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Why Car Detailing Prices Vary?

  • Why Car Detailing Prices Vary?
    May 26, 2011

    How you prep yourself up for special occasions differs – say for instance, you might go with a casual theme for family birthdays and BBQ’s but want to splurge a little more for your wedding or business anniversaries.

    Similarly, with our cars, the maintenance and cleaning work that is needed will differ depending on the needs, the season, occasions, etc.

    Perhaps the salt from the winter’s driving needs to be removed. Or maybe you have decided to sell or trade in your car for a more fuel-efficient model. Or, there might be that 10-year anniversary get-together that you have been looking forward to with your old college buddies. Whatever the case may be, it makes sense to match the need with the professional detailing service that is required.

    Certainly you do not want to overpay a detailer; neither would you want to fall for what seems like a good deal but turns out to be a botched up job – which you then have to pay again to get right with another provider.


    Car Detailing Prices: Why They Differ

    In auto washes, you simply drop a coin into a machine, enter the tunnel where your car will be swathed with soap and water and washed by gigantic  cloths and brushes. It’s kind of a cookie-cutter or a one-size-fits all approach to car washing.

    Of course, the price depends on the size of your vehicle. The larger the vehicle, the higher the price.

    Does the same go for detailing? Does pricing depend on the size of a vehicle?

    Yes, but the similarity ends there.

    It’s because in auto detailing, there are several factors to consider when pricing. These are:


    Vehicle’s brand

    There’s a reason why luxury car detailers charge more. No, it’s not because their clients can pay more. It’s because luxury car detailers put a lot of money in getting the right training, buying the recommended products, tools and equipment.

    Detailers are aware that luxury vehicle owners won’t have their car detailed by non-experts. After all, these people paid top dollar for that sexy, shiny car; the vehicle that makes heads turn and gives them intense pride and joy.


    Condition of the vehicle

    When we say condition of the vehicle, we mean how dirty it is. Did you just come from a muddy road trip? Chances are, your vehicle has tough mud, bug remains, and other contaminants all over!

    Even the best detailer will need a lot of time, effort and products for cleaning it.

    Of course, car detailing prices will vary if you have it cleaned and maintained regularly.


    Types of detailing products

    What types of products do you want your detailer to use on your car? Auto detailing supplies that contain a lot of chemicals generally cost cheaper and work faster. These can cut through dirt and grime in a matter of minutes. The downside? Their chemical content can be hazardous to your health, your vehicle, and the environment.

    Organic products, on the other hand, costs more, and sometimes require a longer time to work. But they’re proven to be safe on your health, your vehicle, and the environment.


    Add-on services

    Car detailing prices will also vary depending on the add-on services you prefer. Would you like to have your interior detailed? Do you want to sanitize it to get rid of germs or viruses? Got a car scratch you want removed? Or need to have your prized possession polished to perfection?



    With some companies, you will instantly notice the cutting edge yet cost-effective hand car wash steam cleaning methods they use. Moreover, non-toxic cleaning and car waxing products should be considered as otherwise, they may harm the exterior car body and on the interior, you and your family may be inhaling or absorbing fumes that may result in physical discomfort or worse still, ailments for those who are more prone to allergies.


    Don’t just look at the price. Read between the lines as they describe how they will do the job you request. What methods do they use? How well-maintained are their tools and equipment? How long they will take and what you can expect – in terms of look, feel, smell and after-maintenance – when their professional detailing is completed.

    By getting a sense of how they respond to you will indicate the extent to which they are listening to you, and are aware of what you are looking for and if their solutions sit right with you personally.

    Compare apples with apples

    By weighing in other considerations such as:

      • Is it just a straightforward wash or is your vehicle badly soiled and muddied from the week’s excursion with the family in the country?
      • Is it the exterior or interior to be detailed or both?
      • How long does it take?
      • How fast do you want to get it done?
      • Where it takes place – on your premises, in the public car park downtown, at the detailer’s shop?
      • Are there certain polishes, waxes, sanitizers or deodorizers that you prefer?
      • Is the purpose of the detailing in preparation for a show car event, a sale, special occasion or is it just the seasonal steam cleaning detailing for your vehicle from your favorite car wash franchise?

    Whichever the case may be, you must ensure your professional detailer understands and is able to deliver on your needs. Plus, they have to ensure you understand how their prices vary for those needs before you commit and hand over your keys.

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