ? so i can contact him to ask advise and as a consultant ..thank you very much in advance

        • December 4, 2017 at 11:30 am — Reply

          Hi Ms. Reyes,
          I would suggest you call DTI, ask to be connected to BSMED’s hotline, and look for Mr. Pasahol.

  10. Dave
    October 11, 2017 at 10:38 am — Reply

    Guys im in cdo and i was hoping to make a carwash business but people here are using deep well as a source of water. For me im planning to use the water supplied by water district. will my i still gain profit with that?

  11. dave
    October 11, 2017 at 10:47 am — Reply

    did you use water from deep well or water from water district? will i still gain profit if i use water from water district instead of deep well? i i should adjust my margins?

    • October 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm — Reply

      Hi Dave,
      Most car wash businesses use district water.

      Actually, it depends. If you’re going to dig really deep for the well and will use a pump, then well water will cost a lot on electricity. So in a way, the short-term financial costs are nearly the same for both water systems.

      But still, for long-term operational and maintenance costs, well water is generally much cheaper compared to municipality water. To be safe, you may need to adjust your margins when you use water from your district, and perhaps, look for ways to save money on other things to compensate for the additional costs.

  12. October 16, 2017 at 12:05 am — Reply

    paano naman po kaya yung mga legal permits/requirements?
    ano ano po ba mga kailangan at magkano po?
    salamat po

  13. tindahan
    October 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm — Reply

    Ano po kaya mas ideal na pasahod sa tao?
    Monthly Fixed Pay
    40-60 Commision

    Ang hirap po kasi maghanap ng tao

    • October 19, 2017 at 10:39 am — Reply

      Our Business Manager and I think that a “hybrid” salary is ideal: You give them a monthly fixed pay, PLUS a performance commission pag naabot nila yung quota nila. That way, it would act as an incentive for them to do well. 🙂

      • Anonymous
        October 31, 2017 at 10:54 pm — Reply

        Ma’m where can i buy chemical for foam wash and shampoo?

        • November 2, 2017 at 5:44 am — Reply

          You can try Microtex Car Car Solutions and Foam It Philippines.
          Note: I’m not endorsing any of them. They’re just the ones I know as of this time.

  14. Herbert
    November 2, 2017 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    Where xan i buy the equipment

    • November 4, 2017 at 10:55 pm — Reply

      Hi Herbert,
      I think I answered this already. Please read through the comments here.

  15. fando
    November 19, 2017 at 12:31 am — Reply

    hi maam cherryl,

    meron po b kikitain pag nangungupahan ka pa ng lote??

    • November 19, 2017 at 10:27 am — Reply

      Hi Fando,
      It depends on the location. Generally, kung maraming tao at mas “commercialized” yung location, mas mahal yung rent. So yung chance mo to earn is really less–baka break-even ka lang (or possibly negative profit pa).

      Realistically, those with the lowest rents have lesser visibility. But if you save up on other minor aspects of your business and provide good service consistently, then eventually, you’ll get loyal customers to keep your business going.

  16. anthon
    November 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm — Reply

    hi good ma’am cherryl,

    ask ko lng po sana kong may idea ko kayo kong hw much gagastusin if ever kasma na yung mga mayor’s permit or business permit..

    salmat po sa tugon nyo.

    • November 23, 2017 at 11:35 am — Reply

      Hi Anthon,
      Unfortunately I don’t. Maybe you can inquire about it in your Municipality.

  17. Arian Osorio
    December 11, 2017 at 4:14 pm — Reply

    Hi, is there any training/ seminar on how to start a car wash business near San Pedro, Laguna.


    • December 12, 2017 at 8:38 am — Reply

      Hi Arian,
      None at the moment. They don’t happen often, so you may need to get leads from many different sources.

  18. Olivere
    January 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm — Reply

    hello mam, I’m interested to this type of business. do know where I could find these equipment (whole package) including supplies in Cebu city. It will be much appreciated if you can give their contact info. Thanks.

    • January 3, 2018 at 2:55 pm — Reply

      Hi Olivere,
      Unfortunately, it’s hard to find them in Cebu City. However, if you’re interested in getting into franchising, you might want to try Nice Day. I think their starting initial investment is P250,000, and their number is 321-2729. Good luck! 🙂

  19. Allan
    January 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm — Reply

    Hi Cherryl,
    Do you have any idea how many ml of car shampoo is needed to clean one car?

    • January 17, 2018 at 3:09 pm — Reply

      Hi Allan,
      I think an ounce (approximately one shot glass) to a gallon is almost the standard measurement, although it really depends on the shampoo’s brand and car size.

  20. Anonymous
    January 23, 2018 at 12:23 pm — Reply

    Hi Cherryl,

    There is a 350.00 labor cost, does it translate to one personel only?

  21. Anonymous
    January 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm — Reply

    Thank you Cherryl!

  22. Jepoy
    February 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm — Reply

    Dear Ms. CHerryl;

    Good Day!

    I’m so glad to read your post how you started your car wash business, I was convinced and interested to open this business too. Can you tell me what are the clearances needed in securing Business Permit? Or can you you share me what are the important things needed within its working area aside from tools and equipment.

    I would be grateful enough to hear from you advisory words from your experiences and look forward on your favorable response.

    Thank you,

    Escalante City

    • February 9, 2018 at 12:49 pm — Reply

      Hi Jeoffrey,
      I gave a link in one of the comments here about what documents are needed in securing a business permit. You can use that for reference and starting guide.

      One key thing to remember: location is the most important factor here. Get a good spot (nearby roads with high traffic; and/or a dense, residential or commercial population with lots of “busy” car owners around), and your odds of succeeding in this business would increase significantly.

  23. Tess
    February 23, 2018 at 5:46 pm — Reply

    Hi ms cherryl. You mentioned about permit rqmnts from dti. What about from the DENR? I understand that there is a rqmnt to comply with LLDA of the DENR. I heard that they require quite a big amount of fees.

    • March 5, 2018 at 11:21 am — Reply

      Hi Tess,
      Yes, DENR will require you to submit either one or two of these “certificates”:
      1. Certificate of Non-Coverage (CNC) – Fee: P1,100+
      2. Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) – (fee depends on the lot’s size)

      Generally, if your lot is less than a hectare, you only need to get the CNC, but if it exceeds that, then you need to include the ECC as well.

      Also, they might require you to add a septic tank in your car wash location, and this will be on a case-to-case basis only. Your business permit, which you’ll get from your LGU, will indicate if you need to include one. It will also show what other permits you have to get, which directly affects how high or low your fees are.

      This means that your business permit is where you should look into before anything else.

  24. Michael
    March 10, 2018 at 12:38 am — Reply

    I supply water-less car wash solution/quick detailer/spray wax. We ship nationwide. Contact me at 09327711316 or 09771023514. This is what use in our basement parking in one of the SM Malls in the Philippines.

  25. March 12, 2018 at 2:49 pm — Reply

    This is very helpful as it is a detailed guide on having a car wash business. I like how you even outlined the monthly cost of operations. Thank you for this.

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