Zep Vehicle Care Zone

Insights to manage your car wash business –
helping you make money, save money and run your wash smoothly.

Best Practices for Optimal Car Wash Pricing

Posted on 07/14/2017

Think about it – when was the last time you changed your car wash package pricing? If you would like to increase your car wash revenue, one of the easiest ways to do it is by increasing the average amount a customer spends per visit. There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, and a great place to start is to evaluate your pricing. By using these car wash pricing best practices, you can make sure that your pricing isn’t holding your customers back from choosing the best wash you offer.

1. Don’t offer too many packages.

A menu with more than four package choices creates decision fatigue for your customers. If you need to eliminate one of your package offerings, you should consider your package take rates. Most often, the lowest take rate will be in the “middle washes” where value can be confusing. When eliminating a middle wash package, most customers will take the “new middle” package, and very few will choose a lower offering. If you can, stick to three package offerings on your menu – the average ticket for three packages will net better results than four packages, typically by 5% or more.

2. Typically, customers prefer even-priced packages.

Consumer psychology studies suggest that buyers prefer even price points. Use this as an opportunity to easily move odd price points to a higher and even price point. Likewise, if you’d like to discourage customers from selecting a certain package (for example, a lower-value basic wash), you might want to keep that wash at an odd price point.


How to Market Your Car Wash: What You Need to Know

Posted on 07/06/2017

Marketing is a critical component to helping you make money in your car wash – without it, getting customers in the door of your car wash can be a challenge. When done well your marketing efforts can have a huge impact on your bottom line. 

The first step to an effective marketing strategy is to create a unique brand identity that will set you apart from the competition. According to The Balance, branding is about “getting your prospects to see you as the sole provider of a solution to their problem or need.” The easiest way to accomplish this is to think about your car wash from your target customer’s perspective. What do they want or need and what is the experience you want them to have? When creating or updating your brand, you’ll also want to keep a few things in mind.

  • Make sure that your brand delivers your chosen messaging
  • Engage the emotions of your target customers
  • Ask yourself what value your product delivers. If your value and the desires of your audience do not align, it’s time to rethink your branding strategy.

Once you have determined your unique brand identity, every touchpoint within your wash and your marketing efforts should support your brand promise. They key is consistency and a singular focus on creating the experience you want at your car wash. 

Now, it is time to let the world know that your wash is open for business. There are multiple ways to let customers know that your car wash is open for business including: 


Digital communities can significantly influence your business potential. Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can create a lot of awareness for a car wash, and it also helps with customer loyalty. Because the social media influence is community based, it’s best to cultivate a social media presence around your local community. For example, create content that celebrates your local sports team victories and graduations, and share local news. You can also use social media to disperse time-bound coupons and encourage customer loyalty.


Six Tips to Navigate Customers to Your Top Car Wash Package

Posted on 06/26/2017

Enticing more people to buy your top package is an easy way to increase your car wash revenue. Plus, your customers are getting the most value and the best experience from your top package since your best products are in this package. Your car wash menu is a critical tool for navigating customers to your top wash. Here are six things you can do on your car wash menu to garner more interest in your top wash package: 


Always put the package you want to have the highest sales where it will be seen first by the customer. People read either from left to right or from top to bottom, so ordering your wash packages from the best to the most basic in the order that people read will gain better results.


Another way to make sure that your customers see your top package first is to make it the most visible thing on your menu. Make your top package significantly bigger, or use bright colors to distinguish it from your other package offerings. Conversely, de-emphasize your bottom or ‘basic’ package to clearly differentiate your top wash from your basic wash. A best practice is to blend your ‘basic’ or lowest-priced wash into the background of your menu. This can be done by removing the outline box around the package, or simply listing the package name and price without including any other details.


Car Wash Menu Dos and Don'ts with Expert Graphic Designer Erica Brown

Posted on 06/15/2017

Whether you know it or not, your menu is one of the hardest-working employees you have. Your menu is responsible for engaging every customer, showcasing your brand, and explaining the value of your product offerings to your customers. Since your menu is working so hard, you want to make sure that you have the best menu possible. We sat down with Zep Vehicle Care's expert graphic designer Erica Brown to pick her brain on effective car wash menu design.

How many menus do you design a month?

Erica: On average, I design between 50 and 75 menus a month. Our entire customer marketing team designs between 400-500 menus and other merchandising items a month.

What things should I always include in my car wash menu?

Erica: If your wash has a loyalty program, such as a monthly unlimited club, advertise it on your menu! Show the value of your program compared to purchasing single washes. If a single wash is $10, but you can get unlimited washes for $25 a month, it makes sense for anyone who feels they will wash their car more than twice a month to consider going with that option. If your wash is using recognized consumer brands for your products, make sure customers know it. Just like the majority of people will choose Kraft® mac and cheese over generic mac and cheese, your customers will see the value of going with a brand they trust when it comes to the care of their vehicle.

What things should I avoid on my car wash menu?

Erica: Simple is better. Avoid excess information that may not be relevant to your customers. For example, even if your wash uses a high pH and a low pH presoak (and it is an important detail to you since you are in the industry), that doesn't mean your customers will know or care about the difference. If you do want to list each product used in detail, try a "plus" style menu to minimize the amount of information on your sign. List the items in a basic wash, then in the next package, leave those items out and replace with "includes the basic wash". This style of menu helps to easily show what value you are getting with each package upgrade.


How Can I Increase My Car Wash Revenue?

Posted on 05/30/2017

Whether you are just joining the industry or you have been operating your wash for years, there is one thing that every car wash operator agrees on – the more revenue, the better. Who wouldn’t love to earn some more money?  

When it comes to your wash, there are multiple different ways you can increase your revenue. Knowing your current state, then establishing a goal and a plan to get there are easier than you may think! Read on for some ideas to increase your revenue!

There are three main ways to increase your wash revenue:

  1. Increase the average amount a customer spends per visit.

    Increasing spend per visit (measured by average revenue per car) can be done many ways. Using your auto teller or service advisor to educate on new or better offerings, and ‘buy up’ promotions can help customers learn about and experience higher value wash offerings. Did you know that menu design, package layout, and price point management also impact how much money a customer spends at your wash? By using proven marketing and design techniques on your menu, you can encourage your customers to select your higher value wash offerings, and increase your overall average ticket per car. 

Maximize Your Business Potential While Protecting the Environment

Posted on 06/27/2016

When looking for ways to enhance your environmental footprint, don’t forget about your carwash. Significant strides can be taken to maximize your business potential while protecting the environment by considering the total impact of your chemistry and water usage within your carwash.  


Behind the Scenes with Jerry Hoyt

Posted on 11/01/2015

Today we thought we’d do something a little different with our blog. We’re going behind the scenes with one of the people at Zep Vehicle Care who get our fantastic products out to our customers.


Using Fragrance to Drive A Unique Customer Experience

Posted on 10/01/2015

A unique customer experience can set your car wash operations apart from the competition up the street and can be the difference in the consumer purchase decision. It’s that extra WOW factor that goes beyond providing a clean, shiny, dry vehicle that reinforces your value and helps drive customer loyalty.


Detailing and the Importance of a Contaminant-Free Vehicle

Posted on 09/01/2015

Detailing vehicles is just that – paying attention to the details. Before starting a polish or wax service, you want to be sure that your vehicle’s surface is both clean and contaminant-free in order to produce the best results.


Using Social Media to Market Your Wash

Posted on 08/01/2015

Social media is an important part in any integrated marketing program. It can help drive customers to your car wash, get feedback from your customers, and provide engagement and excitement with your customers.