For those who want to use the drive-through car wash in Japan but are unsure how, here’s a detailed guide on payment methods and menu selection. This time, we used the car wash next to Seven-Eleven in Chatan Town (the process is similar for most machines).

First, touch the monitor at the entrance of the car wash machine. The first thing you’ll see is the screen below:

① Selecting the payment method

For credit card, press the button labeled “クレジットカード.” For cash, press “現金・現金会員.” Other cashless options like PayPay or Eneos card are also available, but we’ll skip those here.

② If you choose credit card:

▶︎ Insert the card first. When asked if you have a points card, press “なし” (no) if you don’t.

▶︎If paying with cash, pay after confirming your order.

③ If you have coupons, touch to apply discounts.

Next question is, “Do you have coupons?”
Some gas stations in Japan provide discount coupons for the next wash.
If you don’t have any, press “なし” (no). (Sometimes, there might be coupons next to the machine due to store promotions – lucky you! But if you’re unsure about a coupon, it’s okay not to use it. Try it once you get used to it!)

④ Select the car wash course.

Now, choose your car wash plan. There are quite a few options.
The basic shampoo-only wash is 300 yen, wax-included is 500 yen, foam blower wax is 800 yen, foam blow coat is 1300 yen, and foam blow glass coat is 2300 yen. Even the shampoo-only or wax-included options will make your car look clean! (By the way, I always go for the wax-included 500 yen or foam blower wax 800 yen)
If you make a mistake, you can use the cancel button.

⑤ Optional selections. Next is optional selections.

Choose if you want the car’s undercarriage washed. If not, proceed to the confirm button.

⑥ Selection of relevant equipment.

Next, select equipment based on your car type. If you have a regular car, just press confirm. However, if you have features like fender balls, unfoldable side mirrors, foreign cars, or any protrusions on the front or rear (customized cars), select here to avoid potential damage by the machine.

⑦ Review the order details.

Confirm the car wash menu you selected. Press confirm if everything is okay, or press back if you want to redo something. If you chose cash payment, pay here.

Finally, the car wash begins!

Pay attention to the small signal at the back of the car wash machine!
Confirm the bottom green lamp (move forward) is blinking before slowly starting the car. Stop when you reach the red lamp (stop). If you overshoot, the top yellow lamp (move back) will blink, so adjust slowly without rushing.

Once the car is in position, fold the side mirrors and wait. The car wash will start automatically.

It will finish in about 5 minutes.
When done, the green lamp will blink again; then, drive the car out of the car wash machine.

Once parked nearby, use a cloth for the drying process.

Towels are generally provided by the store.

In regular gas stations, they are often located next to the fuel dispensers, but in this station, you can find them at the entrance of Seven-Eleven.

From here, it’s optional, but here are some convenient car wash items you should know.

★ Mattress cleaning machine

This is a Floor mattress cleaning machine that is usually available for free.

After turning on the power (to the left), press the lever at your feet, and the cleaning machine will start, wrapping and cleaning the mattress for you.

Insert it into the machine with the dirty side (the side you step on) facing downwards.

★ Vacuum cleaner

This is a vacuum cleaner for the interior of your car. You can use it for 5 minutes for 100 yen, so give it a try.

Finally, return the used cloth to the designated bucket when you’re done!

Since many machines don’t have English displays, I hope this article helps you keep your car shiny!
Thank you for reading. -Okibabe

About Us

Okibabe is your go-to hub for all things lifestyle and travel in Okinawa, specially crafted for English speakers.
Our mission? To sprinkle extra comfort and excitement onto your Okinawa adventure! Big thanks for dropping by and exploring Okinawa with us!