Archived Blog Posts for Setting Auto Detailing Prices

When a customer shows up with a 33-foot-long Fleetwood motor home and wants an estimate for detailing a “toy” that put him and his wife back a hundred grand, what do you tell him?

Scratching your head and saying “we’ll figure that out later,” isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to be able to look that owner in the eye and say, “It’s going to cost you $17 a foot and I’m thinking you won’t find a better deal.”

Confidence. That’s what you need when estimating a cost for detailing oversized vehicles.

Backing up for a moment…we recently published a blog post about how to properly price an automobile detail job that can help you pencil out the appropriate costs and charges. Today we’re going to help you come up with a fair yet profitable price tag for oversized vehicles — tasks that often take a full day or more to complete.

Pricing oversized auto detailing jobs

When arriving at a cost for detailing an oversized, there are several things to be considered. First and foremost, remind yourself that if you’re a one- or two-person operation, that these types of jobs usually take a minimum of a day to complete, and they can entail a lot of trips up and down a ladder.

Other considerations include:

  • The size of the vehicle to be detailed
  • The type of vehicle (limousine, cube truck, small bus, conversion van, over-the-road haulers, RV or full-size extended crew cab and even boats)
  • The amount of work required to properly detail the vehicle.

In addition, you’re going to need to know the break-even number — what it’s going to cost you to do the job — so you can more accurately determine a charge for your professional detailing services. And, of course, you want to set a fee that is competitive with other detailers in your area.

Lucky for you, Detail King is the best in the business when it comes to products and detailing know-how. We went to great lengths to gather information from various sources — including our instructors and your peers in various parts of the country — in order to come up with what professional detailers typically charge for working on oversized vehicles. And the consensus seems to be a price range of $10 to $22.50 per foot; depending on the amount of work your customer wants to have done.

For instance, if the oversized vehicle is in for a simple wash, the going rate would be anywhere from Continue reading…

Car-Detailing-PricingWhat’s your daily “nut?” When you’re trying to determine a price for your auto detailing services, one of the most important elements is knowing your “nut.” That’s the break-even number from which you can decide what to charge for your services so you’re not only making a profit, but also being competitive with other professionally trained auto detailers in your neighborhood.

As you’ve already experienced, properly detailing a vehicle takes up a good chunk of time no matter how skilled you are at the task. So your price considerations should be based on how long the service takes as well as the amount of products used. And you’re going to need to get out a pencil and a notepad and begin scribbling down figures in order to come up with what it costs to run your business on an hourly basis.

Here’s the quick and easy formula to determine what the break-even hourly costs are for you to stay in operation:

  1. Add up all of your monthly fixed costs and get a total. Fixed costs are those expenses that normally don’t fluctuate much and must be paid every month. These include rent or mortgage payments, truck payments, your bank loan and insurance costs. Don’t forget the so-called minor expenses such as annual subscriptions, membership fees and the like.
  2. Add up all the variable costs you expend on a monthly basis and come up with a total. Variable costs include your car detailing tools and supplies, office supplies, fuel costs, utilities on your building, employee wages (including taxes), advertising costs, cell phone bills, credit card processing fees, and all those miscellaneous costs associated with your business.
  3. Take all these figures and pencil out a four-month average.
  4. When you arrive at that total, divide it by the  Continue reading…