How to save money at the carwash | AutoGuru
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How to save money at the car wash

Joel Ilton

Updated 29 Apr 2020

Joel Ilton

Heading down to your local car wash to give your car a pampering on the weekend is a ritual for a lot of Australians. Cleaning off the week’s worth of dirt and grime and giving the interior a once-over to remove loose sand and dust is one of the easiest ways to keep your vehicle feeling fresh and a nice place to spend time.

However, this pampering can really take its toll on your wallet, especially if you are splurging on the $40 ‘Deluxe’ auto wash every other week! Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the costs of the bi-weekly car wash if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease and do some of the work yourself without sacrificing the quality finish to which you’re accustomed.

1. Invest in basic cleaning tools

Yes, point one involves spending money, which seems detrimental to saving money but bear with me! Buying some cheap buckets and basic car cleaning tools will save you money in the long run as they will make your washing process more efficient. Wheel cleaning brushes will allow you to scrub the brake dust and road grime off your wheels after you soak them, leaving a better finish and reducing the amount of money you might have spent on a high-pressure wheel cleaner.

A bucket, some fresh water and a wash mitt will allow you to clean your car safely, avoiding the use of a foaming brush which can cause scratches. Using these tips will reduce the time and money spent in the wash bay, while providing a cleaner vehicle. 

If you feel like washing your vehicle at home instead, here is a video to show you all the tools you'll need to carry out a professional level car wash at home.

2. Wash after hours or during the week

Washing at a peak time on a Saturday or Sunday makes it difficult to give your car the attention it deserves, as lines can be out to the street waiting for a wash bay or vacuum space. Another benefit of going after-hours or away from peak times is the option of bucket washing your vehicle in the wash bay.

This will reduce the amount of money put into the machine as you can select the soap option, spray down your vehicle and then attack it with your pre-prepared wash buckets and mitts before rinsing off. Of course, you will need to check with your local car wash to see if they are happy with this as some locations do not allow bucket washing.

3. Search online for car washing deals

If you’re not interested in getting out and scrubbing your vehicle and instead prefer to take it through the touchless wash, there are still ways you can save money. Jump online to see if your local car wash offers any deals. Whether it be for a reduced rate over multiple washes or a ‘buy one, get one half price’ option, it pays to look around to find the best deal.

4. Remove all rubbish from inside the car before you get to the car wash

Moving on to the interior, spend some time before heading down to the car wash removing any rubbish or loose items from the vehicle. Moving the seats forwards and backwards to check and make sure there is no rubbish or loose items speeds up the vacuuming process as you’re not constantly having to move objects out of the way of the vacuum.

Who knows, you may find some lost coins down the side of the seat which will pay for the vacuum! Taking the floor mats out of the vehicle and shaking out the loose dirt saves time vacuuming, which will reduce costs.

Following these simple steps will reduce the hurt on the back pocket without sacrificing the quality of the finished product and leave your vehicle sparkling clean and ready for the weekly commute.

If you’re interested in how to clean your vehicle like a pro inside and out at home, we have video guides and articles which can be found here

Joel Ilton

Written By

Joel Ilton

Finding a passion for cars from a young age, Joel carried out work experience as a mechanic whilst at school before starting an apprenticeship after finishing year 12.

Joel is now the Workshop Manager at Robina Volkswagen.