How Much Does It Cost to Detail a Car?

Detail a Car

There’s a lot that goes into getting that high gloss look on new car paint. If you want it to preserve its beautiful appearance, think beyond your gas station car wash.

You won’t need to go out and spend your entire paycheck on fancy car detailing services you don’t need. Check out this guide to understanding the cost to detail a car so you can protect your investment over time. 



Why Get My Car Detailed?

A shiny coat of paint is a major confidence boost, but it’s not the top reason to detail your car. Your car is a depreciating asset.

This means that the moment you drive it off the dealership lot, it’s worth less than you paid. That amount continues to go down with each day, and each mile you drive.

If you want to slow down the depreciation process, keep your car in top condition. Its resell value is much stronger when a buyer can tell you’ve maintained it over time.

Detailing your car is a way to transform a car into an investment. This is especially the case when you’re maintaining a vintage or collectible car.

People are often willing to pay top dollar when you’ve invested first in luxury car detailing. These cars aren’t considered a depreciating asset because owners can sometimes get more than the car was originally worth.

Aim to get your car detailed regularly to protect your investment.

Benefits of Car Detailing

Getting a car detailed is just what the name implies. It’s about getting your car cleaned in careful detail.

This means things like cleaning between the door jams, under and around your seats where dirt can hide eating away at your leather. A car wash will never provide this level of detail no matter how many add-on services are available.

A good car detailing service restores your vehicle to that factory shine. Beware of car washes that offer interior cleaning as an after thought. 

These places rely on quantity rather than quality to make money. The more cars they get through in a day, the better.

Top notch automotive detailing companies look for the number of happy customers they receive in a day. They charge more because they’re taking more time getting your vehicle in top condition. 

Still, an occasional trip to the car wash won’t hurt your vehicle. Just make sure the car wash is well maintained.

Old, rusty car wash equipment can scratch your new car. You also want to be mindful of the chemicals used in the car wash.

Not all ‘soap’ used in a car wash is real. These chemical soap blends include lubricants that break down the glossy finish on your paint leaving a dull finish behind.

What is the Cost to Detail a Car?

The cost to detail a car varies based on the size and model of your car. A Ferrari isn’t going to cost the same as a Prius to detail.

There’s far more attention to detail needed to care for a Ferrari. Damage to any part of the interior is a major expense to the detail company.

This doesn’t mean the Prius owner doesn’t get top notch service. It just means there’s a different level of care needed to exceed customer expectations.

Cars that require less care pay cheaper fees. This is a good thing if you don’t own a luxury car because you’re not paying for unnecessary cleaning time.

Basic detailing packages include a wash, tire shine, waxing and interior vacuuming. These services typically start around $100.

Premium services are far more detailed and can get up into the hundreds. Expect to pay top dollar for best in class cleanliness. You’ll have protection added to your car’s paint and interior surfaces. 

There’s no one size fits all solution for every car. Rather than signup for a blanket service like you would at a car wash, car detailers offer a range of a la carte services to meet your specific needs. 

You can scale your fee up or down to account for that trip to the beach or to prepare your vehicle for resale. 

How to Choose a Car Detailing Service

It’s impossible for a car detailer to offer quality service without knowing about cars. You can learn a lot simply by calling up car detailing companies in your area and asking about their process.

They need to understand common materials and surfaces in cars. Ask about the products they use and how they help to preserve or protect the car.

You want a knowledge car detailer handling your vehicle. You’re paying three to four times more than what you’d pay at a drive through car wash.

These extras fees are to account for the higher level of professionalism and knowledge you’ll get working with a car detailer. Another resource for finding the best car detailing service is the internet.

Read online reviews to narrow down reputable companies. Automotive enthusiasts are a discerning crowd.

They won’t take kindly to a car detailer ruining their custom paint job. You’ll find honest reviews online by searching ‘luxury car detailing services’ followed by your city name. 

Car Detailing Prices

The cost to detail a car is based on the size and model of your vehicle. Some cars requires extra special care while others are less high maintenance.

You can usually get a quote over the phone to help you compare car detailing companies in advance. Always check the reputation of a car detailer before trusting them with your car.

Bad service can mean costly repairs. Avoid experimenting with your car by doing your research in advance to ensure a company is reputable. 

For more information and car tips, visit our blog for updates.