Car wash vending machines may be a way to bring a little extra revenue at your car wash. I say may because machines in some locations are nothing but criminal magnets and become more hassle than they are worth. At one time one wash in a bad neighborhood had a Pepsi machines. It only took two weeks before it was broken into and damaged beyond repair. At another location, however there are days in the summer where the soda machine make more money than the car wash.
Two ways to go the vending machine route. Buy a machine yourself or have one of the companies deal with stocking.
Buying your own machine is a great option if you are going to maintain it, fill it and remove the money yourself. Used machines are very reasonable and they rarely fail. Electrical costs are only around $1 per day. Be sure to add some extra security locks to prevent or deter theft.
The second option is to have a distributor deal with the filling of the machine. While the cost is a little more, you wont have to deal with going to the store to buy product and restocking which is vital if you aren’t there to do it yourself all the time or have several locations to cover.
In addition to drinks, a another car was vending option is cleaning supplies. In the right locations, these can to be a better revenue generator than the snacks and drinks. While these aren’t as common, a few product ideas:
- Towels–Paper (all sizes), cloth, terry, microfiber
- Towel and sponge packs–Armorall, Wet Towel, Glass Cleaner, Black Jack, Just For Leather, Bug and Tar (the packs of 10 or more tend to sell much better than the single packs)
- Fragrances–Leafs, Trees, Characters, Novelty (best scents have been black ice, new car, cherry and vanilla pride)
- Bottle Pumps/Aerosols–Fragrance, Armorall, Glass Cleaner, Tire Foam
- Most products made by Armor All including their sponge packs, pump sprays and tire foams.
From experience here are also some products that don’t tend to sell well
- Single wipe products
- Operator folded paper towels as they will often get stuck in the machine
- Generic or unknown brands
More than likely you already have space to put in vending machines at your car wash. There’s typically a trial and error period to figure out what products people will buy, but in most cases the revenue these machines can make will help boost your bottom line.