Thinking about having your car detailed, but not sure how to tell a great detailing company from a poor one? Before you spend your hard-earned money on a service you don’t fully understand, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on a few basic principles. You don’t have to understand how to detail a car—that’s their job, not yours—but you do need to understand how to tell that they understand how to detail a car. These six points of knowledge will help:
Before you decide to have your car detailed by someone else, you should familiarize yourself with all the services available. Often, you’ll find there are various tiers of polish and care available, ranging from modest improvements to full showroom floor car detailing treatments. You’ll also be able to consider additional options, such as season-appropriate coatings to protect your vehicle against weather, environmental hazards, etc.
The products and equipment being used by a particular car detailing service can tell you a lot about the quality of the service you’ll receive. Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions, and make sure you do your homework—it’s good to know in advance if a company is using unusual or unpopular tools, techniques, and products. That’s not to say that a company can’t achieve wonders with products you’ve never heard of, but you’ll want to understand in advance that that’s what you’re investing in.
What you get for what you pay
We’ve discussed available services, but it’s important to understand which services fall under which packages or arrangements. You don’t want to pay to have your car detailed and not get what you’re expecting. Charges should be clear and pricing wholly transparent. You shouldn’t have to guess at what your final bill will look like when paying for detailing, nor should you be paying without understanding the complete treatment your car will receive.
Extra options to consider
There are plenty of additional services which can come alongside the basic polishing of a detailing service. Sometimes, basic attention to fenders, wheel wells, and other secondary surfaces will fall into the category of additional services, while other detailers will include these from the start. If you’re interested in something specific, like the seasonal treatments we discussed earlier, make sure you ask whether they’re available.
Credentials and skills
Of course, all the equipment, high end products, and options in the world can’t change one basic necessity: the skill to do the job right. Make sure you look into any proof that the people you’re paying for car detailing have the skills to do the job right. Customer testimonials, positive reviews, sample cars, finished vehicles of your fellow customers, all of these can tell you what you need to know about the service you’re paying for. Remember to look at the details—a company can offer great service but do a subpar job, or excel in one area of detailing but fail in applying other treatments.
Guarantees and warranties
It’s a good rule of thumb for any service you might pay for: if the company is confident in its skills, it’s going to be willing to make certain promises. That’s just good business, good marketing, good branding. A company that’s scared to make certain basic promises about the end product because fixing their mistakes will get too costly won’t make those promises. So look at any and all guarantees, warranties, and promises a company is willing to make about detailing your car. The broader and more confident the promises, the better you can feel about hiring them.