Everything You Need To Start A Car Wash Business In Kenya

Car Wash Business In Kenya

Just like in most other African countries, there is a rate of unemployment in Kenya and even people with jobs still struggle to make ends meet as a result of their poor salary.

Little wonder a lot of them are now abandoning their 9-5 jobs to start businesses of their own.

However, if you also want to leave your regular 9-5 job to start a business of your own, then you should consider a car wash business.

A car wash business, as its name suggests, is a kind of business that involves washing the interiors and exteriors of people’s vehicles and charging them for the service. It is considered profitable due to the number of vehicles that roam about in Kenya every day.

If you are interested in starting a car wash business in Kenya, you should go through this article where we have provided a well-detailed guide on how to run the business.

Do Car Washes Make Money In Kenya?

As long as many households own cars, coupled with the fact that there is high demand for car wash services due to busy schedules, car washes will continue to make money daily.

Is Car Wash A Good Business In Kenya?

Yes, the car wash business is a good business to invest in Kenya. Recently, the car wash business in Kenya has witnessed substantial growth because of the rising number of vehicle owners. And this has presented an opportunity for you to tap into this industry. As you can see, it is a good business in Kenya.

How Profitable Is The Car Wash Business In Kenya?

There are a lot of profitable businesses in Kenya and the car wash business is no exception. With the right location and good customer relationships, you can make a sustainable income from this business.

How profitable your car wash business will be can be determined by your chosen location. So you should keep in mind that a car wash business operated in the right location will always be profitable.

Also, profitability in the car wash business can be determined by pricing strategies, operational efficiency, and cost management. However, by understanding all these factors, you can achieve long-term success and maximize profits.

What Services Can I Offer In My Car Wash Business?

The services to offer in your car wash business are:

1. Exterior cleaning services like hand washing and automatic car wash.

2. Specialized cleaning services like headlight restoration, engine bay cleaning, undercarriage wash & rim cleaning.

3. Interior cleaning services like upholstery cleaning, leather treatment, vacuuming, and odor elimination.

4. Other services like glass treatment, paint protection, tire dressing, polishing, and waxing.

What Are The Challenges Of Running A Car Wash Business In Kenya?

Here are the various challenges of running a car wash business in Kenya:

1. There is high competition in the car wash industry.

2. To establish a standard car wash business in Kenya requires large capital and it can be challenging for those that have insufficient funds.

3. Theft and vandalism can also be a challenge.

4. The licensing process may be time-consuming and has a way of frustrating you, especially when you don’t have a solid connection.

5. Failure to comply with the regulations guiding the environment will always lead to legal consequences.

What Are The Mistakes Most Car Wash Owners Do That Always Lead To Their Business Closure?

Some of the mistakes most car wash owners make that always lead to their business closure are:

1. Choosing The Wrong Location: Location always plays an important role in the car wash business. Therefore, if you make the wrong location choice, that will be the beginning of failure.

2. Not Conducting Market Research: Most car wash businesses shut down due to inadequate market research.

However, you can avoid this mistake by conducting comprehensive market research to understand the essential parts of this business and thereby make an informed decision.

3. No Business Plan: As we all know a solid business plan serves as a guide to being successful in any business. Unfortunately, most car wash owners neglect this factor which often results in business closure in the long run.

4. Insufficient Capital: Insufficient capital hinders the growth and sustainability of the car wash business. This is because, it is through your capital that you will buy enough facilities, do maintenance, staff payment, and marketing.

However, in a situation when the capital isn’t enough, it gradually leads to the downfall of the business.

5. Lack Of Effective Marketing Strategies: Another mistake that most car wash owners make that leads to business closure is the lack of effective marketing strategies. Even if you have the best car wash equipment, without you investing in the marketing and promotions, there is no how you can get more customers.

6. Poor Customer Services: The way you provide exceptional customer services will also determine how successful your car wash business can be. Meanwhile, neglecting this factor will continue to lead to customer dissatisfaction which in turns
scare customers away.

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Car Wash Business In Kenya?

If you are starting a small-scale car wash business in Kenya, you should budget a capital of Ksh 100,000 to Ksh 500,000. Starting a large-scale car wash business in Kenya with standard automatic tools will require more than 1 million as these equipment are expensive.

Additionally, expenses like business registration, licenses, and permits, equipment, employees/staff salary, and marketing also determine the amount you will need to start a car wash business.

How Can I Start A Car Wash Business In Kenya?

The following are the step-by-step guides on how to start a car wash business in Kenya:

1. Conduct A Market Research: The first thing to do before venturing into the car wash business is to conduct well-detailed business research. You don’t have to underestimate the importance of the market research.

Of importance, market research helps you to gain a deep knowledge of the car wash industry by giving you insight into the current market size, competition, best equipment, trends, and how to go about marketing your business.

Also, good market research helps you to define your target market and how to position your car wash business to satisfy them accordingly.

2. Write A Business Plan: The second step is writing a business plan. A business plan is just like a document that describes in detail the strategies on how to run your business successfully.

It is an important document that guides your business starting from the vision, mission, goals, risks, and how to overcome them.

So your business plan should be well written as it will also pave the way to get investors in your business. However, if you cannot develop one, you have to hire the service of a professional to do that for you.

3. Find A Good Location: A good location is very vital for your car wash business. And where your car was business is located has an impact on your business. That is why it is so advisable to site your car wash business in the right location.

Also, when finding a location you should check out places with less competition, places that are very close to the road where people will easily locate you. An ideal location is places like busy roads, shopping centers, close to big market plazas, office complexes, and residential areas.

4. Register Your Business And Get The Necessary Licenses & Permits: This step involves choosing a name for your car wash business. And when choosing a name ensure that it is short and easy to pronounce, and more likely to be remembered by your customers.

After the above step, you register your business and obtain licenses & permits to operate your business legally.

5. Buy Equipment Needed To Start A Car Wash Business: The equipment you will buy depends on the scale you want to start your business. However, if you do not have enough capital to buy the big equipment, you can buy the minor ones and get started on a small scale.

Meanwhile, below are the equipment and tools needed to start a car wash business in Kenya:

1. Car washing machine
2. Vacuum cleaner
3. Hose and pipes
4. Buckets
5. Hard brush
6. Bowls
7. Liquid soap
8. Water tank
9. Towels
10. Squeezers
11. Air compressors, etc.

6. Hire Competent Staff: You will need helping hands to run your car wash business successfully. Ensure they are knowledgeable enough about the car wash business both washing and cleaning techniques and good customer service. And most importantly, honest and trustworthy.

7. Market And Promote Your Business: For you to build a large customer base, you need to develop an effective marketing strategy to attract customers.

The easiest way to start is by designing a billboard about your business, as well as having a signpost that bears your business name and the services you offer.


The car wash business in Kenya is a very profitable business in which you can make a daily income. You just need a good location, good customer service, and an effective marketing strategy to make a lot of money from it.

And don’t forget to conduct market research and plan out your business strategically.

Ambassador Victor Chidera
Ambassador Victor ChideraAmbassador Victor Chidera is a business consultant, writer and a blogger. He provides lots of professional and expert advice to small businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations. He has many years of experience in business, teaching field, and research work. And his aim is to provide business articles that matters to you both nationally and internationally.
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