How Much Does It Cost To Detail A Car?

How Much Does It Cost To Detail A Car?

Car detailing is the process of paying a cleaning specialist to deep clean your vehicle. It is usually done during the sale of a vehicle but can be done at any time. But how much does it cost to detail your vehicle?

The cost of car detailing depends on the size of your vehicle. You can expect to pay almost $100 for standard sedans. A larger sized vehicle like a VAN or an SUV can cost as much as $200.

When it comes to paying for these services, there is a lot to consider that depends on your vehicle’s interior condition. In the following sections, we will let you know some more information on the detailing process.

What Does A Full Car Detail Include?

Car detailing is a deep clean and restoration of your vehicle. The cleaning and restoration can include both the interior and exterior of the car. These include the following:

  • Interior car detailing involves a deep clean of your interior locations. This service includes cleaning all parts of your cabin. These include the seats, the dash, and the windows.
  • Exterior car detailing deep cleans the outside of your vehicle. It includes the restoration of tires, headlights, and windows.

Professional car detailers typically offer both in a combined package.

What Does Interior Car Detailing Include?

If you want to pay for an interior car cleaning by itself, those services include the following:


Provided that large trash is already gone, the first step to removing small crumbs from your car involves vacuuming. This process includes vacuuming front seats, back seats, floors, and the rear cargo area. It also consists of the trunk and can be done with a HEPA vacuum.

Window Cleaning

A combination of a window cleaner and a microfiber cloth keeps your windows clear.

Steam cleaning

A steam cleaning removes any stains from your car’s upholstery. Depending on how deep your stains are, your vehicle may go through multiple steam cleanings. These services provide the deepest cleaning option for your interior.

Leather Cleaning

If your vehicle interior consists of leather, a steam cleaning will not be appropriate. A specialized leather cleaner is typically for leather interiors.


Your vehicle’s interior is also covered in perfume, making it smell nice.

What Does Exterior Car Cleaning Involve?

Below are the services you should expect when cleaning the exterior of your vehicle.

Standard Washing

A more detailed standard wash makes sure that every inch of your car is sparkling. This process is relatively similar to an automatic car wash. However, it involves people who look at your vehicle.


A layer of wax is applied to reestablish your vehicle’s polished look. The same cleaning service is also given to your headlights and rear lights to make them less more bright.

Is Detailing A Car Professionally Worth It?

Detailing your car can make you feel like you’ve re-entered a new vehicle. There’s something special about feeling like you have that fresh car smell returning to you.

It is very much worth it if you plan on selling your car. Many people will walk away from your vehicle within the first 10 seconds if they smell something bad in your car. You could say the same for any minor imperfection. At the very least, they may make it a point to attempt to get you to go down on the price.

For practical reasons, there is no reason to hire car detailing services for your vehicle if you are not selling it.

How Long Does It Take To Detail A Car?

A complete car detailing process takes around three hours long. If your vehicle hasn’t received this type of love for a while, it can take more time. You can also expect it to take more time if you have a larger car or a car with narrow crevices that is difficult to move around. On the other hand, smaller cars typically take less time.

How Hard Is It To Detail A Car Myself?

Because car detailing is a fancy term for a deep clean, anybody can clean your vehicle. However, specialists are typically better at it, as they do this all day.

What Do I Need To Detail My Vehicle?

If you wish to skip paying for interior detailing services, you will need to collect items needed to detail your car. Buy the following supplies if you want to be your detailer:

  • Sponges
  • Window cleaner
  • Towels
  • Wax
  • A car vacuum cleaner
  • High-pressure water hoses
  • A car polishing device
  • Leather cleaning (if you have a leather interior)
  • Leather cloths
  • Steam cleaner

You can rent a steam cleaner if you don’t plan on using it regularly in your vehicle.

Check out this video if you want to learn how to detail your car:


Things To Consider When Looking For A Local Detailing Service

If you plan on looking for local detailing services, there are a few things that you need to consider. Below are some things that you should consider to know that any use you hire is worth the money.

Check Out Reviews

Interior vehicle detailing services rely on word-of-mouth advertising. Google reviews do not allow business owners to remove their reviews. Check them out on google or other review boards before hiring them.

Ask Them How They Clean

Good vehicle detailing services have a systematic process. If the manager or owner of this detailing company cannot provide you information on that process, that’s a red flag. Ask them about their process, as that will determine their quality.

You Get What You Pay For

If the detailing service they offer seems abnormally low or high, they have no awareness of their industry’s standard rate. Check for other detailing services to see about the average. Automatically eliminate anything that seems too low or too high.

How Much To Detail A Vehicle – A Cost Breakdown

The cost of detailing your car depends heavily on a few things:

  • The size of the car
  • The amount of cleaning needed
  • What you want them to do

Below is a breakdown of costs based on what you order.

The Cost Of Washing And Waxing

A thorough exterior wash and wax cost an average of $75, which is a cost that can apply to any standard card—paying for smaller SUVs costs around $100, while you can pay up to $150 for a full-size van or truck.

If you choose to purchase an automatic car wash, expect this cost to go down to about $10 at most. However, you will not receive the same detailed service.

The Cost Of An Interior Car Cleaning (Steam Cleaning And Vacuums)

Cleaning the interior of your vehicle can cost around $50 to $100 for a standard car. The $100 cost is typically limited to a full vacuum and included steam cleaning, which does not have any other services. The cost of cleaning leather is also typically around this area. You can see this cost double for midsize SUVs and up to $300 for a full-sized van.

If you use a car-wash assisted vacuum, you can play anywhere from $2 to $5, but the car wash car vacuums do not include any steam cleaning services.

Smoke Removal

Smoke removal is a unique issue because cigarette smoke digs into your car’s carpet. The cost of this can vary anywhere between $75 to $150.

Dog Hair Removal

If you have ever tried to vacuum dog hair out of your house, you know it is a pain to remove. Dog hair removal from your car’s upholstery can cost around $40, typically sold alongside other services.

The Cost Of A Complete Detailing

A standard detailing including both includes both exterior and interior cost about $150. For higher-grade detailing, you can see yourself paying upwards of $300. The most massive vehicles typically do not exceed $500.

How Do You Get Discounts For Detailing Your Car?

Regular customers of detailing services have membership cards that encourage people to come back. As a result, you can have a standard discount that varies between 5 and 10%.

Also, ordering services in bulk results in a higher potential of you receiving a discount. Detailers offer combined detailing services, as they prefer a higher payout.


How much does it cost to detail a car? The answer to this question will depend on a variety of factors. These include vehicle size, location, and services required. By having this knowledge beforehand, you will determine how to receive the best service quickly.

The best time to detail your car is just before you plan on selling it. Otherwise, there are almost no practical reasons for you to detail your vehicle. In that case, you can choose to do a DIY detail of your car.

Both the interior and exterior cleaning can give you an incredible feeling in your car. Just be sure you can make that detailing worth it.

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