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How Much to Tip Car Wash Valets?

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


If you are the owner of a car, then you will be all too aware that over time your car can begin to look rough and tatty. All it takes is a few days of rural driving, or a big splash of mud from the roadside, and your car can look awful. If you drive a light coloured car then hiding the stains can be nigh-impossible. When the time comes to go for a car wash, then, you should make it a priority. Getting your car looking fresh and sparkling is a highly recommended starting place for anyone who cares about the condition of their car.

Let a car have all off that muck and mire build up, and you could run into more than a few headaches when it comes to getting your car cleaned up accordingly. It can leave more permanent stains, it can make your car lose value, and it can even lead to build-up of other debris that can cause your car to rust, stain, and lose its shine.

So, a car wash is for more than just your own self-worth and ego; it is a way to make sure that your car looks as good as it really should. With that in mind, then, we highly recommend that you look to take your car for a car wash as soon as you possibly can. How much, though, is the right amount to tip car wash service providers?

Should You Tip for a Car Wash?

Absolutely. This is a very cheap service almost anywhere in the world. Even car washes that go above and beyond with the cleanliness factor are very cheap to use. This means that you can get your car gleaming often for the price of what you have in your side pocket. They are cheap and cheerful services, and the car washer valets are relying on a lot of business to pay their wages.

So, help the people washing your car by giving them a tip for washing your car with you. They will be putting plenty of time, effort, and elbow grease into the cleaning process. Preparing to clean a car is not just as simple as an old bucket and water. They have running costs, material costs, and manpower costs. As such, adding a bit on top of your car wash fee is a good idea.

Not only will you feel better for making that choice, but you know that the person washing your car gets the tip. This gives them a few extra pounds in their pocket and means that you still likely got your car washed for a very small price. Adding in a little extra also ensures that next time you come along to get your motor washed that the staff who are doing the cleaning will put in that extra bit of effort to get it shining bright and looking spectacular!

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How Much Should You Tip for a Car Wash?

If you go through a car wash then you should be expected to gauge it based on the cost of the service. Most car washes can cost you under £5, so adding on another £1 or £2 for the cleaning team is recommended. However, make sure it is the actual cleaner who is given the tip as opposed to the boss. Any car cleaner should be given the money directly as you want to know that they have pocketed that cash in the first place.

Car washes are something that you should always look to tip at, really. For more serious and high-end car cleaning you might find the price is a bit higher, so maybe round it up to a 15-20% tip for more costly services. Again, though, you want to ensure that your tips don’t just get amalgamated into the daily profits.

Tips are for the person actually doing the job, so make sure that any tips are given in cash to the actual person doing the cleaning. Typically, then, you should be expected to add on a fair amount on top of the cost of a standard car wash. Given they are so cheap, though, that still only amounts to a few pounds max.

For more serious and strenuous washing sessions you might want to add on 15-20% just to make sure that the staff are well-covered for their time. As you can no doubt imagine, too, being a generous tipper makes sure your car looks even cleaner than it would have without!

Alternatives to Tipping

Remember, not all tips need to be monetary and they don't need to be right at the moment. You might have a special voucher that you send in a few days later with a letter thanking the car washer for their service and how they went above and beyond. You might just get them a thank you basket with a few different gifts in. That said, it is very common place for a few dollars to be passed on at the time of the car wash. Typically rounding up the car wash fee to the nearest $10.

As always, tipping is not obligatory. Is it something that would be appreciated? Absolutely. However, it is not something you should feel compelled to do, especially if they have not provided a good service that you thought you should've received and thought you would get more for the money that you paid out. There are a lot of different factors that can contribute to that as well, maybe the wash was good, but the wait time was excessive and so on.

Let us know about your experiences as well when it comes to tipping car wash valets, is it something you do regularly and if not, why not? Sometimes the occasion and type of car wash lends itself to different circumstances with regards to tipping. When it is more personal (i.e less machine car wash), then it tends to be a more appropriate tipping opportunity. We'd love to hear your experiences and what you have to share with regards to tipping car washers in the comments section just below.

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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