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Las Vegas Cracks Down On Mobile Car Wash Businesses

Las Vegas is pushing tougher requirements on mobile car wash businesses.

Las Vegas is pushing tougher requirements on mobile car wash businesses.

The city of Las Vegas is cracking down on mobile car wash businesses, imposing registration fees and barring them from operating within 150 feet of their “stationary” competitors. Unclear still is whether the move will affect Little League and charity fundraisers.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that mobile car washes and detailers must now apply for $250 permits each year. It does not apply to brick-and-mortar car wash businesses or automatic car wash facilities of any kind. Violating the new rules can end in “$1,000 in fines and as many as six months in jail,” the paper reports.

For our readers in Vegas, this may be a welcome development, especially if mobile washers are luring customers from their businesses. Indeed, traditional car wash businesses have many expensive regulations to navigate. But many people aren’t happy, of course.

“I have washed my car on the street, back before it was a criminal activity,” said Councilman Bob Beers, sole [elected] opponent of the new public car washing rule. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on private property washing a car or on a public street: the runoff is going to hit the storm sewer either way.

“So this is not about the sewer system or water conservation. That’s why I voted against it.”

The move does not apply to those washing a car in their own driveway — or those invited, for noncommercial reasons, to wash a car in someone else’s driveway — but could drastically limit mobile carwash operators’ ability to do business on clients’ private property.

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