How Much For a Detail?

Updated: Jan 10

The most common question we get asked is “How much for a detail?” Or “How much to detail a __vehicle___?” Whereas you might expect an easy answer such as, “It will be $XXX.” it’s actually a little more complicated than a simple one size fits all price point. There are many factors that must be taken into consideration when we price a detail service. Those factors being the type of vehicle, it’s current condition, the expectations associated with the detail, and when it was last professionally detailed. 

The year, make, and model of the vehicle is very important information to us at The Detail Doc. The reason it’s so important is that there can be tons of variation between vehicles. A smart car has dramatically less real estate and surface area than a 3500HD Silverado. Not to mention interiors with lots of leather, transforming and moving parts to interiors, hidden pockets and folding seats, etc. Bigger and more compartments ultimately lead to us spending more time and product on that particular vehicle vs a smaller one. There is more to it though. Here at The Detail Doc, we aren’t the average detailers. We offer high-end services, restoration services, full interior servicing, paint corrections, and ceramic coating protection for exteriors, wheels, glass, and interiors. We understand that not everyone wants a $2,000 detail. Knowing what kind of vehicle you have can help us gauge what services you may or may not be interested in. It’s unlikely that a 2013 Chrysler Town and Country owner will want our top-shelf services, but a 2020 Camaro client may want the best protection for all surfaces.

The current condition of the vehicle is extremely important for us to understand before quoting a detail service. Everyone has an idea of what dirty looks like to them and what a detail includes. Some of our clients notice even the smallest of details when others don’t even notice stains because of how long they have been there. The part where this can get tricky is when comparing our service to an express “one size fits all” detail business model. We can guarantee you that the level of service you get from passionate detailing vs. production detailing is dramatically different. We customize nearly every service to make sure we are addressing your wants and needs and not our own wants and needs. This is why we ask several questions in our process and even require photos of the vehicle before booking an appointment. We want to make sure we are getting you the best service for your needs and wants instead of fitting you into a one size fits all type of service. 

The expectations of the client go hand in hand with the current condition of the vehicle. These expectations can change drastically from person to person. It wouldn’t make sense for a dog lover to want every last pet hair out of their car when it will be littered with hair the next few days. But if someone with an allergic reaction to dogs were to buy that same vehicle than an interior tear out and deep clean will absolutely be needed and expected. The two expectations between these instances are extremely different and need to be addressed. A 2010 Silverado client may just want a simple wash, clay, seal service to look clean and have some protection on their truck. But a 2020 Hellcat owner may want a complete exterior and interior ceramic coating service for the best protection and look achievable. This is why the expectations for the service must be clearly understood, set, and met. We just don’t know these expectations until we ask you, our client, the right questions, and listen to what you want.

Lastly, we want to know when the last time the car was detailed. It’s our focus to get you on regular maintenance. Whether you do it or you hire us to do maintenance, someone still has to do it. We recommend monthly maintenance detailing of at least wiping down the interior, vacuuming, and caring for the exterior of the vehicle. At an absolute bare minimum, we recommend having your car deep cleaned once a year. But even that is stretching it... The truth is that our cars are really disgusting places. You sneeze, cough, eat, and drink in your car. Not to mention the nasty floors. You wear shoes into a public restroom, we hope so at least, and where do those same shoes end up going? That’s right, right onto your floor mats. Same thing if it rains, the urine infested sidewalk, concrete, etc.. now has bacteria transferred to your shoes and yup, right back into your car. Of course, the high traffic areas need to be cleaned, the dirtiest being the door handles, steering wheel, shifter, seat buckles, and the key fob. Yes, we clean those too! For this reason, we have details that are time strict. If your vehicle has not been detailed within the last six months than you cannot purchase our mini detail package. That service is an earned spot.

We appreciate each and every one of our amazing clients but we understand that our service is not meant for everyone. This is precisely why the detailing industry has segmentation: Express detail service, production detail service, and high-end detail service. Either way by contacting us we can help guide you in the right direction as we are experts in our field. Even if you don’t end up choosing us we want you to be happy with the service you are getting. 

Thanks for reading,

Seth Vue

The Detail Doc, Ceramic Coating and Paint Correction Specialist for Bay City, Saginaw, and Midland, MI.


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