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A drive into the Car Wash Market

” Today, with changing preferences and growing incomes, a typical middle class or upper middle class Indian consumer moves around in a sedan or SUV. Several thousands Audis, Benz, BMWs, Volvos, Hyundais, Hondas, Mahindras… have hit the Indian roads in the last five years taking the overall motor vehicle count to over 200 million! As India is speeding ahead in the global car consumer market, the professional car wash segment is just picking up to join the race. Clean India Journal drives down the Indian market to study the existing car wash roadmap and routes crossing in from different parts of the globe.”

 Professional car care/car wash is a significant market internationally in the developed countries. India, an emerging economy and the ninth largest auto industry in the world, is not far from becoming a booming market for car wash.

The Indian car market growing at 10% annually is estimated to have the highest number of cars by 2050 with consumer market expected to be the fifth largest in the world by 2025.

Conventional Route

In a typical Indian scenario, it is common to watch a cleaner boy diligently wake up much before the break of dawn, load himself with a piece of cloth, some local detergent and a bucket of water and move from one car to another in the parking lot, doing his best to make the car look clean.

Introducing Car Care Expo

Expanding the horizon from cleaning surfaces to cleaning car, Virtual Info Systems Pvt Ltd is launching Car Care Expo, which will be held alongside the 13th edition of Clean India Show – Clean India Pulire – and three new shows: IFS Expo, Laundrex India and Waste Technology India Expo from January 21 to 23, 2016.

Know your facts:-

  • Process of car wash involves cleaning, washing, drying, polishing besides detailing and other cosmetic care.
  • Car wash includes both exterior and interior cleaning.
  • Exterior cleaning includes techniques like hot water, detergent foaming, steam cleaning, waxing, highpressure
    cleaning, coating, etc. This is achieved through various mechanized processes and automatic systems.
  • Interior cleaning includes seat cleaning & conditioning; roof, side panels and dashboard dressing; floor vacuuming; carpet cleaning; detailing; grooming; regulating air quality; etc.

 In the absence of a car wash facility in the neighborhood, more than 90% of the vehicles across the country are manually cleaned each morning. Given the busy lifestyle, some owners depend on service centers too for a periodical professional car wash. Indian car owners today are not having many options for car cleaning and detailing and they are still bound to take their car to road side garage for cleaning services. They wanted to spend more on the car but finding a right service station which can give them the 100% satisfaction is a problem.

Moreover, car wash has not gained much prominence in smaller cities compared to metros and big cities. However, with luxury car sales being up by almost 60%, the demand for professional car care is catching up. The telematics market is also very matured as most of the OEMs are incorporating the latest M2M technologies. The requirements of a high end car owner are not always met by local garages and manual cleaning processes.


Logically, a car wash can be a good business opportunity now. Customer knowledge is also improving and there is a lot of interest in car detailing business. When India has a potential market for automatic car wash centres, there a lack of good indigenous automated machine. Imported automated machines are very expensive, with high maintenance costs and no service provided after sales. If good quality machines with affordable maintenance cost, and after-sale services are provided, more traders would be interested in promoting automated car wash centres. Here is an opportunity for both national and international companies to set up manufacturing facilities.

Car Wash Services

At the global front, car wash services is likely to exceed $27.4 billion by 2017 largely owing to soaring car sales. Consumers are now looking at a professional solution for best results in the shortest possible time. There is a huge potential market for professional detailing and quality & quick servicing also.

 Professional car wash companies opine that the lack of many players in the service segment is not due to lack of enthusiastic investors but due to the expensive investment in fully automated imported machines and dearth of indigenous manufacturing of car wash equipment. However, the increasing demand for fully automated systems is a major driving factor promoting automated car wash centres.

Besides the few PCW service providers spread across India, many car showrooms in major cities too have inbuilt car wash and service station. Further, auto makers and suppliers have opened up car care centres as part of customer service.

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