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How Much to Tip Car Detailers?

A money-savvy individual who likes to keep an efficient eye over their finances and write about ways to optimise their resources.


Do You Actually TIp Car Detailers?

When you take your car in to get some add-ons details included, you are going to be waiting a while. This is a specialist skill, and the difference between a professional car detailer and an amateur one is night and day. If you want to make sure the end results are going to be as impressive as they should be, then you want to build a strong personal connection with the detailer themselves.

Part of that comes from being accommodating and being realistic with what you ask for. The other part, though, comes from making sure that all parties feel respected. And for a professional car detailer, few things say that you respect their craft quite like adding a tip on top of your purchase. Yet, if you are already shelling out this much, you might not be sure if you want to dip your hand back into your pocket quite so soon.

If that is the case, then we recommend you think about how much to tip a car detailer. In this quick guide, we will try to break down what you should expect to add on as a tip

Why Should You Tip a Car Detailer?

Of course, you might be wondering why you even need to put your hand in your pocket. You are already buying the service, is that not enough?

And yes, for most it will be. The price of the service is what you need to pay. However, what you could add-on as an additional cost is something you should not really ignore. A car detailer deserves you to respect their work enough to consider adding something on top. When you hire just about any service, you are typically expected to pay for the service and add something a little on top for the person doing the work.

Having a service carried out is not the same as, say, buying something from the supermarket. Everything in a supermarket comes with an RRP, and the cost of everything is covered in the wages of the staff. For many people like car detailers, though, they make a fair chunk of their income through the extra tips that they are given.

So, why should you tip a car detailer? For one, it could be the main way that they get an additional supplement to their income. And for the other point, you should always feel like you respect their craft enough to add on a little on-top when the job is well-done.

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How Much to Tip a Car Detailer?

If you are trying to work out what would be seen as a fair tip, then you should absolutely consider all options. First off, you should look to determine if the job has been done to the standard expected. Car detailing comes with some very specific requests; has the individual managed to nail what you have asked for? Is the detail they have included up to standard?

If you feel it is, and you believe the job is well done, then you should consider adding on around 10 to 20% as a tip. This is seen as the recommended industry standard. For jobs that went about well as you would have hoped, 10% is enough. For jobs that maybe required a bit more effort or had a few challenges to overcome, stretching to the 20% mark might be worth considering.

Tipping Guidelines

Roughly speaking if you are just getting a basic wash tipping anywhere from $2 to $5 is considered reasonable, generally just rounding up the price to the closest two figures. If you have had a special car detailing service, then an extra $10 or even $20 is about appropriate.

However, you should always look to leave a tip for this specialist. The job they do is a very specific one, and making sure they feel like they have been properly compensated and covered for their time, work, and effort is very important. Always make sure you are respecting of the work done, and if it meets the level you wanted then you should definitely add on a tip.

While many in the industry give out tips, others choose not to. If you want to make sure your detailer knows that you are happy with the job and you want them to feel good about working with you in the future, though, a small tip can be enough to make them feel even better.

It’s a good way to show satisfaction with the job, and can go some way to making sure your detailer feels like they done a good enough job. It creates a positive rapport, rewards them for a job well done, and sets a positive standard for the next time you want some detailing work on your car.

Alternatives to Tipping

There are a lot of considerations that can go into your potential tip such as the overall car size, what service did you actually receive (in terms of all the different aspects that went into the car), was it basic or premium and what was the overall finish like? There's a wide range of aspects to consider. Another is whether the tip actually needs to be monetary as well, you can always gift them a certain product or offer them a bottle of wine or a few beers if that's something they might be interested in.

Remember, you don't even have to do a tip. There's no obligation to do so by any means, especially if the service you received wasn't up to scratch or didn't offer you great value. Unlike restaurants with waiters and waitresses as well as tipping taxi drivers, the same sort of tips aren't expected with car detailers and really they should be quite appreciative of any tip you can offer them.

However, we would love to know what you think? Do you think you should tip a car detailer, and when and how much you should? And if not, why not? Just let us know in the comments section that you can find below, we are looking forward to reading them. Plus, if you have had any specific experiences with regards to car detailing that you think would benefit others, it would be great to hear those too.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Russel Garret

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