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  • Writer's pictureYork Swan

How much does Car Detailing cost? (2023)

Maintaining a well-kept, clean car is crucial to maintain your car's appearance and longevity. Without regular car maintenance through Car Detailing, your vehicle can deteriorate through the dirt, grime, and road film that lands on the vehicle. However, the cost of Car Detailing can often be a surprise to someone who does not know what Car Detailing is.

Today we will be covering:

Factors Influencing Car Detailing Cost

Here at Foam Car Washing, we have three main factors that affect the price quoted to our customers.

The first is the type of Car Detail/Detail package chosen, as a maintenance service will be priced very differently from a transformative, pre-sale Car Detail service.

Another factor in Car Detailing costs is the car size, chassis, and build of the vehicle. Car size is a major pricing component as a large SUV or ute will take much longer to clean the exterior and interior than a smaller coupe-type vehicle.

The most overlooked factor in pricing Car Details is the condition of the vehicle. Both the type of Car Detailing package and car size and type are easy to pinpoint through conversation with the customer without seeing the vehicle. However, without pictures, it can sometimes be very difficult to understand the vehicle’s condition without seeing it in person, even if you are asking all the right questions.

A lot of Car Detailers also use the location of the vehicle to determine the price of the Car Detail. Location price variation is uncommon in urban areas where there is a much higher density of people and therefore customers and clients.

For example, Foam Car Washing does not use a travel surcharge within their service area of the Sydney metropolitan area. This area encompasses 12,368.2 square kilometres with a population of 5,121,000 people. From Foam Car Washing HQ in Sydney, we can access this area and population within roughly one hour, which is why we do not use a travel surcharge.

However, in rural areas outside of Sydney, travel distances, local demand, and competition can often push the price of Car Detailing higher, with the use of a travel surcharge.

DIY vs. Professional Car Detailing

A Car Detailing ‘starter kit’ with the bare essentials can cost as little as $52.99 from your local automotive store. This puts professional Car Detailers at a significant cost disadvantage compared to DIY Car Detailers.

If you're looking at the cost alone, it makes sense to buy a Car Detailing kit and do the job yourself instead of paying for an exterior and interior Car Detailing service that can cost anywhere from $100 to $150.

Nevertheless, DIY Car Detailing and Professional Detailing have many differences including the wealth of experience as well as correct and concise Car Detailing methods that Professional Car Detailers have taken time to discover.

A cheap DIY Car Detailing kit will only get you so far in terms of Car Detailing results, whereas a Professional Detailer will come with the appropriate equipment and tools that are needed to complete the Car Detailing service.

DIY Car Detailing will also require a small to medium learning curve to use the tools, equipment, and chemicals effectively and in the right way. In contrast, the Professional Car Detailer understands his or her tools, equipment, materials, and chemicals to extract the best Car Detailing results from them for you the customer.

Another obvious difference between DIY Car Detailing and a Professional Detailer is the manual labour involved in Car Detailing. A small Car Detail can involve 2 hours of work minimum with larger Car Details taking upwards of 8 hours. Add onto that the learning curve, and the inefficient and potentially incapable cleaning equipment, tools, and chemicals - the obvious choice would be to go with the higher priced Professional Detailer.

Car Detailing as an investment

What many people don’t realise is that Car Detailing is an investment and like all investments, the return on the investment is not immediate. For Car Detailing, the return on the investment can include lower maintenance costs, higher vehicle resale value, and better enjoyment of your vehicle.

However, the investment of Car Detailing isn’t for everyone. Most people take care of their vehicles in one way or another. Whether that is taking your vehicle to a $10 car wash, using dish soap for a DIY car wash, a tunnel car wash, or a full Detailing car care maintenance program. Car Detailing isn’t for everyone, but it's undeniable that it is the best, most efficient, and cost-effective way to take care of your vehicles properly, and for the long term.


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