Price Breakdown: Car Detailing Cost Per Hour

You should carry out occasional car detailing on your car.

Beyond the exterior looking good, the interior should look and smell great.

Car detailing will restore the car to a new-like view.

However, beyond that, you should know how much a car detailing costs (including the tip) to know what you’re signing up for.

Quick Answer

On average, car detailing cost per hour is between $50 to $125 for a standard vehicle and between $75 to $150 for SUVs and bigger vehicles.

Of course, car detailing costs will vary depending on different factors, including the detailer’s experience.

If you need help cutting the cost of your car detailing, read on. 

Car Detailing Cost Per Hour

Car detailing is a total package. It covers washing, vacuuming, window cleaning, interior detailing, trim cleaning, waxing, and more.

With so much to do, you may wonder how much it costs to have your car detailed.

Quick Answer

On average, car detailing cost per hour varies between $50 to $120 for standard cars and $75 to $150 for larger vehicles.

Some detailers also charge based on their experience. You should expect an experienced detailer to charge more than someone new.

However, beyond that, a few things can affect the cost per hour for car detailing. They include:

Vehicle Size

Generally, smaller vehicles require lesser efforts and products to clean.

Therefore, you should expect the hourly price for detailing a standard vehicle to be lesser than a big one. 

Chosen Services

Another determining factor for hourly cost is the chosen service. Many detail shops often have varying packages for their services.

For example, a premium package that includes polishing and sealing the paint will cost more than a standard one, so it’s up to you to choose the one that works for you. 

Trim Package

Another factor likely to affect the cost is the trim package.

A car with a higher trim package and features like leather seats or more chrome will likely cost more.

It requires being thorough and spending more time getting them to look clean.


Where you live will likely affect the hourly cost of detailing your car.

For example, if you live in a city with high living costs, the average hourly car detailing cost will be higher. 

Add-on Services

Add-on services like pet hair removal, odor removal, paint, and headlight restoration will likely increase car detailing costs.

The hourly cost for detailing a car isn’t fixed everywhere, and you will likely detail your car at a different price at another auto shop.

However, you can cut detailing costs by doing the following:  

Look For Deals Or Coupons

One way to cut car detail costs is to look for deals or coupons. This only works when you’re not in a hurry to detail your car.

Visit your preferred provider’s website and check whether they have ongoing deals.

In addition, you should sign up for their email list to get first-hand information about deals or coupons. 

Consider A Service Membership

Car detailing isn’t a one-time thing; you should do it occasionally.

If you plan to detail your car often, you should ask the detailer whether they have membership options. 

Some detailers have monthly and annual membership options, which may be lesser than a one-time service.

You can choose a membership that fits your regular package and cut costs. 

Request Discounts

Another way to cut costs on your car detailing is to request discounts.

Some car detailers offer discounts on services rendered and add-ons, and for some professionals, like military personnel. 

Find out if they have discounts or one that applies to your chosen package.

While it may not reduce the cost drastically, you will likely save up to 10% of the total charge. 

Clean Your Car Before Taking It To The Detailer

You can also cut costs by cleaning your car before taking it to the detailer.

You can avoid paying for extra cleaning if you take your car through a car wash to remove caked mud and dirt from the car. 

Do You Tip For Car Detailing?

Tipping for car detailing is not mandatory, but it is always appreciated.

Generally, a 10-15% tip is considered appropriate for car detailing services.

It is a nice gesture to show your appreciation for the hard work and effort put into making your car look its best.

Nevertheless, if you tip and how much you tip depends on multiple factors like the size of your vehicle (SUV or compact car), the service you booked, the overall cost of car detailing at the detailer, if it is mobile detailing or not, if it fits your budget, and many more.

Overall it is a good idea and common practice to tip a car detailer, even though car detailing prices can be steep.

It is also a good way to make sure to receive quality services in the future.

Is A Detailing Business A Good Idea?

A detailing business can be a good side hustle for those looking to make some extra money.

Depending on multiple factors, such as the size of your business and the area you are located in, it is possible to make up to $800 per week.

With a successful car detailing business, it is even possible to reach a yearly revenue of up to $500k if you do it full-time and have your own shop with employees.

This of course depends on multiple factors as well, like the average cost of your auto detailing services, if you charge per hour or per service, what your prices are based on, and much more.

Ultimately, whether or not a detailing business is a good idea depends on your individual situation and goals.

If you have the time and resources available, it could be an excellent way to supplement your income.


Car detailing costs aren’t the same everywhere; however, you should prepare to pay between $50 and $150 per hour.

This price varies depending on experience, location, added services, and vehicle size.

You can work towards cutting the cost if that’s unaffordable. Otherwise, you can DIY and save a lot of money.

Key Takeaways:

  • Car detailing cost per hour is between $50 to $150.
  • Detailing costs vary depending on car size, location, chosen services, and extras.
  • You can cut costs by looking for coupons, deals, or memberships.
  • You can save money on car detailing through DIY.


Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge