Capitol Car Wash on Princeton Avenue in Lawrenceville has been helping area cars clean for the past 55 years, and the current owners have been a part of that for nearly a decade.
Scott Servetah and Steve Ward purchased the location from Hubert Zada about 10 years ago. Zada ran the car wash for approximately 40 years before retiring to Florida. Servetah and Ward knew the Zada family, and when they learned he was selling the business, they agreed that it would be a good opportunity. They are still in touch with the family.
Under Servetah and Ward, Capitol Car Wash has been a six-time winner of the Trentonian’s Reader Award for Best Car Wash, something Servetah attributes to his and Ward’s approach to business. “We do whatever the customer wants,” he said. “We are a full-service car wash.
We physically touch every car to work on it to make it as good as we can inside and out.” At Capitol Car Wash, everything is done by hand. There are no hand blowers or other machines involved. “People like full service,” Servetah said. “That’s what we give them.”
One of either Servetah or Ward is at the car wash every day, Servetah said. They also have two managers with over 30 years of experience. “We are a 22-person team,” Servetah said. “There is nothing they do I wouldn’t do. I work every day with these guys.”
Prior to purchasing Capitol Car Wash, Servetah and Ward worked together as commodities brokers. Both in their 50s, the two men were working for the New York Stock Exchange during both World Trade Center attacks. The NYSE relocated to Queens for two years, which drastically increased their commute times. When the floor went electronic, they both found themselves out of a job.
Ward is from Pennington. He now works in Connecticut five days a week as he raises his three sons, all of whom are active in local sports. He is at the car wash every Sunday. Servetah lives in Millstone and enjoys his much shorter commute Monday through Saturday.
Capitol Car Wash also details about 200 cars a month. “We have six detailers working full time,” Servetah said. They clean the seats, take scratches out of paint and sand headlights.
“We get rid of stuff,” he said. “What separates us from the competition is we do not take any short cuts. We’ll do what you want us to do.” That includes wiping windshields, applying and removing car wax by hand and cleaning up waste. “We do things the way it is supposed to be done,” Servetah said.
Detailing work keeps Capitol’s employees busy. They work on state and city cars, as well as car rental agency cars. “We take special pride in building long lasting relationships with customers, other businesses, and the community,” Servetah said. “We are heavily invested in the community, schools events, sports teams, religious groups, and homeless shelters. I’ll never turn anyone away when they have requests for gift baskets, or car washes. We are all in this together.”
In 2016, Capitol Car Wash began offering a monthly wash package starting at $29.99 for unlimited car washes, a service that costs $11.99 for each car wash without the monthly plan. “They can come in every day of the month for dash and console wipes, towel dried, complete with vacuuming,” Servetah said. Upgraded packages include undercarriage cleaning and waxing.
Servetah recommends their hand waxing service to prepare the car for summer, especially this time of year. “It removes the salt and brine from the harsh winter and protects the car from pollen and harsh summer rays,” he said.
Capitol Car Wash, 1617 Princeton Avenue, Lawrenceville. Phone: (609) 695-6166. Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Saturday 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.