Let me apologize in advance for the following post to everyone who is under snow and ice this weekend. Let me remind you of this when it is so hot here we want to peel our skin off and you are enjoying beautiful Spring like weather.
Mike and I headed out for lunch today and it seemed like every intersection was littered with people in bathing suits and flips flops holding big card board signs declaring "Car Wash" for every kind of group, sorority, and organization you can imagine. I remember well doing these car washes in high school - I think I volunteered for every single one. Mike on the other hand loathed them.
As we passed I noticed that one was going on in the parking lot of an Oil Change place. Since I just returned from Texas I knew I was in need of an Oil Change, so we whipped into the bay for a quick service. I asked Mike if he had cash to do the Car Wash, and he said he did.
He had four dollars.
Now, thankfully I asked before pulling into the "Car Wash Lane" and avoided a scene, but I just do not think $4 to wash a very dirty (I mentioned I was in Texas a week right?! I love y'all but MAN it is dusty out there!) car is not enough. Even the drive-thru one up the street charges $6 and that's to have a machine do it. But Mike insists that $4 is more than enough money for a group of children to wash a car.
As I mentioned, I remember doing Car Washes, and I remember scrubbing down the nastiest of cars for one or two dollars. I remember also washing pristine cars that we were almost afraid to touch and the owners would give us a $20 in support of our group. Washing a car is hard work - especially at 5-foot-2 when I have to REALLY STRETCH to even reach the center of the hood - much less the roof.
Somehow I felt it was almost an insult to give these kids only $4 for washing my car - especially when it is covered in dust, pollen, and bugs. I wanted to go to an ATM and give the kids at least $10 - one because it is dirty, two because that is still HALF the cost of the Simoniz car wash, and three because as a former fundraiser-car-washer I wanted to support them in their efforts.
So I need a little back up here -
How much is too much? Is Mike right that $4 is appropriate? Am I nuts to want to spend $10 at a kids Car Wash (knowing of course that they will not do as good of a job as Simoniz, but still)
We ended up just coming home after the Oil Change, and I have the car parked now where I can wash it... or at least what I can reach.
Nina Say says
When I used to work car washes in school, we had to sell tickets up front and they were $10 at least (they varied)
So yeah, $4 is kinda cheapin' out lol
I'm with you, $4 is definitely not enough... I think about $10 would be okay.
Karen Reilly says
Same here Lynsey. I always think too if the kids took time out of their schedules to do this then we can pay more especially if it's a good cause or fundraiser!
I dont mind say six bucks, but was all i had on me and that was all they could. I felt it was better then not helping their cause, but it was all the cash i had on me. Maybe we can ask next if they take paypal 🙂
Jan Hatchett says
Back when I was a teacher, when we had fundraising car washes, we charged $5 each, but admittedly, our students didn't always do a very good job.
It might have something to do with the area of the country you are in.
Andrea @ The Creative Junkie says
I do think $4 is far too low. The car wash is a fundraiser. They're trying to raise money. You definitely don't go to these things thinking you are going to get a phenomenal deal. You go knowing you're going to get an adequate (hopefully) car wash and pay more than you typically would at any other place, simply because it *is* a fundraiser - kwim?
I think $10 is good.
Missy Kern says
Speaking as a fundraiser PTO mom....go with the $10. It may not be the best job, but they are making an effort.
I did carwashes in high school for fundraising too. Boy, those were sooooo fun! I think we always charged about $10, but I know there were a couple times we "negotiated" our prices down.
I think since its a fund raiser, a donation of any kind should be appreciated; but the girls (and guys) do work hard for their cause.
Natalie @ Coffee. Cupcakes. Cards. Oh My! says
Oh these sound fun! I don't think we have these over here?
I'll be honest and say I have absolutely no idea how much a car wash would cost. Not even the drive through kind. I have a husband who is fanatical about washing cars, so I leave that job up to him :o)
That said, if I *had* to wash a car, I would say that I would probably pay any amount to get out of doing it.
I think since it is a fundraiser I would go with more than $4.00! That being said, if you can afford $10 that is great, but, if you can't, I am sure they would of been happy with $4.00 too.
I honestly have no idea how much you should pay. I would think 4 is a good price but I am a frugal tight wad sometimes. so don't listen to me
I think the price might depending on what the cause is. A couple years ago we held a car wash to help generate money to pay for a close friend's funeral. It was a donation car wash and the donations really did vary. Some would donate a few bucks and some donated more.
$10 is exactly what I'd give. However I think that many times you get a better wash in the machine as the kids are too busy having fun to do a good job so I really only do those kind of washes for groups I'm familiar with and want to support.
I think $4 is too low. If I just had $4, I'd probably just had donated that but not got the car wash (if the charity was something I supported and I imagine with teens it is). I am more willing to pay a bit more for teens to wash it because I know they are using the money for something they need and I find it very good to instill a work ethic in the kids.
Crystal @ Simply Being Mommy says
I too think $4 is way low. I think $10 is good, but if my vehicle was really dirty, I'd probably do $13-15, depending on the cause.
Okay, first let me say that I would never allow a group like that to touch even my oldest car. They all lay their sponges on the gravel which then gets rubbed onto my car and scratches it up. If it were my kids doing the car wash I'd donate money, but they aren't touching my car.
And yes, for a fundraiser it should be $10. JMO. But I say avoid it at all costs.
... Really? then how do you suggest kids make money? cause i know that the can't go get a job like you can... you deserve to go live in africa for 1 week, then see if you let kids wash your car,
Moldy Moss YT says
I’m a teenager and thinking about starting a car wash on my own, crazy to see so many supportive people, saying $10 is good. I thought $5 would be a lot! I do a great job washing and washed many cars for my parents for cheap sometimes free.