The global car wash ancillary products market size was valued at USD 693.89 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 822.10 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 1.9% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Cars are currently seen as very significant products since they give people a sense of prestige. An important part of sustaining that status and keeping cars spotless has been played by supplementary products for car washes. Vacuum car washes, RO systems, bay doors, water softeners, entry/payment systems, and other products are ancillary car wash products. This add-on accessory for car washes aids in preventing corrosion and rusting of car bodywork caused by salt and dust from highways and acid rain.
These car wash accessories aid in the thorough cleaning of the vehicle and remove dangerous substances from its surface. Premium car washers use water softeners to lessen the harshness of the water since water with a high TDS content leaves marks on car bodies after washing. The opening of innovative vehicle wash facilities, like vacuum car wash systems and in-bay and door car washes, offers thorough cleaning and hygienic conditions that draw in new clients.
High Adoption of Professional Car Wash Services
The car wash industry has been growing due to technological advancements and consumer preference for quick and dependable car wash solutions. Several car wash service providers offer pick-up and drop-off services, vehicle safety inspections, repairs, and maintenance. This is one of the reasons why more people are opting to use car wash services. This situation creates an opportunity for a rise in the demand for ancillary products related to car wash services. As per the International Car Wash Association (ICA), consumers opting for a professional car wash increased from 79% in 2014 to 80% in 2016.
The proportion of consumers who exclusively utilized professional car wash services, referred to as medium professional (PRO) users, experienced a notable growth of 9% from 2014 to 2016, reaching 56% in the following year. The association also found that car washes rank 5th among the ten best consumer experiences. Consumer preference for getting their cars washed by professionals as against doing it on their own is particularly high across North America and Europe. This scenario projects a lucrative opportunity for car wash service providers and the sales of ancillary products.
Increasing Consumer Spending on Comfort and Relaxation
The car wash sector depends on consumers' discretionary expenditures and driving patterns. Increasing consumer disposable income will likely aid the industry's recovery over the forecast period. According to studies, consumer disposable income was expected to boost the car wash industry revenue by 2.3% in 2016. Lifestyle creep, also called lifestyle inflation, is a common trend among Generation X, Y, and Z. A gradual increase in expenses with growing salaries has become the norm.
Additionally, the propensity for expenditure has exhibited an upward trajectory over time, primarily driven by an escalating consumer appetite for convenience and luxury. This is expected to influence car washing services, leading to a profitable market scenario for car wash ancillary products. Since consumers continue to seek varied comforts, businesses have been experimenting with automation and cutting-edge technologies to give cutting-edge services, fostering market growth.
High Costs Associated with Car Wash Services
Increased consumer interest in Do-It-Yourself (DIY) car washes results in industry setbacks due to the high costs associated with professional car wash services. Prices for car detailing vary based on the number of services, primarily determined by the business' attention to detail, professionalism, and reputation. According to Auto Detail School, independent detail shops and car washes charge between USD 150 and USD 200 for detailing services.
Basic car detailing services include washing, waxing, vacuuming, polishing the interior, washing the windows, cleaning the mirrors and moldings, and cleaning the tires. Car detailing services for a vehicle of ordinary size cost between USD 50 and USD 125 and between USD 75 and USD 150 for an SUV or a van. A package upgrade would cost approximately USD 150 for vehicles of standard size and USD 175 for pick-ups and vans of larger dimensions. This has been negatively affecting the market's total revenue.
Strategic Mergers and Acquisitions by Key Players
Strategic mergers and acquisitions among companies are generating lucrative market opportunities for manufacturers in the industry. For instance, in 2019, Mister Car Wash acquired seven Waterdrops Express Car Wash locations as a part of its expansion strategy in California. The acquisition gives Mister a total of 37 locations in the California area. In 2019, Zip Car Wash acquired five American Pride Xpress Car Wash sites in North Carolina to expand its service offerings from Asheville and Winston-Salem to Raleigh. The company now operates 11 stores in North Carolina.
Similarly, in 2017, the company acquired Cypress Station Car Wash, making it its fourth location in Northwest Houston. The outlet offered free exterior-only car washes for ten days to celebrate the grand opening. Therefore, strategic mergers and acquisitions among key players are expected to provide opportunities for market expansion.
The global car wash ancillary products market is segmented by product and distribution channel.
Based on the product, the global car wash ancillary products market is bifurcated into car wash vacuum systems, RO systems, bay doors, water softeners, entry/payment systems, and others.
The bay doors segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 1.4% over the forecast period. Bay doors are crucial in the car wash industry to block icy winds and maintain hot or cold temperatures. Very cold weather events are common at many car washes worldwide, making owners and operators wonder whether their carwash bays need doors. Bay doors also offer security for both consumers and equipment. Most vehicle washes are situated in densely populated regions, and numerous nations or towns have noise regulations that must be followed. Bay doors have been shown to lessen the noise made by vehicle wash machinery in this situation.
Bay doors also keep the water inside the bay and into the car wash facility's drainage system. This is particularly important in countries with strict regulations on water from car wash facilities flowing into city waters and sewer systems. Besides this, bay doors with attractive designs add an aesthetic appeal to the overall car wash station and can help catch consumers' attention. These factors are foreseen to drive segment growth over the forecast period.
Most professional vehicle wash facilities now have vacuum systems, frequently influencing customers' choices. Consumers choose vehicle washes that satisfy their standards for cleanliness, both inside and out. For many, the availability of free or paid vacuuming services can make the difference between two car washes. These elements are fueling the segment's expansion. Even the most modern and energy-efficient car wash vacuum systems need constant maintenance and fine-tuning to maintain inexpensive and effective operations. In addition, car wash vacuum systems use a significant amount of energy. Car wash owners increasingly use central vacuum systems because they are more energy-efficient than canister alternatives. This is because a single motor powers the central vacuum system, whereas many motors are needed for the individual/canister version, increasing the energy requirement.
Based on the distribution channel, the global car wash ancillary products market is segmented into online and offline distribution channels.
The offline distribution channels segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 1.7% during the forecast period. The offline segment includes selling car wash ancillary products through manufacturers, distributors, and dealers and is expected to hold the dominant market share throughout the forecast period. Due to the simple accessibility of various items, the opportunity to customize orders, and the outstanding customer service they give, most car wash service providers purchase auxiliary products through offline channels. Customers' choices are also influenced by the product advice and support, in-house and on-site training, installation, round-the-clock technical support, and repair services provided by this sales channel. Many car wash owners and operators buy equipment from manufacturers and distributors because of price differences when buying in large quantities. The rising demand for bespoke car wash ancillary equipment supports offline mode sales.
Technology advances and a growing desire for online distribution channels to buy auxiliary products, especially by small car wash operators with fewer restrictions, can be credited with expanding the online market. The primary target market for internet platforms is consumers who feel secure making typical, predetermined purchases. Consumers have become a lot more research-driven when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, high internet penetration and increasing use of smartphones and similar devices are expected to boost the popularity of online channels for selling car wash ancillary products. As per The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an expected 4.12 billion people were using the Internet in 2019, reflecting a 5.3% increase compared to 2018. This number is foreseen to increase rapidly in the coming years, indicating an immense scope for the growth of this distribution channel.
Based on region, the global car wash ancillary products market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global car wash ancillary products market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 1.8% during the forecast period. Strong regional economic growth and the trend of on-demand car washing drive consumers' preference toward professional car wash rather than home washing. Consumers also choose professional car cleaning over home washing due to the on-demand trend in car washing. Do-It-For-Me is a growing trend among customers with busy schedules and chaotic lifestyles as they move away from "Do It Yourself." The U.S. dominated the regional market growth. According to International Carwash Association, Inc., 62,668 car wash facilities were in the U.S. alone in 2019. This factor is increasing the demand for car wash ancillary products in the country.
Additionally, consumers in the market are inclined towards washing their cars at a car wash center rather than at home. As per the International Carwash Association, Inc., the proportion of motorists who say they wash their cars at a shop the most regularly has climbed from around 48% in 1994 to more than 77% in 2019. This factor is boosting product demand in the country.
Europe is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 1.6% over the forecast period. According to the International Carwash Association, Inc., Europe had 69,000 car wash service centers in 2019. This is driving the demand for car wash ancillary products in the region. The presence of numerous small and medium operators in the region is a major driver for the high market share of this segment. To reduce noise, operators strongly demand bay doors, as many cities have noise ordinances that must be adhered to when building a car wash. In addition, the European market is growing significantly due to the presence of developed nations like the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and others. According to the International Carwash Association, Inc. survey in 2017, 83% of the participants in Germany stated that they have their cars washed at the wash center. This is a major driver for establishing car wash centers and the subsequent demand for ancillary products to enhance service offerings.
In Asia-Pacific, the need for car wash service providers is growing, particularly in India, Thailand, New Zealand, and Singapore. This encourages the development of supplementary items. Due to a greater emphasis on vehicle maintenance, rising luxury automobile sales in India and China will also show larger penetration of automated and touchless car wash technology. Various associations have been spreading awareness about the benefits of professional car washes to conserve water. In addition, strict government regulations on home car washing have driven the preference for professional car wash services in the country, which has fueled the uptake of various ancillary products.
Additionally, the China Carwash Industry Alliance (CCIA) constitutes various home and abroad manufacturers, enterprises, institutions, colleges, universities, and scientific research institutions engaged in developing automobile cleaning equipment and ancillary products or car wash chain services. The CCIA comprises over 300 companies, including car cleaning equipment manufacturers and car wash service stores, and this number has been gradually increasing.
In the Central and South American region, growing car sales are boosting the prominence of car wash service providers. This drives consumers and operators to invest in advanced and effective car wash equipment. For instance, as per a blog post by JATO Dynamics Limited in February 2018, South America witnessed a 14.6% growth in car and LCV sales in 2017 compared to 2016. Argentina and Chile witnessed 26% and 22% growth for the same period.
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