Southwest Car Wash Association - ADVANTAGE

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Publication of the Southwest Car Wash Association Third Quarter 2023
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and above par for wash results to reach maximum efficiency. Monitoring the equipment with daily and weekly checks are a must to prevent potential mishaps or out-of-control usage — water, chemistry, etc.

“Speaking from the standpoint of our systems only, if completely biodegradable chemicals are always used and routine maintenance followed, quarterly nutrients need to be added to the system, and an annual filter change is required,” Gibney says.

The recent SCWA Car Wash Tour in Salt Lake City reminded me how great it is to be a part of large family like SCWA. The Tour proved once again that car washing is alive and well!


If maintained correctly, the final results provided by closed-loop carwashing should rival conventional wash quality, the NWI team states. The path to achieve this quality is not without some increased maintenance requirements and equipment costs. But, these factors should be weighed against the savings of reduced water and sewer costs to determine the feasibility and profitability of closed-loop operation.

I hope you had the opportunity to join us in Salt Lake and see the outstanding car wash locations on the tour. Be sure to check out the pictures and the location highlights in this edition of ADVANTAGE.

On behalf of SCWA, our sincere thank you to the car wash owners who opened their locations for us to visit. In addition, our appreciation goes to the companies who supported the tour through their sponsorships. All who attended certainly saw the very best of the car wash industry on display.

Ideally, a closed-loop wash is using completely biodegradable chemicals, operating a true restoration system that removes chemicals from the water and following the manufacturer’s required maintenance, Gibney concludes. If so, customers will not be able to tell any difference in wash quality compared to the use of fresh water.

This is the very core of the SCWA mission –networking and partnership - as together we share challenges and work to find solutions.


Prepare Your Finances for an Emergency Handoff

The SCWA tours are just a small part of all the SCWA events which continue to be, not only informative, but also very motivational for me. Just being around some of the most successful car wash operators in the business is certainly fun and inspirational. However, it goes much deeper than this, because I rarely leave these events without learning something I can take back to my business to be better and more efficient.

Could someone step in and successfully manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so yourself? Of course, you could execute a "financial power of attorney'' designating someone as a "financial agent" to act on your behalf in financial matters if you're incapacitated. But just drafting that document with an attorney, which you should do, doesn't guarantee that this relative, friend or adviser will know what to do. The issue isn't so much whether he/ she lacks financial savvy-it's that figuring out someone else's finances on the fly is a massive challenge.

Having a financial plan in place for health emergencies is especially on many people's minds now because of the coronavirus pandemic, but an incapacitating emergency could come up at any time. Here's how to prepare finances for an emergency handoff…


As I was recalling this trip, I started wondering if perhaps there was even something deeper here. Events like Salt Lake City make me realize the importance of “giving back”. We all know a few people who only take and have the “what can you do for me?” mentality. But what I saw in Salt Lake and often see at other SCWA events is that the car wash industry is filled with the “what can I do for YOU” attitude. This is the heart of the truly successful car wash operator and business owner. Like in the classic book on sales, “The Go-Giver” (Burg/Mann), we slowly come to understand that when we help others, we gain much more for ourselves. Some call this enlightened self-interest. This too is the very core of the SCWA mission – networking and partnership - as together we share challenges and work to find solutions. It is SCWA and our members’ commitment to this principle that make it such an honor to be a part of SCWA.

When I first joined SCWA many years ago, I was told “SCWA is like a big family.” My friend also wisely added, “but like in all families you need to engage, be a part.” I was certainly reluctant at first, keeping things close to the vest, but as I have become more involved, I know this to be true. Being a

Consolidate credit cards and bank accounts. Missed credit card payments are among the most common missteps when someone takes over your finances. The more cards you use, the greater the odds that there will be a problem. Cut back to only two, if possible.


If you have multiple checking or savings accounts, consider consolidating to one of each, preferably at the same bank-more accounts mean higher odds of overdrafts. Especially troublesome are accounts with automated withdrawals or payments-easily overdrawn if no one is paying close attention. If there are lots of CDs, savings accounts and/ or moneymarket accounts at different institutions, some could be easily overlooked.

Stick with paper statements. It's perfectly fine for you to access your accounts online, but it's easy for someone else to overlook or be shut out of your online only accounts, which may be difficult to access. Bills and statements that arrive in the mail provide a wonderful fail-safe. That's true even if the financial agent doesn't live near you-your mail can be forwarded to that person by the post office or a trusted neighbor.

part is both learning and sharing.

Speaking about SCWA events, the SCWA Wade Welch Memorial Golf Classic is right around the corner, October 17. We always max out the number of players – so be sure to register and join us in San Antonio at the very popular J.W. Marriott TPC Golf Course. It will be a great time to be with friends and enjoy this outstanding professional golf course. Registration is now open on the SCWA website


Create a concise guide to your finances. Having all of your financial information in one place will save your designated agent a lot of time and greatly reduce the odds that something will be missed. Handwrite this list, or type and print it. But don't save it on your computer or send it via e-mail-that would increase the risk that this sensitive info could be stolen. Among the details to include...

The highlight of the year is always the FIRST BIG Car Wash EXPO of the Year – the SCWA Convention & EXPO. Mark your calendars now, February 28-March 1, 2024 at the Fort Worth Convention Center. The EXPO floor will be the largest ever for SCWA and include all the top car wash, lube and detail companies. Attendee registration will be opening soon. The announcement of our keynote will be exciting and will also be announced in the next few weeks.

Income sources. Note how each of your income streams arrives-pensions and Social Security payments often are direct-deposited into bank accounts, for example. If you

Thank you for being an important part of the SCWA family!

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WhiteWater Express expands in Southwest, adding 3 locations

These additions bring WhiteWater’s footprint to 49 locations in Texas and 12 locations in Louisiana.

Growth in the Southwest continues for WhiteWater Express with the grand opening of two new locations in Texas and the acquisition of DeRidder Express Car Wash in Louisiana, the company announced in a press release.

These washes are located at the following addresses:

• 5306 Airline Dr., Houston, TX 77022

• 2420 Sam Rayburn Hwy., Melissa, TX 75454

• 1309 N Pine St., DeRidder, LA 70634

These additions bring WhiteWater’s footprint to 49 locations in Texas and 12 locations in Louisiana, for a total of 96 washes across six states and 12 MSAs.

“As we approach our 100th location, it has been extremely rewarding to see how more and more members of our WhiteWater team have gone the extra mile for both our teammates and customers to help us improve every day,” stated Henry Shine, chief financial officer and head of development at WhiteWater Express.

All stores will receive WhiteWater’s signature services,

unlimited monthly plans, complimentary customer amenities like free vacuums, microfiber towels, mat cleaners and more for all customers to enhance their wash experience.

WhiteWater Express will also offer free washes and exclusive membership deals during the grand opening and rebranding celebrations for these locations.

WhiteWater’s rapid growth will continue in the second half of the year, with multiple locations opening late summer and fall.

WhiteWater is continuing to pursue its expansion strategy in both existing and new markets for greenfield development and acquisitions.

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agnolia Wash Holdings announces growth capital investment

As part of the transaction, Oaktree Capital Management has acquired a majority ownership position in the company.

Magnolia Wash Holdings announced in a press release it has received a growth capital investment from funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. to fuel the company’s long-term growth strategy.

Another advantage controllers enable is to-the-inch application of chemicals. This precise application means operators can effectively control their washes’ chemical costs. When set up correctly, equipment only sprays the vehicle, not the gap between vehicles, Davy notes. This to-the-inch application continues through the entire tunnel and applies to such services as ceramic coatings, wax applications and other necessary chemistry. This universal control not only saves on chemistry costs, but it also provides customers a better wash experience.

As part of the transaction, Oaktree has acquired a majority ownership position in the company.

A&M Capital Opportunities Fund will maintain a material minority ownership stake in the enterprise.

Magnolia currently operates 93 carwash locations in eight states, with 25 additional locations under construction, and more than 200,000 members in its Wash Club Membership Program.

“As we explored potential investment partners, Oaktree stood out for its proven track record of fostering rapid growth, its unique partnerships with management teams, and its value creation for stakeholders,” said Jose Costa, CEO of Magnolia Wash Holdings. “We expect Oaktree’s resources, experience and track record will be invaluable to us as we continue to expand our presence in the fastgrowing express carwash category. I can’t wait to see where we’ll be in a few years with this outstanding partnership.”

Energy efficiency can be another advantage. “Your tunnel controller also helps you save electricity by driving each piece of machinery in the tunnel, activating your vehicle frequency-driven devices and controlling signage and lighting around your facility,” Davy continues. “Additionally, your tunnel controller can help conserve energy by leaving your dryers on when multiple cars are in the tunnel, avoiding costly start-ups of the dryer system. Without wasting chemical or electricity, you are better able to control your per-car costs and make each service more profitable.”

Bath points to efficient look-ahead features in a carwash tunnel that can include the controller keeping the blowers running for the following vehicle. Again, this step saves energy and creates cost savings. “There are many features that can help operators save power, water, etc. When you understand all these modern-day features, your process will benefit as well as your cost savings,” Bath says.

“Magnolia and its management team have an impressive track record, and with our investment, we believe they are poised to grow into a preeminent operator in the industry,” said David Quick, managing director and assistant portfolio manager at Oaktree. “This is a special opportunity to partner with an experienced management team at a company that is well positioned to take advantage of the significant runway ahead.”

“We have enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Magnolia Wash Holdings, beginning with our initial investment in 2020 when the business had just seven locations,” said Sean Epps, partner at AMCO. “As a result of the company’s continued growth, we have recognized that now is the time to expand Magnolia’s capital partnerships. Our firm has a close institutional relationship with Oaktree, and we share a common vision as stewards for the company as it enters an exciting next phase of growth.”

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor to Magnolia in connection with this transaction and Harris Williams served as exclusive advisor to Oaktree.

Autobell Car Wash to brighten lives through Make-AWish

The company’s efforts in a summer promotion raised $12,742 for the non-profit organization.

Over two weeks this summer, Autobell Car Wash donated $1 from every sale of the company’s Rain Repellent Special wash to Make-A-Wish Central and Western North Carolina, the company announced in a press release. Each year, through donor contributions, partnerships and volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants more than 15,000 wishes to children with critical illnesses.

These life-changing experiences renew hope, lift spirits and bolster strength for the kids and their families, while uniting neighbors, friends and entire communities in making dreams come true.

“By granting the fantastic wishes of children battling critical conditions, Make-A-Wish also relieves families’ traumatic stress and provides physical and emotional benefits that can give children better health outcomes and increase their chances for survival,” said Autobell President and COO Carl Howard. “It’s amazing that our small, simple acts as donors and partners can provide that spark of muchneeded hope and joy.”

Wash Tub offers free washes to educators, faculty and staff

The free wash offer for educators was valid at all 25 Wash Tub locations August 3-6, 2023.

The Wash Tub announced in a press release the company would like to show appreciation for local teachers, faculty and staff by offering them free “Gleam Wash” carwashes. The offer is valid at all 25 Wash Tub locations August 3-6, 2023.

Must show employee ID to redeem.

The Wash Tub’s “Gleam Wash” Car Wash includes a complete interior vacuum, soft cloth wash, towel dry, Gleam Wax, complete wipe down of dash and console, and all windows cleaned inside and out.

Retail value of $27.

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dumped into the truck bed or turn off blowers so they will not blow debris out of the bed onto other vehicles.


Stefan Budricks 1950 - 2023

Stefan Budricks, Editor of the Auto Laundry News magazine and friend of SCWA recently passed away. Please see the announcement below from the Auto Laundry News Staff.

With heavy hearts and great sadness, we announce the passing of our beloved editor Stefan Budricks. After a year-long valiant battle against aggressive liver cancer, Stefan passed peacefully with his long-time partner Joe Mininni at his side on July 16.

Stefan was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1950. He was a well-read South African army veteran with a law degree, but journalism was his calling.

Stefan worked at several newspapers, magazines, and trade publications in South Africa and the U.S. before taking the chief editor post at Auto Laundry News in 1996, a position he would serve faithfully until his passing.

He was pivotal in helping turn Auto Laundry News around in the mid-90s, restoring the struggling magazine to its former glory as a leader in the car wash industry.

“Stefan was hired shortly after we purchased Auto Laundry News,” says long-time publisher Andrew Williams. “In my 43 years with the company, he was the most professional, loyal, and dedicated editor I have worked with. He will be deeply missed both professionally and personally.”

As an editor, Stefan was unmatched. His matter-of-fact yet engaging prose was on display every month on this page, and

his calm, professional demeanor ensured that every issue was delivered on time and error-free.

“I reported to Stefan since I started here in 2007,” says managing editor Tim Denman. “He was the best boss I ever had. He was a teacher, mentor, and friend. Stefan was the kind of person that if you told him you needed a dollar, he would reach into his pocket and hand you two. I will miss him greatly.”

In addition to his writing and editing skills, Stefan won numerous awards for magazine design and was always willing to share his unique vision. “Stefan always listened and supported me whenever I needed it,” says art director Aleksandra Ilnicki. “I will miss his thoughtful suggestions and advice.”

Stefan was more than an editor. He was the voice of the car wash world, whose influence was felt throughout the industry. His professionalism and dedication to this magazine and the car care industry were unmatched.

“Stefan was an integral part of the Auto Laundry News family,” says associate publisher Joanne Gambert. “After working together, it was easy to see what an enthusiastic editor he was. He had a critical eye and was passionate about the magazine’s editorial integrity. I will always miss our chats. As an industry, I know we will all miss him. Stefan left a remarkable and memorable impact on our lives.” Rest in peace, Stefan, you will be missed

members stronger to into is broader we Here • • • proud car We members

SCWA is continuing to identify resources that will help members and the greater car wash community rebound stronger than ever. We believe there are opportunities to be found even in times like now. This effort will lead into the 2021 Convention & EXPO and beyond. SCWA is developing plans to expand many of these efforts in a broader and expanded role over the next several years.




Periodically SCWA members are featured in national publications. Recently SCWA member The Wash Tub’s employee was highlighted in Professional Carwashing & Detailing.

The SCWA website provides resources and links as we all continue to navigate this unprecedented time –

Here are just a few of the actions SCWA undertook:

30 and Under Rising Stars: Austin Mitchan

We are proud to recognize today's rising young star player, Austin Mitchan.

• Worked with Texas Governor Abbott to have car washing confirmed as “essential businesses” in Texas.

• Worked with SCWA members in many other states, such as: Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland and Ohio; by providing information as to the essential business nature of car washing.

Ihave always been a clean freak. Since proudly driving my first white Ford Mustang, my car was no exception. Despite a clean proclivity, I still recall my bewildered reaction when I first heard “car wash” regarding my burgeoning career as a college graduate turned agency publicist. I audibly scoffed. And I’m not alone. If you didn’t grow up in the industry or have exposure to the depth and breadth of career opportunities in the car wash space, you may have had the same reaction I did. Thirteen years later, suffice it to say, I think differently.

still on the search for entry-level employees to train and raise up into leadership positions.

Austin Mitchan works as a manager for The Wash Tub in San Antonio. According to his nominator, Area Director Mike Mireles, Mitchan is making an impact at a young age.

Thank you, Austin, for making our industry better.

Name: Austin Mitchan

Age: 24

Following a multi-pronged hiring protocol takes time but is an investment well worth it.

• Worked with many city and county officials to give car washes the option to open as essential businesses in local communities such as Dallas; Fort Worth; Greenville; Houston; Albuquerque.

According to President Jeff Blansit, “I have been very proud of the role SCWA has played in trying to keep the car wash community working as an “essential business”. We stand ready to continue our efforts on behalf of our members and the car wash community”.

As the car wash sector continues to gain private equity interest and significant financial investment, we are seeing an increasing awareness of the industry as a viable and lucrative career, attracting more top talent to the space. That said, on a local level, many operators are

I recently chatted with a colleague who owns and operates a car wash chain in the Chicagoland market, Driven Car Wash, where he talked about their shift in hiring practices to attract qualified candidates new to the industry while also fostering a growth mindset to encourage continued employee advancement opportunities. As they scale the brand, cultivating a promote-within program is paying off.

Title: Manager

Workplace: The Wash Tub, S.E. Military location, San Antonio


Here’s what Director of Talent and Training Leo Martinez at Driven Car Wash shared, “We learned about an internship program designed to expose high school

Impact: Austin Mitchan has been with The Wash Tub for almost two years and has greatly impacted the business in that short amount of time. Mitchan is from the San Antonio community and graduated from Highlands High School. Following high school, he was accepted to the Mays School of Business at Texas A&M University, where he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business.

Kirikian Industries is in the forefront of foam washing material technology. With first hand knowledge and expertise as car wash operators, we have developed the Neoglide Technology specifically for the needs and demands of the industry. We are committed to customer service because we know and understand that customer service is the most important aspect for a car wash operator. For more information, visit or call us at 609.586.8818

Made with Pride in the USA SINCE 1997

kids to different jobs to help them figure out what they may want to pursue vocationally. It’s sponsored by our local school district, and though unpaid, it offers college credits. For our expanding company, hiring is a constant need. We enrolled in the program, and a light bulb went off. We realized we needed to put more emphasis on educating our potential pool of employees as well as existing about the amazing career opportunities our company and the car wash space have to offer.”

Martinez went on talk about how the company continues to develop and evolve its comprehensive employee training and empowerment strategy.


An important part of the interview process is intentionally highlighting and setting the tone that the company values and seeks to provide continued career advancement opportunities for employees. Following a multi-pronged hiring protocol takes time but is an investment well worth it.

For Customer Service Attendants (CSA’s), the company uses a three-step interview process.

1. Phone screen by the Director of Talent and Training to share more about the role, the company culture, values, and standards and convey encouragement of internal growth. Inquire about the candidate’s career interests and long-term goals.

2. Connect with the Director of Operations to discuss aptitude for the technical skills and day-to-day requirements of the role.

3. In-person interview with the Site Level Manager for the final hiring decision. If approved, the Director of Talent and Training sends an offer letter to the candidate.


After getting promising new employees in the door, training begins. Luckily today, there are more easy-touse resources available to store, manage, and monitor the

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have income that arrives by check, explain where it comes from, when it should arrive and what to do if it doesn't arrive. Example: If you have a rental property, your tenants or property management company might send you paper checks each month.

have income that arrives by check, explain where it comes from, when it should arrive and what to do if it doesn't arrive. Example: If you have a rental property, your tenants or property management company might send you paper checks each month.

progress of training materials. For example, Driven Car Wash uses an online platform to house training materials, including educational videos, quizzes, company guidelines, and policies as well operational checklists, incident reports, schedules, et cetera. Establishing standard operating procedures, clearly outlining the information, and making it accessible helps employees understand what is expected of them and provide the necessary tools for success. Supervisors can set up alerts regarding task execution and productivity.

Recurring payments— including mortgage/rent, utilities, taxes (estimated income taxes and property taxes), insurance premiums… payments made to personal or household assistance providers… and other bills that recur on a regular basis. Search your checking account and credit card transactions histories to make sure you haven't missed any of these. For each listing, provide your account number, password/PIN and the company's contact phone number or website as well as a brief description of when and how it is paid. Indicate where you wire a check or have set up automatic payments from an account.

Recurring payments— including mortgage/rent, utilities, taxes (estimated income taxes and property taxes), insurance premiums… payments made to personal or household assistance providers… and other bills that recur on a regular basis. Search your checking account and credit card transactions histories to make sure you haven't missed any of these. For each listing, provide your account number, password/PIN and the company's contact phone number or website as well as a brief description of when and how it is paid. Indicate where you wire a check or have set up automatic payments from an account.

But training isn’t static. It is an ongoing process. Encouraging and rewarding continued curiosity, lifelong learning, and a practice-makes-perfect approach can help raise the bar across the organization, with high standards for staff performance being the company standard. Several site managers at Driven were initially hired as a CSA or supervisors and worked up.

Helpful: Man insurers allow you to name a third party, such as a friend or family member, to be notified if the policy is behind in payments.

Helpful: Man insurers allow you to name a third party, such as a friend or family member, to be notified if the policy is behind in payments.

Estate Development where they shadow a senior staff member once a week and are invited to sit in on weekly leadership meetings to gain exposure and valuable experience to the inner workings of other areas of the business. Additionally, the team is looking to bring on a summer engineering intern to work on “the perfect blower configuration” as a project.

Bank, investment and credit card accounts. Include each institutions's name and contact phone number, account number and passwords/PINs.

Bank, investment and credit card accounts. Include each institutions's name and contact phone number, account number and passwords/PINs.

As the boots on the ground, Driven asks for suggestions and tips for marketing, sales, operations, you name it, from staff. To encourage honest feedback and provide teams with additional growth and support measures, they also offer an anonymous employee satisfaction form to better understand how the leadership team is doing from the employee’s point of view.

Financial professionals you work with. This could include a tax preparer, estate attorney, financial planner, investment adviser and/or trust officer. Provide phone numbers and e-mail addresses. These pros might be able to help the agent answer questions about your finances— though likely only questions related to their specialties. addition to keeping this list with your plan, give it to loves ones so if all else fails, these people can piece together your financial activity.

Financial professionals you work with. This could include a tax preparer, estate attorney, financial planner, investment adviser and/or trust officer. Provide phone numbers and e-mail addresses. These pros might be able to help the agent answer questions about your finances— though likely only questions related to their specialties. In addition to keeping this list with your plan, give it to loves ones so if all else fails, these people can piece together your financial activity.


Any payments made annually or semiannually deserve special attention—the less often a recurring bill is paid, the greater the odds that your financial agent will overlook it when reviewing your finances. The is common with longterm-care insurance, home/auto insurance and property taxes. Highlight the dates these are due, and add a warning that this date is important. Example: A woman was in a rehab facility when her long-term-care policy's bill arrived. The deadline passed before she or her loved ones realized anything was amiss. The insurer fused to reinstate the policy.

Any payments made annually or semiannually deserve special attention—the less often a recurring bill is paid, the greater the odds that your financial agent will overlook it when reviewing your finances. The is common with longterm-care insurance, home/auto insurance and property taxes. Highlight the dates these are due, and add a warning that this date is important. Example: A woman was in a rehab facility when her long-term-care policy's bill arrived. The deadline passed before she or her loved ones realized anything was amiss. The insurer fused to reinstate the policy.

Like many car washes, Driven experiences its share of seasonal workers, often a result of school resuming after the summer months. Drawing on inspiration from that high school internship program, Driven developed its own Internal Rotation Program designed to showcase the larger career opportunities within its company that staff may have never considered as long-term career possibilities. Staff members can apply for or be nominated to a six-month-long development program in Sales and Marketing, Accounting and Finance, or Real

Your personal information. Provide your full name, mailing address, email address and phone number(s), date of birth, Social Security number and mother's maiden name. If you were widowed within the past five years, include your late spouse's personal info, too. Photocopy your driver's license and health insurance/Medicare card and attach these to your financial guide.

Your personal information. Provide your full name, mailing address, email address and phone number(s), date of birth, Social Security number and mother's maiden name. If you were widowed within the past five years, include your late spouse's personal info, too. Photocopy your driver's license and health insurance/Medicare card and attach these to your financial guide.



Feeling seen, valued, and productive at work can make a huge impact on the company culture buy-in, desire to pursue advancement within the organization, and the relationship employees have with their workplace. A leadership team that practices curiosity and authentically models respectful communication in efforts to continually improve builds trust and strengthens the relationship an employee feels with their company and, thus, their likelihood to stay. And in my opinion, that is the most important part and how we will continue to attract new talent to the space and build up future leaders from within.

Confirm that your financial guide is understood and properly stored. When you hand your guide to your financial agent, ask him to read it in your presence

Confirm that your financial guide is understood and properly stored. When you hand your guide to your financial agent, ask him to read it in your presence so

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operators can appreciate the simplicity and convenience of credit card payments. While some operators may object to transaction fees or monthly maintenance charges by banks or processors, these fees are outweighed by the increased revenue. Adding a credit card system to a bay will more than pay for the investment in the short term.

Customers will spend more time washing their vehicles after this upgrade, as most credit card systems utilize a “count up” versus a “count down” charging method. Walter states that with standard cash payment equipment, the self-serve bay timer will start counting down once the minimum payment is met. Typically, there is a “last minute” alert horn that goes off as time is running down.

ommercial Insurance is one of the most important bottom lines on a businessowner’s P&L and Balance Sheet, but let’s be honest – it can also be one of the most stressful. More often we’re hearing of renewals being delivered at the last-minute (and in some cases the day of renewal) only to be slapped with a 30% rate increase and told “no other available options” - leading to an undesirable last-minute decision to renew at the higher rates. I spoke on this at my SCWA Rapid Roundtable this past February but thought the state of the insurance markets would be a great topic for this quarterly magazine. Regardless of your industry –we’re all feeling the heartburn of insurance.

The Macro Perspective of Commercial Insurance

With a credit card payment, the system starts counting up once the transaction has been authorized. Once the wash is completed, the customer is instructed to push a stop button to end the transaction and determine the final charge. “This method keeps the customer from rushing to finish,” Walter says. “There is no ‘alert’ horn to instinctively hurry them up. Some operators have seen average wash tickets increase by 50% versus using cash.”

There are numerous issues affecting the overall landscape of the insurance markets, with losses being the primary driving factor. The last couple years have been detrimental – from the “once in a lifetime” massive freeze in Texas in 2021, wildfires in Colorado, tornados across the Midwest, torrential rain / flooding in California early 2023, and most

McCarty notes that years ago self-serve carwashes were called “quarter carwashes” simply because that was the only payment option available. At first, self-serve sites would have a bill changer, and eventually many operators began adding tokens. These token dispensers could process credit cards, so it provided an economical way to accept credit card payments at a self-serve carwash.

Eventually, bill acceptors were added to the meter bay door and then credit card readers. Since some of the first credit card readers were “a little pricey,” some operators would opt for only one or two bays to accept credit cards, McCarty explains. Operators would monitor the performance and hold down associated costs. With new, affordable credit card acceptance systems, operators can economically add credit card acceptance to their self-serve bays, vending machines, vacuums, etc.


The most popular add-on service equipment for selfserve locations is tire shiners and air dryers, according to McCarty. Tire shiner equipment can be added in a bay or on a vacuum station. One reason tire shine is a popular add-on service is because the results are immediately visible. There is nothing like rubbing the pad on the tires and seeing that rich, dark finish; it truly accents a clean vehicle. Air dryers in the bay are increasing in popularity because they finally give self-serve customers the opportunity to air dry a vehicle. Dryers have proven hugely popular in areas with a lot of motorcycles.

recently the devastation in Hawaii. All insurance carriers –even the ones with their largest footprint in the car wash space – insure all kinds of different businesses in various states. When a carrier faces extreme loss-pressure they take on higher rates, and those increases are spread across their entire pool of risk. In some cases, an insurance carrier may decide to get off certain risks or pull out of a state completely to keep their actuarial model in line with their market capacity and reinsurance (i.e. the insurance for insurance companies so they do not become insolvent).

The Micro Perspective of Commercial Insurance

In addition to the external factors impacting the insurance

With the advancement in credit card technology, gift cards and loyalty programs are new options available for bay washes, Walter says. The credit card systems that utilize loyalty or gift card options offer customers payment flexibility. They can use these loyalty or gift cards in many different ways and on multiple pieces of equipment at the

Washworld of Central Texas Your Source For All Things Car Wash

Washworld of Central Texas is the only stop you need to make for Washworld equipment. As a Stocking Parts Distributor, we carry a large inventory of parts for Washworld systems as well as the PDQ Laser 4000. For Washworld equipment sales & service, chemicals and National Pride self service, Call Wes Frank at 830.624.4277

® ® Washworld’s Profile, is a soft touch system with standard features such as Washview® HMI On-Site , VS2® Vehicle Sizing System and Flex Pass® Dual Application System The wall mounted system eliminates the gantry for an open bay while Washworld’s exclusive Digital Surface Profile (DSP) utilizes 3D imaging to insure optimal cleaning. Washworld’s best selling Razor® has earned the reputation of a proven system for its quality, dependability and longevity. Stainless steel throughout, Razor is built to last.
Razor combines all of the great features for which Washworld is known. Profile and Razor were both designed with emphasis on durability, simplicity of use and reduced maintenance.

markets, a lot of cost / coverage determinations come from the specific risks of your business. Geographic location, of course, but also property specs (building age, construction type), revenues and payrolls (revenues are what the liability rates are based on, payrolls for workers compensation and other coverages), safety programs, and then obviously loss history – looking at severity, frequency, and type of loss. Insurance carriers look at 3–5-year loss history for established businesses. A car wash that is historically loss free but has one major “shock loss” (ex: pipe burst / water damage from a freeze) will be reviewed differently than a car wash that has multiple garagekeepers claims (ex: damage to a customer’s vehicle) within a short amount of time. It’s important to consult with your broker prior to filing a claim in every situation to determine if that’s the best action plan. Many liability and garagekeepers claims have a deductible to meet, and small claims underneath that deductible – which would be closed as a “zero paid” claim – do factor into frequency. Should I shop my insurance every year?

Naturally you want to ensure you get the best rate but shopping your insurance program every year is usually not the solution. Like many industries the insurance markets are overworked and exhausted and will only put their best foot forward on a submission that 1) they do not see frequently 2) has favorable loss history and 3) is a viable opportunity. If an insurance market has seen your submission several years in a row – especially from multiple brokers – they can decline simply because they don’t feel there’s an opportunity to actually earn the business. In a lot of cases if you’ve been with the same insurance carrier for 5+ years you could be grandfathered into an older program with more level rates compared to newcomers.

At the end of the day, it’s vital to work with a trusted insurance broker for advice and transparency. If you don’t already make a point to schedule midyear reviews with your broker to get an overview of the current marketplace and expectations for renewal time. Depending on the state of the marketplace, and how your losses or trending, you can make a strategic gameplan when the best times are to remarket your insurance program.

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Wiggy Wash

Orem, UT

Boasting dual, 205’, high-speed conveyors, fed by 6 pay station lanes with 40 vacuum stalls spread over 2.5 acres, this location can wash over 3,500 cars a day. As you approach the wash you will notice the “Big Blue Wall” and steel structure that give the building its unique and impactful appearance. In an industry that is becoming ever more consolidated and standardized we are proud to have a location that breaks the mold and stands out from the rest.

Aside from washing high volume, this store also hosts our annual Haunted Tunnel during the month of October, where team members from surrounding locations get to participate over multiple nights to help raise money for a good cause and provide a unique experience for our guests.

The Wiggy Wash team is excited to be a stop on this year’s tour and will be happy to answer questions about the wash. Thank You! Express car wash services across 25 states at over 280 locations.

Mister Car Wash

West Jordan, UT

Mister Car Wash® in West Jordan is a 130-foot single tunnel express. There are 2 members lanes and 1 retail lane. The location offers free vacuum stalls. This was the 16th site for Mister Car Wash in Utah, built in August 2021.

Mister Car Wash is the largest car wash operator in North America, operating 454 locations nationwide and washing more than 75 million cars annually. We use the latest technology to provide the best car wash experience and our tunnels provide a theater-like show that highlights each of our industry leading services. Our systems are designed to be environmentally friendly with water conservation in mind. Our people are what make us successful and allow us to achieve these high standards.


Tagg-N-Go Car Wash

Eagle Mountain, UT

Tagg-N-Go Car Wash #12 location is located in Eagle Mountain on Ranches Parkway. This store opened in October of 2022, and was the second tunnel car wash in this growing town.

Their expansion into Northern Utah in 2022 directly aligns with their goal to “inspire opportunity and create unity” between employees and the communities they serve.

Tagg-N-Go is very involved in community events at all their locations, this one specifically they have already been involved in its first year in the big local professional rodeo, multiple parades, school events, city movie nights, and public speaking opportunities with the public schools and chamber of commerce.

Our Eagle Mountain location is a 150-foot tunnel with Motor City Wash Equipment and controls, Washify pay stations, and Vacutech vacuums. As Ranches Parkway continues to grow as part of the master planned commercial in this part of the community, with a Neighborhood Wal-Mart just approved across the highway with over a 210,000 square foot building, Tagg-N-Go is positioned to handle the capacity that the increased traffic will bring.

Rocket Express Car Wash

South Jordan, UT

Rocket Express Car Wash ( is an industry leading express tunnel car wash serving customers in Idaho and Utah with five (5) mega car wash locations. Rocket Express uses a proprietary tunnel wash system with the industry’s longest most durable conveyors to reveal a sparkling clean, shiny, dry vehicle in under 4 minutes. The signature wave goodbye from the Rocket team, exclusive Unlimited Wash Club member-only lanes and a focused approach to excellence has earned the brand and its locations awards across both states.

Rocket Express tunnel features in South Jordan include:

• 250-foot express tunnelone of the longest tunnels in the area!

• 33 vacuum stalls

• 5 mat washers

• 4 pay lanes and dedicated member-only lane

• DRB POS pay stations

The Rocket company culture is focused on its people, its customers, and the environment. Rocket’s goal is to lead with integrity, prioritize its team and its customers, and respect the environment through use of recycled water, solar energy and only the safest cleaning products. Rocket Express is part of the ZIPS Car Wash family of express car wash brands. ZIPS Car Wash offers express car wash services across 25 states at over 280 locations.


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ugust business immigration updates from Monty & Ramirez, LLP.

Temporary Increase of Automatic Employment Authorization Extension Period Ends in October

In May 2022, USCIS temporarily increased the automatic extension period applicable to expiring EADS from 180 days to up to 540 days. This automatic extension increase will expire on October 26, 2023. Any I-765 filed after this date, will only be eligible for an automatic extension of up to 180 days.

USCIS Conducted a Second Random Selection from Previously Submitted FY2024 H-1B Cap Registrations

On July 27, USCIS announced that it will need to select additional registrations from previously submitted H-1B registrations to reach the FY2024 cap. They completed the second selection on July 31, 2023. USCIS conducted its first random selection in March for the FY2024 H-1B Cap. USCIS announced that they selected 77,600 registrations in the second selection and have notified all prospective petitioners. The FY2024 H-1B registration selection is now at 188,400 selected petitions.

The American Immigration Council and Partners File Complaint Challenging Florida’s Anti-Immigration Law

The lawsuit focuses on Florida’s SB 1718. This bill amends penalties for an employer’s noncompliance to register and use the E-Verify system, including imposing a daily fine of $1,000 and allowing for the suspension of employer licenses. It also creates penalties for employers who employ immigrants who are unauthorized for work, including quarterly reporting and suspension or revocation of employer licenses. The Council filed the complaint on behalf of the Farmworker Association of Florida. The complaint states that it is unconstitutional for a state to unilaterally regulate federal immigration and that the law will subject people and businesses to punishment without fair notice.

USCIS is Publishing a Revised Form I-9

On August 1, USCIS published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Verification. The updates in the Revised Form I-9 include:

• Reducing Section 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet

• Easier access on tablets and mobile devices

• Moving the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees when necessary

• Moving Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required

• Revising the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation

• Reducing Form instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages

• A checkbox for employers using the E-Verify option to remotely examine their employee’s identity and employment authorization documents

Employers may only use the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) through October 31. Starting November 1, 2023, all employers must use the new Form I-9.

USCIS is Allowing Employers to Remotely Examine Employee Documents

USCIS is now allowing employers to examine employee’s identity and employment authorization documents remotely instead of in-person through the E-Verify program. To participate, an employer must be in good standing, examine and retain copies of all documents, conduct a live video interaction with the employee, and create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire. An employer is in good standing once they enroll in the E-Verify program and comply with all requirements of the program. Employers can enroll in the E-Verify program at

Department of Labor’s New Adverse Effect Wage Rate Facing a Lawsuit and Challenges

On February 28, the Department of Labor published a final rule establishing a new methodology for determining hourly Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR) for temporary labor certification in the H-2A program. This new methodology has caused some states to experience increases in AEWRs by more than 10%. Many critics of this new methodology argue that the DOL ignored input from the agricultural community and that instead of increasing consistency, the new methodology only harms small farmers disproportionately.

In light of this criticism, the DOL is facing a lawsuit and 2 congressional challenges. On April 21, the National Council of Agricultural Employers filed a lawsuit and motion for a preliminary injunction against the DOL for their new AEWR regulation. The judge has not granted an injunction, but the lawsuit has not been dismissed. On March 16, Senator Ossoff of Georgia and Senator Tillis of North Carolina introduced the “Farm Operations Support


Elite 460

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• Energy ROI savings is one year which is the cost of the Elite 460

• Energy comparison of two 30 HP motors vs. ten 15 HP motors

• The average cost per kilowatt in the USA is $0.11/kWh, for $32,000 annual savings

• The installation of two 30 HP motors vs. ten 15 HP is a onetime saving of $56,000 (Based on cost of $7,000 per motor)

• First year saving is $88,000 and $32,000 each year therea er

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Convert to (2) 30 HP motors = $32,000 savings

Elimination of (8) 15 HP motors installations at $7000/ea. = $56,000 savings

Total first year savings $88,000 | Savings every year a er that $32,000

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hr/wk X 52 wk/yr = 4,368 hr/yr CONSUMPTION COST 112 kWh X 4,368 hr/yr = 489,216 kWh/yr 489,216 kWh/yr X $0.11/hr = $53,766/yr
kWh/HP =
kWh UP TIME 12 hr/day X 7 day/wk = 84 hr/wk 84 hr/wk
wk/yr = 4,368 hr/yr CONSUMPTION COST 45 kWh X 4,368 hr/yr = 196,560 kWh/yr 196,560 kWh/yr
X 0.746
X 52

can attest to the exponential increase of technology inside facilities since the dawn of professional carwashing. From automated pay stations to modern wash media to effective drying systems, the pace of technical advancement has been astounding.

Act” that would change the AEWR methodology to what it was before the DOL’s new regulation. On April 25, 2023, Representative Ralph Norman introduced a resolution of disapproval opposing the DOLs AEWR regulation. The resolution currently has the support of 69 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 26 co-sponsors in the Senate and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The lawsuit and the challenges are still ongoing, and we will provide updates as they occur.

New Fields of Study Eligible for STEM Designated Degrees

washes depend on functional speed and accuracy, and these important factors are generated by the best integrated controller and management systems.

This continued development has created across-theboard change in the car care industry. Speed is king, and wash cycle speeds have surged as daily vehicle counts have climbed. But, this process of acceleration also ushered in the expectation of new services and improved wash results. Now, both tight timing and effective operation have become important for every wash cycle performed.

USCIS is Updating the Receipt Process for Form I-129S

On August 3, 2023, USCIS announced that when filing Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, together with Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the petitioner will receive a separate approval notice for the Form I-129S, which serves as the endorsement. In the past, petitioners would receive a stamped and signed Form I-129S in conjunction with the Form I-129 approval.

To maintain pace in this hyper-competitive market, every owner must stay current on the capabilities of today’s carwash control systems. Often called the “brain” of the modern carwash, these carwash controllers connect the different phases of automated operation. Wash equipment, business systems, HR functions and more communicate and share information. Only by learning about this technology and implementing industry best practices can a carwash owner hope to ensure dependable and profitable operation.

The Form I-129s approval notice will serve as evidence that a USCIS officer has determined the beneficiary is eligible for L-1 status based on an approved blanket L petition and constitutes an endorsement of Form I-129S. A copy of that notice will also be provided to the beneficiary to be included in their visa and/or admission paper.


This change is meant to provide petitioners with quicker, more organized, and more secure processing of Form I-129S, by eliminating the need for USCIS to print, stamp, sign, and annotate the paper form.

Brian Bath with Innovative Control Systems notes that the newest carwash controllers allow vehicles to be processed faster than ever before. High-volume express

On July 12, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an update to their STEM Designated fields of study from the list. DHS is updating this list and will continue to update this list by accepting and considering additions or deletions from interested parties, including members of the public. These interested parties can nominate fields of study for potential inclusion on or removal from the STEM list. The different fields of study are defined by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) with a specific Classification of Instruction Program (CIP) code. DHS received 285 nominations and decided to add 8 fields of study to the STEM list. Including:

The list of ways a controller keeps a carwash moving is impressive. Model controllers across the industry have very efficient abilities that allow bumper-to-bumper washing while providing precise results. Bath points out that new controllers do this by allowing different types of automation, like raising the roller, to maintain a regular flow of vehicles.

Today, car-per-hour conveyor speeds currently vary in the industry — speeds of 150 cars per hour up to even 220 cars per hour are common across the express world, Bath reveals. The large tunnel properties where operators have 20-plus vacuum spaces have really pushed up speeds and profits across the board.

• Landscape Architecture – CIP Code 04.0601

• Institutional Research – CIP Code 13.0608

• Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering Technology/Technician – CIP Code 15.0407

• Composite Materials Technology/Technician – CIP Code 15.0617

• Linguistics and Computer Science – CIP Code 30.4801

• Developmental and Adolescent Psychology – CIP Code 42.2710

Overall, carwash tunnel controllers help operators dial in their profits and provide a clean, dry and shiny vehicle, according to Todd Davy, senior vice president of sales for DRB Systems. Other advances that modern technology allows are integration of a controller and a point-of-sale (POS) system. To this end, the controller communicates with the POS system to make sure every customer receives the wash services for which he or she paid.

• Geospatial Intelligence – CIP Code 43.0407

• Demography and Population Studies – 45.0501

Time-wasting and costly rewashes can become a problem if a vehicle receives the wrong services. Modern controllers work with other systems to address this issue.

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■ Fragramatics 1600 hr Turbo Motor

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■ 1-1/2” dia. vac hose – high-flex, vinyl, crushable, 15 ft. long. Includes cuff and polyethylene hand tool

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■ Mounting - One internal and two external lugs with security collars. Uses 3/8” bolts for secure installation.

■ Tank Dimensions - 18.5”dia. x 42”h

■ Unit Weight - Net 145 lbs. Ship weight 185 lbs.

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Visa Bulletin Update – September 2023

For all employment-based preference categories, you must use the Final Action chart in the Department of State Visa Bulletin for September 2023.


Employment-based All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINAmainland born 1st 01AUG23 01FEB22 2nd 01JUL22 08JUL19 3rd 01MAY20 01SEP19 Other Workers 01MAY20 01SEP15 4th 01SEP18 01SEP18 Certain Religious Workers 01SEP18 01SEP18 5th Unreserved (including C5, T5, I5, R5) C 08SEP15 5th Set Aside: Rural (20%) C C 5th Set Aside: High Unemployment (10%) C C 5th Set Aside: Infrastructure (2%_) C C Employment-based INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 1st 01JAN12 01AUG23 01AUG23 2nd 01JAN11 01JUL22 01JUL22 3rd 01JAN09 01MAY20 01MAY20 Other Workers 01JAN09 01MAY20 01MAY20 4th 01SEP18 01SEP18 01SEP18 Certain Religious Workers 01APR17 01SEP18 01SEP18 5th Unreserved (including C5, T5, I5, R5) C C C 5th Set Aside: Rural (20%) C C C 5th Set Aside: High Unemployment (10%) C C C 5th Set Aside: Infrastructure (2%_) C C C
& Ramirez LLP - Jacob M. Monty, Nallely I. Rodrguez, Monty & Ramirez LLP
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Formed by the combination of three legendary brands, OPW Vehicle Wash Solutions is inspired by the power of partnerships. From our sister brands and valued associates to our revered distributors, car wash owners and industry partners, we are committed to working together to create signi cant revenue expansion for our customers and unforgettable end user experiences. We’re deeply proud of our industry and energized by what’s to come.



ompare the real costs before you buy your next car. Are electric vehicles (EVs) an economical choice? They certainly offer one way to avoid the pain at the pump. And total EV costs are trending downward thanks to EV batteries that are being made more efficiently, in greater numbers and in some cases with less expensive materials. But the financial picture becomes muddy when you add up all the costs of vehicle ownership. Much depends on which EV is selected and how it’s driven. The cost of owning a new vehicle driven 15,000 miles or more annually - EV or gas-powered exceeds $10,000 per year, according to AAA. So owning a new car can have a big effect on your household budget for years. Here are the financial pros and cons of EVs versus internal-combustion engine vehicles...

Purchase Price. Tesla recently slashed prices on certain models, but EVs still tend to have substantially higher purchase prices than comparable gas- powered vehicles. You may have heard that EV sticker prices average around $10,000 more than those of gas- powered vehicles, but that somewhat understates the price gap. For a more realistic gauge of the EV price premium, consider the sticker prices of vehicles that are offered in both EV and internalcombustion versions. Examples: The Hyundai Kona starts at $22,140, while the electric version of the Kona starts at $33,500. The Ford F-150 pickup starts around $33,500, while the EV version-the F-150 Lightning-starts at around $58,000. Conclusion: There is a price gap north of $11,000 for a small economy-minded vehicle...and that can climb to more than $20,000 in pricier vehicle segments.

Advantage: Internal combustion.

EV tax credits. An EV federal tax credit of up to $7,500 has historically helped keep the purchase prices of EVs relatively close to those of comparable internal-combustion vehicles - but new rules make the credits difficult to obtain.

To qualify for the credit: The EV must have an MSRP at or below $55,000, or $80,000 for an SUV or truck...and be assembled in North America. The buyer’s modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) must not exceed $300,000 if he/she files a joint tax return or as a surviving spouse...or $225,000 if he files as head of household...or $150,000 if he files as an individual.

Also: The EV battery plays a major role in determining how much of a tax credit you can get. First, if 40% of the minerals contained in the battery were sourced from or processed in North America or a country with a free-trade agreement with the US, then it is eligible for a credit of $3,750. Secondly, if at least 50% of the battery is manufactured or assembled in North America, it is also eligible for a credit of $3,750. For both credits, the requirements for minimum percentage of minerals and percentage of assembly/ manufacture will increase annually.

Automakers inevitably will shift EV assembly and battery construction to the US to comply with these new rules, but that won’t happen overnight. That means many EVs don’t currently qualify. The safest way to confirm that an EV qualifies for tax credits is to enter its vehicle identification number (VIN) into the US Department of Energy tool set up for this purpose gov/laws/electric-vehiclesfor-tax-credit. Advantage: EVs, but only certain ones. Electricity and gas. It usually costs significantly less to charge up an EV than it does to gas up a vehicle with an internal-combustion engine. The size of this per-mile EV savings is difficult to calculate because it varies dramatically based on the current prices of gas and electricity...the efficiency of the vehicles...and how aggressively those vehicles are driven. Rule of thumb: Per-mile costs tend to be two to three times higher with gas, and that can add up to annual savings somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500 per year for the typical EV at current gas prices.

But: EV owners who frequently use public chargers and/or who live in states that have high electricity costs typically save much less. EV per-mile savings usually are calculated based on average US electricity rates of around 15 cents per kilowatt hour - but electricity rates have recently been above 20 cents per kilowatt hour in Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York and across New England, though lower rates might be available if charging is done during off-peak overnight hours.

What’s more: Charging at public charging stations can be virtually as expensive per-mile as filling a gas tank, even in states where electricity is less pricey. Most EV owners

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do the vast majority of their charging at home, but this is a consideration for anyone who anticipates frequent public charger use.

Also: EV buyers who plan to charge their cars at home should remember to factor in the onetime cost of having a charging system installed in the garage. That can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars up to $2,000 or more.

Advantage: EVs...but the size of this win varies more than EV buyers realize.

Financing. Because EVs tend to have significantly higher sticker prices than comparable internal-combustion engine vehicles, most buyers must finance a larger portion of the purchase. That can be costly at today’s steep interest rates-- as of early 2023, the typical new-car auto loan had an interest rate of around 6.5%, and many car buyers now have monthly payments above $1,000.

Advantage: Internal combustion.

Depreciation. EVs lose value faster than internalcombustion vehicles for several reasons-used-car shoppers typically are looking for a deal rather than to make a statement or keep up with the latest EV tech...the technology has been changing so quickly that used EVs can have outdated features or poor range compared with new EVs that can be leased...until this year, there had been no incentives for used EVs...and buyers may be concerned about how long an EV battery lasts.

According to a study by iSeeCars, the average new vehicle lost about 33% of value over its first five years on the road... the average EV lost 44%. That extra 11 percentage points of deprecia- tion can represent a significant chunk of money when it comes time to sell.

The EV depreciation gap may narrow in the years ahead. One reason why it exists is that EV tax credits have historically been available for only new EVs, pushing buyers away from used ones. Starting this year, credits of up to $4,000 are available on used EVs.

But: Those credits are only for used EVs priced below $25,000 and purchased through “licensed dealers,” so many won’t qualify.

Advantage: Internal combustion.

Maintenance and repairs. EVs require less maintenance than conventional vehicles because they have fewer moving parts, there are no oil changes or spark plug changes, for example. Fewer moving parts also tends to mean fewer repairs over the life of an EV. One study by Consumer Reports estimated lifetime repair and maintenance costs for an EV at $4,600, half the $9,200 for a vehicle with an internal-combustion engine. One reason to have confidence that repair costs will indeed be lower with an EV: Federal regulations require that automaker warranties cover EV batteries for at least eight years/100,000 miles, and some states and automakers extend that further. Warranties on conventional vehicles’ powertrains expire after five years/60,000 miles. These battery warranties are a big deal a replacement battery can cost from $5,000 to more than $20,000, so the cost of replacing an EV’s battery is the

biggest maintenance risk.

Advantage: EVs.

Insurance. EVs generally cost more to insure than comparable gas-powered vehicles. Repair bills tend to be higher when EVs are in accidents due to pricier replacement parts. When an EV’s battery pack is damaged in an accident, the replacement cost often is so steep that insurers must declare the vehicle totaled. That means insurers charge more for coverage. According to one estimate by Forbes, EV owners pay an average of $100 extra per year for comparable coverage.

Advantage: Internal combustion.

Taxes and fees. Many states impose an annual EV tax or fee to make up for the gas taxes that EV owners don’t pay. This charge is typically lumped in with other annual vehicle registration fees, but it can be anywhere from $50 to $200 per year. States imposing these taxes include California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. More states could impose them in the years ahead.

Advantage: Internal combustion. It’s tempting to call this an EV advantage after all, all owners of gas-powered vehicles pay gas taxes each time they fill their tank, while EV owners pay taxes only in certain states. But since those taxes are built into the electric-versus-gas per-mile costs, internal combustion gets the win.


Jeremy Bowen JAB Media Meeker OK

Chris Guillotte Coco’s Car Wash Humble TX

Todd Hittenmiller Clive IA

Mike Maknojia Ten Fold Properties Houston TX

Jeffrey Reichard Proto-Vest, Inc. Glendale AZ

Cade Twitty Workstream Lehi UT

Justin Brossman GO Car Wash Greenwood Village CO

Dave Haupt Red Rock Tax & Consulting Hurricane UT

Jessica Lodispoto Car Wash King Hallandale Beach FL

Corey Peters Affordable Environmental Serv. Houston TX

Harshal Saralya Shree Sava Management Highland Village TX

Travis White Supreme West Richmond UT

- Ronald Montoya, Edmunds The SCWA members listed below have joined SCWA since our last issue. We Appreciate Your Support!

wash site. If designed properly, operators can put the gift card swipes in the bays, on vacuums, vending machines, air machines, mat cleaners and other compatible equipment. This gives customers the flexibility to use any piece of equipment on the property with a single card.

“If a customer has to choose between a site with swipes only in the bay versus a site with them on all pieces of equipment, I think we all know where they are going,” Walter says. “Keep in mind, customers choose a wash for many reasons, but two of the top reasons are speed and convenience. Both of these are achieved with the abovementioned flexible payment options.”


To push profitability on a self-serve site, Walter suggests that operators find ways to keep customers happy and in the bay longer. Self-serve owners should remember that they are in the business of selling time.

Walter shares some questions operators should consider:

• Are the bays clean and well-lit?

• Does the gun or wand leak all over the customer?

• Do you have good pressure, soap, wax and presoak in the bay?

• How do the chemicals smell and look on the vehicle?

• As an operator, how would you rate the experience in the bay?

• Does the wash have doors on the bay, and are they closed on cold days?

Once a customer is relatively comfortable in the bay, other additional profit opportunities can be evaluated, Walter notes. Outside of the basic meter box functions, offering carnauba-based waxes, air dryers or ceramicinfused products can help keep customers in the bay longer. As previously mentioned, offering multiple forms of payment can increase revenue and maximize profitability.

McCarty explains that there are several ways for operators to push a site’s profitability. Wash appearance is the first consideration, and operators should:

• Make sure carwash bays are clean

• Make sure trash cans are emptied

• Make sure no weeds are growing around or in the wash.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make sure the carwash facility is nice, clean and inviting,” McCarty says.

Inside the bay, operators should make certain that the functions are working as they should and that the equipment is delivering plenty of chemical for each, McCarty recommends. This ensures a wash is giving customers their money’s worth. Next, ask the chemical provider for products with vibrant colors and great smells. Customers will spend more time in the bay spraying on chemical products that look like they are “painting the

15 Michael Ford 1-800-400-0365 Todd Aldridge 1-866-575-5885 commercial credit Bill Baker 1-888-4280995 • Equipment Loans & Leasing • New Construction Loans • Acquisition Finance • SBA Loans • Land, Building & Equipment Finance • Remodel Loans • Refinance Debt • Working Capital Loans For More Information, Contact: Car Wash Finance Specialists

Treasurer: Don Witt Dallas, TX

Lanese Barnett Dallas, TX

David Begin Colorado Springs, CO

Drew Congleton

Vendor Vice President: Robert Andre Tamarac, FL




Vice President: Jeff Blansit Austin, TX

Past President: Ryan Darby

Tucson, AZ

Chad West Dallas, TX

43 w ith one another. But this problem is not the real problem. tem, then technology becomes a true and valuable tool, and not a dis traction. Visit Us at or Call 800-966-WETT (9388) Site Evaluation Demographic Reports Carwash Market Evaluations Design & Development Modular Building Systems Construction Assistance Site-Plan Design Complete Equipment Installation Financing Preferred Lending Sources Equipment Leasing Programs Marketing Signage Programs Promotional Ideas Advertising Assistance Training On-Site Training Training Seminars Equipment/Parts/Supplies PDQ® FLEXFIVE®, LASERWASH® & SURFLINE® (Touchless & Soft-Touch In-Bay Automatics) MACNEIL® Tunnel Equipment LUSTRA® Vehicle Wash Solutions CAROLINA PRIDE® Self-Service Equipment ISTOBAL® Bus, Truck, & Car Washes Fort Worth/Dallas (972)820-5688 Harlingen (956) 423-9949 Austin (512)389-2822 Corpus Christi (361)289-2715 Houston (281)657-0575 Laredo (210)404-9456 Midland (432)367-9388 San Angelo (325)658-5700 San Antonio (210)404-9456 Temple (254)228-5076 Beaumont (409) 223-1520
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE President: Mel Ulrich Weatherford, TX President-Elect: Frank Nuchereno
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Yamin, Jr.
Berthound, CO Ted
Montgomery, TX Derrick Merchant Lubbock, TX
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Executive Director:
is the official publication of the Southwest Car Wash Association. It is published four times each calendar year by SCWA, 4600 Spicewood Springs Rd., #103, Austin, Texas 78759. The officers, directors and members of the Southwest Car Wash Association, as well as The Advantage editors, in accepting advertising for this publication, make no independent investigation concerning the services or products advertised and neither endorse nor recommend or make any claims as to the accuracy and therefore assume no liability thereof. The opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily the opinions of
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