Making a run-down self-car wash shine again, that is exactly what CTW Cleaning Systems did along the Kempische Steenweg in Zonhoven. A thorough renovation helped to revive the site. The old construction made way for a modern self-car wash installation with four closed and heightened bays, to make sure vans can also be cleaned in all comfort. CTW carried out the renovation itself, but in the meantime sold the site to Turnhout-based company VAG.
Carwash - VAG nv - Zonhoven (Belgium)
Self-service car wash
Location is key
A good location is essential for a self-car wash. Nowadays, it is not easy to find suitable sites where a new self-car wash can be constructed. It is sometimes even better to buy an existing self-car wash at a suitable location, even though it no longer meets the expectations of today's customers, and thoroughly renovate it to make the site reach its full potential once again. This is exactly what happened to a self-car wash along the busy Kempische Steenweg in Zonhoven.
“After the bankruptcy of the company that operated the old self-car wash, we were contacted to renovate the existing installation. Even though this site certainly had a lot of potential, the age and poor condition of the installation stood in the way. A thorough makeover was absolutely necessary to make the operation successful and profitable again. Because we believed in the profitability and the potential of this site, we did the renovation ourselves. After the refurbishment, we put the self-car wash on the market to be sold and several companies were immediately interested in taking it over. Finally, Turnhout-based family business VAG became the new owner of this self-car wash. This player already has an automatic car wash in Turnhout, but they were looking for further growth in the car wash business. The site was an interesting investment due to its potential, especially since it could be operated without staff. Moreover, VAG intends to use the remaining part of the site to display cars for sale or rental”, adds Iben Schellekens of CTW Cleaning Systems.
Slightly different workflow due to the covid pandemic
Overall, the renovation of this self-service car wash went quite smoothly. No stumbling blocks worth mentioning were revealed.
“Only the internet connection caused an unexpected problem, which considerably slowed down everything. It turned out the existing underground telephone and internet cable were damaged, so new excavations were required. Due to the cold weather conditions and the Covid-19 safety measures in place, the works did take a little longer than usual, namely 4 to 6 weeks. Various parts of a renovation, such as the groundwork of the green area, the construction and the technical installation, are often carried out largely simultaneously. However, the Covid crisis made it impossible for the various teams to be on site together, therefore the activities had to be spread over time. In addition, we completely sealed off the site to ensure the safety and health of our staff and bystanders”, says Iben Schellekens.
Various payment options
On the site, the customer will find a central cash exchange machine, which will exchange 5, 10 or 20 euro notes into tokens. In addition, the device allows you to pay with a bank card or a smartphone which, according to Iben Schellekens, is quite common during this Covid crisis. Remarkably, the machine is not equipped with a coin acceptor. Customers can pay directly with 50 eurocent, 1 and 2 euro coins at the operating kiosk of each washing bay. Of course, tokens are also accepted there. The underground coin collection system ensures that the proceeds of the self-car wash are safely deposited and stored in a safe.
Attracting the attention of passing drives
The renovated self-car wash got off to a good start. “The beautiful design of this installation is indeed paying off and has ensured that many customers are visiting this self-car wash. In addition, VAG launched an attractive car-washing campaign at the launch. During the first month, customers could wash their entire vehicle for just €2. This promotional campaign has definitely raised the brand awareness of the self-car wash. Additionally, we placed a large billboard with fluorescent lighting on the street side. This attracts the attention of passing motorists both during the day and in the evening. The banners in the self-car wash construction mentioned above are also partly used for advertising purposes”, concludes Iben Schellekens.
- Operator: VAG nv
- Address: Kempische Steenweg 610 in Zonhoven.
- Project Manager: CTW Cleaning Systems.
- Model self-car wash: CTW New 2020.
- Number of washing bays: 4 washing bays.
- Number of cleaning programmes: 7
- Accessories: 3 vacuum cleaners, 3 mat beaters, 2 rubbish bins and 1 underground waste container with a capacity of 5,000 litres.
- Opening of renovated car wash: December 2020
- Work duration: approximately 4 to 6 weeks.
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