I tried out the new Tidal Wave car wash today. It's on West Broad Street near Sycamore Drive where Burger King used to be. For $3.99 -- wow, less than four dollars -- I got my car washed in an automated drive-through system. What was interesting to me was that it was more of a pull-through system than a drive-through. The attendant tells everyone to drive within guide rails and put their car in neutral, then you don't steer or brake. A conveyor pulls your car through the wash which has brushes and all that. I'm not sure what the advantage of this system is over the type that moves brushes around a stopped car, but I imagine it could be all the rage in car wash trade magazines. I have used a vehicle wash that you drive through slowly, but it was the bus wash machine for Campus Transit at UGA.
The convenient part was the free vacuums to clean your car's interior. It's nice not to get nickel-and-dimed over everything, though of course the wash system did have more expensive options that allegedly do more.
If I had paid with cash rather than a credit card, would the machine have spit back a penny? It must be really important to keep that price under four dollars.