The average cost to detail a car depends 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 with an average of $80 for an average-sized vehicle. Car detailing for a larger vehicle, such as an SUV or van, will cost $75 to $150. Upgraded packages cost over $150 for average-sized vehicles and $175 for larger vehicles like trucks or an SUV.
|Average Premium Cost
|$50 – $125
|SUV or VAN
|$75 – $150
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).
Regardless of if you or someone else details your car, make sure you detail it regularly. Letting a car become extremely dirty over long periods without detail will only increase the cost of the next car detail, as cleaning will require more solutions, time, and effort.
Basic Car Detailing Price Range
A basic car detailing package covers all of the essential services which go into cleaning a car. These services include exterior washing and waxing, window and mirror washing, interior vacuuming, interior polishing, trim cleaning, and tire scrubbing. A basic package will cost between $50 and $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 Service
Advanced Car Detailing Price Range
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 Service
|Full Interior Detail
|Full Exterior Detail
Where to Find Best 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 You Can Save Money On Car 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.
If You Want to Car Detailing Yourself
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:
- Inspect the car for stains, scratches, or tears
- Remove items from the interior of the car
- Dust and vacuum the interior
- Wipe hard surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner
- Clean seats and scrub tires
- Wash the car’s exterior, polish the paint, and wax
- Clean any metal trim and exterior windows
- 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.
Benjamin is a certified financial advisor, with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He is knowledgeable about various business and financial topics, such as retirement planning and investment management. Ben has been recognized for his work in the financial planning industry. He has also been featured in various publications.