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How to Start a Car Wash Business in Kenya

Daisy Neema
Daisy Neema Business Ideas

The car wash business in Kenya is skyrocketing and most young people are venturing into the business. It is because there is an increase in the number of vehicles on Kenya roads due to their affordability. Kenyan roads are always packed with cars, hence the need for car wash stations. If you are interested in starting a car wash business, this article will take you through the steps.

 A car wash

The first thing you need is a business plan. A car wash business plan in Kenya should contain a business name, startup costs, cash flow projections and market research. You can opt to buy car wash business or start from the scratch. 

Conduct a Market Research

Thoroughly research the market before venturing into a car wash business. First, you need to plan the finances, assess your target customers, think of where you can set up your car wash business, talk to people already in the business and learn from them. The determine how you will attract and keep your customers.

Also read: How to start boda boda business in Kenya

Choose a Business Name for Your Car Wash

Choose a catchy and unique business name for your car wash. It is easy for customers to identify a business by its name. Besides, it  is easy for customers to recommend your car wash to their friends by its name. 

Get the Necessary Licenses and Permits

Business licenses and permits are necessary for running a legal business. Entrepreneurs wishing to start a car wash business will need a single business permit issued by the county government. The costs for business permits varies from one county to another. For example, it is expensive to obtain a business permit Mombasa and Nairobi than in smaller towns.  You need a clearance from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) if you intend to start a big car wash.

Read more: Business  permits you need to operate a business in Kenya.

Find a Strategic Business Location

Any successful business should be strategically located and easily accessible by its customers. To start a profitable car wash, it is best to set it up in a busy area like in a shopping center or places with public facilities. Setting up a car wash near car stops and public places such as eateries and mechanic shops is a great idea.

The location you choose should also have a steady supply of water. After acquiring a good location, make the place comfortable for your customers. This can include fencing and leveling up the area.

Also read: How to start a mobile repair business in Kenya

Acquire the Necessary Equipment

You also need to acquire the necessary equipment to start working. The equipment to purchase will depend on the services you will offer in your car wash. The common services provided in a car wash include upholstery, body washing, engine wash, under wash, dusting, carpet cleaning, interior cleaning, buffing, and waxing. You will need car wash detergents for cleaning. 

To start pressure washing business, you need the following items. 

Car Wash Machine

You can decide to buy a new or second-hand washing machine depending on your budget. It is essential to purchase a durable machine to prevent losses brought about by frequent repairs due to break downs. Electric pressure washers have a different amount of Pressure per Sound Inch (PSI). You may also need to purchase petrol or diesel-powered pressure washing machines to combat frequent power shortages.

Vacuum Cleaners

There is a difference between car wash vacuum cleaners and household vacuum cleaners. It is best to visit areas where commercial vacuum cleaners are sold to make a purchase. Choose a durable vacuum cleaner that can serve many customers in a day without breaking down.

Water Tank

Water tanks are essential in any car wash business. You can purchase a water tank with a capacity ranging from 1,000 to 10, 000 liters. Ensure that your tanks are filled with water at all times.

Car Washing Detergent

There are specialized detergents for washing vehicles. Some are strongly perfumed and others mild. Purchase a variety of these detergents but be sure to ask your customers which ones they prefer for their cars.

Brushes, Squeezers, Towels, and Buckets

Brushes, squeezers, towels, and buckets all come in different sizes. You can choose any size and quantity depending on your budget and the number of customers you intend to serve.

Also Read: Best sources of business startup capital

Market Your Car Wash Business

Having an excellent marketing strategy for your business is one vital step to success. After setting up your business, you don't sit to wait for customers. You can do this by distributing brochures, setting up posters in public places, and even by word of mouth.

Another simple way to get customers is by offering quality services, giving discounts to customers, and offering free services once in a while. This is a sure way to getting many customer referrals. Go for what is convenient for you.

Is Pressure Washing a Good Business?

A car wash business is profitable if you have a good business location. The normal price of washing a car is usually Ksh 200 and buses and lorries, charges are Ksh 500. Therefore, you can make up to Ksh 5,000 in a day from a car wash if you have many customers. 

The cost of starting pressure washing business depends on the size. Starting a medium car wash business can cost you between Ksh 250,000 and Ksh 500,000. 


Like any other business, a car wash business needs professionalism and offer customers quality services. Through hard work and persistence, you can grow your car wash business.

Also read: How to start a garage business in Kenya