Car Wash Prices

Granted, there are a lot of luxury/exotic cars around here (and people with “money”), but driving around and reading signs at car wash joints, I cannot believe the high prices they charge for a wash. And the vehicles are waiting in line with drivers anxious to pay!

These car washes at $20 - $30 or more are out of my league. Besides, I have this thing about paying for anything I can do myself, especially with unlimited spare time available.

One thing I like is that living here, after a car wash, my cars usually stay clean for a month or two. Also, I thought I’d be totally giving up self car washing here when we bought the condo, but to my surprise I still can.

A while after after moving in I saw a guy washing his car just outside our under-building parking garage. There’s a nice hose there for our building and place to plug in a vacuum from the storage room. All I have to do is put on a swim suit, show up with a bucket of suds and my car.

The reason I bring this up is because I do a little car wash detailing when I hand wash my car. I wash all the door jambs and door interior perimeters and with the trunk and hood open, I clean those jambs, too. I’m relatively certain that my wash is better than the highfalutin, expensive washes.

How much is a hand wash where you live?

Do you use a gas fill to get a break on wash prices?

Do you pay it or wash it yourself at home or go to a DIY place?

Do you just roll through an automatic wash? How expensive is that?



Only 2 gas stations by my house

regular unleaded gas
Chevron - $2.49 a gallon - no car wash.
Union 76 - - $2.59 a gallon - free car wash with purchase of 8 gallons.

My math says that’s $0.80 for the car wash.

I can get a brushless wash w/o a dryer starting at $4.00. Often use this, spend a lot of evenings at beachfront venues, lots of salt on the car. There are a number of hybrid car washes in my area. The wash tunnel is conventional, brushes and dryers, interior work you do yourself with free high power vacuums. These washes start around $6.00. Full service car washes start around $14.00 and then go up and up and up!

How much is a hand wash where you live?

It’s about the same as where you live, in the $30 range.

Do you use a gas fill to get a break on wash prices?

There aren’t many gas station car washes left, and the ones that do exist don’t seem to offer a discount for buying gas anymore.

Do you pay it or wash it yourself at home or go to a DIY place?

When I lived in a house, I did it myself at home. When I live in an apartment or condo (like I do now), I go to a DIY place. Occasionally, I combine the two.

Do you just roll through an automatic wash? How expensive is that?

Only as a last resort, and only when it’s not expensive. The drive-through car washes I come across have a whole range of packages that range in price from $4 to $20.

I will say this: My mother neglects her car so much that we had to get an acid wash to remove all the embedded dirt on her car before it was waxed, and the last time I took it through one of those long drive-through car washes where your car rolls through it, it didn’t get it clean, so it looks like I’m going to have to get out there, wash it by hand, and put a layer of wax on it myself sometime soon before her house sells.

Wow! I’d better start paying more attention. I’ve always ignored those offers.

I’m pretty thrifty, but for 80 cents, I’d opt to have the loose dirt/dust knocked off the old car. Sounds like a deal!

I never use the hand wash places. I buy a wash card of ten at a time for about $70. I only use them in the winter time, otherwise I do the hand wash myself. I really don’t know what they charge anymore but I suspect it’s in the $15-20 range.

Yeah and I’m among those folks of advanced age but don’t tell anyone. I’m living in denial.

In Traverse City Michigan the pull through went from $6 to $8 with undercarriage spray. Hear advertised on radio hand wash and cleaning inside is $45 which is half price special.

A bit south of you in Lee county…

How much is a hand wash where you live?

$20 to $30

Do you use a gas fill to get a break on wash prices?

Most no longer offer that and those that do have less-than-well-maintained automatic washes.

Do you pay it or wash it yourself at home or go to a DIY place?

The truck goes thru the automatic brush-wash because it is a pain to hand wash. We have both brush and touchless washes available. Touchless doesn’t get the truck very clean and it uses harsher soaps. I have used the DIY high pressure spray place for the Mustang after a track day to get brake dust off then spot treatment of Race Rubber Remover to get tire booger marks of the car and then hand wash. The wife’s car gets a hand wash since it is so easy and sometimes a run through the automatic wash.

Do you just roll through an automatic wash? How expensive is that?

The top wash is $12 with underbody spray and spray wax. I don’t go to the fancy places. They are just an automatic wash with a little hand finishing and vacuuming. I take microfiber cloths to do that finish myself.

There are no hand wash places here in Southern NJ where I live, just automatic ones.

The car washes near me are stand alone, not part of gas stations

I don’t wash it.

Automatic washes here average $18.00.

I generally only have the car washed once in 3 years, when I’m ready to trade it in. I don’t care what it looks like while I have it.

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When I was younger, I washed cars. Now I let nature take its course.

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I always wash my truck myself. My wife gave me a $25 car wash coupon last fall so I used it before it expired. I would never pay that much but it did do a great job. The power and pressure surprised me as it was a drive through place.

The local full service car wash places typically charge around $20-$40 depending on what level of wash you get.

I haven’t found automated car wash (either touchless or friction) that gives me the kind of results I want, so I don’t use them.

During the spring/summer I typically wash my own cars, typically about once a week, usually after work on Fridays. During the late fall and winter, I typically take my car in to a full service car wash, usually every other week or on an as needed basis. I usually give my car a full detail ( polish if needed, claybar, wash, and sealant) in the spring after the pollen dies down. During the spring/summer, I’ll give my car a coat of butter wax (not as durable as a regular wax or sealant)but better than a spray on wax, and easy to apply) once a month, and use something like Slick Mist or V7 after my maintenance washes. In the late fall, I typically clay and wax/seal the car again before it gets too cold.

If the situation is dire, I stop at the local pay -n-spray and give the car a once over with a pressure washer, but I would never use the foam brushes they have at those places.

I typically don’t. Around here the automated washes tend to cost at least $10 and top out around $16. For that amount of money, I don’t think they do a good enough job relative to what you’re paying for.

There are a couple mobile detailing outfits around, one of which I used semi regularly as they offered a promotion where you could have them come to your place of employment and they wash, several cars at discounted rated. They only charged $25 per car for a vacuum, dash wipe down, hand wash, spay wax, and tire/trim shine. Their extras were reasonably priced too, they would wax your car with D/A for another $20. So for less than $50 you could get you car washed and waxed and they came to you. Unfortunately, my employer was pressured by enivromentals that we could not longer have car washes on school grounds anymore (anywhere in the county) because of the alleged environmental impact. So we ended up having the car washing done on a co-workers land that is literally less than 70 yards away from the parking lot. Somehow that’s perfectly fine, there’s nothing to worry about from an environmental standpoint by moving the operation there apparently.

Additionally there are some local detail shops that cater to a high end clientele. This is where you might get a ceramic coating or take your Brabus MB in for some paint correction. These places tend start at around $70 for a basic wash, and charge upwards of $600 for a typical detail, with paint correction services and coatings costing several grand. I thought about having my car coated in ceramic, but with the paint correction that should be done beforehand and a high quality ceramic coating, I was looking at around a grand, and it wasn’t worth it to me.

Precisely. My father always said “nature put it there, let nature take it away”. That philosophy also applied to snow shoveling, leaf raking, etc.

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How much is a hand wash where you live?
Not available. I know of no place that does a hand wash.

Do you use a gas fill to get a break on wash prices?
Only a couple places have that option and really not convenient to where I live. One is on my way to work. If I need gas and a car-wash I sometimes stop there.

Do you pay it or wash it yourself at home or go to a DIY place?
Starting in about May through October I wash it myself. Then it gets too cold or snowy or freezing rain.

Do you just roll through an automatic wash? How expensive is that?
We have several different options. There’s the touch-less option that ranges from $5 for just a wash an dry to the Ultimate for $15 that includes undercarriage and sealant/wax and tire/wheel cleaner.

We also have the drive-through which isn’t touch-less. Little more expensive.

Another option near me are the do-it-yourself. I weather isn’t too cold and sunny I’ll use this option. They have a brush you can use or bring a bucket and cloth. Although management frowns on that if there’s people waiting.

Looks like full service goes from $19-32, detailing goes from wax starting at $55-79 while interior detailing goes from $159-187 (damn I’m glad I’ve never opted to have them do that…). The Express detailing is “only” $42-85. They have an Unlimited Wash Club too which runs $23.95-49.95 monthly

I only know of 1 or 2 stations in my area that still do them…they don’t look used very well, likely for a good reason

We use well water at home that contains a very high amount of clay and minerals, so I don’t home wash very often. I prefer the DIY places personally. Most of the DIY places around here have reasonable monthly unlimited rates (my current go to is I think $23 a month for unlimited DIY)

I use the touchless automatic with the minivan every now and then, it runs from $6-14. My kids really enjoy being inside to watch it (especially the multicolored soap).

The place I go to for my DIY and automatic washes is really well maintained. The other DIY place (where they have all of the services I listed above) is also well maintained, but more expensive

Not gonna lie, if it’s been awhile since I’ve washed one of our cars, I’ll park on the roof of our parking garage and let mother nature’s rain do some pre-cleaning for me!

Free when I do it myself. Next time you’re in town I’ll do yours.

No. The correct way to ask this question is whether I transfer the cost of someone else washing my car to the price of my gasoline.

Back when I washed it, 20 years ago, I did it by hand. It’s a 31-year-old pickup truck that never had a clear coat, has lived outside in windy desert all its life, suffered a few collisions when others ran into it, was fixed by myself, who doesn’t bother to blend new paint with old.

No. I roll right on by.

I washed my parents’ car when I was a kid. I don’t remember car washes. When were they invented?

Concerning the economy, I most want those in the bottom 90% of earners, whose share of total adjusted gross income has been decreasing for 40 years, to make more. All car-washers are in the bottom 90%, therefore I want them to make more.

Old Mopar guy, If you lived where I live and subscrined to the “let nature take it away” philosophy wou would need something with 4 wheel drive, lots of ground clearance and big aggressive tires. Me, I find it easier to use one of my snow blowers.
I wash my own car unless the salt builds up too much on the car and it stays too cold to use a hose. Then I go through an automated car wash for $5 or $6 but even if it is sunny, there sis so much salt water on the streets that it gets new salt on it before you get home.

One thing that has helped, I got one of those expanding hoses that I use only in the winter. I keep it in a 5 gallon pail in the garage. I have found my faucets don’t freeze up if I don’t have a hose on them. These collapsible hoses don’t flow enough water to use for my garden but it is plenty for washing a car and they don’t get stiff in the winter.

Fortunately, I live in a NJ suburb of Philadelphia, and we rarely have those kinds of conditions. When we do, my wife and I don’t go out.

I just hose the car off when it is looking dusty, 2-3 minute cold-water hosing is all, maybe once or twice a month. Every 6 months I wash with soap and water as part of applying a new coat of wax. The advertising signs I see along the road say a washing and exterior detailing runs about $15.

There are two automatic car wash places very near me costing $8-10 with the Eco wash place being a couple bucks more but i understand is a touchless wash so it’s not like when we went through the gas station one with a friends token (you get a free wash from one of the nearby dealers service department) and we almost had a mirror damaged. I’d rather do a quick hand wash in the driveway myself.