Is Car Detailing Worth It? 5 Reasons It's Worth Every Penny

Author: Alice

Dec. 06, 2023




Tags: Textiles & Leather Products

People often ask, is car detailing worth it? Short answer: yes, it is.

Let’s explore this. 

When considering whether detailing your car is worth it, it’s usually a question of cost. We all know that detailing your car makes it look better, smell better, it makes it more enjoyable to drive, and helps it maintain its resale value. The question is: is it worth the cost? Will you get that money back when you sell or trade in the car? 

The answer to that question is no, you won’t. Vehicles depreciate. You can polish them to a mirror finish and it will still go down in value. 

So why detail your car then? For me, it’s not entirely about the money. It’s about enjoying one of the largest purchases you’ll make in your life.

Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on something that you’re not proud of and don’t enjoy spending time in. For this reason, detailing your car is worth it.

What Detailing Is and Is Not

People generally categorize “Detailing” as one of the following:

  • Car Detailing by a Professional
  • DIY Car Wash / Cleaning at Home
  • Automatic Car Wash

Car Detailing by a Professional

Having your vehicle detailed by a professional will give you the best results. Professional shops have the proper products, equipment and expertise to do it right. 

Professional auto detailing usually consists of some combination of the following services:

  • Foam soak
  • Microfiber wash
  • Non-contact drying
  • Paint decontamination
  • Iron removal
  • Paint correction
  • Paint wax
  • Ceramic coating
  • Graphene coating
  • Vacuuming interior surfaces
  • Shampooing the carpets and upholstery
  • Deodorizing the interiors
  • Cleaning hard surfaces and vents
  • Cleaning the windows
  • Wheel cleaning
  • Tire shine
  • Headlight restoration

Some of these things can effectively be done at home with common household tools and products, but most of them cannot.

DIY Car Wash / Cleaning at Home

This normally consists of a bucket of soapy water, a sponge, a garden hose, a towel, and a vacuum. This falls more towards the car wash end of the spectrum. When done properly, you can do a lot of good.

Many DIYers end up using dish soap (way too harsh for your paint), dirty wash buckets (scratching the paint surface), and drying with a bath towel (creates swirls in your paint). So if you’re going clean your car at home, make sure to do it properly.

Investing in some basic products and tools can be worthwhile. Basic equipment includes:

  • Proper car wash soap
  • Two wash bucket (two-bucket wash method)
  • Microfiber wash mit
  • Microfiber drying towel or blower
  • Spray wax (for protection)
  • Shop vac with crevice tool

Automatic Car Wash

Automatic car washes are super convenient, but should not be considered “detailing”. Soft-touch car washes have a reputation for putting swirls and scratches in your paint. Touchless car washes just don’t wash very well. 

Using an automatic car wash can be OK in a pinch, but should be generally avoided.

Is Car Detailing Worth It? Here Are 5 Reasons It Is

1. Higher Resale Value

From the moment you buy your car and drive it home, it depreciates in value. But you can minimize depreciation by keeping it clean and protected. Most people don’t take good care of their vehicles. Your vehicle will sell faster, and for more by taking good care of it. Having a professional detail your vehicle regularly will ensure maximum resale value.

2. Protection

Another great benefit of proper detailing is that it helps protect your car from damage and deterioration. This is because paint protection such as wax or ceramic coatings form a protective layer on the paintwork which shields it against dirt, grime, UV rays, and other environmental elements.

That being said, auto detailing also helps to protect the interior of your vehicle by keeping dirt, dust, and other particles out of the air vents and away from the carpets and upholstery.

3. Improves Your Driving Experience

Driving a dirty car is gross. It’s like not washing your clothes, or your bed sheets. No one wants to spend time in a place that is dirty and smelly. Driving a car that has been deep cleaned is so much more enjoyable.

4. It Saves You Valuable Time

Many just don’t have the time and equipment to detail their vehicle properly themselves. Spend time doing what you’re good at (your profession), and let others (detailing pros) do what they’re good at.

5. Your Vehicle Is a Reflection On You

Whether you like it or not, your vehicle and the way you maintain it is part of your personal brand. First impressions are tough to change. A clean, properly detailed car can communicate attention to detail, organization, professionalism and pride in oneself. You wouldn’t wear dirty clothes out in public. Why would you drive a dirty car. Think about that.

Some industries require a clean car. For example:

  • Real estate agents
  • Limo drivers
  • Tour guides
  • Detailing shops
  • Car dealerships

Downsides to Detailing Your Car

Professional Detailing Can Be Expensive

Although detailing has a lot of benefits, it does come with some drawbacks. One such drawback is the cost required to get your car detailed. Detailing costs hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on how much work needs to be done.

DIY Detailing is Time Consuming

It’s easy to spend an entire day detailing your car. There are so many surfaces that require different treatments. Some people enjoy spending time doing this (I do), but most just don’t have the time.

Proper Detailing Requires Specific Products, Equipment, and Skills

To do detailing right, you need to acquire some things. Purchasing the proper solutions and tools is expensive. Then you need to know how to use them properly. This can be a downside for some.

Needs To Be Done Regularly

Car get dirty when you use them. Also, the protection provided by professional detailing helps shield the paintwork of your car, but it doesn’t last forever. It’ll need to be performed regularly.

Is Car Detailing Worth It?

It’s my opinion that yes, car detailing is definitely worth it. Not only will it make your car look its best, but also protects it from damage and deterioration.

Make sure to do your research and find a reliable detailing shop before committing to it.

How To Choose a Professional Detailing Shop

There are many of self-proclaimed “mobile car detailers” who claim to offer the best-detailing services at a fraction of what established shops charge. While a few of them actually get it right, many end up doing a shoddy job or worse, damaging your car.

So, to ensure you get the best and safest results, we recommend that you look for an established detailing shop near you with years of experience and good customer reviews. You might also look for shops whose worker have detailing certifications. This will help guarantee quality work and also ensure that your car is in safe hands.

We cannot, overemphasize how important it is to do your research and only work with shops that have good customer reviews. To help, look for the following:

  • Professionalism
  • Facility and equipment
  • Customer reviews
  • Quality of products used
  • Performance and results

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I get my car detailed?

You should get your car detailed at least once every 6 months for the best results.

2. Does auto detailing protect my car’s paint?

Yes, most auto detailing packages include some level of paint protection. Options include wax, ceramic coating, or graphene coating.

3. How much does professional car detailing cost?

Most auto detailing shops will charge anywhere between $100 to $4,000, depending on the services.

4. What should I look for when choosing a detailing shop?

Look for shops that have years of experience and good customer reviews. You should also make sure they have a good facility, proper equipment, and professional staff. Additionally, you should check the quality of the products they use. Shops with detailers that are certified are always a good sign.

5. What is the difference between car detailing and car washing?

Car detailing is a more comprehensive service that goes beyond just cleaning the outside and inside of your car. It involves reconditioning, restoring, and protecting the car’s paintwork. Car washing, on the other hand, is simply cleaning your car with soap and water.

6. Can you detail a car yourself?

Yes! Learn the right skills and acquire the proper products and tools, and you can do excellent work at home yourself. 


In conclusion, having your car professionally detailed is definitely worth it. Not only will it make your car look its best, and protect it from damage and deterioration, it can also help you maximize its resale value.

But remember, when looking for a detailing shop, always do your research and only work with shops that have good customer reviews and years of experience. This will ensure quality work and help guarantee that your car is in safe hands.

Good luck!

Google Rating


Renew Mobile Detailing


Rayne Leonard

15:45 19 Feb 19

After three hours of hard work on my husband's SUV, they decided they weren't happy with the finished result, and returned the next day to finish to their satisfaction. It was great work, and no extra charge for the extra hours. Of course I tipped, and will use Renew in the future.

Lauren Ashley

19:34 19 Aug 18

I highly recommend Renew auto detailing! I wasn’t happy with a service I received and they addressed the issue and made things right! Toby did a great job on my car and I will definitely be using them again! Excellent service and attention to detail.

Brent Mears

15:37 19 Sep 18

I had a fleet vehicle detailed and Renew Mobile Detailing did a great job. The truck was in need of a deep clean after almost 3 years of use and the interior looks new again. Thank you!

Cathy Brett

02:48 17 Jun 18

I was very pleased with the excellent job done by Toby. He was right on time and worked very efficiently to make my daughter in law's car look like new. This was a birthday present for her and she was so happy. I would highly recommend this service.

Mayur Phadtare

23:40 13 Jun 18

Toby cleaned my car today, and I don't think my car was this clean when I had bought it!I have two dogs, a collie and a shepherd, and both shed their entire coats every so often. Toby made all the hair disappear and sprayed a great freshener to make the car smell good. Additionally, my car is always full of fragile photography gear, which he took utmost care of while loading/unloading. Wonderful work!

Sarah Brewer

18:03 23 Mar 18

Jessie was amazing!! Very professional and courteous. Lost a snake in my car and they did EVERYTHING they could to help me at little cost to them. Saving their number and will 100% use them in the future and recommend them to others. Thank you gentleman!!!

Angela Lagersen

22:48 08 Jul 19

Highly Recommend!!! The outside of my car hadn't been cleaned for 2 years and the inside who knows... It took 2 guys 4 hours to clean. They did a very good job considering how filthy it was. The only bad thing was that scheduling got mixed up. They came to my house at 8am rather than the 1pm scheduled time. Not too big of deal.

Declan McGarry

20:03 17 Jul 19

Great job and were extremely accommodating and easy to deal with.

Taylor Schomp

23:15 28 Jul 19

Amazing service! Came to me... and I don't think my car's been in better condition! Thanks Jesse + team!

Allen Cain

15:40 03 Aug 19

Did a great job right in my own driveway.

Michael Gomez

23:32 09 Aug 19

Great Job all over! Will use again for sure.

Extreme Coatings

16:07 14 Aug 19

Can't believe how great of a job they do for the price. Very great communication and outstanding work. Highly recommend.

Sally Amkoa

23:22 14 Sep 19

The service was excellent. The guys who came to clean my car were very professional and polite. My car was cleaned very well. I would certainly recommend this place for car detailing.

David Crabtree

17:51 15 Oct 19

Jesse at Renew Mobile Detailing is unbelievable. He actually made my car look better than when I bought it. I have used Renew twice, and both times the service has been incredible. I feel like my car is brand new again.

Calvin A. Hart

00:13 22 Oct 19

The manager was very professional and the two young men doing the detail work we're very committed. They worked almost 1 hour on a mobile detail job both inside and outside the car. I gave each of them a nice tip.

Marc Frigo

04:10 05 Nov 19

We just purchased an older vehicle that had badly stained carpets and spots on the headliner, and just a really gunked up interior in general. I wasn't sure if some of those stains would even come out, but Jesse was able to get it all cleaned up and looking absolutely fantastic. I was really impressed, and we'll definitely be calling him again to come back and do our van!

Jesse Lunceford-Levesque

00:08 14 Nov 19

Love this company! Offering the best detailing around that comes right to you! Talk about convenient. Excellent attention to detail. Will always use them for my car care needs.

Corey Gibb

20:14 15 Jan 20

Renew Mobile Detailing is an extremely ethical and convenient way to get your car looking brand new. They use 100% biodegradable chemicals and use less than one gallon of water to clean your car. The owner Jesse stands behind his work and we'll make your car looks amazing. I highly recommend their services. A++

Shannon Watson

21:32 31 Jan 20

Very satisfied with my car detailing by Renew Mobile Detailing. The entire process was seamless from booking the appointment, payment to the day they came out to clean my car. They were able to fit me in for an appointment quickly and all I had to do was walk down from my office and hand them the keys. They took 3 hours and my car looked spotless. Highly recommend the team at Renew Mobile Detailing. I will continue using them for years to come...Worth the money!

See All Reviews

Detailing may seem like a luxury treatment for your car, leaving many to ask themselves “is it worth it to get my car detailed?” The answer is yes, and we’re not just saying it cause we run a high-end mobile detailing service. Detailing your vehicle is absolutely worth it, and not just because it saves you from washing your own car. Regular detailing will have valuable benefits for your vehicle, from classic cars to daily drivers.

Detailing your car is worth it

Detailing your vehicle is practical and cost-effective, but it also has emotional value. We all know that a car’s value will start to depreciate as soon as you take it home. Unless, of course, you wait long enough for your family car to become a classic. Even then, you’ll need to maintain the condition of the car so that once it does become a classic, it’s still in mint condition. For the time being, though, let’s look at some of the more immediate benefits of getting your car detailed.

The cleanest car you’ve ever driven

When you pay the neighbors kid to wash your car, you get what you pay for, a cheap car wash. There will still be some crumbs left between the seats, and dirt behind the control panel. There will be no protective coat of wax, and no odor removal – unless you count hanging a new air freshener tree on the rearview mirror. They won’t detail the tires or run a clay bar over the exterior to gently remove any dirt and debris. That’s what you get when you pay for a detail. Detailing will make your car cleaner than you’ve ever seen it before. Besides getting all the dirt out of every pore and crevice, we will also add a protective coat of wax, and condition the interior to give it a longer life.

Gently remove difficult stains

A regular car wash won’t have the right products to get the Cheeto dust out of the seats, coffee out of the headliner, or road tar off of the exterior. You also don’t want a kid to tackle hard to remove stains. Without professional experience in stain removal, both interior and exterior stains, you can end up doing more damage than good. A non-professional may try to get too tough with exterior dirt, chipping the pain in the process. Removing stains from interior surfaces also require a gentle touch with the right products and techniques. Detailing your vehicle so that you get rid of all the stains will maintain the resale value of your vehicle, which makes the extra cost worth every penny.

Mobile detailing services add extra convenience

Having your car washed by the neighborhood kid is very convenient. With a mobile detailing service, you get the convenience of having your car detailed at your home, but with the care and attention that you get from a professional detailing technician. And, we bring all of our own equipment, even our own low-pressure water system.

Renew Mobile Detailing is 100% mobile. We come to you at your home, business, or location of your choice anywhere in the greater Nashville area.

Is Car Detailing Worth It? 5 Reasons It's Worth Every Penny

Is a Professional Detailing Worth the Money?


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