How Much Does A Car Wash Cost?

When you lack the time, energy, suitable space, or necessary tools to wash your car yourself, a car wash is an option. However, that raises the following query: “How much does a car wash cost?”

Because there are various kinds of car washes, it depends. For an automatic car wash, the price may be as low as $10 or as high as $100 for a full-service car wash. There are ways to reduce the cost of car washes, but other factors may also have an impact.

The cost of a car wash is affected by a number of variables, and CarMats will outline these factors in this article along with suggestions for how to reduce that cost.

Different Types of Car Washes and Their Cost

Each type of car wash employs a unique set of tools and techniques for washing or cleaning automobiles. The various equipment and methods result in varying average car wash costs. By looking through the list of available car washes, you can see which car washes best suit your requirements and price range.

Automatic Car Wash

Compared to the average cost of other car wash types, the average automatic car wash isn’t too expensive. Prices for basic automatic car washes typically range from $10 to $20. But you shouldn’t use this car wash too often because the bristles on the brushes in automatic car washes can scratch the paint.

Large brushes, high-pressure water and soap jets, and a conveyor for guiding a car towards the cleaning equipment inside a tunnel structure are typically used in automatic car washes. This procedure makes cleaning your car quick and simple.

Touchless Car Wash

This type of car wash is similarly automated to automatic car washes and more or less has a similar average car wash cost, which is between $10 and $30.

However, one distinction is that it washes vehicles using high-pressure jets and potent detergents. Compared to automatic car washes, this type has a lower risk of causing paint damage to vehicles.

Hand Car Wash

A hand car wash typically costs between $20 and $30, and it takes longer than an automated car wash. However, its benefits include being gentler on cars because it doesn’t scratch them and because it doesn’t leave swirls or watermarks after washing.

In a hand car wash, a team would typically manually apply soap to a vehicle, scrub away the grime, and carefully dry the car. Typically, it would also involve vacuuming and interior cleaning of the car.

Full-Service Car Wash

With thorough car washing and car detailing, a full-service car wash takes care of the entire vehicle, from the exterior to the interior.

A full-service car wash can take several hours as opposed to a basic car wash, which would only take a few minutes. It would also include a wide range of extra cleaning services, premium goods, and equipment.

Therefore, it makes sense that the price is typically much higher than for a standard car wash. Of course, other factors like the size of your vehicle and the services you use also come into play.

At a full-service car wash with basic detailing, the tires are cleaned and protected, the headlights are polished, the windows, mirrors, and trim are cleaned, the interior is vacuumed, and the headlights are polished.

  • The typical price for standard-sized vehicles is between $50 and $100.
  • Amounts between $75 and $125 would apply to larger SUVs and vans.

You can also choose from upgraded detailing packages that include high-end products like a leather cleaner, carpet shampoo, high-quality wax, etc. Additionally, the service includes extra tools like a steam cleaner, extractor vacuum, etc.

Engine cleaning and dent removal would also be included in other upgraded detailing packages.

An improved offering

  • Costs for vehicles with regular sides range from $100 to $200 on average.
  • The typical price for an upgraded package for larger SUVs or vans is between $150 and $250.

Mobile Car Wash

The inconvenience of making the trip to a car wash establishment and standing in line to get a car wash is eliminated by a mobile car wash.

  • Car washing by hand costs $30 to $60.
  • For regular-sized cars, full-service interior cleaning and washing range from $60 to $150, while larger SUVs and vans cost $100 to $175.
  • Detailing also costs between $125 and $275 for regular-sized cars and between $175 and $325 for SUVs and vans that are bigger.

It will be the one to come to you and take care of your needs for car cleaning. Most mobile car washes offer the more expensive services like hand washing, full-service washing, cleaning the inside, and detailing.

Self-Service Car Wash

Self-service car washes have machines that customers can use to wash their own cars. These machines are run by coins and have tools and settings.

As we put coins into the machine, it operates. The machine will then be activated by the coins for a predetermined time to wash the car. Typically, the price ranges from $7 to $15.

Brushes and hoses are typically included with self-service car wash machines. Some even have vacuum hoses for cleaning the insides of automobiles.

You should know that they typically have settings for washing, soaking, and rinsing as well. Self-service car wash equipment that is ahead of the curve now has settings for pre-soaking, high-pressure rinsing, etc.

Self-service car washes are frequently open around the clock. For those who want to save money but don’t have the right space or equipment for car washing, a self-service car wash would be the best choice.

Factors Affecting Car Wash Cost

Besides the average cost of a car wash, which was already mentioned, the following things can also affect how much a car wash costs:

  • Vehicle Size

The larger SUVs and vans would require more effort and water to wash, as well as more soap. As a result, the price would typically be higher. Expect to pay more for cleaning a large vehicle’s components than you would for a small one.

  • Additional Services

It will cost more if you choose extra services like undercarriage washing, waxing, tire shining, etc. Each service would be priced between $5 and $10.

  • Tips

Both hand car washes and full-service car washes expect tips. By doing this, you can show your appreciation for their help and be sure that the next time you hire them to wash your car, they’ll do a great job.

Depending on the quantity and caliber of the work, you should tip accordingly. The recommended tip range is between 10% and 15% of the minimum price.

Additionally, if you choose an automatic car wash, a staff member might hand dry your car. It is typical to pay $2 to $3 for that service.

Ways to Save Money on Car Washes

Indeed, car washes are very beneficial. However, one might assume that frequent car washes would be too expensive. There are several ways to reduce the cost of car washes, including:

  • Frequent Washer Discount

Owners of vehicles that frequently have their vehicles washed by car wash businesses frequently receive discounts. For instance, a car owner can receive a free car wash from them after receiving 10 car washes from them.

  • Coupons

Coupons for sales or discounts are frequently distributed by car wash businesses. Their coupons are typically available online, on Facebook or their website, in local savings mailers, or in phone books. Or if you ask, they might even give it to you.

  • Monthly Subscription for Unlimited Car Washes

Most car washes also provide monthly memberships that include unlimited car washes, which can help you save a lot of money. Typically, it costs $15 to $30.

  • Discounts From Gas Stations When You Purchase Gas

Some gas stations that also provide car wash services give customers who buy gas from them a discount. When it comes time to fill up your tank, you can benefit from this discount.


How much a car wash will cost you will depend on your needs for cleaning and washing your car as well as your budget. Be aware that additional factors may influence the cost you will pay. You can also save money by using one of the many ways to cut the cost of a car wash.


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