Car Cleaning – A First Business

There comes a time when pocket money just can’t be saved up quick enough to buy the latest game or fund the trips to the cinema, and your kids will want to step into the world of business. Car cleaning is often the first job many kids have. It’s not too tricky, the work is fairly easy to find and it can be fun on a hot summers day!

If your kids come to you with their car cleaning business idea, don’t dismiss it out of hand, but likewise, don’t send them off to it without giving them a bit of advice too!

Running their own business is so valuable to young people. That first association between hard work and money often makes them see the value more clearly. They might waste the pocket money you give them on sweets and silly toys, but I think you’ll find they are far more precious with the money they’ve worked hard to earn. They’ll remember the tired muscles and the long hours they put in to get it!

They’ll need to think about their rates, they’ll also need to think about the equipment they’ll need, sponges, car shampoo etc. Are they going to be polishing too? They could charge extra for that. Next will come the realisation that they will need to invest in their business. This is crunch time, are they prepared to put their savings into their business? Do they trust their new ‘business partners’ to do a good job so they’ll see a return on their investment? Perhaps if they just don’t have the funds you could offer a ‘business loan’ that they will need to repay.


Next I suggest you wash your own car with the kids, making sure they know what they’re doing, and do a good job. This might prevent irate people knocking on your door brandishing a broken windscreen wiper!

Then before you let them go, set some rules for safety. Car washing is a great job safety wise as they’re not in people’s houses. Depending on their ages and how sensible they are, set a geographical limit, just your own street where you can see them or a larger area. You can ask to be sent a text regularly and ensure they return home at a set time.

After a hard days work they can also have some fun thinking about advertising their services. A sign in the garden, leaflets to school friends to give to their parents. It’s all great experience for later life, and kids thrive on the independence, doing something all by themselves and fitting into an adult world.

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