How long does it take to detail a car?
Get insights into the time it takes to detail a car.
Drivers sometimes stress about waiting too long for their car to get detailed. Car detailing can protect body paint from getting damaged by external factors and enhance your car’s appearance. Depending on the car detailing target and the state of your vehicle’s paint and exterior, it can be a simple or complicated task.
There is a wide range of time estimates from a couple of hours to half a day. Car detailing usually takes 2.5 to 10 hours, depending on how clean the car is, the car’s size, and which washing package you choose. Quality retailers take between 5 to 12 hours, whereas a quantity detailer requires 2.5 hours or less to complete the work.
For an excellent detailing finish, it is advisable to take your car to a professional car detailer. You might be thinking, “how long does it take to detail a car?” Well, in this article, we will explore the concept.
How long should it take to have your car detailed?
Detailed cleaning sessions usually take longer than a drive-through car wash or a regular at-home cleaning. Setting aside at least 12 hours for the car detailing is a good idea since the waiting times usually vary. You can follow the questions below to guide you on how long a detailed cleaning will take.
When was the last time you had your vehicle detailed?
It will take much longer if you have never gotten your car detailed. In contrast, those who take their vehicle to the detailer every couple of months will not have to wait as long because the wax from the previous cleaning removes contaminants and other particles.
How dirty is your vehicle?
Clean and brand-new cars are easier to detail because there is not much damage on the exterior paint. Instead of scrubbing off dirt and grime, detailers can easily wash and wax the exterior. Many people detail their new cars to preserve the paint for an extended period.
How big is your car?
A big car takes a long time to detail than a small one. If you drive a huge SUV, it will likely take a few hours longer than a compact vehicle. You can ask the detailing company how long it will take since they can provide accurate time estimates.
Which detailing company are you bringing your vehicle to?
Few detailing companies are quicker because they detail many cars daily with many workers on the job. However, high-end detailers usually do not have many employees, which means they make up by paying more attention to each vehicle and providing high-quality and specialized services.
Setting aside at least one to two hours is recommended on top of the company’s estimation as a courtesy to yourself and the detailing company. Too many customers and other factors can lengthen the initial time estimate.
Which type of retailer are you visiting?
There are two types of detailing companies; Quality and Quantity detailers. You are most likely to find both options if you reside in a big city, but small towns usually have quantity detailers to choose from. It is essential to know the differences because they affect how long the detailing will take, what the detailed cleaning looks like and how often you should get it washed.
Quality detailer time estimates
A quality detailer typically takes up to 10 hours per vehicle. Quality detailers provide more in-depth services because they focus on every vehicle detail. They usually use high-end supplies, pay more attention to the car’s appearance, and make it look as new as possible.
A quality detailer is the best choice for drivers with expensive vehicles, those who visit car shows or want to show off their car’s best angles. Waiting ten hours or less should not be a problem if you want to enjoy the beauty of quality detail.
Quantity detailer time estimates
A quantity detailer typically spends around 2.5 hours cleaning the vehicle. Sometimes more or less. Their aim is to detail as many cars in a day as possible without neglecting their cleaning standards. You may not get the same results as the quality details, but it is a significant upgrade from a regular drive-through car wash.
A quantity detail company cleans more vehicles daily than a quality detailer. If you want to have your car clean and smelling good, a quantity detailer can get the job done at an affordable price. You will likely save a bit of time and money.
Regardless of whether you go for a quality or quantity car dealer, getting your vehicle cleaned regularly is essential. If you fail to do so, it will prevent the detailing wax from protecting your vehicle from various debris. Quantity detailers are ideal for drivers on a budget, so they are worth considering if you prefer saving money while maintaining your vehicle’s appearance.
Tips to speed up your car detailing
If you do not have spare hours to wait for your car to get detailed, there is not much you can do other than go for a regular car wash. It’s essential to have car buffing explained to you along with similar techniques so you can decide if detailing is the best quickest option for your needs. However, you can also have some time off the detailing if you follow the suggestions below.
Remove your items from the car
Suppose you put your stuff in the glove box or your garage. You shouldn’t have to worry about the detailing company spending extra time to move your belongings and clean the vehicle’s interior. This step is a great saver as it can help reduce the cost of detailing a car.
Visit a drive-through carwash a few days before the cleaning.
A considerable part of the detailing process involves removing tree sap, brake dust, and smaller contaminants. Scrub them off your car before bringing them to the detailing shop to speed up the process.
Book a time rather than hoping for a walk-in appointment
Booking an appointment ensures you’ll have to start and finish the detailing on time. If you show up for a first-come, first-serve detailing, you may have to wait for the whole day.
Invest in quality rubber floor mat
Using high-quality rubber floor mats is one of the best things a driver can do to preserve their interior and save time on car detailing. Rubber floor mats or liners protect the carpet from contamination buildup and potential damage.
Spending $100 to $300 for rubber floor liners will save you countless hours of detailing throughout your vehicle ownership and help preserve the resale value. Rubber floor liners will help prevent permanent carpet damage that could cost up to $100 to fix if you need to pay a professional.
Add exterior protection
It isn’t easy to protect the exterior of a vehicle from external elements, and the most effective measure is always to have a layer of protection on all surfaces. Contaminants will have difficulty sticking or penetrating the paint’s pores if you maintain a layer of car wax, ceramic coating, or paint sealant. Using paint protection film is an excellent option for vehicle owners.
Do not park under sap trees
In addition to protecting exterior surfaces, avoid parking your car under trees during sap season. It can be tempting to park in the shade during summer and spring, but it may lead to hours of additional detailing if it gets covered in tree sap.
How to detail a car at home
You will need several car detailing supplies and car-specific tools to detail a vehicle at home. If your vehicle is a few years old and has been regularly washed and vacuumed, a full car detail might take about an hour or two. In contrast, if your vehicle is older and hasn’t been vacuumed in years, car detailing for the first time can take a whole day. It can also be worth your while to consider the benefits of ceramic coat since it can be a great protection for your car’s paint and can keep your car’s bodywork nice and shiny.
Benefits of detailing a car at home
You may think it is wasteful to carry out car detailing yourself when you can pay a car detailer to do it. Not many people know this, but car detailing at home pays off. Some of the benefits of car detailing at home include;
- It saves you extra money
- It saves time
- It increases the service life of your vehicle.
It is important to compare quality vs. quantity detailing companies before deciding which one suits your vehicle best. Always remember to get a time estimate from the detailing company to know how long you will have to wait. Once you know how long it takes to detail the vehicle, you can add an extra one or two hours to set your schedule.
How can I speed up my detailing?
You can speed up your detailing by removing items from your car, visiting a drive-through car wash a few days before cleaning, and booking a time rather than expecting walk-in appointments.
How often should you fully detail your car?
The number of times you should get your car detailed depends on how much wear and tear you put on your vehicle and how often you wax it. However, it is recommended to fully detail your vehicle twice or thrice a year.
How long does a detail usually take?
A car detail usually takes between 2.5 to 10 hours, and it depends on how dirty the vehicle is its size, and the washing package.
Is a full car detail worth it?
A full car detail will eliminate stains and contaminants in your vehicle and maintain your vehicle’s resale value.
How can I speed up my detailing?
You can speed up your detailing by removing items from your car, visiting a drive-through car wash a few days before cleaning and booking a time rather than expecting walk-in appointments.