Where to open a DRAGO center

Before building a center it is necessary to make the following considerations:

One must be aware that the experiences made in this field are from industralized countries where the average person has a certain purchasing power. ( for example, a "blue collar" worker in Switzerland works 1/4 to 1/2 hour to cover the cost of washing his car).

One should evaluate if the opening of a center in a determined location is affordable by the majority of car users in that area.

It is, therefore, advised to use prudence in making investments in low industrialized countries.

Naturally, it is necessary to have access to an appropriate piece of property on a street with a considerable amount of traffic (even if rented, but be careful to make a long term contract with a renewal clause in your favour in order to maintain your clientele).

An appropriate piece of property would be a surface area of about 1000 m2 (for opening a station with 4-6 spots + vacuums ), not in the proximity of residential area.


The plan of a station to 6 box ( Alfonsine RA ).



The finished station ( Alfonsine RA ).



The main flow of clients is notably during free-time (evenings and holidays). As a consequence, there is more traffic during this time as well as respective noise for the neighbors. For this reason we do not recommend opening a center in the proximity of residential areas.

Even if one were to obtain a construction license in the proximity of a residential area, once in function, due to the noise level, controversy with the neighbors would arise and due to their complaints to the authorities, a compromising solution would be found in limiting the use of the center. (closing hours would be during the most profitable time for the car wash).

We suggest to build the center on a busy street in order to avoid the cost of advertising.

The property should also have electric energy, drinking water and canalization for water drainage.

Electric energy is indispensable for the function of the station.

Theoretically, it would be possible to put the center into operation without drinkable water by recycling the same water with costly and sofisticated treatments. We, therefore, do not recommend this solution. The link-up to the community sewer system is not indispensable, however it would be necessary to clarify the drainage water. This operation involves other costs. Therefore, if possible, search for an area where clarification is not necessary.

Gas, diesel or electric energy is necessary for the production of hot water. One needs to calculate which is the most convenient.

It is advisable to combine another activity in car maintenance whit the car wash (for example: gas station, repair garage, tire shop, mechanic), thus creating an automobile service center. By concentrating diverse activities in the same area, one employee is enough to supervise the entire area, reducing ulterior costs.

In the case that one is not yet the owner of a piece of property, is it only advisa- ble to purchase one if not too many preparations are necessary (supporting walls, fill-ins, etc.). These operations raise the cost of the property excessively.

For this reason we advise the stipulation of a purchasing contract with the clause "payment after license received".

In any case, before committing oneself, we advise the presentation of the project to be examined by one of our consultants.

Piero Rivola SA
6802 Rivera (Switzertland)
Phone ++41 91 935 90 00
Fax ++41 91 935 90 01
email: info@rivola.ch

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