How Much Does Car Detailing Cost – The Ins and Outs Of Car Detailing

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How much does car detailing cost

Cars are a valuable investment to most people, and it is important to keep them looking their best at all times. This is where car detailing comes in. Although taking your car through the nearby automatic car wash gives the exterior a shiny appearance, it doesn’t necessarily account for all the hidden nooks and crannies of your vehicle.

Having your car detailed professionally comes with many benefits, including:

  • Improving the appearance
  • Treating rock chips & scratches
  • Removing microscopic contaminants
  • Preserving the paint, trim, leather, and plastics

Although car detailing offers a whole host of advantages, you might have heard different price points for the service. Well, today we will clear up all of your auto detailing pricing questions. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of the average costs of car detailing, as well as the ways to ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

Steps Of Car Detailing

Car detailing is a complicated process, which goes far beyond the process of washing your car with some soap & water. Some core steps (not all) of the car detailing process are:

  • Preparing the car for detailing
  • Washing & drying
  • Paint treatment
  • Cleaning & extracting stains from the carpets and headliner
  • Interior leather & plastic treatment
  • Cleaning the wheels, tires & door jambs
  • Restoring the exterior plastics
  • Window cleaning
  • Odor removal

The ultimate goal behind all these steps is to get your vehicle as close as possible to looking brand new. Most professional car detailers, like Big’s Mobile Detailing, use advanced techniques to detail your car, achieving vastly improved results when compared to the run-of-the-mill automated car wash.

How Often To Detail A Car

The frequency that you should detail your car depends on several factors. Generally, the biggest factor is how much you use your car. The more you use it, the more often you should get it detailed.

Another factor that affects the frequency of car detailing is the area that you reside in. People that live near the sea or in areas where salt formation on the roads is common should get their cars detailed more often than people who live in areas with warm weather. In general, you should detail your car at least 2 or 3 times a year. However, you can get away with only detailing it once or twice per year if you are regularly washing, waxing, and vacuuming your vehicle.

You might have heard a common myth that goes along the lines of “detailing your car too often is bad”. We must state that this is nothing more than a myth. As long as your detailer knows what they are doing, they shouldn’t be damaging the vehicle in any way; therefore, getting it detailed more frequently will not have a negative impact.

What goes into car detailing cost

What Is The Cost Of Car Detailing?

Here at Big’s Mobile, “how much does it cost to detail a car?” is one of the most frequent questions we get asked. There are several factors that have an effect on how much it takes to detail your car.

The size of your vehicle is one of the main factors. Typically, smaller cars cost less detail, as they have both a smaller interior and fewer body panels to cover. In contrast, large SUVs can cost significantly more.

Another factor that affects the cost of car detailing is the trim package of your vehicle. Cars with higher trim packages have more features like leather interiors and chrome trim panels, which take more time and effort to detail. In addition, these vehicles need to be detailed more often in order to keep these features well-maintained.

Most companies offer several pre-made detailing packages, and depending on what you choose, the cost can go up or down. Add-on services like removing pet hairs, headlight restoration, mold removal, and things of this nature will also add a premium to the baseline price.

The average cost of a car detailing session is $175. But, the cost usually ranges between $98 to $400 depending on the experience and quality of your auto detailer. That said, very high-end packages (or if you have lots of add-ons) can go upwards of $600!

Let’s use our service offerings as an example. Here at Big’s, we try to keep things simple by offering only 3 core detailing packages. This helps us standardize our processes and ensure that our service quality is the same every single time. Our Signature Detail package costs $349, our interior package costs $279, and our exterior package costs $279. It’s that simple!

How To Choose The Best Car Detailing Service

When it comes to selecting a car detailer, the cost is not the only factor that you should consider. You should only hand over your keys to a detailing team that you can trust to take care of your vehicle, even if it means paying a little premium over the others.

Ideally, you’ll want to hire a car detailing company that only uses high-end products in its services. You should try to find a professional car detailing team that:

  • Uses high quality, plush microfiber towels
  • Waxes and polishes your vehicle by hand
  • Cleans and dresses door jambs, wheel wells, and the gas cap area (this means they pay attention to the little things)
  • Treats your vehicle like it’s their own
  • Uses grit guards when hand washing (if they do this subtle step, it is likely that they do the other things right too)
  • Uses eco friendly products
  • Treats their employees properly (you want happy people touching your car)
  • Takes their time with your vehicle and is not rushed to get to another customer
Interior car detailing vacuum cleaning


How much does car detailing cost? Let’s recap:

  • The average cost is between $98 and $400
  • The price range can vary based on the following factors:
    • The size of your vehicle
    • The trim package of your vehicle
    • The detailing package that you choose
    • The experience level of your auto detailer
  • When choosing an auto detailing company, pricing is not the only factor. Keep in mind their experience, their products, how well the do the “little things”, and how well they treat their employees

We hope that this article helped provide some guidance on what prices to expect, and how to choose the best auto detailing service in your neighborhood. If you are in Seattle, WA or Los Angeles, CA, we hope that you choose us! Here at Big’s, we have been detailing cars since 2014, and our team members have decades of experience. If you ever need us, just give us a call at (425) 243-9155, or book us online, and we will be there.

Until then, happy detailing!


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These blogs are meant purely for education and demonstration purposes. It contains only general information and may not account for specific issues related to your particular vehicle or situation. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Read full disclaimer.

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