Self service car washes are facilities where customers can pay for the use of equipment and a space with which they can wash their cars. Self service car washes are alternatives to full service or automated car washes, which do not require the involvement of the customer in the washing process.
Complete car maintenance regimens must include washing as well as mechanical maintenance. The condition of a car's exterior contributes to its longevity, the effectiveness of its mechanical operation and the safety of its passengers. Car washing removes the accumulation of hazardous contaminants and corrosive materials like road salt, which can cause damaging rust and other problems. Every car requires periodic washing, so auto owners of all geographical locations and income levels must have access to some means by which they can wash their cars. Self service facilities tend to be less expensive than automated or full service car washes. They involve the use of pay-for-use equipment such as water jets, soap, scrub brushes and dryers in some cases. This equipment can be cash or coin operated, though equipment that accepts credit and debit card payment are becoming integrated as well.