Vehicle retailers get into gear

As is the case in many industries, there have been significant changes in the automotive retail sector in recent years. The well-documented Irish government mandate to ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2035 plunged the car market into turmoil, as manufacturers struggled to keep pace with the exponential rise in demand for environmentally friendly alternatives.

The emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) on Ireland’s roads has seen a massive shift in consumer car buying behaviour, sending a clear message to retailers that they need to change their strategy or get left behind.

Likewise, customer expectations have hit an all-time high, with the vast majority of buyers now considering the service a car dealership provides to be equally as important as the quality of the vehicles it supplies.

One way of improving the customer buying experience is to ensure that all of the vehicles on sale (new or used) are spotless, well-presented and available for a test drive. Keeping a large number of vehicles immaculately clean, especially those stored outside, is a mammoth task, even if the site is fully resourced. Fortunately, there are cost-effective fully-automated wash solutions available to alleviate the workload and streamline the process.

Vehicle retailers

Raising the bar

Ireland’s new car dealerships are graded by the franchise manufacturers on their Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) score, which is formulated by the responses received from customer surveys sent out after every sales and service visit to the site. It is therefore critical that dealerships implement strategies to boost their CSI points tally, which may include incorporating a free car wash with each annual service and/or warranty issue. Successful customer relationship management (CRM) programmes will help to build customer loyalty and ensure CSI scores remain high.

Unlimited wash opportunities

Aside from those all-important CSI scores, there are many departments across a dealership that could benefit from the installation of a fully automated car wash facility.

Clean cars sell

New Car Sales:

o   Demonstration vehicles need to be kept in tip-top condition, as a test drive in a dirty vehicle can be a deal-breaker.

o   New cars arriving on a transporter are often covered in road grime, brake dust and bird droppings.

o   Customers taking a test drive would appreciate returning to find their current car has been washed, with the added bonus of a more accurate valuation by the dealer should they wish to part exchange – this could also apply to used car sales.

Clean used cars benefit from Kärcher car wash

Used Car Sales:

o   Part exchanges from the new car department and used car sales must be fully prepped before going on display.

o   90-day (over-age) used vehicle stock swapped in from sister sites will invariably need a reclean before going on sale.

o   Trade-ins destined for the auction will often benefit from a clean to maximise the hammer price.


o   Vehicles in for servicing, MOT or warranty work can be washed before collection, adding value for the driver.

o   Courtesy cars, used by customers whilst their car is in the workshop, should always be kept clean and fuelled/fully charged.

Accident Repair Centre:

o   Repaired vehicles should always undergo an intensive clean inside and out before being returned to the customer.

o   Courtesy vehicles for use during the repair period should be clean and fuelled/fully charged.

Kärcher Car wash for car dealers service department
After repair cars will be cleaned


o   Parts delivery vans must be kept clean in order to maintain a positive public image of the dealership.

Car Rental:

o   It is critical that all rental cars and vans are cleaned between hire periods, to maintain high standards and encourage repeat business.

Keeping delivery vehicles clean.
Kärcher car wash suitable for car rental companies

It is also worth noting that a fully automated self-service car wash could be opened to the general public, creating a new revenue stream for the dealership. This initiative has the potential to attract a car wash customer into the showroom to buy a new car!

bespoke wash solution

It’s time to invest

It is imperative to choose the right supplier to provide a bespoke wash solution that works perfectly for the dealership and caters to all of its business needs. A fully automated wash system allows dealers to regulate the time taken for each wash, balancing quality with a speed that the majority of third-party valet contractors can’t match.

The initial outlay for the equipment, as well as running and servicing costs, will pale into insignificance over time, with dealers securing a sound return on investment (ROI). For larger dealerships, washing thousands of vehicles per year, efficient car wash systems will soon prove their worth, saving on both time and labour.

What are the alternatives?

Some dealerships outsource the wash process by employing a third-party valeting service, believing this to be the most effective and economical way to manage the huge volume of cars waiting to be cleaned. However, this practice can be fraught with logistical difficulties, as it is virtually impossible to control the time taken for each wash, the pace at which cars can be processed and the quality of the wash (which can vary significantly in manual cleaning).

Reliance on external companies to keep up with a high volume of cars, whilst integrating into the dealership’s operational structure, can be problematic and delays are likely. As the backlog of vehicles to be washed grows, these problems can compound, causing a considerable drain on the site staff’s time and labour.


TSG Ireland is here to help

With over 30 years of expertise in the sector, TSG works together with car dealerships to fully leverage the potential of the site and available budget.

As an exclusive partner with Kärcher, TSG Wash specialises in the supply and installation of professional fully automated car/van wash solutions, jet washes and vacuum cleaners, backed up by a comprehensive service and maintenance package.

For superior wash results, TSG provides a range of high-performance detergents that are formulated to deliver the best possible protection for the operator, equipment, vehicles and the environment.

Kleanstar iQ

Kärcher Commercial Wash Solutions

The Kärcher CWB3 KLEAN!STAR and CB line gantry washing systems are suitable for locations with everything from low to particularly high washing volumes, comprising basic equipment through to premium systems. Each solution can be tailored exactly to the dealership’s requirements and comes with a wide range of additional options and equipment components.


The new series of CB wash solutions from Kärcher, designed for fast wash programmes, offers middle and premium-class automatic car washing.

Jet Wash

For smaller dealerships or used car pitches, where space is of a premium, TSG Ireland can supply and install the Kärcher SB OB jet wash system. This compact system can be configured to suit any size of operation. The site manager determines the design, washing temperature, pump capacity, wash tools, pre-set programmes and additional equipment alternatives, such as integrated frost protection and ‘buy time’ options to maximise profitability.

TSG Wash Kärcher supplier

Service and maintenance

Car wash facilities must be regularly serviced and maintained to identify potential issues, allowing site owners to conduct rectification measures to prevent an impact on daily performance. TSG Ireland provides tailored scheduled maintenance packages for all vehicle wash equipment to prevent needless downtime and safeguard operational efficiency.

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