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Self-Service Car Wash vs Automatic Car Wash – Which One’s Best?

  • Car Wash
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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For most car owners, finding the right car wash method has always been an elusive affair. Today, car owners have plenty of car wash options to choose from – but they are not certain as to which one is best. If you’re someone who has tried different car wash methods, and yet nothing seems to work out for you – don’t worry; you’re not alone. In this post, we’re comparing two famous car wash methods – self-service car washes and automatic car washes – to help you choose the one that best suits your car. Keep reading to know more.    

This blog has been updated on June 30, 2021


Self-Service Car Washes   

A self-service car wash is an ideal method to wash your car if you don’t have the right equipment at your disposal or if you live in an apartment and don’t have a proper place to wash your car effectively. What’s more, a self-service car wash is your best bet if you want to give your car a proper wash with professional equipment – especially if you’re skeptical about automatic car washes.   

Self-Service Car Wash vs Automatic Car Wash – Which One's Best?

Self-Service Car Washes – The Pros   

Access to equipment: The self-service car wash comes in handy when you don’t have a hose, driveway, and any of the required equipment to wash your car. What’s more, in a self-service car wash station, you’ll have access to all professional car wash equipment to clean your car effectively.  

Control over the process: In a self-service car wash, you’ll have the satisfaction of cleaning your car with your own hands. Since you’re directly involved in the washing process, you have control over the whole procedure.    


Self-Service Car Washes – The Cons   

Time-consuming: The whole process is very time-consuming when compared to an automatic car wash.    

Damage to your vehicle: Most self-service car wash stations have low-quality equipment that can damage your vehicle. What’s worse, since there’s no car wash professional or a machine involved in this process, the margin of error is very high. Remember, incorrect car wash techniques can damage your vehicle.    

Automatic Car Washes    

Technology has disrupted almost all industries, and car washes are no exception. Thanks to automatic car washes, the car cleaning process takes only a few minutes now! In an automatic car wash, the process is pretty straightforward: you place the vehicle onto a conveyor belt that takes your car through a tunnel – with brushes, hoses, towels – to get it cleaned in no time! 

Self-Service Car Wash vs Automatic Car Wash – Which One's Best?

Automatic Car Washes – The Pros  

Gentle: Compared to other car wash methods, the automatic car washing process is gentle and free of harsh chemicals. Most automatic car washes use state-of-the-art equipment and high-quality car wash products.    

Affordable: Automatic car washes charge you affordable rates that don’t cost you a fortune – you can regularly wash your car, not worrying about the expenses.     

Time-saving: Automatic car washes can get your car cleaned in a jiffy. After all, in a fast-paced world, time is something you cannot afford to waste.   

Automatic Car Washes – The Cons   

Water spots: Sometimes, automatic car washes can leave water spots on the vehicle’s body as the air dry or final hand cloth dry may not be sufficient, especially when older equipment is used.    

Scratches on the paint: Some automatic car washes still use abrasive brushes. The worn-in brushes used in these car washes are more likely to cause scratches on your vehicle’s paint.   

The Verdict   

Weigh in all the pros and cons before you make your decision. Many car owners commit the mistake of searching for “car wash near me” on their phone and heading out to the nearest one – only to regret the decision later. If you’re looking for a trusted and professional car wash near you, then look no further than Way.com – you’ll get instant access to some of the top-rated car washes near you in a jiffy. 


Websites and apps like Way.com offer professional and top-rated car wash services at great prices. What’s more, the whole family can get in on the sudsy action thanks to Way.com’s Carwash Voucher and Family Car Wash Pass that can be used on multiple (that’s right, multiple) vehicles. 

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Read our blogs for information on the best airport parking and hourly parking spots near you and the most affordable insurance for your car. 

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