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How Much Does Car Detailing Cost?

Updated: Nov 21

Car detailing is a crucial element of protecting your automobile investment. Although regular drive-thru washes can leave your car looking shiny, they don’t always account for all the nooks and crannies, as well as top-tier services like waxing.

To treat scratches, remove contaminants, and really protect the appearance of your vehicle, you need to schedule a detailing appointment a few times per year. But how much will each detailing session cost you?

That’s the question we’re answering today. Keep reading to learn more about auto detailing, average car detailing prices, and what you can do to ensure you’re getting the services you need.

What is Car Detailing?

The goal of any detailing appointment is to get your vehicle as close to “like-new” condition as possible. Therefore, detailing services go beyond a rudimentary wash with a machine.

Auto detailing is typically tackled by hand. Professional cleaners will improve your vehicle’s appearance on the inside and out via intensive washing, strong vacuuming, and waxing. In addition, some detailers will clean your vehicle’s engine, wheels, headlights, and taillights.

Because car detailing is done by hand, it achieves a more thorough clean than automated or machine washes. It should also include drying, sealing, waxing, and polishing, as requested by the client. Additionally, you can look into services for special glass cleaning, steam cleaning, and leather trimming.

Why Auto Detailing Is Important for All Cars

Auto detailing services don’t just improve your car’s appearance – they preserve its value. In fact, Experian (the credit bureau) lists taking care of the interior and exterior as one of the top ways to maintain a vehicle’s monetary value, even as it naturally depreciates.

Waxing, which is usually included in detailing sessions, protects automobile paint. You can also pay for a dressing that treats plastic materials, preserving their original appearance.

In general, car detailing treats unwanted odors and stubborn stains that are otherwise difficult to remove. Not only does this make your car more enjoyable for drivers and passengers, but it also prevents more costly issues from arising in the future.

How Often Do I Need to Detail My Car?

Most experts will recommend detailing your vehicle at least once a year, if not twice. Detailing every six months or so is the best way to prevent dirt and damages from building up. Furthermore, it’s important to apply a coat of car wax at least twice a year to protect your paint from dirt and contaminants.

How often you should detail your car also depends on where you live. If you live near the ocean or in places with salted roads during the winter, you may need to detail your car more frequently to protect its appearance.

What Goes Into Car Detailing Costs?

The most frequent question we get asked is, “How much does car detailing cost?” Consumers worry that a more thorough cleaning service will cost them an arm and a leg – but that’s not true.

According to research from Google cost guides, an average (Basic) car detailing session for a small sized vehicle may costs $175. However, detailing can cost anywhere from $60 to $450+ per session, depending on the services you request (waxing, steam cleaning, polishing, etc.) and the quality and experience of the detailer. The cost can also be influenced by vehicle size and location.

At ILLUSIONZ MOBILE AUTO SPA, we charge $375+ for our top-level signature detailing session on an Suv, which goes beyond what the average detailing service typically entails. Our interior/exterior detailing sessions start at $175 for a small sized vehicle, and all can be upgraded to include specialty services.

So, what makes our services a cut above the rest? Well, we:

  • Offer highly convenient, mobile services throughout the North NJ area

  • Only focus on one vehicle per day (quality over quantity)

  • Are 100% eco-friendly with zero water run-off

  • Upload our service records to your vehicle’s CarFax report

  • Our services always go beyond what was booked

  • Returning clients receive perks to keep your vehicle looking it's best.

If you have further questions about our services or prices, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today.

How to Choose the Best Car Detailing Service

Now that you know a bit about what car detailing includes and what the service can cost let’s talk about ways to choose the right detailing service for your vehicle.

To best care for your vehicle, you’ll want to look for a car cleaning team that uses natural, safe products to wash and wax your vehicle. You’ll also want to search for teams that:

  • Hand wash with grit guards

  • Use chamois and microfiber towels

  • Polish expertly by hand or machine

  • Clean and dress wheel wells

  • Remove bugs and grime from paint

Remember: cost may be an important factor to consider, but it’s not the only factor to consider. You want to work with a detailing team you can trust to care for your vehicle properly – even if that means paying a little more for your car wash. Check out our other blog post (Price Or Value)

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