Note: This post offers an honest assessment of the top cheap car wash brands in the country. The goal is to present various cheap car wash options that consumers can choose from.
The weekend should be reserved for fun and relaxation with your loved ones. It shouldn’t involve a bucketful of bubbles, sponges, and a water hose. You shouldn’t be spending your Saturday morning washing your car. After all, there are cheap drive-through car washes for that.
Nowadays, all kinds of car washes are widely available, affordable, and quite easy to use. For a measly few bucks, you can have your car looking spanking clean in just a few minutes.
Top Rated Cheap Car Wash Reviews
Your car is a major investment. The better-conditioned it is, the higher trade-in value it gets. Thus, it is only proper that you take very good care of it. This includes keeping it clean and in good condition at all times. Good news is, you don’t have to do it yourself.
Having your vehicle cleaned by a professional car wash service provider comes with a multitude of benefits. A clean car, for instance, not only looks better. It also promotes pride. Everyone would feel good driving a clean vehicle, right?
A clean car likewise allows you to drive safely. Regular washing keeps mirrors, signal lights, and windshields clean, which, in turn, makes driving safer. This is because you can see the road better, and other drivers will likewise see you.
Having said that, here is our latest top 10 cheap car wash reviews.
Highest Rated Cheap Car Wash
#1 Zips Car Wash
Zips Car Wash espouses the Zips’ Way culture of continued growth, as evidenced by their footprint all over the US. The company currently operates 194 shops scattered in 18 states, thus helping the localities they serve. With their unique offerings backed by advanced technology, and coupled with a strong community partnership, Zips shows an intense desire to change how consumers see the car wash industry.
- Brand: Zips Car Wash
- Type: Express Tunnel Car Wash
- Scale: Nationwide
- Hours: Zips Car Wash stores are open daily (Monday to Sunday) from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
- Locations: The company has around 200 stores in Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, and Tennessee.
- Services & Prices:
(1) Clean It! – The service will get your car back on the road in a shiny, clean, and dry condition. ($6)
(2) Shine It! – The Service includes Rain Repellant, Tire Shine, and Triple Conditioner. ($8)
(3) Wax It! – The service includes Rain Repellant, Mr. Zippy’s Hot Wax, Tire Shine, Triple Conditioner, and Clear Coat Sealant. ($10)
(4) Protect It! – The service includes all the company’s best products such as Liquid Glaze, Mr. Zippy’s Hot Wax, Rain Repellant, Bug Prep, Tire Shine, Triple Conditioner, and Clear Coat Sealant, to ensure an overall clean and great-looking car. ($14)
(P.S. All services include free access to self-service vacuums.)
- Features: An express tunnel car wash offering 4 car wash options, Zips’ philosophy is based on leadership and service. The goal is to offer high quality wash and the best possible customer service. This is made possible by a team manned by exceptional members, who make sure that patrons always get a like-new, shining ride.
Continuously growing, Zips hopes to make a difference, not only in your vehicle’s appearance but in the communities and lives they serve, as well.
- Pros: Great value for the type of job done; Convenient operating hours; High quality products used.
- Cons: Unfriendly and careless attendants in some stores.
- Bottom Line: Overall, Zips Car Wash offers good value for money. Within a few minutes, you can get your car thoroughly cleaned and looking new – only for a few bucks!
Best Features Cheap Car Wash
#2 Blue Wave Car Wash
Offering conveyorized car wash as well as detailing services, Blue Wave Care Wash operates in several locations in Texas and California. Customers can expect their vehicles to be like brand new and spanking clean with every service.
- Brand: Blue Wave Car Wash
- Type: Conveyorized Car Wash and Detailing Service
- Scale: State-wide in Texas and California.
- Hours: Shops are open Monday to Sunday, from 7 AM to 8 PM.
- Locations: Several convenient locations all over Texas and California.
- Services & Prices: Blue Wave offers 4 different service packages. These are called Basic ($6 at Texas, $10 at California, $8 at Elk Grove, CA), Polish ($9 at Texas, $13 at California, $11 at Elk Grove, CA), Tire Shine ($12 at Texas, $16 at California, $14 at Elk Grove, CA), and Wax & Seal ($16 at Texas, $20 at California, $18 at Elk Grove, CA).
- Features: Unlimited car washes at a low price; High-tech car wash and detailing service; Offers service packages depending on customers’ budget and needs; Guarantees superior cleaning and detailing services.
- Pros: Quick and efficient services; Makes cars look like new; Very friendly staff; Great results at a low price.
- Cons: Not worth the price.
- Bottom Line: Overall, Blue Wave Car Wash uses advanced technology in providing top quality services at affordable rates. Also available are low-priced special monthly services and big discounts. Though prices may vary, depending on the location, customers are assured of getting only topnotch services from any Blue Wave store.
Best Quality Cheap Car Wash
#3 Costco Car Wash
Costco Car Wash puts premium on customer satisfaction. Thus, you can expect a high quality wash each and every time – at a very affordable cost. Not all local Costco branches offer car wash services, though.
- Brand: Costco
- Type: Drive Through Car Wash
- Scale: Operates in 5 states.
- Hours: Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 7:30 PM; 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturdays; and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays.
Locations: There are 11 locations scattered in California, Arizona, Idaho, Washington, and Tennessee.
- Locations: Several convenient locations all over Texas and California.
- Services: Costco car wash services include a spot-free rinse, tire shine, surface protectant, wax & shine, wheel cleaner, and rust inhibitor & underbody flush.
- Prices & Discounts: Each wash at Costco costs $7.99. This takes around 3 minutes to complete. Costco membership entitles you to a Costco Shop Card ($20 for Gold Star Executive members, and $10 for Gold Star members). A Costco membership allows you to get big discounts not only on car wash services, but on items purchased from their retail stores as well.
- Features: Offers the latest in carwash technology in supplies; Comprehensive cleaning services; Backed by well-known Costco brand.
- Pros: Affordable car wash rates; Friendly and helpful staff; Convenient locations.
- Cons: Doesn’t offer rainchecks.
- Bottom Line: Costco Car Wash has mostly good reviews from patrons – for good reason. Drive through in any of their locations, and they will not disappoint.
Best Cheap Self Car Wash
#4 IQ Car Wash
A chain of self-serve car wash shops operating in Nebraska and Oklahoma, IQ Car Wash has been known for its superior operating standards, top quality washes, and excellent customer service since 2013.
- Brand: IQ Car Wash
- Type: Self-service Car Wash
- Scale: Statewide in Oklahoma and Nebraska.
- Hours: Branches are open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, except during holidays and emergencies.
- Locations: Several branches conveniently located across Oklahoma and Nebraska.
- Services: IQ Car Wash offers a complete range of self-service car wash options.
- Prices: A complete car wash costs from $15 to $20. You can pay either in cash or the reloadable proprietary card.
(1) Soft Touch – The feature guarantees intelligent, 3D profiling that provides a customized wash for each vehicle.
(2) Self-Serve Bays – Each bay offers 10 selections and accepts payment by cash (bills), debit/credit card, and value card.
(3) Touch-Free – The feature allows touchless imaging for every type of vehicle – from Mini Coopers to full-sized pick-ups – to get the vehicle’s unique shape. This results to a safer and more efficient wash.
(4) Vacuums – The Vacutech system allows you to vacuum from any side of your vehicle.
- Pros: Great service; Superior washes; Conveniently open 24/7; Easy to use.
- Cons: A bit pricier compared to similar services.
- Bottom Line: IQ Car Wash proves that you need not sacrifice cost-efficiency and quality if you prefer an automated self-service car wash. Why sacrifice one for the other when you can get both?
Best Cheap Full Service Car Wash
#5 Cobblestone Car Wash
For Cobblestone Car Wash, the utmost priority is customer satisfaction. Their team of car care professionals is committed to live up to every client’s expectations based on facts and actual reviews. The company stays transparent and is always open to customer feedback. Quality, Service, and Value – expect nothing less!
- Brand: Cobblestone Car Wash
- Type: Express And Full Service Car Wash
- Scale: Statewide in Arizona and Colorado.
- Hours: Open 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, 7 days a week.
- Locations: 28 stores in Arizona; 2 stores in Colorado.
- Services: Cobblestone offers a wide array of full service and express packages – all at reasonable prices.
- Prices: A complete car wash costs from $19 to $39. Click here to view the detailed Cobblestone Car Wash price list.
- Features: Superior car wash and detailing services; Offers quality services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; Puts premium on customer satisfaction.
- Pros: Efficient and fast services; Inexpensive compared to similar car wash services; Professional and experienced staff; Accessible all days of the week; Friendly staff.
- Cons: Some stores have inexperienced staff.
- Bottom Line: With customer service as their top priority, you can always expect top-level wash quality from Cobblestone Car Wash. Also available are full service detailing packages as well as a service convenience store.
Best Cheap Hand Car Wash
#6 Royal Touch Hand Car Wash
Royal Touch Hand Car Wash offers a one-stop-shop solution that includes a complete range of manual car washing services – both for the car’s interior and exterior.
- Brand: Royal Touch Hand Car Wash
- Type: Full Service Hand Car Cleaning
- Scale: Single-store.
- Hours: Monday to Saturday - 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Sunday – 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Locations: Carlstadt, NJ.
- Services: The staff provides the best possible cleaning and care for all clients. Every car is washed and waxed carefully and professionally to avoid scratches and other damages.
- Prices: A King hand car wash costs $25. The complete service includes washing, drying & vacuuming, tire shine, super sealer wax, and thorough interior cleaning. Promo packages are available for big discounts.
(1) Offers various wash packages including, super sealer wax, tire shine, and window cleaning, among others.
(2) Highlight of the service are the highly trained and professional staff who have no qualms getting down and dirty just to achieve the best full-detailing and cleaning results for your car.
(3) More affordable compared to similar car wash services.
(1) More thorough interior and exterior cleaning because of manual techniques.
(2) Well-trained staff guarantee that no spot is left uncleaned.
(3) Affordable rates despite the thorough manual cleaning services.
- Cons: Some customers claim that manual washing techniques are less effective than automated car wash.
- Bottom Line: Royal Touch mainly offers manual car washing methods, unlike other car washes that utilize advanced technology. As many clients would attest, traditional washing techniques still work – and work wonderfully!
Best Cheap Automatic Car Wash
#7 Quick Quack Car Wash
A fast-expanding chain of express, exterior-only car wash shops, Quick Quack Car Wash started in Sacramento, California in 2004. The company has been perennially recognized for its eco-friendly business practices and community-building efforts. It is well-known for its free self-service vacuums as well as unlimited carwash memberships.
- Brand: Quick Quack Car Wash
- Type: Automatic Car Wash
- Scale: Operates in 5 states.
- Hours: Quick Quack Car Wash branches are open from Monday to Saturday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM. They are closed on Sundays.
- Locations: There are 101 locations scattered in California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and Utah.
- Services & Prices: Quick Quack offers the following car wash services: Basic ($7.99), Good ($12.99), Better ($16.99), and Best ($19.99). Membership to unlimited car wash plans are available for $19.99 to $34.99, depending on the type of service.
Quick Quack issues discount coupons for special occasions.
(1) Car wash services come with full serve vacuums for free.
(2) 3-minute thorough washing.
(3) Affordable unlimited car wash plans.
(4) Free car wash for customers who avail of services during their birthday.
(1) Affordable pricing.
(2) Fast and efficient service.
(3) Many locations available.
- Cons: Inexperienced staff in some locations.
- Bottom Line: Quick Quack is among your best choices if you need a fast and affordable way to wash your car. It offers a wide range of cleaning options that will suit your every need.
Best Cheap Drive Through Car Wash
#8 Royal Car Wash
Everything at Royal Car Wash is easy, fast, and convenient, great for the on-the-go motorist. The shop is open daily, and all you have to do is drive in, and wait for your car's turn.
- Brand: Royal Car Wash
- Type: Drive Through Car Wash
- Scale: Family-owned business.
- Hours: Monday to Sunday – 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
- Locations: Rochester, NY.
- Services & Prices: Royal Car Wash offers touchless, automatic car wash services using advanced technology. All you need to do is drive through a massive building, and watch as the magic unfolds. You won’t have to alight from your car. Just sit back, relax, and your car will be done in no time. The monthly service packages available are Express ($19.99), Royal ($23.99), Royal Plus ($26.99), and Royal Hot Wax ($39.99).
(1) Uses Neoglide materials and MicroClean cloths to make sure your car won't get scratches during the cleaning process.
(2) Uses automated tire-cleaning process to ensure superior shine.
(3) Touchless air driers guarantee that your care will come out drier, cleaner, and streak-free.
(1) Fast, easy, and convenient service.
(2) Fully automated and touchless.
(3) Affordable compared to other automated car washes.
(4) Long operating hours daily.
- Cons: Automated cleaners sometimes miss spots.
- Bottom Line: For a convenient, hassle-free, and fast service, Royal Car Wash is the place to go. The Spotless Technology and Premium Solutions are perfect if you are on the go. The best part is, you get superior computerized service at a reasonable price.
Best Cheap Interior Car Wash
#9 Red Carpet Car Wash
Providing high quality, full-service car washes, Red Carpet Car Wash has 3 branches in California. Their complete line of cleaning services are guaranteed to bring a brand new-like look to any vehicle’s interior and exterior.
- Brand: Red Carpet Car Wash
- Type: Full Service Car Wash
- Scale: Small-scale.
- Hours: 7 days a week, from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
- Locations: 3 convenient locations in California, specifically in Fresno and Clovis.
- Services: 2 types of car wash services are available: Express and Full Service. Both types are offered in multiple tiers, depending on the add-on services you need. Unlimited car wash plans and volume discounts are also available.
- Prices: Cost of single Red Carpet services range between $6 and $30. If you are a frequent user of the service, then you might want to consider getting an unlimited plan.
(1) Good Wash - Includes interior vacuuming, power air drying, window cleaning, exterior wash, and hand towel finish.
(2) Better Wash – Everything included in the Good Wash, plus brake dust blaster, dual foam protectant, and rain or body shield.
(3) Best Wash – Everything included in the Better Wash, plus wheel luster, tire shine, underbody wash, and Dry & Shine.
(4) Platinum Plus – Everything included in the Best Wash, plus double shot wheel brightener & cleaner, high pressure bug & dirt blaster, and ceramic-infused coating.
(1) Good package options.
(2) Efficient service.
(3) Unlimited packages are worth the price.
- Cons: A bit pricey for some customers.
- Bottom Line: At Red Carpet Car Wash, you are sure to get high quality and comprehensive services at affordable rates. It deserves a spot in the list of the best car wash service providers in the land.
Best Cheap Detail Car Wash
#10 Mister Car Wash
Mister Car Wash anchors its brand on quality, affability, and a firm commitment to provide customers with a memorable experience. The company believes that its people is what makes the brand highly successful in achieving top quality standards.
- Brand: Mister Car Wash
- Type: Automatic Car Wash
- Scale: Nationwide.
- Hours: Mister Car Wash is open daily from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM.
- Locations: 318 locations across the US.
- Services: Mister Car Wash offers exterior wash, full serve wash, detailing, and express detailing services.
- Prices: The cheapest plan is Express for $19.99 a month, with Express Platinum coming at second at $29.99. Membership to the Unlimited Wash Club costs from $19.99 to $59.99. The Unlimited Wash Club members are entitled to discounts.
(1) Uses advanced car wash technology.
(2) Wide range of services.
(3) Automated car wash and detailing services.
(1) Fast and reliable service.
(2) Affordable price.
(3) Friendly and competent attendants.
- Cons: Some customers complain of scratched paint after undergoing a car wash.
- Bottom Line: With its many locations nationwide, you are sure to find a Mister Car Wash near you. The service is affordable, and the company is committed to providing a quality customer experience.
Cheap Car Wash Guide
Here are some issues, sort of a cheap car wash FAQ guide.
Cheap Car Wash vs. Expensive Car Wash
When deciding on whether to go for a cheap or expensive car wash, you need to consider a few factors. These include your budget, time, and the specific services you need, among others.
Of course, the biggest advantage of an expensive service is supposedly its high-quality results. After all, a pricey car wash uses more expensive (and “supposedly” better quality) products.
However, this doesn’t mean that the products that cheap car wash provides are always inferior. Some affordable and reputable providers use quality products, although cheaper. The advantage of a quality, cheap car wash is, obviously, the cost as you only pay for the services you need.
Cheap Car Wash Pros and Cons
Following is the list of things we like and don’t like in cheap and expensive car washes to help you make an informed decision.
Things We Like
Things We Don't Like
What to Look for in a Cheap Car Wash?
You’ve decided to find a cheap car wash. Again, cheap doesn’t automatically mean poor quality. Here are tips on finding a cheap but quality car wash.
- Type of Service – Decide whether you prefer a self-serve or a full-serve wash. The first option is ideal if you want better control on how you want your vehicle cleaned. The latter involves less work as everything is done by the experts.
- Range of Services – The prospective car wash service provider must offer the exact services that you need. This way, you won’t pay for services you don’t need.
- Reputation – The car wash must be reputable. Check online reviews or ask family and friends who have tried the service.
- Customer Service – Observe how the staff deal with customers. They must be friendly and willing to accommodate questions and requests.
How to Cut Car Wash Costs?
Here are some tips on how you can save on your car wash expenses:
- Search online for good car wash deals. – Check online if your local cheap car wash offers promos or discount coupons.
- Rid your car interior of rubbish and clutter. – This will speed up the vacuuming process in the car wash, and avoid possible extra charges.
- Choose the right wash package. – The service should include only the basic services you need. Any extra will only jack up the cost. Avail only of extras that your car really needs.
Your car is a major investment. Thus, it is expected that you only want the best care for it. This includes taking it to the car wash on a regular basis.
Any of the top cheap car wash service providers listed in this post can be a good choice, depending on your particular preferences and needs. But, our top choice would be Zips Car Wash.
While all others provide high-quality services at affordable prices, Zips takes the cake because aside from superior quality services, it is committed to forging a strong partnership with the communities where they operate.