Cracking the Code of Car Detailing Pricing: Expert Insights

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Updated on:

November 9, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Competitive Car Detailing Pricing

Choosing your price range is one of the first stages in starting a car detailing business. Car detailing may restore your customers' customers' automobiles to peak condition, from quick waxes to dent removals. But what should the cost of your auto detailing be?

Car detail prices vary on a number of variables. Service kind, location, and vehicle size are some of these considerations. You might choose to include detailed packages as well.

We'll go over all you need to know about how to charge for car detailing in this manual. By doing so, you can strengthen your ability to outperform client expectations while expanding your company.

We'll go over all you need to know about how to charge for car detailing in this manual. By doing so, you can strengthen your ability to outperform client expectations while expanding your company as well as get ahead of other car detailing businesses.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pricing Strategy Matters: Successful car detailing businesses understand the importance of flexible pricing based on factors like service type, location, and vehicle size.
  • Diverse Service Offerings: Offering a variety of detailing services, from interior and exterior to mobile and classic car detailing, helps cater to different customer preferences.
  • Adapt and Thrive: To stay competitive, regularly assess and adjust pricing while focusing on providing exceptional value and customer experiences to build a loyal clientele.

Table of Contents (Show)

Table of Contents (Hide)

National Average Car Detailing Prices

The average car detailing price around the country is $160.16. The low end of the range of interior and exterior detailing is $114.59 and $213.67 on the high end.

Car Detailing Prices by Services

Different sorts of auto detailing services may be required for various vehicles. One vehicle could only require a thorough wash, whilst another might require a full interior detail. Because of this, many individuals consider understanding the various service kinds to be the first step toward appropriate pricing and sustaining a successful detailing business.

The following are the top five categories of auto detailing services:

Interior Detailing pricing

1. Interior Detailing

The process of interior detailing entails thoroughly cleaning the interior of a car. Interior detailing services often include the following in their work:

  • Carpets
  • Vinyl
  • Leather
  • Floor mats
  • Dashboards
  • Cup holders
  • Air conditioning vents
  • Mirrors
  • Handles

When cleaning vehicle's interior, automotive detailing services may make use of:

Steam cleaners: This cleaning method doesn't use a lot of water, soap, or other chemicals. Instead, it employs steam to remove stains, grime, and other impurities. It's also the more environmentally responsible choice.

Vacuums - Interior car detailing vacuums are more portable than regular vacuums. Long hoses are frequently included with these equipment so they can access tight spaces.

When performing a complete interior detail, you could choose to shampoo carpets and floor mats, but only if the carpet is detachable or heavily stained.

Costs for a thorough interior automobile detailing service range from $150 to $225. The size of the car and the level of detail affect this price.

Exterior Detailing pricing

2. Exterior Detailing

Exterior detailing services are equivalent to interior detailing services in that they clean a car's inside and exterior.

The external detailing check list thus appears as follows:

  • Cleaning a car's exterior by hand
  • Painting or painting correction
  • Polishing metal components
  • Removing scrapes and dents
  • Clean the doorjambs
  • Clean exterior windows
  • Restore and clean the headlights.

Even the parts inside the engine are taken care of by certain external detailing services. This entails cleaning the engine and associated components. Engine parts may also have rubber protectants applied by the detailer to stop them from cracking in very hot conditions. You might decide it's appropriate to create a specialized detail package to satisfy your customer's wants for their exterior car.

An complete exterior detail average price is $150. For engine detail, however, you may charge an additional $75 or more.

Mobile Car Detailing Services prices

3. Mobile Car Detailing Services

Mobile vehicle washes are frequently the first choice for basic detailing for many clients because to their convenience, accessibility, and affordability. Based on the unique cleaning requirements of the consumer, these services frequently provide tier-based solutions.

A simple bundle might be adequate for clients who only require a short cleaning. On the other hand, if they require you to clean their windows, tires, and rims, a more sophisticated kit will do the trick.

The following are frequently handled by mobile car washes:

  • Quick water and soap scrubs
  • Quick rim detailing
  • Tire dressing
  • Window wiping
  • Express detail service

Typically, these detailing services take one of two shapes:

Drive-through automatic - Customers using drive-through automated mobile car washes can pull their cars right up to the cleaning station. They don't typically have to get out of the car. They consequently get to witness the detailing of their car up close.

Manual - Mobile car washes that are operated manually offer the same speedy service but with a personal touch. Customers might be permitted to remain in their vehicles depending on the service.

The best of both worlds can be found with some mobile car washes. Vehicles may obtain a manual inside detail after receiving an exterior detail through the drive-through automatic wash.

Prices for mobile car washes can vary greatly depending on location and service bundle. You can normally charge between $20 and $50 for basic services. However, depending on additional services, this cost can rise quickly.

Classic Car Detailing Pricing

4. Classic Car Detailing

Detailing companies might charge a little bit more for historic cars than they would for "normal" autos. The increasing value of antique cars and the consequent requirement for more attention in their detailing are the causes of this price increase.

Due to their fabrics and materials, classic cars could also need to be cleaned differently. Certain materials might still be in use, while others might not. As a result, the detailer frequently needs to locate particular products for particular components.

A typical classic car detail service will involve washing the inside and outside of the car using:

  • Soap and water
  • Clay bars
  • Hand wax
  • Chrome polish
  • Tire and/or leather conditioner

As previously mentioned, you may typically charge a little bit more for detailing older cars. It is, nevertheless, always preferable to disclose any price increase up front.

Full Car Detailing Pricing

5. Full Car Detailing

Full car detailing offers both interior and exterior detailing, giving you the best of both worlds. Consequently, when it comes to detailing packages, thorough car detailing is typically the most expensive.

Complete auto detailing typically costs around $300. This price includes the costs for both interior and exterior cleaning. Nevertheless, the cost may change depending on the type of car and service upgrades.

Car Detailing Prices by Vehicle Size

Car Detailing Prices by Vehicle Size

Larger vehicles often cost more to detail than smaller ones because doing so requires more materials, time, and effort.

Let's categorize automobiles in order to determine how much it will cost to detail them based on their size:

Small - Sedans and coupes are two common examples of smaller automobiles. Motorcycles and hatchbacks may also be included. Smaller vehicles typically cost $150 or more to detail. Nevertheless, a number of other elements, like service and location, influence this pricing.

Medium - Larger, non-compact cars are classified as medium-sized vehicles. Station wagons, compact trucks, and crossovers make up the majority of these vehicles. Medium-sized vehicles typically cost $200 or more to detail.

Large - The tonnage and carrying capacity of large trucks start to be packed. Most of these cars and trucks are SUVs, big trucks, and vans. Large automobiles typically cost $250 or more to detail.

Specialty and extra-large vehicles - On the market, extra-large vehicles often represent the largest vehicles. RVs, diesel pickup trucks, and long flatbed trucks are a few examples of these vehicles. This group may also include non-standard vehicles and specialty vehicles like semi trucks. Extra-large vehicles typically cost $300 or more to detail.

Size isn't everything, but it might help you estimate how much to charge. As we've seen, while choosing a price, there are additional elements to take into account. You could even need to charge different charges for different situations.

right price levels for car detailing services


Mastering the art of competitive car detailing pricing is an essential component of running a successful auto detailing business. Remember that pricing is not static; it should evolve with market trends, customer demand, and your business's growth. Regularly assess and adjust your pricing strategy to ensure that you remain competitive while maintaining a healthy bottom line.

Ultimately, success in the competitive world of car detailing pricing hinges on providing exceptional value to your customers. By offering high-quality services, transparent pricing, and outstanding customer experiences, you can build a loyal customer base that supports your business for years to come. So, take the insights gained from this guide, apply them diligently, and watch your car detailing business thrive in the competitive marketplace

About the Authors

Yvan Lacroix
With 40+ years in detailing, I've been a Brand Ambassador, VP, and Global Director. Founder of Répare-Brise franchises. Globetrotting to spread efficiency, quality, and profit insights. Let me elevate your detailing career for enhanced quality, profits, and time management.
Sergey "Serg" Paskevich
Panama-based detailing pro, proud owner of Car Care Performance Detailing studio in Panama-City. Specializing in Paint Correction, Ceramic Coating, and comprehensive Car Detailing services

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