How Much Does It Cost To Detail A Car?

Having a clean, well-maintained car helps car owners better enjoy driving their vehicle. Keeping up with the daily interior and exterior cleaning of a car, however, is often a time-consuming task – especially cleaning it in the heat of the summer.

Cleaning and detailing a car must be completed thoroughly to avoid damaging any part of the vehicle or missing certain areas when cleaning. Rushing a detailing job could lead to dirt accumulating in certain areas of the vehicle. Depending on the type of dirt, this accumulation could cause stains and lower the resale value of the car.

Car owners may not know how much it costs to detail a car or if paying for a detailing service is worth the cost.

How Much Does It Cost To Detail A Car?

Basic car detailing service prices range from $50 to $125 for an average-sized vehicle. Car detailing for a larger vehicle, such as an SUV or van, will cost $75 to $150. There are upgraded packages consumers may purchase which provide more attention to detail. Upgraded packages cost over $150 for average-sized vehicles and $175 for larger vehicles like trucks or an SUV.

Detailing a car on your own requires several different cleaning tools and solutions. It’s recommended that a day is set aside dedicated to detailing the vehicle if the car owner is cleaning on their own.

If you decide to detail your vehicle on your own, make sure to follow these steps for a thorough cleaning:

  1. Inspect the car for stains, scratches, or tears
  2. Remove items from the interior of the car
  3. Dust and vacuum the interior
  4. Wipe hard surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner
  5. Clean seats and scrub tires
  6. Wash the car’s exterior, polish the paint, and wax
  7. Clean any metal trim and exterior windows
  8. Optional: clean the car’s engine bay

For an informative breakdown of each step, refer to the Home Depot’s Car Detailing Guide before starting your detail.

Basic Car Detailing Service Cost

A basic car detailing package covers all of the essential services which go into cleaning a car. These services include an exterior washing and waxing, window and mirror washing, interior vacuuming, interior polishing, trim cleaning, and tire scrubbing. A basic package will cost between $50-$150 depending on the size of the vehicle.

The cost breakdown for each service which is part of a basic package runs as follows:

Type of ServicePrice Range
Hand Wash$30-$50
Mini Detail$35-$45
Express Wax$50-$75
Interior Cleaning$35-$55

Advanced Car Detailing Service Cost

Additional services can be requested as part of more advanced car detailing packages. For car owners preparing to sell their car or to take their car to a show, consider purchasing an advanced package. These services provide much more attention to detail and thorough cleaning – making sure to get even the toughest to reach spots.

Advanced services are more expensive but can help improve the overall resale value of the car. Consumers can expect to pay the following range of prices for more advanced services, in addition to some services from basic packages:

Type of ServicePrice Range
Polymer Wax$110-$150
Full Interior Detail$135-$150
Full Exterior Detail$135-$155
Scotchgard$160-$185
Dent Removal$75-$150
Leather Treatment$90-$125
Odor Removal$55-$75
Engine Steaming$175-$300

Where Can I Find Car Detailing Services?

You can find several types of car detailers in your local area. Car wash chains, professional detailers, and body shops offer car detailing services.

Car wash chains are the most common location for a car detail, with prices that will slightly vary based on region. Most chains offer basic cleaning services perfect for keeping the exterior and interior of your car well maintained. For older cars or vintage cars, however, car wash chains are not recommended as the cleaning machinery used can be rough on the exterior of older vehicles.

Professional detailers are a much better option for older vehicles, as these are individuals who can complete all services with careful attention and care. Services from professional detailers will be more expensive but will leave a car in almost factory-clean condition. These services are also recommended for luxury vehicles.

Body shops (and dealerships) also provide car detailing services, although you will need to be prepared to leave your car at the shop for most of the day. Although cheaper than professional detailers, services from body shops take longer than at a car wash chain.

How Can I Save Money On Detailing?

There are several ways to cut down on the overall cost of car detailing, as the service can become expensive if conducted often. Money can be saved on materials and the cost of detailing.

If you are working with a car detailing service provider, keep an eye out for any discount or promotional periods that the car detailer runs. These discount periods can appear anytime throughout the year, so it will be important to monitor this carefully. Requesting a car detail to be completed during any of these periods can save you money.

If you are detailing your car on your own, make sure to select your cleaning materials wisely. Look for any car detailing materials or solutions that are on discount, as they will work just as good on your vehicle while also saving you money. Additionally, use these materials sparingly and only as needed, as to prolong their use for several car details.

Regardless of if you or someone else details your car, make sure you detail regularly. Letting a car become extremely dirty over long periods without a detail will only increase the cost of the next car detail, as cleaning will require more solutions, time, and effort. To save money, try keeping your car consistently detailed and overall well-maintained.

How Much Does It Cost To Detail A Car?

On average, a basic car detail costs $50-$125 for an average-sized vehicle. For an SUV, van, or truck, a basic car detail can cost up to $150. Upgraded packages with advanced services cost over $150 for average-sized vehicles and over $175 for larger vehicles.

Be sure to have your car detailed regularly, as this will save you money by reducing the time and materials needed to complete details. Car detail services are provided by car wash chains, professional detailers, and body shops (or dealerships).