By Ed Pierce, Fleet Management Weekly Editor
Managing a fleet requires juggling countless expenses. From fueling to maintenance, it can be hard to monitor and minimize the various expenses required for the upkeep of an entire fleet. But a new partnership between Car IQ and EverWash seeks to simplify at least one area of fleet management–washing the vehicles. Together, the partnership between the two companies will provide fleets with an automated payment car wash solution.
Car IQ offers a payment solution for vehicles and fleets. They’ve created technology to allow customers to use their vehicles to pay for services, receive and store funds without needing a credit card. EverWash is a leader in wash marketing that offers its customers monthly unlimited car wash plans at a network of car washes.
The new partnership between the two companies simplifies the washing process, allowing fleet drivers to connect their vehicles directly to the wash and pay without needing a credit card. They receive all the same benefits using EverWash’s car wash membership network.
EverWash: from gym memberships to car washes
EverWash was created in 2013 by entrepreneurs Scott Caplan and John Cassady. Before they founded EverWash, each had built the largest network of gyms in the country through a company called Global Fit. They built their network by reaching out to employers and insurers and offering a discounted monthly gym membership. By making partnerships with big insurance companies, they were able to grow their network of gyms and provide discounted memberships to people living within a certain radius.
“What we realized is that the gym industry is pretty similar to the car wash industry,” said Scott Caplan. “The way that we really see it, fleets are the insurance company for us. It’s the equal alternative of what the health insurance carriers were for Global Fit gym model.”
As they entered the car wash industry, the two entrepreneurs found that the major issues facing car washes were the difficulty of attracting customers and combating weather issues. EverWash was able to step in and offer a membership service on behalf of these car washes, applying the same membership model as their gym business and helping wash owners generate much more revenue.
Entering the Fleet Space
EverWash launched a mobile app in 2016 with a handful of washes in the Philadelphia area, soon branching out to over 200 active car washes in 2019. The company has grown to be the largest network of car washes in the country in all 50 states. They also acquired OmniX Labs in 2021, a machine learning and vehicle analytics company that enabled them to track the cars coming in and out of the car washes. As they continue to grow, the fleet space was a natural next step.
“The fleet managers really didn’t have an organized way to wash their cars,” said Scott Pashley. “It was really like the Wild West. If we can help them get the cars washed in a seamless way with great reporting, and they can work with us instead of trying to make deals with lots of different providers that are out there, we can manage it all–just a win-win all the way around.”
EverWash hired talent from the fleet management world to gain a greater understanding of what fleet managers want and need as far as a car wash product. The greatest issue they encountered was the lack of clarity around who was washing the car and whether or not it was actually the fleet vehicle being washed rather than a driver’s personal vehicle.
A Data-Driven Fleet Wash Solution
“One of the reasons that we bought omniX was because we needed that data to really track the cars that were coming in and out of the carwash that we work with,” said Scott Caplan. “We can now track usage, conversion, and how long somebody’s spending on a lot. I think, for the fleet companies, we’re really giving them transparency, making sure that the car that is in the fleet is actually the car that’s getting washed. We can actually give them timestamps information on exactly when this is all happening.”
They also sought to build a product that gives fleet managers the ability to add and remove drivers and limit the price tag on certain washes. It was while building this tool that they stumbled upon the opportunity of a partnership with Car IQ.
Car IQ: The Better Way for Fleets to Pay
Car IQ was founded in 2016 with the mission to enable machines to be trusted to make purchases. Their solution connects cars directly to merchants, enabling them to pay for services without the use of a credit card. They use vehicle data to identify the car, which offers them enough supporting information and data to perform secure transactions with banks and merchants. The company recently partnered with Discover to build out their solution so that vehicle payments could run over the Discover network.
Our core technology is validating the vehicle and authenticating it so it can make purchases,” said Matt Nicholson, senior vice president for merchant commercialization for Car IQ. “This new process is far more secure and eliminates the need for drivers to enter PINs, or mileage as the card providers require. Car IQ does it for them”
With their new partnership with EverWash, Car IQ brings to the table their automated car wash payment process. When a driver brings their car into one of the car washes in EverWash’s network, Car IQ will authenticate the vehicles using vehicle sensor data and vehicle behavior to ensure they can be trusted to transact. Vehicles must not only be physically present in order to be washed and complete the transaction, but they must also pass Car IQ’s algorithmic controls that run in the background.
The Benefit for fleet Managers
This partnership gives fleet managers discounted car washes, greater oversight, and increased control over how their vehicles get washed. While fleet managers haven’t traditionally had many controls around car washes, the new partnership will dramatically change that.
“Fleet managers will be able to set controls around the services that they want to allow with a validated audit trail down to the vehicle level, all while providing savings on the actual car washes themselves,” said Nicholson.
With the need for frequent car washes for fleet vehicles, this service will drastically change the way fleets pay to wash their vehicles. Fleet users will be able to pay for car washes much more easily without having to worry about credit card transactions. Fleet managers will be able to take advantage of discounted washes, centralized billing, and greater transparency and reporting.
“Because we’re app-based, fleet managers wouldn’t need to take a receipt, scan it, send it in, and have somebody on the other end validate it,” said Scott Pashley. “We’re also removing the fraud, because it’s a sort of a one-to-one relationship using the EverWash app. I think Car IQ takes that to the next level where the car through the telematics is actually the payment processor. So, it truly removes the fraud component, removes the manual part of scanning a receipt, and then having somebody validate that on the other end.”
Car IQ can also enforce any fleet-specific restrictions around spending with EverWash, which will allow fleet managers to specify how frequently they want the vehicles to be washed and how much they’re willing to spend per wash.
“If the fleet manager says, ‘I only want this vehicle washed once a week,’ then regardless of the driver, if they go and try to transact it’s not going to let them,” said Nicholson.
Next Steps for Car IQ
Car IQ has plans to continue expanding into the fleet market by adding more merchant acceptance to their platform. This will allow them to provide more choice for their customers with regards to vehicle services and maintenance. By adding more partners like EverWash that can leverage their unique technology, they can deliver a better way for fleets to manage vehicle spending.
“Our goal is to enable a vehicle to be able to pay for all those services and goods that it needs directly with the merchant,” said Nicholson. “And in doing so, giving the fleet manager better insight and control into their vehicle spending and their total cost of ownership of that vehicle.”
Future Partnerships for EverWash
EverWash has brought in new executives to help scale their business and continue expanding into the fleet space. They’ve also brought in equity partners to provide the financing that will help them build out their fleet play.
To continue its growth, the company plans to continue creating partnerships with fleets of all sizes. In addition to partnering with small to mid-size fleets where they’re regionally strong, the company is looking to make partnerships with big partners on the fuel side as well as other big fleet management companies. This will allow them to rapidly expand their network and reach more fleet managers.