Big Corporate Car Washes Are Leaving Customers Dirty and Wet

A growing trend among large corporations taking over small privately owned car washes has been resulting in customers paying for subpar services and ...

Big Corporate Car Washes Are Leaving Customers Dirty and Wet

We’re seeing it first hand and also hearing it from new customers who use to go to automatic car washes that are now owned by a large corporation. They were tired of leaving the wash with a car that was still dirty and wet. A growing trend among large corporations taking over small privately owned car washes has been resulting in customers paying top dollar for subpar services. 

Poor quality results are being attributed to these big businesses pushing their profits ever higher by exploiting their customer base as nothing more than a source of revenue and cutting back on investments such as detergents, sanitizing products, customer service technologies, updated machinery, etc. In this blog post, we will discuss how corporate car washes are leaving both vehicles and customers needy for better solutions!

What’s Behind the Rise of Corporate Car Wash Chains 

In recent years, the car wash industry has experienced a surge of corporate chains popping up across the country. But what’s behind this rise? It seems that corporate investment diversity opportunity and customer convenience are the driving forces. Consumers are often looking for a quick and easy way to get their cars cleaned without sacrificing the level of care and attention to detail they desire.

Corporate car wash chains, often to be experienced in gas stations and convenience stores, are becoming more available to provide, in theory, a consistent experience and often use advanced technology and eco-friendly practices to attract eco-conscious customers. 

Additionally, many of these chains offer membership programs and bundle packages, making it cost-effective for regular customers. Overall, the rise of corporate car wash chains in the car washing industry reflects a growing demand where executives are seeking new ways to make money and consumers and seeking new ways to save money.

How Big Washes are Negatively Impacting the Quality of Car Washes 

As a corporate investment or divestment strategy, we get it. They can’t make money on Wall Street and so executives are grabbing up successful, privately-owned car wash businesses with healthy memberships and then branding them as a “group” or chain store washes. No harm, no foul and everyone wins “at the beginning”. 

But now, a growing trend that is happening, instead of continuing to invest in the businesses, “the customer”, and promote “value”, corporate ownership sit on their initial investment, squeeze costs and streamline operations to make a quick pay day. Do those executives know that customers will leave? Of course! So why do they do this?

The corporate-owned washes are not run by entrepreneurs or auto enthusiasts. They are run by financial wizards who know how to make money at little cost. However, the little cost to them becomes, collectively, a great cost to the loyalty base that they acquired, and the industry they operate in as a whole. The harsh truth it that this return on investment strategy is just that! – a strategy. And it’s a successful strategy because of ONE KEY FACTOR they are willing to bet big on: the profit windfall is significantly quicker than the time it takes for a customer to realize what’s happening and become frustrated enough to leave them.

When customers start to complain about the poor quality of service, management answers with a standard version of “sorry, we apologize; please consider an unlimited wash membership to come through as often as you like since the price is so cheap!” Do they ever again invest back in their business? They might, eventually. But first, they will try to leverage their perks, points and cards to punch from their affiliated services, leaving you scratching your head and asking yourself, “why am I buying my milk and bread here just to get a discount to waist 5 minutes to still drive what will be not just a dirty car still but a dirty AND wet car.”

How Customers Can Avoid Subpar Car Wash Services from Big Corporates 

When it comes to getting a car wash, customers often expect a certain level of quality from big chain washes. Unfortunately, not all car washes are created equal, and customers may end up with a subpar experience. To avoid this, customers should do their research beforehand. This can include reading reviews, checking out the wash’s website, and even visiting the physical location before committing.

Consumers should seriously consider a family-operated or privately-owned automatic car wash. Look for washes that are utilizing modern technologies to provide consistent high quality clean, dry and shiny vehicles. And if they are eco-friendly too, then even better! By taking the time to find a reputable car wash, customers can ensure that their car receives the care and attention it deserves.

Why Local, Privately-Owned Car Washes Are Still a Better Option 

When it comes to getting your car squeaky clean, there are a multitude of options available. However, opting for a local, privately-owned car wash is, hands down (but not while you’re driving …unless you’ve got one of them new cool self-driving cars!) still the better choice. Not only do these establishments often offer personalized service and attention to detail, but they also prioritize environmental sustainability by using eco-friendly products and conserving water. Additionally, supporting a small business in your community helps to stimulate the local economy and build relationships with your neighbors. So next time your car needs a wash, consider giving your neighborhood car wash a try. You may be pleasantly surprised at the level of care and quality of service provided.

Helpful Resource Links:

Family-Serviced Businesses Create Community Benefits

Why Family Owned Businesses Out Perform

How Small Businesses Impact Their Communities


Independently-Owned and Operated

As the only independently-owned and operated professional car wash in the Pittsburgh South Hills area, we are all about Serious Cleaning and Serious Commitment. Also, we are the last automated car wash offering hand towel dry service because it is the best way to finish a superior wash. Our commitment begins with service and technology. FREE wheel cleaner, wax, and vacuuming. All of this in just about a 3-minute process.

Try the rest but come to the best!


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