9 Simple Examples Of How Much Car Detailing Is – UK Version

There’s nothing like that new car smell, and with proper detailing, even an older car can look and feel like new again.

But, of course, the cost to detail your vehicle will depend on how in-depth the cleaning goes, how often you arrange such a cleaning, and any extras required, such as heavy pet hair removal. 

Quick Answer

Depending on the level of service the cost for car detailing in the UK ranges from £20 to £800. A basic interior and exterior package will be on the lower end of the spectrum, while full-service details that include waxing and sealing may cost hundreds.

In the rest of this article, I’ll show you standard detailing packages and some average costs in different locations across the UK.

I’ll also explain how often you should get your car detailed and what detailing options might work best for you. 

The Cost To Detail a Car in the UK

With all of the material, tools, and techniques available these days, the sky is really the limit with what you can get done when detailing your car.

You can even enhance your car’s condition beyond what it was when it was fresh off the lot. 

Below, I’ve compiled some pricing data from different areas of the United Kingdom.

From the costs data gathered from several major cities, you should be able to get a sense of how much it’ll cost to get your vehicle detailed.

ShopPrice for Exterior WashPrice for Interior Cleaning and Exterior WashPrice for Exterior Detail with Paint ProtectionPrice for Exterior Detail with High-End Paint Protection
Max Wax (Brighton)£110£165£200£400
Jewels Passion (London)~ £47 ~ £60~ £275~ £400
Wax and Away (Manchester)£20£30 £350£700
Edinburgh Car Valeting (Edinburgh)£40£65£110£250
Cast Detailing (Liverpool)£20£40£40£165
Platinum Car Care (Birmingham)£20£30£50£90
AJ Detailing (Bristol)£50£95£150£150
FRESH Car Valeting (Nottingham)~ £28~ £42~ £75~ £105
AR Exclusive Car Care (Glasgow)£200*£300£400£800

* = Includes polishing, clay bar treatment, and tire detailing

As you can see, the prices vary widely. So, let’s go over them in more detail so you can see exactly what’s covered. 

Exterior Wash – Cost

If you are just looking for an exterior wash, you can expect to pay between £20 to £50.

There are two outliers in the data that charge more than £100 for a basic exterior wash. These services include polishing, a clay bar treatment, and tire detailing.

This explains the higher price, but it is definitely not the norm.

Exterior Wash And Interior Cleaning – Cost

Once you start to include interior cleaning (vacuuming, seat cleaning, etc.) prices start to increase.

If you want this service, you should expect to pay £30 to £100. This means that interior cleaning increases the price by 50% to 100% compared to only an exterior wash.

Exterior Detail With Paint Protection – Cost

Should you really care about your car, this service is for you. It includes a complete exterior detail and the application of paint protection.

With this package, paint protection equals car wax, spray waxes, spray sealants, or other good types of products. If you are looking to get a ceramic coating or other high-end paint protection, you should expect to pay even more.

Prices range from £40 up to £400. The big difference in price signals that there is also a big difference in quality and service with this package.

Make sure to talk to your local car detailer and tell them exactly what you want, so they can quote a fitting price.

Exterior Detail With High-End Paint Protection – Cost

Prices range from £90 to £800 for this kind of package. It is highly unlikely that you can receive a high-end paint protection with a ceramic coating for £90.

For this package and if you are looking to get high-end paint protection, you should expect to pay a few hundred pounds at least.

The reason for this is the amount of time and preparation included in applying ceramic coatings or other professional grade paint protection.

Of course, there are many factors that influence the final cost of a car detail. The size of the car, the amount of dirt on it, the type of products used, any many more things affect the price.

Make sure to always talk to your local car detailer to get the most accurate quotes for a car detail in your area.

Understanding Detailing Packages

After understanding the typical prices you can expect to pay at various locations in the UK for car detailing, let’s take a closer look at what might be included in each of these packages. 

Use this guide to help you ask the right questions at your local shop to get the perfect custom detailing package for your vehicle. 

If you want to know what exactly should all be included in a full car detailing package, check out my article about it here.

Exterior Wash

You can expect much more than a typical car wash when you get your car’s exterior detailed. 

It typically includes hand washing and drying, and the detailer will use speciality products for different surfaces to get into all the nooks and crannies.

This detailed cleaning will include the wheels, tires, main surfaces, and windows. 

Once the cleaning is complete, it’s time to polish and buff out any scratches and marks.

Using a polishing machine can help gently remove any gashes in the clear coat of your car’s finish.

Once scratches and scuffs have been polished away, it’s time to reinforce the topcoat that’ll protect the car’s paint.

Sealant or wax will be applied at this stage. This application won’t only leave your car sparkling, but it’ll also help protect your vehicle from future scuffs and scratches. 

If you want to clean your car like a dealership, check out my guide on how to do this here.

Interior Clean

Interior detailing is one of the most sought-after packages from car owners. It really gets into the hard-to-reach places and makes everything sparkle inside your vehicle. 

Mats and Carpets

First up in an interior clean are the mats and carpets, in the front and back.

The car detailer will remove any of the detachable mats and get to work cleaning and restoring them with a mat shampoo to remove any stains or other issues.

If the mats are rubber, they will be washed and left to dry while they work on the rest of the car.

Air Vents

Next, the car detailer will take on the air vents. For many car owners, this isn’t an everyday area to clean.

However, dust, dirt, and other particles can accumulate in your vehicle’s air system over time. 

This accumulated dust, dirt, mould, and any other nasty particle can give your car a funny smell when the air starts blowing through the vents.

It can also be tough on drivers who have allergies or other sensitivities. 

Your car care professional will use a mix of specialised brushes and compressed air to blast away any of these unwanted particles.

The air flowing through your car’s ventilation system will be cleaner and fresher after this process.

Upholstery

Now it’s time for the upholstery. Of course, the type of material your seats are made of will determine the kind of care they’ll receive. 

Vacuuming is a must for all interior upholstery. Still, there are other methods you should use for speciality materials or tough stains.

For stains on regular material seats, your car detailer might use a steam cleaner to restore the original look of the material.

However, if your seats are a speciality material like leather, protectant sealants and specialised cleaners will need to be used. 

An interior detailing leaves no place untouched, so you can expect all of the corners and nooks from your trunk to your cupholders to be vacuumed and scrubbed clean. 

In addition, all of the glass in your windows and windshield will also be cleaned until it sparkles.

Exterior Detail Including Paint Protection

If you’re looking to keep your vehicle cleaner in between washes and keep the coat protected from wear and tear on the road, you’ll want to consider a paint protection package. 

Standard paint protection will add an extra protective layer to your car’s finish. This layer will help protect your vehicle from scuffs, dents, and other paint damage you may be incurring. 

Exterior Detail Including High-End Paint Protection

If you’re looking for next-level protection, you might consider a high-end paint protection package. Ceramic coatings and paint protection film (PPF) are both popular high-end options for protecting your car’s paint job.

Ceramic Coatings

A ceramic coating is essentially an ultra-thin layer of glass that goes over your paint to seal it off and protect it from damage.

In addition to the painted areas of your car, it can also be applied to the wheels, glass, or plastic components as well. 

Ceramic coatings are usually made of silica (also known as glass) mixed with a solvent.

It’s applied smoothly and thinly as a liquid, buffed away, and leaves a thin layer of protective glass behind. 

Adams Ceramic Coating Kit

This ceramic coating kit comes with everything you possibly need to apply a ceramic coating. Make sure to check it out, if you really care about your car!

To learn more about ceramic coatings, you can check out this informative video from Detail Peoria:

Paint Protection Film

Paint Protection Films are another popular method used by detailers to provide the car with a layer of protection. 

PPF are large sheets of ultrathin polyurethane film applied to the car to give it an even higher protection grade than a ceramic coating.

You can find PPF with various impressive qualities. Some of the brands have top coats that can self-heal, naturally healing light scratches when they occur.

Other brands will require a heat source for the scratches to naturally buff themselves out of the film. 

Both of these high-end paint protection options will help your car stay cleaner longer in between detailings as well as be more resilient to scratches and regular wear and tear. 

Key Takeaways

It will cost between £20 to £800+ to get your car detailed in the UK. The massive range is due to the many variables and differences between services, such as:

  • The shop’s location – Cities like London will likely charge a lot more.
  • How extensive the package is – Most basic packages are reasonable but expect to pay more for interior and exterior cleanings, plus additions like ceramic coatings.
  • Any required extras – This may include severe stains in the upholstery or heavy pet hair on the seats.

Sources

AJ Detailing: Valeting Services

AR Exclusive Car Care: Home

Cast Detailing: Services & Packages

Edinburgh Car Valeting: Packages

FRESH Car Valeting: Packages and Prices

Platinum Car Care: Valeting Services List 

Chips Away: What is Car Detailing and What Does It Include?

Jewels Passion: Our Prices

Max Wax: Valet Packages

Mobile Tech Rx: The Beginner’s Guide to Professional Car Detailing

New Roads: How Often Should You Detail Your Car?

Wax and Away: Book Car Detailing Services

YouTube: Considering a Ceramic Coating? Watch this first!

YouTube: What is Auto Detailing?

International Journal of Modern Trends in engineering and Science: Enhancement of Car Life

Google Scholar: Science Direct

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Jan-Lucas Ganssauge
Jan-Lucas Ganssauge