Full-Service 2017-07-31T11:02:37+00:00


Full-service washes will often offer additional services like detail or express detail, impulse items in a lobby setting, or in some cases a lube center.

Pros & Cons


  1. Customer drives onto the lot and gets out of the car.
  2. Customer is greeted by a service adviser who recommends car wash services to them.
  3. The customer either pays for the wash there, or gets a presell ticket which they take to a cashier inside a lobby.
  4. The car is vacuumed.
  5. An employee drives the vehicle into the wash tunnel.
  6. Inside the tunnel is a conveyor that moves the vehicle through the wash while timed equipment and chemicals clean and partially dry the vehicle.
  7. At the other end, another employee drives the vehicle to the finishing area where employees dry off the vehicle, clean the glass, and wipe the dash.

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  • Full-Service claims the highest ticket average per car
    • One of the most attractive features of a full-service wash is the income potential. Of all the car wash business models, full-service claims the highest ticket average per car. This is due to the perceived value of the wash, and the customer interaction.
  • Customer Interaction
    • There are multiple points of contact with a full-service wash.
      • The service adviser or greeter
      • The cashier
      • The employee that delivers the car to the customer.
    • All of these are opportunities for you to add value to your service offerings, and to get valuable feedback from your loyal customers on the job you are doing. No other wash segment offers this much customer interaction.
  • Customer Loyalty
    • A higher cost of entry and a steeper learning curve might not seem like an advantage to operating a full-service wash. However, if done correctly, those hurdles make it that much more difficult for a competitor to move into your trade area and attempt to lure your loyal customers away.


  • Staff Management
    • The biggest hurdle to success at a full-service wash is repeatability. Since the majority of the tasks performed at a full service wash are labor based, they are inherently more susceptible to deviations from standard, and have the greatest impact on profitability. The ability to manage people is what ultimately determines success in this business model.
    • From the service adviser to the cashier, to all of the production staff, every task at each position needs to be performed correctly and consistently to achieve success. Further, due to unpredictable fluctuations in wash volume caused by weather and other factors, scheduling and real-time adjustment of staffing become the primary focus of operators.
    • Not having enough staff on site negatively impacts wash quality and speed of service. This creates a domino effect causing bottlenecks at different points in the wash process which leads to higher wait times for customers, lower volumes, and therefore, lower profits. Having too much staff on site usually eliminates the bottlenecks but consumes all of the profit.
    • Lastly, the operational complexity coupled with the dependence on labor and repeatable quality make this business model the most difficult to replicate successfully at multiple locations.
  • Most expensive to build and operate
    • Highest cost to the customer, yet the quality of the wash is typically perceived to be worth it.

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