With consumers back on the go and needing a clean vehicle, car washes are expected to be popular with drivers in 2023. C-store chains are looking to grow their car wash operations in the year ahead, in terms of both new locations and services, to meet growing customer demand.
After the COVID-19 pandemic caused many customers to reduce their trips over the past three years, drivers are now getting back on the road for more long distance and local trips, increasing their need for car washes.
Industry Growth Ahead
According to Verified Market Research’s “Global Car Wash Market” report, the car wash market was valued at $35.49 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $46.73 billion by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.1% from 2021 to 2030.
Soapy Joe’s, which operates 20 locations in San Diego County, is one car wash chain that plans to grow in the year ahead.
“Soapy Joe’s will continue to pursue aggressive growth targets for 2023, both in new units added and increasing membership levels at existing sites,” said Anne Mauler, vice president of marketing at Soapy Joe’s.
The convenience that car washes provide customers is one of the main reasons this industry is expected to continue to see growth.
“Customers are increasingly focused on convenience,” said Mauler. “National data shows that people are on the roads as much or more than pre-pandemic levels and need quick, friendly service to fit their lifestyles.”
Chris Romba, senior director for GetGo’s WetGo car wash, agreed that convenience is expected to play a huge role in the industry’s growth in 2023. GetGo, which operates more than 270 c-stores in five states, offers 42 WetGo locations across Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
“Our guests are wanting convenience, quality and value, and at WetGo, we are proud to be able to offer all of that,” said Romba.
The “Global Car Wash Market” report also stated that the rising inclination of consumers toward speed, convenience and vehicle maintenance is anticipated to propel the market through 2030. Moreover, high demand for professional and reliable cleaning, increasing new car registrations and rising environmental awareness among customers is likely to bolster the market growth.
“As consumers’ pride for having a clean car increases, we’ll see more interest in car washes,” said Romba. “The economics of car washes are favorable. Car wash subscriptions are a great value and can actually save time and money compared to washing your car yourself.”
With new technology and more car washes offering new products and deals that increase the convenience factor, car washes are expected to continue to flourish.