How to Find a Top-Quality Car Wash Near Me

Finding the “best car wash near me” depends on what kind of car and how much time you have.  There are several options for you when you need to clear your vehicle.  You can visit a self-service location, an automated car wash, or a business that washes it by hand.  If you have the time and space, you could even wash it yourself. For a lot of us this isn’t an option, so we must pay for clean wheels.  However, you can get a tidy car from a car wash that will suit your needs and budget, regardless of your car or time.

Types of Car Washes


Self-service car washes are a great option for those short on space and cash.  This type of car wash provides bays, hoses, and water to car owners wanting to do the job themselves.  This is a cheap way to do it yourself for those in cities or apartments, if you have some time on their hands.


Automated car washes are a type of self-service wash, but you don’t have to do it yourself.  This is a great option for people short on time and money, and especially by those in the northeastern United States.  Your car is cleaned on a moving track, and you don’t have to get out.   This is great for salt removal in the dead of winter in places like New England.


This is a type of automated car wash that uses pressurized streams of water that clean the car instead of brushes and sponges.  This is a good option for those concerned about an automated washer scratching their paint job.  This may not be a good option if your car is really grimy, as they can have a reputation for not removing substantial dirt.

Hand Wash

To completely baby your car, many believe hand washing is completely necessary.  There are services that will hand wash your car for you, but at a premium.  If you have the time, space, and inclination, doing it yourself is practically free.  Hand washes will also often use gentler cloths, sponges and cleaning solutions, and getting into hard to reach places like tires and license plates.

Full Service

Full service car washes offer automated and hand washes, plus interior detailing services.  They can polish your car until it shines if you want to pay.  They also will often pre-wash your car before sending it into the automated system, unlike at unattended car washes.  Full service car washes are perfect for those who truly care about their cars and supporting local businesses.

What the Best Car Wash Should Have

Whether they are self or full service, automated or hand wash establishments, great car washes all have some things in common.  First, they have equipment or employees that won’t damage your car.  This tops the list because there is nothing worse than paying for someone to scratch or dent your car.  Next, the car wash should be open about what kinds of soaps, waxes and coatings they are using on your car.  Third, they should have lots of options for services they offer.  A great car wash will also have you leaving satisfied every time.

Choosing the Best Car Wash for My Car

The best car wash for your car depends on what kind it is, and how you generally care for your car.  If you have a classic car, you might want to consider using a hand wash service.  At the very least, find a touchless car wash so you don’t scratch your paint if you’re in a hurry.  Depending on where you live, there might not be a car wash with hand wash services nearby, so you may need to consider other options.

If you love your car, new or old, you may want to look for a self-service wash, or do it yourself at home.  Self-service washes allow you to use the products you choose on your car if you don’t have access to a hose at home.  You can customize your wash, and get things done just the way you like them.  You may want to check around for any clubs or coupons for local full service car washes too.  Many businesses offer discounts to repeat customers.

If you’re short on time, money or lack the drive to do it yourself, automatic car washes are for you.  This will usually run you around $10 for a basic option.  You just choose your wash, enter your payment, drive onto the track, and go.  Many automatic washes are self-serve as well, and stay open around the clock.

Choosing the Right Car Wash Near Me

When you know what you are looking for in a car wash, you can begin your search.  Keep your eyes open as you drive around and look for washes with lines after a storm.  Online reviews can be invaluable when looking for the best car wash; people who love their cars will want to share their experiences with others like them.  Ask for referrals from friends and family about anywhere they might frequent.  Repeat customers are a sure sign that you’ve found a great place.  Check out websites to get a good idea on pricing options too.

When you find a car wash that fits your needs or comes highly recommended, you can give them a test drive.  See what they have to offer with they’re most basic service.  If you are happy with the wash and the price, you have found yourself a winner.  Chances are if they offer more expensive services, they will also be well worth the money.

The important thing when looking for a car wash is that you do what is best for yourself while also taking care of your car.  Find a place you can trust with washing your car as much as you trust your mechanic.  When you search for the best car wash near me, your car is sure to treat you well in kind for years to come.

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