What is Car Detailing and What Does it Include?

You say “car detailing” and I say “car valeting”

Car detailing is becoming more and more popular within the UK. Originating in America, car detailing, as a term, has found its way across the pond in recent years.  In the UK we more commonly refer to the process as “car valeting”. No matter what you call it, car detailing or car valeting refers to the same thing. It is a kind of car care that involves more than the average wash and wax on Sunday morning.


Man hoovering seat of car during car cleaning

Like valeting, car detailing is a top-to-bottom, deep clean of your car. The process focuses on both the interior and exterior of your vehicle, and aims to restore your car to factory finish (or as close as physically possible), giving it a shine once again. Although there are different levels of valeting available, the general process covers all the hard to reach areas of your car. You can valet your car yourself; however, in order to take your car detailing to the next level, we recommend using a professional service. A professional service will ensure everything is cleaned to the highest possible standard.

What is car valeting and detailing?

What your specific car detailing service includes will vary depending on a couple of factors. The first is how much you want to pay for the service. Secondly, it depends on the depth of the detail you want the technician to go into. Generally speaking, however, a comprehensive package would cover the following:

Interior Detailing

  • Carpets and mat cleaning: This will include repairing tears or burns in the carpet. The valeting technician will typically use car carpet shampoo to remove any stains and leave any mats looking like new.
  • Air vent cleansing: By using compressed air and brushes, they will remove any particles and moisture trapped within the air vent. These are likely to have built up over time, and can leave an unwanted smell blowing through the air conditioning.
  • Window seals: You valet will likely include cleaning of the internal window seals.
  • Upholstery cleaning: This will include applying leather protection on seats etc.
  • Air freshener: This will help to recreate that signature “new car” smell.

Exterior Detailing

  • Alloy wheels cleaning: Using special cleaners, or pressure washers, a technician will polish and degrease your alloys. Note that this will polish the alloy wheels; however, if they are scratched or dented this will not remove the damage. To remove the damage you will need to look into an alloy wheel repair service.
  • Tyre cleaning: A tyre cleaning will restore the blackness of your tyres, using specialised products to return them to their original shade.
  • Hand washing the exterior of the car: Specialist cleaning products will be used to get your car gleaming.
  • Removing any “contaminants”: Contaminants are microscopic particles on the surface of the car. They can be removed using cleaning wax and other specialist products.
  • Polishing and buffing: Car polishing is often done using a rotating polishing machine. This removes the fine lines on the paint surface, which can build up over time to create a cobweb effect
  • Waxing: Once the paint treatment is complete, wax is added. Wax is an essential protection, as it will help to repel minor marks from the paintwork
  • Window cleaning: Cleaning the windows last will remove any trace of product from the previous steps. This is essential for a sparkling finish.

It’s important to know that car detailing does not include car body repairs. If you need a bumper or car scratch repair, get in contact with your local ChipsAway specialists.

How much does it cost to detail a car?

Car detailing prices vary, according to the depth of the service you need. A basic interior clean and exterior wash may only cost £35-£60. That being said, a top of the range service covering an in-depth clean of the interior and exterior is more likely to be in the range of £250-£500.

Getting your car detailed will clean your car but it won’t repair any scratches or dents. So, if your car has experienced any damage recently, you can easily get it repaired with ChipsAway. Complete our online form for your free estimate.

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