Why some car washes in Germany are closed on Sunday
Here’s something you probably didn’t know: in some German federal states it’s illegal to wash your car on Sunday. Even in progressive Berlin, car owners can get fined when they take out the bucket and sponge on Sundays. The rule also applies to car washes.
The strict law in Germany has a religious background, we learn from an article on car website 24Auto.de Sunday rest actually applies on this day and is even protected by the German constitution. It is a day of rest and mental relaxation. All publicly visible work is therefore prohibited. What this means for car washing is regulated in the respective Sunday and public holiday laws of the federal states.
“In Germany this is an old topic”, says Sandra Schäfer from Carwashpro.de. This law annoys many car wash operators because it sometimes leads to unfairness. In border areas of the federal states where this Sunday rule is imposed, it is very easy to switch to the competition, just across the state border. These are customers you may lose forever.”
Which states are affected?
In Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Bremen, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland car washing is prohibited on Sundays. There are no exceptions to this, on the contrary: anyone who does not comply with the ban risks a fine of up to 100,000 euros.
In the remaining federal states, however, it is generally permitted to wash your car on Sundays. But it pays to double check. In Hamburg, for example, you are only allowed to wash her car in the afternoon (between 13 and 19 hours). In Hessen, washing is restricted to one hour, either in the morning or in the evening.
In the big southern state of Bavaria it is even more complicated. There it is up to the local authorities to decide what is permitted.
Commercial car washing is only partly affected. In Bavaria, car washes are allowed to open their doors in the afternoon, after 12.