How to Start a Mobile Car Detailing Business


These days, if you want to get ahead, running a business is the best thing for you to do. Not only will it make you your own boss but it will also give you the motivation to succeed since you are running your own company. One business you can easily start in your own backyard is a mobile car detailing service.

What does it take to put together such an enterprise? What equipment do you need for such a business? Is a mobile car detailing business right for you? Before you go out and start buying the stuff needed for such a business, there are a few things you need to learn how to do before you can get this idea off the ground. Here are some of them:

  • You need to know how to properly clean cars – Cleaning cars may sound like an easy thing to do. How difficult can it be, right? You have to remember that you are not just putting up a car cleaning service. You are putting up a car detailing service. There is a huge difference. A car wash basically washes the exterior of a car with the use of water and a cleaning agent. A detailing service goes beyond a mere washing of cars. It involves the vacuuming of the interiors, window cleaning, waxing, polishing, and many more.
  • Check out what your competition is offering – To be able to compete, you need to have a service that people will pick over those that offer the same thing. Scoping out what the competition is doing will help you put together a better package that customers will gravitate towards.
  • Find out what you need in terms of permits and documentation – Business permits and other requirements also need to be secured from your city or town to ensure that you are indeed a legitimate enterprise. You don’t want to be considered a fly-by-night operation so putting together all of these is crucial to your venture’s success.

Equipment You Need

Once you’ve done your research and put together your business plan, you will need to purchase your equipment. The equipment you need should include the following:

  • Washing equipment – This will include a power washer, buckets, sponges, squeegees, cleaning chemicals, and other similar items.
  • Polishing equipment – For your polishing list, include microfiber towels, polishers, buffers, and products used for polishing such as wax and the like.
  • Interior equipment – This list will include fine brushes for removing dirt in crevices and cracks, vacuum cleaner, protective spray for surfaces, and other detailing tools.

Since you are a mobile car detailing business, you will also need a vehicle to carry all your equipment in. You will also need to carry with you a portable generator for your powered equipment and your own water supply, in case your customer does not have a steady stream of water for your cleaning needs. It is also important to bring with you proper disposal containers for your dirty and used rags.

Services You Offer

When you get into this business, you also need to outline what services you will offer your customers. This should include not only the standard car wash and detailing services that most of your competitors offer. You should also include waterless car washes in your list for those who need it. The services that you can include in your list are the following:

  • Exterior wash – This includes the washing of the car’s body and wheels plus the removal of any gunk on the vehicle’s exterior.
  • Interior clean – This is where vacuuming of the car’s insides comes in. you will also need to wipe down all the surfaces within, such as the dashboard, door handles, steering wheel, etc. If the seats are made of leather, a wipe-down of these should also be done.
  • Add-on services – Your additional services can be added as individual options or as a package for whoever wants it. This can include shampooing of carpets, engine cleaning, car waxing, and many more. This is where the detailing part of your business comes in.

Once you’ve put together everything you need, you will also need to advertise and market your business. The easiest route is via social media and word of mouth. You can also hand out flyers, mount posters, and advertise on the radio or in newspapers.

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Pepper, thanks for providing me the necessary information I would need in starting a car detailing service. My dad and I are planning to start a business like this soon, so we’ll take your tip and buy washing, polishing, and interior equipment. I like that you said we should also consider buying our own portable generator so we’d having a steady electrical supply for our powered equipment. We’ll also start looking for a dispatch car dealer tags supplier so we can offer an organized and fair service to all our future clients. Thanks!

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