car wash

Best Car Wash Financing Options

Starting a car wash business in a saturated market can be a hard task, especially if you don’t have a track record that includes delivering services in the car wash industry. This article shows you which online business lenders to consider and how to choose the right financing option for your car wash business.

Financially Reviewed by Thomas J. Brock

At a glance The United States plays host to over 16,000 car wash establishments that generate millions of dollars annually. It might surprise you to learn that most of these companies started out with small business funding. How do you know which loans will suit you best or which loan will provide you with financial security? Our guide takes a detailed look at the top financing options for car wash business entrepreneurs.

Introduction 

Small business loans are a great way to get your new business venture up and running. You can use the funds to buy equipment, lease space, pay your daily operating expenses, and upgrade technology. A good way to ensure you get top rates and repayment terms are to aim for an industry-specific loan.

Some lenders provide discounted interest rates for car wash financing, which you won’t receive from banks. You can also find different loan types for various situations, giving you more flexibility in relation to your capital and operating budgets. 

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Best Car Wash Financing

Now, it’s time to look at the top car wash financing options of 2021. The table below presents the various loan types that are suited to a car wash business. We’ve also recommended one lender per funding type.

Financing Need

Best Loan Type

Loan Features 

Recommended Lender

Startup capital

Startup loans

  • Amount: Up to $5 million
  • Term: Up to 25 years
  • Interest: As low as 4.75%
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 2 weeks

PayPal Working Capital

Construction

Construction loan

  • Amount: Up to $5 million
  • Term: Up to 25 years
  • Interest: As low as 4.75%
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 2 weeks

SmartBiz

Marketing and inventory

Business line of credit

  • Amount: Up to $500,000
  • Term: Typically, up to 18 months
  • Interest: As low as 4.80%
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 24 hours

BlueVine

Technology

Equipment finance

  • Amount: 100% value of equipment
  • Term: Up to 6 years
  • Interest: Between 4.00% and 40.00%
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 48 hours 

Fundera

Renovations & Upgrades

Term loans

  • Interest: 12.18 - 36.00%
  • Min. Credit score: 660
  • Minimum time in business: 2 years.
  • Minimum annual revenue: None.
  • No bankruptcies in the past 7 years.

Funding Circle

Start renovation projects, hire additional personnel, invest in marketing, add new equipment to expand

 

Merchant Cash Advance

  • Amount: Up to $500,000
  • Term: No set terms
  • Interest: One-time factor rate
  • Time to get the loan: Only 72 hours after approval

Fora Financial

Best Car Wash Financing for 2021 Explained

In this section, we’ll analyze each of the loans presented in the table above and look at how each loan can help you establish and run your car wash business. We will also discuss the recommended lender for each specific loan type.

1. PayPal - Best for Startup Loans

Startup loans are a great way to obtain the funds you need to open your car wash business. Startup loans can cover land acquisition and development costs, operating expenses, capital investments, and so much more. You will generally find that there are different funding sources for startup loans, including SBA loans, small business grants, and crowdfunding campaigns.

If you have no property or equipment to your name, startup loans are a great way to go. However, you will need a detailed business plan and a bill of quantities to outline your estimated expenses. You will also need to show how you plan on covering your expenses by providing an estimate of your potential revenue. Lenders will also want to see just how many clients you are likely to attract, to judge whether you will earn enough money to cover the monthly loan payments.

PayPal Working Capital is a reputable lender that provides startup funding for small businesses. With no early payment or origination fees you need not worry about whether you will get approval. While PayPal doesn’t perform credit checks, they monitor your PayPal sales to gauge your business’s success. If you already have an account with the brand, you’ll be able to obtain car wash financing quicker.

2. SmartBiz - Best for Construction Loans

If you already own or lease land, the next option you have is a construction loan. Some lessors permit you to develop their land with the warning that the assets will remain with them when the lease agreement ends. If you purchased the ground, the construction loan becomes a traditional mortgage payment after the development is complete.

There are grants for SBA construction loans, which can help you finance land development for your car wash business. Also, some lenders only deal with the construction aspect and not land purchasing. You’ll also have several years to pay off the debt while you grow your services.

SmartBiz is a great choice when it comes to construction loans. Firstly, SmartBiz is a recognized SBA loan provider, so you will have access to government construction grants. Secondly, it specializes in construction funding and advertising.

3. BlueVine - Best for Business Line of Credit

You won’t always want to use your capital and operating budgets for daily expenses. Sometimes you may allocate those funds to existing projects. A business line of credit is revolving finance that you can draw at any time, and you’ll only pay interest on what you use. This will save you from over-expenditure.

A business line of credit can assist when you need to purchase new inventory items or refill stock. You might, for example, run into a tough season with not enough income to cover expenses. In these times you can draw your business line of credit, and when your clientele returns you can repay your credit. You can also use a business line of credit to fund your marketing campaigns.

BlueVine has a great business line of credit options. They also have a client portal that you can sign into to manage your credit. You can change your repayment amounts, ensuring that you preserve your monthly revenue. BlueVine is also known for its fast approval of loans and its easy access to funds.

4. Fundera - Best for Equipment Financing

Equipment financing is essential for companies that aren’t able to buy all the equipment they need upfront. Lenders generally pay for the total amount, letting you pay this amount back over several years. It’s almost like a secured loan. You will likely even get funding if you have a poor credit score.

Your car wash is going to require equipment and tools. The amount you will need will vary according to the type of car wash you plan on running. For instance, conveyor systems will require capital for the entire mechanical operation. You will also want to ensure that you have the latest technology available. 

Fundera is no stranger to car wash financing, as they provide SBA and equipment loans to small businesses. Fundera has extensive experience in the industry. Their staff will help you find the most suitable loan for your business - based on your business plan. Fundera is also known for the relationships they build with their clients.

5. Funding Circle - Best for Term Loans

Short to medium-term loans form part of term financing if you have projects you need to run based on your long-term objectives. Term loans can help cover high costs. You can repay these loans over extended periods. You will generally require a good track record and historical revenue data to substantiate your loan application.

A time will come when you’ll want to renovate or upgrade your cash wash site. Maybe you’ll want to add a few extra bays or install the latest machinery. Either way, term loans are ideal for obtaining the capital for these construction projects after you’ve run the company for a few years with reliable clients.

Funding Circle is a top choice when it comes to online term loans. Funding Circle is great for entrepreneurs who own established car wash businesses. If you are looking to expand or refinance your car wash business you should take a look at Funding Circle’s term loans. 

6. Fora Financial - Best for Merchant Cash Advance

This type of finance is ideal for a carwash business that needs cash fast for maintenance or to add new equipment to expand the business. A merchant cash advance is also useful to help with payroll or to keep the cash flow of the business healthy.

To improve opportunities for your business with fast and readily available cash, Fora Financial is the financial service company to use. You can get approval in as little as 24 hours and have the money available 72 hours after approval to use for whatever you need it.

There are no set terms for paying back the money and you may also receive rewards for early payback of the loan. Get a free no-obligation quote from the company, while you can get approved for a loan without the need of collateral.

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How Much Does it Cost to Open a Car Wash Business?

The amount of money you will need to invest in your car wash business will vary according to many factors. For instance, you will need to decide if you want to purchase or lease land and how much construction you need to invest in. There will also be setup and equipment costs that you will need to take into consideration. 

There are, in essence, four types of car wash establishments: full-service, exterior conveyor, self-service, and in-bay automatic. Each type of car wash has different requirements and  varying setup costs. You will also need to decide how large your workforce will be. The number of staff members you decide to hire will influence your labor expenses.

If you still need to acquire land and build your car wash, you’ll need about $80,000 to develop and equip each bay. Here are some of the elements you will need to think about when applying for car wash financing:

  • Business registration and permits
  • Land purchase
  • Site work and construction
  • Equipment
  • Signage
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • High-quality washing chemicals
  • Utility bills (rates, water, electricity, etc.)
  • Workers
  • Insurance

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How to Choose the Best Car Wash Financing

Before you choose the best car wash financing option to meet your needs, you will need to establish a business model and consider how you want your car wash business to operate. A business model will help you decide, for example, which equipment you need and whether you should purchase or lease land. Your anticipated daily operations will also help you determine which loan type will suit you best. 

You should pay attention to the type of technology that might become available in the next few years. If you can invest in products that meet the government’s objectives, you’re more likely to receive SBA grants. For instance, if you power your equipment and machinery via solar technology, instead of electricity, you may be eligible to get a SBA grant.

While your low credit scores or poor track record may not concern some lenders, these same lenders may have other requirements that won’t suit the needs of your business. For instance, equipment financing clauses may state that you can only buy from approved vendors. This may not be convenient, as you may end up paying extra fees because you need to purchase through these approved suppliers.

See Our Additional Guides on Industry-Specific Loans

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are numerous options available when it comes to car wash financing. In this article our experts have outlined the top loan types of 2021. We have also provided a recommended lender for each type of loan. In most cases, you can simply approach the recommended lender and ask them how they can assist you with your car wash venture. However, ensure that you investigate each option meticulously before making your final decision.