To succeed in car wash business in Nigeria, what do you need?


Posted by: Hassana Obi

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Whoever you are, you can set up and succeed in your own business. And car wash business in Nigeria is among the most suitable for start-ups. Read through for what you need!

How to start a car wash business in Nigeria?

Before asking “how to start a car wash business in Nigeria,” think twice whether you really want to step in this field or not. So, is car wash a good business in Nigeria or in your region to be more specific?

I must say, once you excel at your job, every business is profitable but how profitable is a car wash depends on the type of business you aim to start. Should it be a large scale professional car washing service, the income must be enormous when you succeed. Otherwise, it brings you a considerable amount of money, albeit not huge, if you just want to open a small-scale shop.

a car wash shop in Nigeria

Car wash business in Nigeria can bring back handsome profits

Now, what do you need to open a car wash? Follow these guidelines to prepare things needed for a car wash!

1. Manage your finance

Make sure you know how to raise money for your business. To small-scale one, sparing a budget around N200,000 to N500,000 from your own savings might be sufficient for initial operation. However, the capital must be many times higher for large-scale car washing services. In that case, you may need to call upon the investment from other partners with strategic business plan for annual revenue. Always remember: failing to prepare is preparing to fail!

2. Research the market

It’s extremely important that you have referred to others’ business in car wash services. Try to visit as many places as you can to see how they set up their store, what kind of equipment they use, the number of customers they can attract and other tricks they use to promote their products. Learn from their both success and failure!

Greenwash - a newborn successful car wash service in Africa

You will also need to survey your potential customers whether they like particular type of service or what they dislike at current car wash services. This is a valuable source of reference for your business plan.

3. Pick a location

The spot you choose to set up your business can decide you succeed or not. Don’t rush to choose a convenient place for you, everything must be considered in your customers’ views.

A location near busy streets with regular vehicular movement is surely the place to go. You may find some popular filling stations in the neighborhood who are willing to give space for hire. Transports often patronizing these stations are probably your first customers.

4. Get approved by authorities

Of course, you can’t build a car wash business without informing the authorities. Prepare every document related and reasonable explanations for possible questions. They won’t cause troubles if the drainage and gutter system at the spot can handle the sewage.

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5. Prepare the borehole or a well

No need to say, the borehole or a well is a must for car wash business. Make sure water supply is maintained stable regardless of weather or power condition! Also, try to keep the borehole and well clean all the time, car owners will freak out if they see their vehicles washed with dirty water.

a man pumping water from borehole

Water must be always available

6. Buy the essentials

To launch your services, these items can’t be missed:

  • Overhead tanks to store water in scarcity
  • Generator to power the equipment and lightings
  • Detergents that are friendly to the car painting layer
  • Buckets, brushes, mop and towels or car washing machine if affordable

There might be some more to meet specific demands of customers but above are the least things needed for initial stage.

Car wash business plan for smooth operation

Starting a car wash business plan is the next thing into consideration. This should be easy if you have a business background or experiences in the field. On the other hand, you can take a look at some feasibility study or available plans online from those running car wash services. Most plans work for large-scale business while small-scale one is much easier to operate.

2 people working

Having a plan keeps you on the right track

Below are some notes to consider in composing your business plan:

  • Analyze the SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business
  • Determine your target set of customers: mainstream drivers or hi-class car owners?
  • Draft your advertisement or promotion to attract more customers: this can be done offline through leaflets, news letters or online via ads on media and the Internet.
  • Project the expenditure and sales for the first few months

To know exactly how to run a car wash service, there are so many factors you must learn. Be open to every advice you get but be selective in adopting them!

Cost to start a car wash

Car wash business cost varies in different types of business. As I mentioned earlier, a modest shop just requires around N200,000 to N500,000 to operate in the beginning.

a man washing car

You may buy established business to develop it further

However, if you want to secure the success right from the first days, you must pay a lot more for business strategy consultancy, modern equipment, personnel training or even buying an already established car wash business. Hardly can we estimate the total amount of money spent on those kinds of stuff.

Car wash machine

There are a vast range of car wash machine for your reference, depending on your financial ability. They can be operated manually or automatically. The quality also differs due to the distinctive technology of each.

As you may see, it can be as simple as this. Compact and easy to buy. The prices are just around N60,000 to N120,000.

a manual car wash machine

A compact pressure water car wash

It can also be like this. You don’t need to touch in vehicles. The detergents then pressure water is sprayed from pipes in multi-angles to clean the exterior of the car. The average price of this touchless is from N5 million to N10 million.

a car going through car wash machine

A touchless car wash machine

Or it can be as sophisticated as this one. The vehicle goes through the whole chain of washing and drying with automatically operated equipment. This cutting-edge technology reduces the risk of damaging the painting layer.

car and automatic car wash chain

A systematic car washing chain

Car washing machine price in Nigeria

Each type of machine has its own price in Nigeria. The price range is from N60,000 (simplest pressure water manual machine), to several million for automatic machine as above pictures, or even up to N15 million (the entire set of automatic car wash machine) as the technology has no fixed price in itself.

You should identify type of business, target customer and financial status to pick a reasonable investment for washing machine, then search straightly on the Internet for suitable equipment.


Start-up is never easy but setting a car wash business in Nigeria is not that difficult. We hope thanks to this article, you have partly figured out what you need to do to run your business, as well as found out how much to open a car wash with car wash equipment prices in Nigeria. wish you luck and flourish in the services industry!

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Hassana Obi
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Hassana Obi

Hassana Obi

Car prices

Hassana Obi is an automobile writer and editor at She prides herself on hundreds of informative and entertaining articles on Nigerian traffic regulations, car prices and celebrity car collections. When Hassana is not writing, she is a teacher and philanthropist.

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