How to Set Prices for Auto Detailing

Published by Jeff Torres

Published on

How to Set Prices for Auto Detailing

How to Set Prices for Auto Detailing

You’ve probably heard of the pricing controversies if you’re trying to figure out how to set prices for auto detailing services. Some auto detailers cut corners to save money. Others would rather generate more money by doing less labor while accepting more bookings at a reduced price. Each path is tailored to the demands of the company and the goals of mobile auto detailing. 

When it comes to pricing, the quality of your staff, the equipment you utilize, your reputation, and your location all play a role. It might be challenging to determine how much to charge for auto detailing services. We’ve developed a detailed list of pricing factors to help you choose your costs.

How to Set Prices for Auto Detailing

What Is Car Detailing?

The process of “detailed” cleaning and sometimes restoration of damaged components, known as “automotive detailing,” is self-explanatory. Cleaning and polishing exterior components like paint, glass, and body parts help keep them free of contaminants and damage caused by driving.

As a result, the detailing industry has grown to be a multi-billion-dollar business, with thousands of detailing products, each with its distinct genetic foundation, sales approach, and market distribution. To put this operation in perspective, the US auto detailing market was valued at USD 10.3 billion in 2020, even after COVID-19 took a massive toll on the market.

How to Set Prices for Auto Detailing

You must first and foremost remember that you are the business owner. After that, you’ll be acting as a provider of goods or services. It’s not a normal job to start your own business. It’s a game where you can win big or lose big. To succeed in the business world, you must be flexible and adaptable, even by stepping out.

Step 1

It cannot be easy to set prices in the auto detailing industry. A customer’s vehicle may not be visible to you if they schedule an appointment via phone. Consider a different strategy. Let them know that until you see the vehicle, you can only give an estimate. As a result, you have the flexibility to customize your final quote based on the property’s actual cleaning requirements.

As a bonus, you’ll be able to up-sell your offerings. As an example, you may be able to persuade a customer who requested a quick exterior wash to upgrade to a package that includes both exterior and interior steam detailing. Or, at the very least, you can provide optional services such as stain removal or engine cleaning.

Step 2

Doing market research on demographics, population, age, income, number of cars owned, and competition is essential if you’re just getting started in the industry or moving to a new area. Seeing the big picture gives you an advantage when pricing your products.

Step 3

Customers will always think your prices are too high. You’ll have to explain how much of a benefit you are to their car. However, you should keep your prices within a reasonable range for your customers. Consider the price your competitors are charging and your customers’ value of your product or service. You’re ready to launch your own detailing company when you’ve completed these steps.

Read more: How Much Do Car Detailers Make

Factors to Consider While Setting Prices for Auto Detailing


Research is the first step in deciding how much to charge for your services. Please find out how much other detailers/car washes in your area charge for your services by checking with them. As a result, you’ll better understand the market you’re entering. $150 and $1000 can be spent on full vehicle repairs, depending on the make and model and the amount of work required. There are some areas of the country where you won’t be able to charge super high prices, at least not regularly, even if you have a lot of practice. 

If you want to make a profit and attract new customers, you must average the prices charged by your competitors. Car detailing is a luxury they can’t afford in these tough economic times for many people. As a result, you must maintain both a low price point and a high standard of customer service. It’s important to determine how much your market can bear before setting your prices.

Types Of Service

The types of services you intend to provide are the next thing on your list to consider. When it comes to your business plan, will you stick to exterior work or offer a higher-tiered set of services? Or, do you want to achieve the best of both worlds? Competitive pricing analysis is made more accessible by knowing exactly what you want to sell, allowing you to estimate the cost of the necessary tools and equipment.

Read more: How to Start a Detailing Business

How to Set Prices for Auto Detailing


Before you start your business, you research your market, your competitors, and the services you will provide. Focus now on your overhead requirements. This is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to pricing. You must have enough money to keep your services, staff, and product quality up to par and maintain a sufficient stock of quality goods. 

Time spent on administrative tasks such as scheduling, paperwork, and reporting must be reimbursed. You can estimate how much time you’ll spend on non-essential tasks using an hourly rate. Take care not to lose the $30 per hour you earned by adding these expenses to your services after you’ve worked all of your hours.

Final Thoughts

It might be tough to find a competitive and profitable price when it comes to auto detailing. It takes a lot of studies, competitive analysis, and long-term goal alignment to get it right the first time. The ultimate pricing structure should be flexible enough to allow for rapid growth while also appealing enough to attract new clients. 

There are many activities that a single person cannot accomplish, which is why field software is critical for lowering overhead expenses, saving time, and gaining new customers. We have mentioned everything you need to set a perfect pricing structure for your auto detailing, and we have tried our best to give you the full information on how to set prices for auto detailing. 

Table of Contents