Built-to-suit or prefab – which car wash should you choose?

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Built-to-suit or prefab – which car wash should you choose?

When it comes to the physical structure housing your car wash, you have two options – prefab and built-to-suit. 

Each comes with its own pros and cons (although recent developments in prefab have made it an increasingly popular option for most operators.) To help you make up your mind on which is right for your car wash, let’s take a look at the advantages of each.

Advantages of built-to-suit

With traditional, built-to-suit construction, you can design and implement just about any type of structure you like. 

So, what advantages can this bring to you?

  • Firstly, building from the ground up is extremely flexible. For instance, unlike with pre-fab models, new construction allows you to choose any tunnel length, equipment package, and design to suit your site and business model.
  • Secondly, with the right planning and team onboard, it is possible to organize a build that is inexpensive.

Advantages of prefab

Recent advances in prefab mean there are now 3 significant advantages to this option: shorter build times, attractive and efficient design, and more flexibility. Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these.

Speed to market

One key advantage of prefab car washes is their speed to market. Because ready-made structures are modular, the installation process is much easier and faster. So, if your time is limited – or you want to launch multiple sites at the same time – prefab is the way to go.

And this is especially true with express tunnel car wash franchises like Pro Bro, who have an expert team on hand to handle the construction side of things for their franchisees. A prefab build, combined with an experienced construction team, will mean your car wash will be operational and generating revenue much faster.

Design that boosts efficiency and marketing

Prefab car washes today come with modern, eye-catching designs that have been optimised through many years of R&D. 

They can include elements like brick, steel, block, and glass, and are designed for maximum cost effectiveness. For example, you can have clear glass panels on the roof that ensure natural lighting inside and reduce your energy bills.

Prefab car washes also have great looking fixtures on the outside. Many designs come with coloured lights and sleek curves that help your business stand out in your local area and give your customers a next-level experience. Having a state-of-the-art structure can also help with getting a building permit.

And don’t forget, with prefab you won’t have to pay an architect to design something efficient and eye-catching from scratch.

For owners and franchisees, this huge difference in volume means much higher revenue.


Built-to-suit used to be the best option for flexibility. But that is now changing. With prefab, you can choose from a range of models and designs to suit your specific site. For instance, Pro Bro offers 4 different models – Smart, Mini, Midi and Maxi. Each option is designed to suit different locations, taking into account: 

  • capacity, 
  • plot size, 
  • tunnel length, 
  • number of employees required, 
  • annual turnover, and other factors.

With prefab, it is also easier to expand your car wash in the future by simply adding an extra module to a pre-existing structure.

Built-to-suit or prefab car washes – the takeaways

So, to sum up, built-to-suit is a good option if you only have one site and/or you want to have a highly customised design for your car wash. 

Prefab offers great speed to market and eye-popping modern design that doubles as a 24/7 marketing campaign. Plus you still get a lot of flexibility with prefab.

Interested in starting or expanding your car wash business? Pro Bro franchises offer state-of-the-art prefab car washes to suit a range of different sites. And we’ll even handle the construction for you. Reach out to our sales team at martynas.lukosiunas@probro.lt or gursel.deveci@probrocarwash.com to learn more.