Top 5 Car Wash Franchises in the UK

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hand car wash franchise

Fancy a new business venture? Why not consider one of these five car wash franchises…


Hand car washing companies can be extremely lucrative for those looking for a flexible and affordable business opportunity. The major plus point, of course, is the sheer number of cars on the road that will inevitably need a professional clean at some point. If you want to capitalise on the high demand, why not consider starting a car wash franchise? Today we’re going to consider the top 5 in the UK.

Research suggests that there are in excess of 38 million vehicles used by drivers in the UK, generating up to 110 million professional car washes every year – 65 million of which are done by hand. These washes combine to create an industry revenue of £1 billion in the UK. This figure is unsurprising, given that around 80 percent of drivers would rather pay for a professional car wash than clean their vehicle themselves.


Why is starting a car wash franchise a wise business move?

Car washing businesses are a popular choice among entrepreneurs who don’t want to limit themselves to one particular venture.

  • One key advantage of the car washing sector is the ability to launch a company without investing in costly business premises.
  • If you run a mobile car washing company, you can work when and where you want, travelling to customers in your desired territory. This flexibility will appeal to customers too, as it is more convenient for them to have their car washed at home.
  • Another benefit to the mobile set-up is the free advertising that comes along with it. Simply decorate your – or your employees’ – van with the company’s logo and branding, and you will be able to promote your services wherever you go.

Top 5 car wash franchises in the UK

If you’d rather launch your own car wash business through the franchising model, there are plenty of profitable franchises in the automotive sector. Let’s take a look at five of our top picks.

1. Waves

It’s a great choice for new entrepreneurs because it is the UK’s largest hand car washing franchise. Established in 2006, Waves has built up an empire of over 280 hand car washing units in locations across the UK.

  • About Waves: It’s located in the car parks of popular supermarkets such as Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose & Partners. This means that it can take custom away from stand-alone car washing businesses, as consumers impulse buy a car wash before they do their shopping.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: Waves is actively looking to continue its expansion. With a minimum investment of £25,000 and franchise fees of £5,000, investors can open their very own branch.
  • What you get for your investment: Waves boasts a dedicated start-up package and intensive, hands-on training for franchisees and their workforces. Also, franchisees can access guidance in many aspects of the business, such as marketing and sponsorship and even be enrolled onto valeting certification courses to gain extra qualifications.

Sound good? You can make your franchise application on its website here.

2. The Carwash Company

Using smart, environmentally-friendly car cleaning technology, The Carwash Company has become one of the largest hand car wash companies in the UK.

  • About The Carwash Company: You can usually find The Carwash Company in shopping centre car parks, however the business model can work in any location frequented by cars.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: This franchise opportunity is open to ambitious entrepreneurs across the UK. The franchise packages starts from £24,995, depending on the location that you use to operate in. There’s also master franchise opportunities on offer outside of the UK.

To make an enquiry click here.

3. Autovaletdirect

One of the longest-running mobile valeting franchises in the UK, Autovaletdirect has been in business for more than 30 years.

  • About Autovaletdirect: The BFA-accredited franchise provides franchisees scope to earn up to £1,000 a week!
  • Become a franchisee: Franchise owners come from a wide variety of backgrounds and therefore Autovaletdirect creates a bespoke training programme to suit each individual franchisee’s needs.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: You can get started with as little as £9,930, but you can pay more to upgrade your valeting system.
  • What you get for your investment: When you join the car wash company you will benefit from full induction training, on-site support when you launch, 24/7 national call centre, branded workwear, a protected territory and more!

Head to the franchise section of Autovaletdirect’s website to fill in a questionnaire and look at the franchise prospectus.

4. Autoglym

While this isn’t a car washing franchise, it does offer valeting and car-care products to businesses in the car washing and transportation sectors. This includes cleaning, polishing and waxing products for vehicle exteriors and interiors, as well as products to clean wheels, dashboards and leather seats.

  • About Autoglym: This is a franchise that knows what it’s doing. It has been in business for more than 50 years and franchising for 23. The know-how it has developed over the years has enabled it to become a member of the BFA, which means it is highly regarded by businesses and individual consumers alike.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: Autoglym is asking for £50,000 from investors to set up their own franchise unit.
  • What you get for your investment: In return, franchisees receive an extensive training course which will brief them on all key aspects of the business, including product inventory, sales, marketing, customer support and the IT system.

5. Autosmart

Autosmart is a franchise that sells specialised products for the maintenance and upkeep of a range of vehicles. Deodorisers, hand cleaners and paint all come under Autosmart’s area of expertise.

  • About Autosmart: Its business model has served the company well since 1979. Having begun franchising in 1999, Autosmart now has 150 franchisees across the UK.
  • How much you need to invest upfront: This is a very affordable business opportunity for prospective franchisees, who, depending on the location, could open their own Autosmart branch for just £15,000.
  • What you get in return for your investment: Of course, Autosmart doesn’t leave franchisees to work things out themselves; training in sales and marketing is provided, and franchisees can also access ongoing support once they’ve opened their business to the public.

Run your own profitable business with a car wash franchise

As you can see there are plenty of car wash franchise opportunities in the UK. If you want to make the most of a business opportunity with low start up costs and with high demand, why not consider expressing interest in one of the five discussed in this article. Or, browse our full list of car franchise opportunities that offer everything from tyre repair to vehicle rental services.

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