Squeaky clean: Rising incomes and growing environmental regulations will boost revenue

IBISWorld’s industry research report on Car Wash & Auto Detailing contains five-year forecasts and data analysis that can help you identify and mitigate risks in potential new markets. Position yourself as an expert with internal stakeholders by using our comprehensive industry research to inform your reports, proposals and presentations. Our business information will save you money by helping you make better decisions, faster.


Market Share of Companies
There are no companies with a dominant market share in this industry
Industry Statistics & Market Size
Annual Growth
Annual Growth

Industry Threats & Opportunities

  • Companies have diversified their service offerings to build a stronger customer base
  • The adoption of water reclamation systems has helped ensure better profit margins
  • The industry may be constrained by the gradual effects of environmental policies
  • Industry Analysis & Industry Trends

    Operators in the Car Wash and Auto Detailing industry have experienced steady growth over the past five years, as the economy began to recover and industry companies reaped the benefits of rising employment and per capita disposable income. Severe drops in oil prices during the latter half of the five-year period have also encouraged more consumers to hit the road, as lower gas prices translated to a greater amount of car use. Demand for the Car Wash and Auto Detailing industry is expected to continue expanding over the five years to 2022, albeit at a slower pace than the previous five-year period. Industry revenue will be bolstered by rising per capita disposable income, which will increase consumers' propensity to spend on discretionary services, such as car washes.

    Industry Report - Industry Locations Chapter

    The distribution of car wash establishments is highly correlated with population levels and weather patterns. Regions with a warmer climate and lower rainfall typically have a higher usage of car washing services. Furthermore, the number of vehicles in particular regions also determines the industry's distribution.


    The Southeast is the number one destination for industry operators. An estimated 22.2% of car wash establishments are located in the region. This is in line with population levels; 25.4% of the population resides in the area. The region accounts for the largest share of passenger vehicles in the United States, at 23.9% of the total, according to the National Automotive Dealers Association. Flo

    Additional Insights for the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry

    IBISWorld identifies 250 Key Success Factors for a business.The most important for the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry are

  • Business expertise of operators
  • Proximity to key markets
  • Having a loyal customer base
  • IBISWorld analysts also discuss how external factors such as Per capita disposable income and Number of motor vehicle registrations in the Car Wash & Auto Detailing industry impact industry performance..

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    Industry Products

    What is the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry?

    Operators in this industry clean, wash and wax automotive vehicles, such as passenger cars, trucks, vans and trailers. This industry also includes self-service car wash establishments. The Car Wash and Auto Detailing industry does not include companies that predominantly change motor oil or provide automotive repair and maintenance services.

    Industry Products
    Self-service bays
    Conveyor car washes
    In-bay automatic car washes
    Hand washing
    Industry Activities
    Automotive detailing services (i.e. cleaning, polishing)
    Automotive washing and polishing
    Car detailers
    Car washes
    Mobile car and truck washes
    Self-service car washes
    Truck and bus washes

    Table of Contents

    About this Industry
    Industry Definition
    Main Activities
    Similar Industries
    Additional Resources
    Industry at a Glance
    Industry Statistics Snapshot
    Industry Structure
    Executive Summary
    Industry Performance
    Executive Summary
    Key External Drivers
  • Per capita disposable income
  • Number of motor vehicle registrations
  • Households earning more than $100,000
  • World price of crude oil

  • Current Performance
  • Improving business conditions
  • Profit rises as industry cuts costs
  • New products and services
  • Chart: Revenue Growth

  • Industry Outlook
  • Improving business conditions
  • Industry landscape
  • Municipal regulations and technology
  • Table: Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry Revenue Outlook

  • Industry Life Cycle
  • Life cycle reasons
  • Chart: Benchmarking - Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry Lifecycle vs The Economy

  • Products & Markets
    Supply Chains
    Key Buying Industries
  • New Car Dealers
  • Used Car Dealers
  • Car Rental
  • Couriers & Local Delivery Services
  • Taxi & Limousine Services
  • Consumers

  • Key Selling Industries
  • Copier & Optical Machinery Manufacturing
  • Soap & Cleaning Compound Manufacturing
  • Water Supply & Irrigation Systems

  • Products & Services
  • Conveyor car washes
  • Detailing
  • In-bay automatic car washes
  • Self-service bays
  • Hand washing
  • Chart: Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry Products and Services Segmentation

  • Demand Determinants
    Major Markets
  • Businesses, farms and nonprofit organizations
  • Households in the highest income quintile
  • Households in the fourth income quintile
  • Households in the third income quintile
  • Households in the second income quintile
  • Households in the lowest income quintile
  • Federal, state and local government
  • Chart: Major Market Segmentation for the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry

  • International Trade
    Business Locations
    Chart: Business Locations by State
    Competitive Landscape
    Market Share Concentration
    Key Success Factors
    Cost Structure Benchmarks
    ProfitWagesPurchasesRent and utilitiesDepreciationOther
  • Chart: Cost Structure Benchmarking – Sector vs Car Wash & Auto Detailing

  • Basis of Competition
  • Internal
  • External

  • Barriers to Entry
  • Table: Barrier to Entry Checklist for the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry

  • Industry Globalization
    Major Companies
    There are no major players in this industry
    Operating Conditions
    Capital Intensity
  • Chart: Level of Capital Intensity for the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry
  • Chart: Tools of the Trade: Growth Strategies for Success

  • Technology & Systems
    Revenue Volatility
  • Chart: Volatility vs Industry Growth

  • Regulation & Policy
    Industry Assistance
    Key Statistics
    Table: Industry Data for the Car Wash & Auto Detailing Industry
  • Industry Revenue (2008-2022)
  • Industry Gross Product (2008-2022)
  • Establishments (2008-2022)
  • Businesses (2008-2022)
  • Employment (2008-2022)
  • Wages (2008-2022)
  • Number of Motor Vehicle Registrations (2008-2022)

  • Table: Annual Percentage Change for Key Industry Data
    Table: Key Ratios for Industry Key Data
    Table: Industry Financial Ratios
    Jargon & Glossary
  • The cleaning, polishing and waxing of the outside and inside of a motor vehicle; can include the rejuvenation of the vehicle's surfaces.
  • In-Bay Automatic Car Wash
  • A type of car wash where the vehicle remains stationary while an automatic machine cleans it.
  • Self-Service Car Wash
  • A type of car wash where customers wash their vehicles themselves.
  • Why buy this report?

    IBISWorld industry market research reports enable you to:
    • Find out about key industry trends
    • Identify threats and opportunities
    • Inform your decisions for marketing, strategy and planning
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    This report on Car Wash & Auto Detailing:
    • Provides Market Size information to assist with planning and strategic decisions.
    • Includes the necessary information to perform SWOT, PEST and STEER analysis.
    • Helps you understand market dynamics to give you a deeper understanding of industry competition and the supply chain.
    • Analyses key performance and operational metrics so that you can benchmark against your own business, that of your customers’ businesses, or your competitors’ businesses.
    The Car Wash & Auto Detailing market research report includes:
    • Historical data and analysis for the key drivers of this industry
    • A five-year forecast of the market and noted trends
    • Detailed research and segmentation for the main products and markets
    • An assessment of the competitive landscape and market shares for major companies
    • And of course, much more

    IBISWorld reports on thousands of industries around the world. Our clients rely on our information and data to stay up-to-date on industry trends across all industries. With this IBISWorld Industry Research Report on Car Wash & Auto Detailing, you can expect thoroughly researched, reliable and current information that will help you to make faster, better business decisions.

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