Unattended Wash Pass Sales

Can you double your monthly passes in a month?


The X Car Wash, a single unattended IBA site in Akron, OH, was running an RFID based monthly pass program for the past 4 years. After four years, in December 2022, the monthly pass program had 104 vehicles on plan. From the owner and the customers, the biggest challenge was physically meeting customers that wanted to buy a pass to install the RFID sticker. The sales process was just too hard. During the last week of December, The X Car Wash switched from their former pay station to a Dencar pay station with a first month promo. In less than 1 month, their pass membership doubled. This occurred during a month of terrible weather with wash volume down 31%. By month 2, the monthly pass membership tripled during another month of terrible weather.

Assuming the volume/revenue trend continues, a 30% reduction in volume due to bad weather will only result in a single digit drop in revenue. This might be the most telling statistic of all for those operators on the fence about the value of a monthly pass program.

Sales Process

Does a sales process matter? It sure does. Dencar was designed around the simplest sales process possible to spur the impulse purchase. Simple is critical at an unattended pay station. If you make customers think, they are less likely to buy. It’s the fear of making a mistake. To keep things simple, Dencar pay stations guide the customer to the monthly pass purchase, and it takes less than 10 seconds. If you attend your pay stations with sales representatives, you can guide the customer through the process in the same 10 seconds. The beauty of the system is that the sales process is separated from the registration process. This is what Dencar does differently and better than the rest of the industry. Dencar sells immediately in less than 10 seconds and the customer registers later electronically. The work of registering a customer is offloaded from you or your staff and managed by the customer. And yes, the customer will complete the registration because the customer already paid you for their monthly wash pass.

The Specifics

The chart below shows the prior 12 months for 2022 and the normalized buildout of 2023 as it progresses. See the commentary at the end as this buildout. It will be telling from a revenue transformation perspective. This case study will be updated monthly, follow along if you would like to see the updates.


It might be too soon to draw a conclusion (depending on when you are reading this), but it is crystal clear that a simple sales process that permits an unattended pay station to double monthly passholders in less than a month is something special. If the X Car Wash had financed the purchase of this pay station, the Return on Investment is literally less than 1 month. How
many improvements can you make to your car wash that have a 1-month ROI?

Commentary: In the shift to increasing residual revenue (monthly passes), the 2-month impact is dramatic. In a period where wash volume is down 30% due to weather, revenue is only down 14% because of monthly pass revenue with properly priced retail sales. Following this trend will be a significant point of this case study as the year progresses.