As it often happens with questions like this, the answer could be “it depends,” but giving evasive answers is not an Ultracoat way. So to the point.
First of all, detailing is not just a fancy way for a car wash. It’s the process of cleaning, restoring, and securing the car, so there are many reasons why pricing in detailing studios differs significantly from that at a local car wash.
And how much precisely does detailing cost?
The cost of the full detailing service
Although detailing is a set of various treatments and not one rigidly defined process, many studios offer “complete detailing packages” under different names. Procedures like those most often include treatments such as:
- car cleaning, which is significantly different from the “regular” one, but more on that in a moment (prices range €50-€125)
- correction, cleaning, and protection of the car body (prices range €300 to even €4000 depending on the type of car body protection)
- upholstery cleaning and protection in the case of leather upholstery (prices range from €50-€150)
- applying tire dressing (prices range €20-€60)
- car perfume (usually included in the price of washing)
The complete scope of those services ultimately depends on the salon and package level. In some cases, glass polishing may be a standard, and in others, such a procedure will cost an additional €150. Differences can be found even in the most basic operations, so such “complete detailing services” vary considerably and range between €500 and even €1200.
It is also worth remembering that the size of the vehicle also influences the final cost, and in unusual cases, its current condition may also play a role. For example, if you came up with the idea of going off-road in a convertible on a rainy day, you can expect a slightly higher bill.
How much do individual detailing treatments cost?
The overall cost of detailing can depend on many factors. Of course, the most basic is the selected package, i.e., the range of treatments that we will decide on and the selected type of cosmetics or type of car body protection. We should also remember that detailing is a service that can apply to cars and motorcycles, trucks, and even helicopters. For the purposes of this article, however, we will focus on the most popular vehicle, the trolleybus.
Okay, it’s about the car.
Car washing (in the detailing sense) €75-€150
This most basic operation differs significantly from a similar service in a regular car wash, not to mention the automatic ones. Some detailing studios offer basic car washing for around €25, but the actual car detailing treatment is a completely different beast. That’s because the service covers a much more comprehensive range of cleaning, which covers all the crevices and hidden spots and the engine compartment. Long story short, every element in the car must shine and smell nice, not only those that your neighbor sees in the parking lot at first glance. That is why it is difficult to find a lower price of detailing than PLN €75, and it can even be three times higher if we consider cleaning and maintenance of upholstery (although this process is usually counted as a separate service).
Car body maintenance/protection €50 to even €4,000+
Such a wide price range comes from the huge differences between the most common types of finishing (wax, protective ceramics, or foil). Due to the lack of security value, the cheapest option, waxing, is rarely involved in the “complete detailing packages.” Ceramic coatings are by far the most commonly used.
The price clearly highlights the difference. Car waxing can cost from €30 to €100, and applying a 3-year-long ceramic coating costs at least €400. This type of treatment is provided by detailing studios belonging to the Ultracoat Professionals group. The most popular packages are:
- Ultracoat One + Hydro HD with a durability of up to 40,000 km €400-€500
- Premium Bond 9H Hydro HD with a durability of up to 100,000 km – €600-€800
Additionally, we advise making sure that these prices include the polishing, which is necessary for the application of the coating. In some cases, if the car body is significantly damaged, a two or even three-stage correction will be required, which will involve extra costs.
The general rule is that as the price increases, the durability and protection against external factors increase. The most common in the so-called “Complete detailing packages” is the use of ceramic coatings, but the most expensive option of protection is the PPF protective film. Its complete application to a car costs at least €2500, although it is often only placed on individual elements.
Detailing of rims and tires €300-€500
Cleaning the wheels and waxing the rims is often a part of the basic detailing washing, but applying ceramics and tire dressing usually isn’t. When it comes to applying ceramics, the service isn’t much different from its equivalent on a car body.
On the other hand, dressing tires is a process of protecting tires against discoloration (so-called blooming) and UV rays. The treatment aims to maintain the deep blackness of the tires for as long as possible. Ultracoat Quartz Tire dressing can achieve a satin or glossy finish depending on the application. To protect the rims, detailers use ceramic coatings for metal, such as Ultracoat Metal Guard, which have strong hydrophobic properties and can repel residue from brake pads and asphalt fragments. The temperature resistance of such coatings is even 800°C.
The entire package of wheel care and protection costs no more than €150. The final price often depends on whether the whole rims are secured or only the fronts, without removing them. We recommend that you always make sure that the whole rim is covered with coating because complete protection greatly facilitates further treatments during the seasonal wheel change.
Other treatments beyond detailing packages
Okay, what else can you spend money on in a detailing studio? 😉
- applying a hydrophobic coating on the glass, creating the invisible wiper effect €50-€70
- headlight polishing – €50-€125
- car body renovation – €100-€250
- a cup of coffee while you’re waiting for your car – €0 (at least in the good ones)
And many others, often specific to a particular studio.
Additionally, for services that last more than a day, some showrooms provide customers with replacement cars. In this case, the detailing studio may add a little to the final bill for cleaning the rented vehicle.
Can I afford car detailing?
The prices of detailing services may scare off some car owners, but let’s look at them from a different standpoint, but stay with the economic angle. The whole idea of detailing is not only about beautifying but also protecting the car. Regular detailing treatments maintain the value of the vehicle for many years, which matters for both new and vintage cars. And thanks to regular care, we can enjoy such views for years: