Across the United States, the neighborhood hand wash has long been a familiar sight. It feels good to drive a nice, clean automobile; it’s a source of pride. Additionally, it provides other benefits, such as keeping a greater market value for your car when the time comes.
However, the norm for this cleaning has shifted drastically over time. From simpler times of sponge washes, rinses, and the occasional quick polish, we’ve learned to appreciate the more involved process of auto detailing.
What Is the Difference Between Auto Detailing and Car Washing?
For those unfamiliar with the term, “detailing” refers to a far more thorough cleaning process for your vehicle. Detailers will employ their expertise of a vehicle’s different sections and components, as well as effective (but basic) tools and cleaning supplies, to not only clean the vehicle, but also attempt to restore it to its former glory.
This is the primary distinction between car detailing and other types of detailing. While a simple hand wash would restore its appearance, its healing effectiveness is fairly restricted. Detailers provide an end result that will astonish you with its cleanliness. If you weren’t aware that you were driving your own car, you may believe you were driving a brand-new one.
Another Significant Distinction? Price
Another area in which the neighborhood detailer and the vehicle wash differ is on price. A high-level service comes with a premium price. As it happens, though, the average cost of detailing varies considerably depending on your region inside the United States. Apart from geography, the size of your vehicle has a direct effect on the cost of the detailing package you select. You may have guessed from the start that the more cars you own, the higher the premium you’ll pay.
How Much Should You Budget? Costs of Car Detailing on an Average Basis.
According to an article from MobileTechRX.com, the national average price for car detailing in the United States is $160.16. (true as of July 2020). It amounts to roughly $114.59 on the low end and $213.67 on the high end. As a result, the price range is quite varied.
According to the same article referenced above, residents of Oregon are paying far more than the national average, with a combined average of $258. Hawaii appears to be receiving the best value, with an average of $90.50.
How Vehicle Size Affects Detailing Costs
Where you land on that broad payment scale is determined by a variety of factors. Vehicle size is an issue, and larger vehicles will cost more. Vehicles will almost certainly be classified by the service provider into categories such as:
Sedans and Coupes
SUV – (possibly compact and large separately)
Trucks for Hire
Minivans Commercial/Cargo Vans…and more, much more
Consider a website such as National Detail Pros. Consider that you live in Los Angeles, California, and wish to utilize this service to detail your Nissan Elantra. Expect to pay around $164 for a standard interior and exterior detailing. However, if you exchange that vehicle for an SUV such as the Toyota Rav4, the same servicing will cost approximately $209.
Not all firms will provide information on vehicle size in their cost, preferring to provide a ballpark figure pending a more precise quote later. Wings Mobile Detailing, situated in Richmond, Virginia, is one example. Their offer is a starting point awaiting confirmation of the vehicle’s exact specifications.
The general idea is to remember that the larger your car is, the more you should expect to pay in the end. These instances demonstrate that it may not be as dramatic as you initially believed. Detailers are often experts of their trade and are adept at applying it to a variety of different-sized surfaces, regardless of the size difference. You can anticipate a premium, but the amount will vary depending on the specific service and the current skill level of their detailers.
Additional Price-Determining Factors: 1. Optional Extras
The majority of services will package their goods. This implies that the ultimate cost will be determined not only by the size of your car, but also by the number of tasks you want. Take, for example, Premier Island Auto Detail in Honolulu, Hawaii. They are one of the city’s highest-rated services, and their services are divided into “Full Detail” and individual things. Other companies, such as Rainbow Shine in College Station, Texas, provide a more streamlined package service that includes additional detailing stages such as shampooing, mat washing, and leather conditioning in addition to their more basic services.
2. Geographical location
As noted previously in the essay, your geographic region and average cost of living have a significant impact on the price of detailing. We discussed national averages previously in the article, but even they do not capture the stark regional disparities. While Hawaii may have the lowest average detailing cost, the service mentioned in the preceding paragraph charges significantly more for a complete package. This is mostly certainly due to the high cost of doing business in the Honolulu metropolitan area.
3. On-site or in-home
Finally, another element affecting costs across the country is the mode of delivery of the service. While you may believe that a mobile service performed at your home would be more expensive, this is rarely the case. When detailing is performed in-house at a bricks-and-mortar site, you should anticipate paying a premium compared to when a service visits you at home. It may seem paradoxical, but it makes sense when expenses are considered.
A permanent location incurs costs and is often less efficient and costlier than a mobile enterprise. Mobile detailing services, such as the aforementioned Wings Mobile Detailing, rely on staff who travel in commercial vans to offer their services. This is a more cost-effective way to operate, and the savings are passed on to customers. Naturally, this single criterion must be combined with others to arrive at a final pricing, but this is still the national average.
4. How Does Detailing Frequency / Level of Dirtiness Affect Detailing Costs?
It’s best to avoid going too long between cleans to avoid being charged an extra ‘dirtiness’ price to restore a particularly harsh vehicle. If the car is already reasonably clean, this allows the detailers to concentrate on additional aspects of the vehicle that are not visible during a conventional rinse cycle. If you do find yourself with a very filthy ride and are considering detailing it, you may want to consider first taking it to a self-serve cleaner to knock down the majority of the rough places. This will almost certainly save you money at the detailer.
If you’re interested in learning more about professional car detailing and live in the Portland/Vancouver area, visit Tans Auto Detailing to schedule an appointment.