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car wash marketing

What Would Somebody Have To Give You To Give Them A Lifetime Of Free Car Washes?

Formula OneRather than showcase his “ugly” Formula One trophies for winning 25 Grand Prix races since 1974, Triple world champion Niki Lauda traded them in. The Austrian and the now non-executive chairman of Hamilton’s Mercedes team gave the trophies to a garage owner who was interested in displaying them.

In exchange, the driver bargained for a lifetime of free car washes. It was a worthy trade, Lauda told Reuters. “I said ‘If you give me a free car wash for the rest of my life you can have all of them’, and that is what I did,” said the 66-year-old.

The deal didn’t last long. “The guy died unfortunately and his son was running the petrol station but they were so demolished and terribly kept there, that a friend of mine took them away, polished them and then my kids took them and put them on eBay. “Now I have to pay for it (the car wash).”

Is a lifetime of free car washes ever a good idea for your business? The practice is common among car dealers who hope that the car wash can be a loss leader for other services, like auto repairs, and maintaining a relationship that could lead to more car sales in the future. For a car wash business, free car wash coupons are a common marketing practice. But a free car wash for life? Unless you’re offering other services, like oil changes or even a small restaurant, the losses likely would never justify the offer. Best to stick with variable promotions and loyalty programs.

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