How To Start A Car Detailing Business From Home?

How To Start A Car Detailing Business From Home?

Offering home-based car detailing services is one of the most lucrative businesses you can start today.

We’re living in an era where everyone owns a car. And at the same time, most of the car owners have no time to take care of their vehicles and keep them looking best at all times.

This is where your auto detailing services comes in…

If you’ve undying love for cars and you’d like to keep them looking beautiful, consider that as a great business idea!

The best thing about starting a car detailing business is that it’s easy to run and doesn’t require a lot of capital.

In the below post, I’ll discuss with you more details on how to set up an auto detailing business at the comfort of your home and start making some extra cash…

What is Mobile Auto Detailing?

Auto detailing refers to the process of thoroughly cleaning, restoring and polishing cars to give them near showroom cleanliness and quality. The detailing can be done on both the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

Mobile auto detailing involves traveling to the homes or offices of your clients to offer the above service.

You’ll need to carry all your auto detailing equipment with you to wherever you go for successfully cleaning waxing, and pampering of your clients’ cars.

The top reason why should start this business is that you can get started a small sum of money, and offer it part-time if you like.

Though having some background experience is good, the job doesn’t necessarily require you to have any. As long as you love taking care of cars, you can learn along the way.

Also, the opportunities for this business are everywhere- in the business parks, at the malls, and even in your neighborhoods. Getting customers won’t become a challenge.

How Much Can You Make With A Car Detailing Business?

As with any other business venture, you’d be truly interested in knowing how much you can earn with a car auto detailing business, right?

Well, the truth about offering this service is that it pays you well if you do your job right.

The earning potential is high; I mean, you can earn as much money as you wish or as less cash as you wish.

To help you understand this, let’s do some simple math…

The average cost of a complete detail lies between $150 and $250 (this is inclusive of both interior and exterior detailing).

Let’s say you’ll be doing it part-time when you first start out, so you’ll be dealing with at least two cars per day.

This way, you’ll be earning $600- $1000 every weekend which translates to approx. $4000 a month.

Talk of a good pay!

Now, you’ll have to buy supplies for your job…the average cost of the supplies for each car is about $3.50. If you include other expenses such as transport, advertisement, office expenses, etc., the total expenditure will not be more than $5 for each vehicle.

If you detail cars with a buddy and work on up to 4 vehicles every weekend, your monthly net profit will be as high as $3200!

Tips might flow your way too. Imagine what your client would feel when he comes out of their house/office and sees their car looking as clean as new? Wouldn’t they add a tip to the agreed amount?

While you don’t expect all your clients to replicate your good job with a tip, you can expect this to happen in most cases.

Keep in mind that as your business grows, you can charge even more (as much as 250 or more) depending on the condition and size of the vehicle.

Auto detailing is doubtlessly an excellent money making opportunity you just can’t let pass you!

Start Your Own Car Detailing Business

As you’ve just seen from our previous discussion above, staring a car detailing business is really simple and doesn’t require you to break the bank. What’s more, it can handsomely reward you financially.

In this part, I’ll show how you can easily start your car detailing business today, even with no experience.

I’ll break down the process into steps for easy comprehension…

Step 1: Gather the required experience.

The first and the most crucial step you should take is learning how to detail a car effectively.

Auto detailing isn’t giving the car a simple wash. As I mentioned earlier, it involves thoroughly cleaning, waxing, restoring, and polishing a car to make it look as new as a car in the showroom.

If you don’t know how to detail a car correctly, you might end up making costly damages to your customers’ cars (you don’t want to imagine what would happen thereafter).

So, how/where do you learn to detail a car well?

You can offer to work in a professional detailing company to learn how they conduct the process. If you’re a fast learner, you’ll be done in weeks or a month.

Also, experts have come up with paid courses and books which you can buy to learn how to give your clients cars professional detailing.

The two tops that will teach you all the tips and tricks of professional auto detailing include the D.I.Y. - Detail It Yourself: The Car Enthusiast's Guide to a Fantastic Looking Car and the Automotive Detailing Manual (Haynes Repair Manuals).

Once you’ve learned the basics, put them to work by detailing your own car. Detail your friends’ or family members’ rides as well. That’s how to grow your experience!

Once you’re ready to do auto detailing that all your customers will be happy with, you can move to the next step…

Step 2: What equipment do you need for this business?

You’ll be amazed to note that you already have most of the tools you’ll need for the job at your home. If you already own a car, this start-up will become even more economical to start/run.

Here’s a rundown of the key tools and supplies you’ll need to get the job started:

(i). Tools:

  • Brushes
  • Rags
  • Soap
  • A bucket
  • A hose
  • Wet/dry vacuum
  • Minicarpet shampooer
  • Buffer/polisher
  • Window cleaner
  • Wax
  • Tire, leather, and upholstery cleaners
  • A truck or van for carting the tools around

(ii). Cleaning supplies:

  • Car Shampoo
  • Carpet Shampoo
  • Spot Remover
  • Wax & Polish
  • Engine De-greaser
  • Tire and Interior Dressing
  • Window Cleaner
  • Metal Polish

You’ll also need an outdoor water spigot and electric outlet (assuming you’ll start with mobile car detailing service, you’ll get these at your customers’ homes).

Step 3: Get started.

So you’ve got the skill, the tools and supplies ready. What’s next? It’s time to get started…

Firstly, you’d want to register your new business at your local state business licensing office.

Because you’ll be dealing with peoples “babies,” I’d also recommend you to purchase liability insurance. This will keep you protected financially in case you damage your client’s car during the detailing process.

Be sure to read the terms and cost of the insurance you choose to go with.

You might also want to decide where you’ll be running your business from- this can be from your home, at a shop, or on the road.

But considering that you’re just starting and you don’t have much capital, I’d recommend you to start with a mobile auto detailing- where you’ll be traveling to your customer’s home or office.

Step 4: Start looking for customers (marketing your business

Remember what we said earlier on about starting by detailing your friends’ and family members’ cars? Well, that’s one of the best ways to get customers for your new business.

Ask them to spread the word about your services. If you do your best, they’ll be happy explaining to the other of the great job you do at transforming car looks.

Using a word of mouth to market your business can also get you more work. Go door to door in your neighborhood and tell them of your services. You can give them informational fliers as well.

You can also set up a services website, where you list all your services as well as experience. Remember to tell your satisfied customers to leave testimonials on the site. Adding breathtaking pictures of the cars you’ve detailed before on the website also works wonders.

Other methods of marketing your new business involve placing a newspaper ad, adverting your business on service sites, craigslist, Facebook, and so on.

Get more details on how to market your auto detailing business here.

TIP: Always do your best when detailing your customers’ cars if you want them to hire you again and again. If they’re happy with your services, they’ll definitely recommend their friends and colleagues to you, even without you asking!

Step 5: How much should you charge for your services?

Determining how much you should charge for your services is also a crucial step.

When you just start out, you’ll have to charge low to get customers. But as your business grows, you can set new rates for detailing different vehicles or for various services.

To get an idea how much you should start charging your new customers, check what the other service providers in your area charge. And make sure you charge a bit lower.

You might also consider offering contracts with discounts, say when a client signs up for regular weekly or monthly detailing for about 3-6 months. Cutting some cost off their bill will surely secure you some regular work, and they might even pay you upfront.

You should work on all types of cars at the beginning. But later on, you might want to work with high-value cars only as they tend to pay better

Once you have made a name for yourself with your customers, referrals will come knocking at your door. And your business profits will skyrocket!

Step 6: Expanding your business into a full-time venture.

After some months of detailing hundreds (or thousands) of cars and making your clients happy and satisfied, your business will become quite successful.

When that day comes, you’ll be faced with the decision of either keeping the business as a side hustle or turning into a full-time business.

If I were you, I'd go with the latter decision of expanding the business to make even more cash.

Some idea of expanding your business include renting or even buying a shop where you’ll be detailing your customers’ cars in, hiring and training more and more employees to help you detail even more cars every single day, expanding your services to include mechanical services, etc.

Extra tips to incorporate into your new business startup:

  • Ensure you get the right equipment and high-quality supplies for your detailing work. These will improve the overall quality of your job, making all your customers happy
  • Learn to say NO. As a car auto detailer, you’ll be presented with all types of cars for detailing, and you’ll need to choose your clients wisely.

If someone brings a car full of stains, pet hair, dirt, and all manners of deteriorations, and isn’t willing to pay more to get the car detailed, you’ll be better off turning the job down.

Final Verdict

A home based auto detailing is one of the few profitable business that's extremely easy to start. You don’t have to attend a class or have any prior experience to do it. As long as you love cars and can work on them all day to make them look good, this side hustle will work for you.

The average cost of detailing a single car- both interior and exterior- ranges from $150 to $250. You can even charge more depending on the condition and size of vehicles you’re dealing with.

Even if you do this job part-time, say working on about four cars every weekend, you’ll still get a reasonable sum of money.

Factor in the expenses such as the detailing supplies, transport, advertisements, etc., and you’ll still be left with an attractive net profit figure.

With our complete guide above on how to start an auto detailing business, you’ve got no single excuse as to why you shouldn’t do this as soon as now.

Here’s to your auto detailing business success!​​

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