A car wash is an often-overlooked part of a c-store operation, but it can be an integral, often memorable, contributor.

Don’t underestimate the allure of the car wash.

While the convenience store has established itself as a pop culture mainstay in the mind of the general public, the car wash is iconic in its own right.

Take, for example, the 1976 classic comedy, Car Wash, starring Richard Prior and George Carlin, with a nifty funk/disco theme song by Rose Royce—itself a classic. Or how about the case of HBO taking over a car wash and re-designing it completely to promote one of its true crime shows?

Car wash at Webb’s Auto & Truck Services, an SSCS customer.

When it comes to the colorful world of car washes, though, that’s only a beginning. Here’s one person’s list (complete with photos) of the ten “Coolest Car Washes.” You could even find yourself spending Halloween in one . . . for a little while, at least.

The International Carwash Association shares some designs of the future for car wash on its website, indicating a renaissance in car wash is looming. On the same site you’ll a history page with photos that demonstrate car washes were trending long before 1976.

We need to note that most of the car washes cited above are “manual” exterior/interior hands-on car washes. They rely on a staffing element and generous square footage that isn’t practical for many c-store businesses.

But that doesn’t mean operators are missing out on car wash profits thanks in large part to the automatic tunnel wash, which has undergone a transformation thanks to a number of advances in technology as reported by C-Store News. These include portability, a better quality wash, additional purchasing options, and most importantly, the ability to schedule and pay for a wash from the convenience of the consumer’s mobile phone.

A portable car wash on the grounds of a mega-convenience store in Northern Ireland.

Don’t let the above picture, fool you, Tunnel Washes can look pretty cool, too. Here’s one example, and another. It all contributes to the profitability promise and market distinction that a car wash can add; c-stores certainly have options to consider.

If it seems like a car wash might help your operation, but you’re skeptical that you can add another moving part to an already complex business, please consider giving SSCS a call. We’ve been seamlessly integrating car wash sales into our Computerized Daily Book back office for years, and our technology helps make sure you don’t lose a drop of car wash profit without adding any operational headaches. Give us a call at 800-972-7727 and we’ll show you how car wash sales can work for you.