Survey: What do you pay for car detailing? - Page 2 - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #11 of 18 Old 26th November 2011, 01:16 AM
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I can wash and clean my car no problem.
But correcting something like this is beyond what I'm willing to tackle.

To This:

Actual reflection from passenger side front door after 2 stage correction.

I can appreciate the skill involved for proper paint correction.
You also have to look at the lost opportunity cost of your time.
If you can earn more than the charge of a detailer in the time it takes to complete - you are ahead.

Even if I could learn to do a two stage paint correction - it would be many many hours, and I would still probably take 3 times as long as a pro and most likely not get similar results.

For outside paint correction? Detailer for sure.
When you wash, strip, clay, wash, dry, polish, glaze, lsp/wax the hours start to add up quickly.

I generate more enjoyment for actually driving my car than polishing it.

Jet Black is awesome for about 2 weeks after a paint correction!
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post #12 of 18 Old 26th November 2011, 02:50 PM
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I pay exactly $19.95 per month for detailing. That's what the local touchless car wash charges to wash the the car and clean the wheels. 11 years now and the car still looks great.

Last edited by TurboCarrera; 26th November 2011 at 02:53 PM.
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post #13 of 18 Old 26th November 2011, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sales Geek View Post
As VacMan mentions this really about time for many of us. I'll add that although I love to detail my cars, physically its more and more of a trade off, too. I've got a bad back so it's all about tradeoffs...the joy of a job well done versus the necessity of taking sufficient medication which precludes the joy of driving my clean car.

Right now I've got a broken wrist (more h/w than the front belly pan of my E39 ) so all is moot. I won't be able to drive a stick safely until January-ish so my car is off to the body shop for some light rust work and a rear bumper respray...

Totally understand what you mean by time and physical effort.

May be I havn't found a detailer that would at the least give me the perception that he cares about the car and would never cut any corners (or paint) to do a quick job.
With professional tools, it is very easy to give the car a "like new" finish but it is equally as easy to polish/cut too much paint.

I probably would be comfortable with someone doing the job in front of me.

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post #14 of 18 Old 26th November 2011, 10:59 PM
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Kind of an amusing survey. One flaw is that once someone said "myself only" they should not be able to skew the results with their other answers...

As mentioned above, "detail" means entirely different things to different people. I have a new X5, and when I take it to the dealer they offer a "Complimentary detail"..(no thanks)..but how can you compare this with a strip, clay bar, swirl remove, two levels of polish, and then wax/nano/zaino???

(Never mind that the dealership uses whatever towels, swirl-city, and thick soft filler wax to make it look OK for a week.....)

My 'every 2-3 months' detail is a wash, maybe clay, and zaino... 2-3 hours, maybe spread out over two days.

My weekly detail is wash, 303 on all rubber/plastic.

My every 6-9 months is what I cited above.

I'd pay ~$25 a hour for each....if I could trust them. (Hey, let me ask- is this a reasonable rate for this work??? I know detailers like to get paid for their 'expertise', but if I have the expertise I am just looking for labor....)


PS While I will repetitively go over a panel, with whatever I am using, and monitor the scratches to see how it is progressing, a Pro might take a rotary buffer and just hit it once, hard. Time is money.

"Keep things as simple as possible...But no simpler"
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post #15 of 18 Old 27th November 2011, 05:53 AM
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Detailing my car is my own personal therapy. I love waxing and buffing my cars
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post #16 of 18 Old 28th November 2011, 05:11 AM
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I'm with Bp (previous guy). Washing, waxing, and detailing is great therapy for getting in touch with your automotice obsession.
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post #17 of 18 Old 28th November 2011, 05:16 AM
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e39m5 agreed but i still cant get my car to look as good when matt at detailing dynamics does my car i pay 70 bucks an hour

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post #18 of 18 Old 28th November 2011, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone who participated.

Member 'fastfrank' of won the $30 gift certificate from


Complete article: auto detailing survey.
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