I just got a car, so why not give it a good wash?
I thought so.
It’s not the first time I’ve been asked about how I’d like to be car wash-free.
When I was 16 years old, my parents bought me a Subaru Impreza, and after a couple of years of daily commuting, I decided that I needed to go car-free for the better part of the year.
When my dad got a new job, I was sent off to live with my mum in the nearby town of Mount Isa, where we had a small flat.
I was there for a year, working my way up to a full-time job.
We did a lot of housework, cleaning, cooking and washing dishes, so I’d often wake up at 5am to get up and do the washing in the morning.
During that time, my car was often late, but not because of it.
On a regular day, I’d wake up to drive past the washing station in the early morning, and when I arrived at work at 6am, my morning routine would be to get my car ready and then head for the garage, which was a few hundred metres away.
It wasn’t until about a year into that job, when I’d stopped driving altogether, that I realised how much of a waste it was of my time.
The reason for this was simple: washing was expensive.
If I had gone out and bought a new car every three or four years, I could have bought a car for every wash, which would have saved me a couple hundred dollars per year.
But I didn’t.
In fact, washing is a big part of my day.
I’d take the car out for a quick morning walk at 8am or 9am, then go to work at around 7pm.
So, the car wash was an integral part of our daily lives.
While it was great to have a routine, I realised I couldn’t afford to buy a car just for washing, so that was the first thing I bought.
As I got older, I bought more cars, but that was not the same.
After a few years, my mother started asking me questions about how much money I’d saved by not buying a car.
She told me that I should have bought one.
But the problem with buying a used car is that it’s quite a bit more expensive than buying a new one.
My mum also suggested that I stop buying cars, because I was spending too much money on them.
In the end, I took my advice to heart.
At the end of my first year at university, I made a purchase for a used Ford Focus, which I’d only ever used once before.
By the time I had the car home, I knew I wanted to get it fixed and get on with my life.
Of course, I wanted it fixed to the point that it was a bit out of whack, so after I’d bought the car, I put the parts in it, and drove to the shop to have it fixed.
A year later, I got a phone call from the car parts company who’d repaired my car, asking if I’d still like a new Focus.
They wanted to see it for a fee.
This was a good time to realise that I was not spending money on my car.
The repair cost was a fraction of the cost of buying a brand new car, and so, after I got the parts sorted, I paid them for the repairs.
That was the start of a new journey in my car washing career.
For the next couple of months, I would do the same thing.
I would go out every morning and do a few housework in the garage.
Once the garage was clean, I had a new set of parts for the car to start off with, and I’d get it back in the car for a couple more washings.
Every wash would be a new experience, and the routine would change over the next few months.
Over the next six years, the number of washings I did grew from five to more than 20, but I still only spent about $500 on the whole process.
Although my car did not last long, I do feel that it is worth the effort.
What are your car washing tips?
If you’re still reading this, please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or email them.
All the best, Nick