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Old 29th May 2013, 19:26   #1
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Default No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

I have been wondering why there is No DIY car wash in India similar to what we have in US, UK & Australia.

DIY car washes are ones that have a basic wash, wax, rinse and interior cleaning facility. They charge close to $50 US for a complete session. There is no operator for the same. We do it the way we like it.

In foreign countries, there is an inclination to provide good service and binding service. What i mean by Binding service is that say the car rims are cleaned spick and span, including in-between the spokes of the Alloys etc, But In India, except for a handlful of service stations like Privilege Carz Spa Chennai and 3M car care Bangalore, the finish has not been as expected. This provides a perfect platform in India to start a DIY station (on paper, theoritically).

Eventhough there is a theoritical feasibility, we still see that DIYs are still not popular in india.


We drive our cars, We inspect our car and we know where it is dirty, so a DIY wash makes perfect sense to me, so that we can clean the car to the fullest to our satisfaction and concenrate on areas like spokes on the wheels etc.

Cost wise, Even a simple setup like a Karcher K series pressure washer, A Vacuum Cleaner, and an extraction cleaner can help to start a DIY Station. It should cost less than INR 60,000 at the max for startup and a couple of 1000s per month for the consumables like soap, shampoo, electricity, water etc.

The Question is that WHY is there no DIY setup in India. There is a huge potential and also the company can save labour costs (assuming 3 people at least) month on month. Labour it self comes to INR 50,000/- per month

Note: I am no market analyst or Business feasibility expert. I do not have the brain, money, time and infrastructure and also do not intend to start any business like this in future. I am a customer looking out for a DIY washing station for my car.

PLease debate on why there is no DIY Car wash in india.
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Old 30th May 2013, 17:48   #2
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

It's one of those things that I really miss! Especially after a long drive at the end of a warm day...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
DIY car washes are ones that have a basic wash, wax, rinse and interior cleaning facility. They charge close to $50 US for a complete session.


I'm fairly sure it's more in the $10 region! (Though I guess it depends on how much time you use the machine for).

India typically has a surplus of labour and a shortage of space (in the cities).

Even automatic ticket dispensers have hand-holders and it seems people can't even press a lift button on their own.

Nonetheless, financially this still might make sense. With the interest the car detailing sector has been seeing lately, the reality of this might even be a possibility!

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 30th May 2013 at 17:51.
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Old 30th May 2013, 17:56   #3
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

I like the concept, but then so many things are DIY abroad isnt it ? Fuel pump, house maid etc. people are used to doing their work on their own.

Here in India manual labor is the cheapest.

for 50$ i can take my car to reputed car wash and at least 2-3 attendants can clean it, while i can read my magazine.
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Old 30th May 2013, 18:00   #4
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

I agree with Rehaan, forget about DIY washers,we are in a country where lifts have operators, you know what I mean. A country booming with population, there is no dearth of workforce but jobs.

Secondly, we just don't know how to use stuffs properly even if left at our mercy. How many really follow traffic rules strictly, do not ride on the footpaths or follow speed limits. To make us fall into line, the authorities have to hire people. Simple.

I know about a electronic vehicle density Sensor installed at one of the busy junctions in Bangalore. It senses the density in all directions and accordingly adjusts the singal open/close timings. Alas!!! Its stolen within a week of its operation. Now don't you think when you spend lacs on installing a system, you can hire security for few thousands to protect it ? To me ? Yes.

Last edited by Shiv_1984 : 30th May 2013 at 18:02.
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Old 30th May 2013, 18:02   #5
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Available cheap labour

I pay inr 300 for the whole month to my car cleaner (this includes weekend interior cleaning)

3m and similar places charge 350-500 for one session

The debate can go on .. Why can't i fill air/fuel as a DIY just like the u.s?

Why are there porters at the airport when we also have trolleys?

Why do waiters serve me food when i can serve on my own?

Our defination/expectation of 'service' is way different/available from the developed world..Agree?
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Old 30th May 2013, 18:55   #6
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
It's one of those things that I really miss! Especially after a long drive at the end of a warm day...

I'm fairly sure it's more in the $10 region! (Though I guess it depends on how much time you use the machine for).

India typically has a surplus of labour and a shortage of space (in the cities).
Even automatic ticket dispensers have hand-holders and it seems people can't even press a lift button on their own.
Nonetheless, financially this still might make sense. With the interest the car detailing sector has been seeing lately, the reality of this might even be a possibility!
I second you. I too wish for a place like this.
LOL - In Reality, I prefer a sign-board indicating what is there at each floor, instead of a liftman.
50 USD is complete package using washers, vaccuums, Polishing with machine, Carpet steam cleaning etc. 10 USD is for exterior only wash & rinse off wax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajshenoy View Post
I like the concept, but then so many things are DIY abroad isnt it ? Fuel pump, house maid etc. people are used to doing their work on their own.
Here in India manual labor is the cheapest.
for 50$ i can take my car to reputed car wash and at least 2-3 attendants can clean it, while i can read my magazine.
While i totally agree that Labour is cheap, it does not translate to the fact that labour is efficient. In the category of petrol pump car wash, I need to literally stay behind him to get wheel wells cleaned and also to dry it up properly. Secondly, there is an expectation for tips, even when the job is not well done.
I am ready to pay 500/- (proportionately) for a DIY outer wash and dry and around 1000/- for a Carpet extractor + interior + exterior job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
I agree with Rehaan, forget about DIY washers,we are in a country where lifts have operators, you know what I mean. A country booming with population, there is no dearth of workforce but jobs.
Secondly, we just don't know how to use stuffs properly even if left at our mercy.
Completely Agree - But it is the attitude of the workforce and also quality of labour that makes me unhappy. I am ready to pay the exact price mentioned for a car wash. I dont want to bargain even one rupee and will even tip him a 100/-. In spite of this, Quality of washing and drying is not upto customer;s satisfation. When we pay the full money, much to the owner's satisfation, I as a customer have the rights to demand full justic for the work done. Except for a handful of Car Spas, the average wash quality is horrible.
Likewise, In a shopping mall, I prefer to have a board indicating what floor contains which shop, rather than a lift man telling me the same.
Labour cost for a car spa would come to at least 50000 per month + auxilliary expenses like Tea, busicuits, snacks etc + Diwali / new year bonus etc. DIY can save this 50,000 per month, which is substantial cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajesh Rawal View Post
Available cheap labour

I pay inr 300 for the whole month to my car cleaner (this includes weekend interior cleaning)
3m and similar places charge 350-500 for one session
The debate can go on .. Why can't i fill air/fuel as a DIY just like the u.s?
Why are there porters at the airport when we also have trolleys?
Why do waiters serve me food when i can serve on my own?
Our defination/expectation of 'service' is way different/available from the developed world..Agree?
For 300 I am sure, a quality Car shampoo may not be used. Also, we run the risk of doing a shoddy job and the fear of theft. I had a car cleaner, but he stole the USB Pen drive. Reusing the cloth etc are not to the best of my liking. DIY Car washes are touchless car wash.
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Old 30th May 2013, 19:03   #7
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
DIY car washes are ones that have a basic wash, wax, rinse and interior cleaning facility. They charge close to $50 US for a complete session. There is no operator for the same. We do it the way we like it.
The conditions we live in, one would end up visiting the DIY car wash almost every other day and $50 per wash in such cases doesn't make economic sense.

Also, a lot of people don't like to be seen washing their own cars, its a car cleaners job for them. Most of them wouldn't even know that one might need a car shampoo for a better wash, let alone a wax or anything else.

When 999 out of a 1000 people think that a bucket full of water and an orange cloth is all that's needed to wash a car (at times even 3-4), how does a DIY car wash business make sense.
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Old 30th May 2013, 19:07   #8
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
The conditions we live in, one would end up visiting the DIY car wash almost every other day and $50 per wash in such cases doesn't make economic sense.

Also, a lot of people don't like to be seen washing their own cars, its a car cleaners job for them. Most of them wouldn't even know that one might need a car shampoo for a better wash, let alone a wax or anything else.

When 999 out of a 1000 people think that a bucket full of water and an orange cloth is all that's needed to wash a car (at times even 3-4), how does a DIY car wash business make sense.
Nope- I mean to say 50 USD in the US, for a complete interior + exterior + extraction cleaning. Simple Outerbody wash costs just 10$ as pointed out by Rehaan.

I am not referring to the 999-1000 people who use watchman to clean their cars. I am trying to attract the Car spa crowd with a car spa minus labor.
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Old 30th May 2013, 19:13   #9
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Nope- I mean to say 50 USD in the US, for a complete interior + exterior + extraction cleaning. Simple Outerbody wash costs just 10$ as pointed out by Rehaan.

I am not referring to the 999-1000 people who use watchman to clean their cars. I am trying to attract the Car spa crowd with a car spa minus labor.
We pay less than $10 per month

On a serious note, I know what you mean by the car spa crowd but the cost of land itself + whatever other investment there is going to be, might not translate into very good profits considering the total population of the car spa crowd and the frequency at which they'd visit such car wash centers, just my opinion.
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Old 30th May 2013, 19:55   #10
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
India typically has a surplus of labour and a shortage of space (in the cities).

Even automatic ticket dispensers have hand-holders and it seems people can't even press a lift button on their own.
Thatís indeed the case. Our society will take a bit more time to go on the self-service mode. A few car enthusiasts like us may like the idea of giving a quick wash to our car, but many out there will still prefer to outsource it
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Old 30th May 2013, 23:02   #11
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Thatís indeed the case. Our society will take a bit more time to go on the self-service mode. A few car enthusiasts like us may like the idea of giving a quick wash to our car, but many out there will still prefer to outsource it
I purchased a Bosch jet spray for 7000INR.(only a steady water supply is required-a minimum 1 bar pressure is good enough for this motor to spray out at 100 bars). NO brushes, but my cars feel 'spa pampered'. The germans are just as good in designing car service equipments as they are with cars itself.
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Old 30th May 2013, 23:12   #12
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Smile re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

- I think Amarprakash builders Chennai offer a Car washing area in thier Apartment complex. The Trend is slowly coming up on builders also.
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Old 31st May 2013, 00:12   #13
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Quote:
Our defination/expectation of 'service' is way different/available from the developed world..Agree
Completely agree with you! We live in 'king's world" in India. Labor is cheap and hence affordable and also satiates many in the food chain for jobs.

We have been pampered to an extent that we find it difficult to carry little heavier bags from the car to the house(security or domestic maid does all that for us in India) most of the times. US or other develped countries is a different story- comletely DIY focused and self reliant. Good in many ways!

Will that work for us in India- might not work great for majority.

Also please bear in mind, that DIY wash centres are well maintained by the users/customers(the things are cleaned, go back properly into their respective places as desired, not broken/misused etc) in US, will that be the case in India - NO!
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Old 31st May 2013, 02:31   #14
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

When I had plans to start a car wash in my locality, I did a little analysis by taking my car for a wash to the most busy car wash centers in and around my area. Professional car wash centers did not even exist in my locality and I wanted to bank on this opportunity. But when I visited few car wash centers, I was not sure whether I should be surprised or baffled by the extraordinary methods used by them. While I was thinking about sourcing genuine Mother's products or Meguiar's products regularly at economical rates these centers were earning good money just by using some soap oil/seed(it only gives that foam effect and does not hold any cleaning capability) and some cutting oil. The interiors were not by vacuumed but air was blown on the seats and carpets and vents. Is that even called dusting? The clothes used to wash seemed to be some sort of old underwear or a torn shirt or trousers with buttons on it. OMG!

The point here is all the customers who came down there were paying the charges happily without even knowing what was happening to the clear coat on their cars or even the rust that would develop by the usage of salt/hard water. I am sure most of you agree with me that this would be the method used in most car wash centers in your area as well unless you have a good rapport with them or you get things done as you want. I used to give them the car shampoo and a MF towel for wash and req them to not blow air on interiors.

I hope you get the fact here that most car owners are ignorant about such things. They just want things done. 'The attitude is like - I'll pay for it and you will do it. I will decide when I want it.' Most car owners have their drivers wash the car. His DIY methods are different as well.

Most of us might also notice that cars would go for a wash only at the point where it can no longer get dirty or only when the family refuses to get in the car. With all due respect and pity, for car owners in such situation, like one of our fellow bhp-ian said, their DIY would be a bucket of water and some old torn cloth lying around. If any such DIY-er falls in an expert category, he would go a step ahead and use his hair wash shampoo or dish wash solution that too on a sunday afternoon. Such is the state of DIY by ignorant people.

For a DIY station to emerge or even for new professional car spas to be inaugurated, existing and new 'car owners' should start educating themselves on how to maintain one of their priceless possessions on their own(if they believe so). I still feel I've lot more to learn on car maintenance.
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Old 31st May 2013, 03:54   #15
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Default re: No DIY Car Washes in India - Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scopriobharath View Post
Cost wise, Even a simple setup like a Karcher K series pressure washer, A Vacuum Cleaner, and an extraction cleaner can help to start a DIY Station. It should cost less than INR 60,000 at the max for startup and a couple of 1000s per month for the consumables like soap, shampoo, electricity, water etc.
INR60K seems to be under estimation. One would have to rent/lease space for the car wash, with facility for water and electricity. There is also a need to employ people to take care of the facility, collect cash, & protect the equipment from misuse/theft.

In the US car wash in front of homes is discouraged as the soap and harmful chemicals will enter the storm drains and the rivers/ocean. Such concerned people end up using DIY centers, where the water can be collected, filtered and recycled. Also the soft water provided in DIY centers stop the hard water stains. The DIY car washes in southern calif. charge $5 for 15 mins. A real human washes and cleans for ~$10. So I am not sure where people are quoting big numbers from. http://bodybeautiful.com/ Even these guys recycle their water.

I use Mr Clean auto dry car wash, it is simply the best invention ever. It does need running water with decent pressure.

Last edited by aah78 : 31st May 2013 at 06:47. Reason: Link fixed.
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