How To Start a Car Wash Business In Kenya

Do you want to start a car wash business in Kenya? Then look no further than this article.

To start a car wash business, you will have to consider certain factors and also procure the necessary equipment.

The car wash industry is booming in Kenya and has the potential to grow. So you will be able to generate income for your needs.

In this blog post, I’ll cover everything you need to know about a successful car-washing business in Kenya.

Steps Involved To Start a Cash Wash Business In Kenya

These are the steps for setting up a car wash business:

1. Research the market potential

First things first. You want to start a successful car wash business, right? Then it’s imperative to research the market.

What variables should you research concerning the market?

Find out the number of car washes where you want to set up your business. Consider the services they offer and what they charge.

It’s also important to find out about the competition. This will help you determine the services you will offer to stand out from others.

When doing your market research, it’s also important to find out the income of the potential clients and the number of cars in the vicinity. 

This helps in projecting the profitability of the business.

Then last but not least, you will be expected to comply with the local laws governing car wash businesses.

So you will do well to find out from the relevant local authorities the regulations so that you are in compliance with local and state laws.

Thus you’ll have to obtain the necessary permits and licenses to operate a car wash so that you don’t run an illegal business.

Read also: How to start a cosmetics business in Kenya

2. Craft a well-thought-out business plan

A business without a business plan is bound to fail. 


Because a business plan looks at the following critical factors:

type of car wash you will open.

location, services you’ll offer

costs associated with running the business.

This information is critical when planning to launch a business. It will help you start a business on a good footing.

When writing your business plan, the first thing you will have to do is to start the type of car wash business you open. 

Outline the different types of services in high demand that you will offer, the location, and other costs associated with running the business.

Then create a budget for your business. If you’re going to rent a space or anything, make sure to consider the costs associated with renting.

When you just start out, your business will not generate any income. So you will have to budget some money for hiring employees.

Remember, a new business is usually not known by most people. 

Potential customers may not be your business, especially if the location is somewhat hidden.

So you have to set aside some money in your budget for marketing your car wash business to Kenyans living in the area you operate from.

There are several marketing strategies you can use. Some strategies are cost-effective while others are expensive.

So you will have to consider the investment involved in the strategy.

However, the bottom line is to choose the types of marketing strategies that attract customers.

Some of the common strategies are online advertising, print advertising, and word-of-mouth. 

You should also look at the types of promotions you’ll offer to keep customers coming back.

3. Look for capital

If you have the financial muscle, then you can use your savings. But if you don’t have resources, you have to secure funding from elsewhere.

If you intend to open a big car wash business in Kenya, you can apply for a loan from a financial lending institution.

Another option available for securing money or capital for a business is partnering with others. Find someone to partner with.

4. Secure a location for your business

For this business to thrive, there must be cars. So this should always be on your mind when looking for a location.

When choosing a location for your car wash business in Kenya, find a location that is near the road.

You will have to make sure that the parking lot is spacious so that your customers can easily park their vehicles as they wait to be attended to.

Set up your car wash business in or near an area that has so many potential clients. 

Opening a car wash business in an area with many vehicles can be profitable.

5. Purchase the necessary equipment

There is some basic car wash equipment you need to start a car wash business.

Of course, each type of car wash needs different equipment. More advanced services like waxing and detailing will need more equipment.

However, for a basic car wash business in Kenya, you’ll need to purchase a pressure washer, a water tank, and a soap dispenser. 

Additionally, you’ll need to purchase hoses, nozzles, and brushes. 

But if you want to offer advanced services like detailing and waxing, you will have to buy buffers, polishers, and wax applicators. 

Today, there are so many counterfeit suppliers of goods. So when purchasing equipment, find a reputable supplier.

6. Employee rights people

For your business to succeed in Kenya, you will have to hire the right people.

What should I look for in the employees?

One of the critical issues you need to look for in an employee is experience. 

Experienced people in the field know how to handle customers.

The employees should be people with strong work ethics. 

Don’t hire employees that have a negative attitude towards work. Workers that are willing to work will get the job done.

Reliability is another virtue you need to look for in an employee. They should be people that report for work on time.

Once they are employed, let them undergo some training. Teach them how to use the equipment and how to handle customer complaints.

If you take into consideration all these aspects, your business will run smoothly in Kenya and succeed.

7. Market your car wash business

You will have to create a marketing strategy. Take advantage of both online and offline marketing tactics. 

Use online tactics such as Facebook, WhatsApp, email marketing, and other digital channels to reach potential customers. 

You can also use traditional methods such as flyers, radio ads, and newspaper ads to reach your potential customers.

To keep your customers coming back. You’ll need to create a customer loyalty program. 

Offer your customers incentives such as discounts, free car washes, and others for returning customers. 

You can also use loyalty programs to reward customers for referring new customers.

Types Of Car Wash Services In Kenya

Conveyorized tunnel car wash

A conveyorized tunnel car wash uses a conveyor belt to move the car through a tunnel. 

The tunnel is equipped with several cleaning solutions and brushes that clean the car. 

Thereafter, the car is then dried with high-powered fans. 

This type of car wash is ideal for commercial settings and it is more efficient than hand washing.

In addition, it can handle several cars in a blink of an eye.

Brushless car wash

Brushless car wash uses high-pressure water and specialized cleaning solutions to clean a car’s exterior. 

The jets clean the car thoroughly and give it a good finish as the jets are powerful enough to remove grime and dirt without scratching the paint.

In-bay touchless automatic car cash

The in-bay touchless automatic car wash uses high-pressure jets to spray a cleaning solution onto a car. 

It uses sensors to detect the shape of the car. The sensors are used to activate nozzles that spray the car with a cleaning solution. 

Since the jets are controlled by a computer system. So it allows the user to tailor the cleaning process. 

Full-service car wash

Full-service car wash involves offering a variety of services ranging from hand washing, waxing, and polishing to detailing. 

Exterior car wash

Exterior car wash, just as the name suggests,  concentrates on the outside of the car. 

Self-service car wash

A self-service car wash accords customers an opportunity to wash their own vehicles. 

The customers are given the necessary equipment and they do the cleaning on their own.

This type of car wash service is the least expensive. So it is best for people who want to save.

Hand car wash

A hand car wash typically involves washing cars by hand. Although it is the hands that are used, it requires some investment.

You will need to purchase equipment like a pressure washer, buckets, sponges, brushes, and a tank.

Basic Equipment For Car Wash Business In Kenya( With pictures)

Each type of car wash needs its own equipment. 

However, there is some basic equipment that you need to have to start the business successfully in Kenya.

Here are 5 basic pieces of equipment you will need to get your business up and running in Kenya.

1. Pressure washer

Pressure washer

A pressure washer is a machine that uses a high-pressure stream of water to clean cars. 

This is the most important piece of equipment for any car wash business. Irrespective of the type of car wash, this equipment is a must-have.

It is typically used to clean the exterior of the car and can be used to apply detergents and waxes.

These machines come in different sizes. So make sure that the pressure washer size is powerful enough to handle the job.

2. Vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaner

A vacuum cleaner is a machine that uses suction to remove debris like dirt, and dust from the surfaces of cars.

They used to clean both the interior and exterior of a car. 

It can be used to remove dirt from interior car parts like carpets and seats. It can also be used to clean exterior parts like wheels.

3. Towels and sponges

Towels and sponges

Towels are used for drying off cars after washing while sponges are used for scrubbing away grime and dirt. 

Because of their job, towels are soft. They’re made of cotton. While sponges are harder. They’re made of rubber. 

You will need to buy several towels and sponges of different sizes so that you can clean different car sizes.

Quality is also paramount. Make sure to buy sponges and towels of high quality that won’t scratch the surface of cars.

4. Carpet extractor

 Carpet extractor

A carpet extractor device uses hot water and a cleaning solution to deep clean carpets. 

The efficiency of the machine depends on the size. So make sure to buy a powerful extractor that can do the job well.

5. Polish machine – wax & polish

car Polish machine

The polish machine is used to apply a protective coating to the exteriors of cars. 

The essence of applying the coating is to protect the car from dirt, and dust. 

The combination of wax and polishes gives a car a glossy finish. 

Wax offers a car a protective layer from dirt and dust as well as a glossy finish. 

While polishes make a car buff and shine.

6. Water tank

Water tank

A water tank is used to store water for washing cars. It’s important that you get the right size for the job. 

If you are just starting out, you can start with a smaller tank and upgrade to a bigger one as your business grows.

How Profitable Is The Car Wash Business In Kenya?

The car wash business is in high demand in Kenya. Every car owner wants their car to look clean and presentable. 

Thus there’s more demand for car washes in Kenya today than ever before.

The future of car washes looks bright as more and more people are buying cars. 

Therefore, the demand for car washes will remain high for the foreseeable future, making it a profitable industry in Kenya.

Pros And Cons Of The Car Wash Business In Kenya


1. Low start-up capital.

Minimal investment is needed to start a successful car wash business in Kenya. 

You will only need space and some equipment like a pressure washer and vacuum.

2. Little money for running the business.

There are low overhead costs. You will not be required to hire a lot of employees.

3. High demand.

The car wash business is in high demand in Kenya. People want their cars to look clean. So they’re paying for a professional car wash.


1. Competition

There’s stiff competition in the car wash industry in Kenya. So you will have to work hard to stand out from your competition.

4 Best Places To Set Up a Car Wash Business In Kenya And Why

1. Near a shopping mall 

There’s high traffic so you’ll likely have more customers who are already in the area. 

Shopping malls are highly visible. So potential customers will easily find your business. 

2. Near a busy street 

Since there are a lot of cars driving nearby, there are higher chances of you getting noticed.

There are higher chances also that some car owners may stop to seek your services. 

3. Near a filling station 

There are lots of cars that come to filling stations. So there are a lot of potential customers for your car wash business.

This is a convenient place for a car wash business because customers are more likely to associate the filling station with your business.

4. Near a college  

College students from wealthy families own cars. So setting up a car wash business near a college may be a good initiative.

College students need car wash services. So you will target students and lecturers that want to get their cars washed. 

Final Thoughts On Car Wash Business In Kenya

The car wash business is a lucrative business industry in the country. It’s a low-cost business venture.

But before you venture into this business, it’s important that you put in place a few things for you to succeed.

You will have to take the following steps:

Research the profitability of the business in your area.

Create a business plan for your car wash business

Find capital for your car wash business

Select a suitable location for your business

Purchase the equipment needed

Employee right workers

 Market your business

If you follow these steps, you can start a successful business in Kenya.

Beatious Kahale
Beatious Kahale

I offer advice, tips, and ideas on how to start and grow blogs, agribusinesses, and businesses. I can help people come up with creative ways to make money from their blog, farm, or business, and show them how to market their products and services.

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