If you own a carpet cleaning business, investing in a vehicle in which you can carry all your equipment is a great business choice. These vehicles make it easier to transport and store all the gear you need as a carpet cleaning technician. Company vehicles also demonstrate professionalism and can provide marketing help as you drive to jobs.
If you're thinking about purchasing a truck or van for your business, there are a few carpet cleaning vehicle requirements you'll want to think about. From knowing why you should invest in one, the estimated cost, and what to look for in these vehicles, we're here to help.
Carpet cleaning is a profitable business because you can clean several carpet and upholstery types for your customers. Whether you're offering car carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, floor mats, or others, getting a vehicle for all your equipment is a good idea, especially if you offer a wide variety of services that use different tools.
When you have a dedicated carpet cleaning vehicle, you'll be able to run your company with less stress. You won't constantly be worrying about how you'll get your steam cleaner and other equipment to and from your customer's home.
You also won't have to put any mileage on your personal vehicle and can write off gas and mileage as a business expense when tax season comes around. You can write these off on your personal vehicle, but most people won't want to drive around a box truck or van for their everyday car, and it’s hard to fit carpet cleaning equipment in a standard vehicle.
Cost is one of the most critical carpet cleaning vehicle requirements, depending on your budget. How much your carpet cleaning vehicle will cost will depend on several factors. The brand you choose to buy, the model, how many miles it already has on it, and if it's a brand new truck or van can all vary the cost.
If you choose a newer vehicle model, it will likely cost more than an older one. The price will change when you factor in the year of the car and how many miles it has on it.
Generally, you can get an older vehicle model for maybe $10,000 to $15,000. If you want something newer or with less mileage, you might be able to get one for $16,000 to $25,000. Remember that these are just estimates, so you might find one cheaper or at a higher price than these.
When considering the cost of the vehicle, you need to decide if you want to add any storage racks or other features. If the van or truck comes with those, then great. If not, you'll need to spend extra money on these things to keep everything organized in your carpet cleaning car.
So, what carpet cleaning vehicle requirements should you be looking for? You'll want to think about seven main things as you shop around.
Whether looking at a van or truck, getting a vehicle with enough storage space for all your equipment is essential. A carpet cleaning machine is pretty large, and if you don't have enough room for it, how can you complete jobs?
You Need to Have Adequate Storage for All of Your Equipment, Hoses, and Chemicals
Besides having space for this larger machine, you'll want to see if you have enough storage space for other cleaning materials. Cleaning solutions, buckets, and other products don’t take up as much space, but you'll want to make sure everything can fit well in the back of the vehicle.
Another thing to think about is if you want to have racks or shelving to store your smaller equipment. Storage racks and compartments aren't necessary but can help you feel more organized when you arrive at a customer's location and help you complete jobs more efficiently.
You're going to spend a lot of time driving to and from customers' houses or locations, so getting a vehicle with good gas mileage is a must.
Larger vehicles are going to require more gas than smaller ones, but there are similar-sized vehicles that have different gas mileage stats. You'll want to think about the radius you typically drive for customers, whether they're highway or city miles or if it's a combination of the two.
Since you'll be filling the gas tank pretty often, you'll want to think about gas prices, the gas mileage, and what you're comfortable spending on a vehicle based on the gas mileage.
Good gas mileage is 25 mpg combined, but you might find some for a little less that is worth considering if the price is good and it comes with other features you enjoy.
The types of doors that the vehicles have is something to think about too. While it's not nearly the most critical factor, you might prefer one type of door over another.
Doors Should Allow Easy Access Without the Need to Bend Over or Reach Awkwardly
Since you'll be getting equipment from the back of the vehicle frequently and then putting it back in, the types of doors might make this more accessible or challenging. Doors that open like a traditional trunk might make it too difficult to grab your cleaning machines.
Most vans have doors that slide open or on the back, and they open more like doors in your home. Doors that open like doors in a home allow for easier access to everything in your vehicle. It'll be easier to load and unload your gear, making for a more seamless service.
Durability is a considerable component to think about when shopping for a carpet cleaning vehicle. You'll be putting quite a bit of mileage on the vehicle and carrying heavy equipment on top of that, which will affect performance.
Having a vehicle that can withstand the wear and tear of these activities will make your life less stressful. You won't have to worry about the vehicle breaking down as often or getting dinged up if one of your machines or other equipment bumps into the truck or van.
Ideally, you'll take great care of your new company vehicle, but things can happen. You don't want a little bump from a cleaning machine to cause a dent or severe damage to the vehicle.
The brand of the vehicle isn't the most vital carpet cleaning vehicle requirement, but it's something to consider. Certain brands have reputable cars, but you’re looking for a different type of vehicle.
You'll want to ensure that whatever brand you're looking at has excellent reviews for the vehicle type you’re looking at vehicles. Checking for recalls, typical problems, and other information can help you make sure you're choosing a van or truck that will last.
All vehicles will have issues at one point or another, but the last thing you want to do is to invest in a vehicle for your company and immediately start having mechanical problems.
Another thing to remember when researching a car brand's reputation is to consider the year of the vehicle. The same vehicle might have more problems in a 2016 version compared to 2020, for example. You can check for common problems and recalls on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website.
Most people have an amount in mind that they're willing to spend on a vehicle, so you'll want to take some time to figure out what you can and are willing to pay.
You can assess your company profits to see which vehicle is the best option for your finances. You'll need to decide if you'll buy the car fully or lease it. You'll also want to compare the cost of the van or truck with all the other factors to ensure you're getting the best vehicle for your carpet cleaning company.
The best thing to do is to do some research on vehicles in your area or nearby. You can get a better idea of the cost of these vehicles and then determine your budget. Sometimes you may be able to find the same vehicle for a better price if you do a little traveling, but that requires time that you may not have.
Most people will tell you not to take the first offer you find because you can probably find it for cheaper, but doing some research first can help you know when you're getting a great offer or if you should shop around more.
You're probably going to want a larger vehicle for your carpet cleaning company so you can fit all your equipment inside. At the same time, you don't want something so large that it won't fit inside parking garages or a car wash.
There aren't specific dimensions we would recommend, but when you're shopping around, take note of the size of the vehicle and if it will fit everything you need while being able to fit into parking spaces and other areas.
Another reason you should consider the vehicle's dimensions is if you have experience driving a giant truck or van. It can be intimidating and complicated if you're not used to it, so being comfortable driving and parking a larger vehicle is vital. The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable driving your new carpet cleaning vehicle because of its size.
Let's face it. Most company vans or trucks all look pretty similar, but they come from different vehicle brands and have slightly different features. If you’re not sure where to start, you can look at vehicles that workers in similar industries use, such as appliance repair vehicles.
If you're browsing online for a carpet cleaning vehicle, you can search for a work van and go from there. Here are some popular makes and models that you might want to look into for your carpet cleaning business:
These aren't nearly all the options available, but they should give you an idea of where to start looking. As you browse through these vans, look at the dimensions, type of doors they have, storage space, gas mileage, and, most importantly, the cost. Even though they all look similar, the variations could make a huge difference when making your decision.
Check out some of the most frequently asked questions other car carpet cleaners or general carpet cleaning companies are wondering.
An upholstery cleaner can assist with cleaning all types of carpets and upholstery. Examples of this can include floor mats, stains, and carpet fibers, and they can clean car carpets too. Each carpet cleaning company might have different services, so you can decide what you want to provide customers.
Quite possibly, but it will require a financial analysis on your part. Most people in the industry will tell you that owning is cheaper than leasing. If you're just starting out, leasing may make more sense initially.
Work vans are generally much better than trucks for carpet cleaning professionals. They keep all your equipment covered, fit into parking spaces and garages easier, and tend to be slightly more affordable than box trucks and other vehicle options.