Car Wash Financial Model

So, you want to get into the car washing business? Financial planning is the first step. Assuming a lucrative location is acquired and no catastrophes happen, this can be a viable business endeavor. Here is a forecasting template that makes it easy to see various scenarios, yields, and returns. 

$45.00 USD

The template will be immediately available to download after purchase. This is included in the industry-specific financial model bundle.

car wash

Recent Updates: Capacity and seasonality logic added, 3-statement model integrated (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement), cap table added, and general formatting conventions and global assumptions improved.

Added Membership Option

Having the option for memberships to the various car wash types is a huge way to increase the value of this kind of business. I have talked to a few operators and they are all interested. It became a bigger thing around 2010 and the trend is growing. My local wash just added this a few months ago (December 2022). Now this template lets you play with membership numbers as well as test capacity constraints based on various membership growth / assumptions.

The assumptions for this template work no matter if you are doing a tunnel or a bay-based car wash. You can define the on-going costs in two schedules. The first is based on an average cost per car per expense type (deals with costs that change as car counts change such as washing fluids / repairs / electricity / claims / water (variable costs). The second are fixed monthly expenses that can be defined in each year and there are 14 slots available for this section. These would be costs that don't change with car counts or may change very little as car counts change (legal / accounting / manager).

There are many ways to go about developing startup costs, running costs, and revenue assumptions. I have researched some of the industry standard metrics and built a nice flow of back-end structures so that you can get a nice five year financial forecast of operations and returns.

The Assumption Tabs Include:
  • Startup costs / financing %
  • Ongoing costs (variable per car and fixed)
  • Revenue (car count per month by year and % of each car falling into each pricing ticket)
  • Include sale of business or not / 2 valuation techniques to choose (EBITDA multiple or % of annual sales)
Beyond just showing operating income, this model goes into breakeven month/year, financing variables dynamically updating the cash flow, potential sale of the business, and the actual cash outlay after taking into account financing (so we can do an IRR calculation).

You also get a nice set of charts to visualize running cash position of the business itself, revenue, expenses, profit, and other metrics such as margin %'s and car count per wash type by year.

The other use you can achieve with this car wash financial model is using it as a sort of budget / goal. This is the main reason why a monthly and annual P&L summary was included. The monthly allows you to better track what you actually end up doing per month and how close/off your assumptions were. Based on that you can start setting monthly goals / annual goals and track actual progress.

The best way to use this for budgeting is simply creating a copy of the template. You use one for actuals and one with your forecasts.