How much to charge for mobile car washing

Starting a mobile car washing business in the UK is easy, as you only need a small capital and meet a few legal requirements to get going. With proper marketing, the right tools, and a good plan, you will walk to your bank smiling as you start to reap from your new business.

Before that, you need to ensure that you not only start a car wash business but position it to be successful. And one of the ways to do that is by knowing how much to charge for mobile car washing. Some car owners will need a full service while others will want a mini valet. No matter the service your client wants, ensure that you offer the best services and price possible.

The prices that you charge for your mobile car wash are vital in attracting new customers. They shouldn’t be too low or too high compared to that of the competition. The best thing to do is to create a good reputation by offering the best services in the area. As a result, your business will grow regardless of whether you charge similar or slightly higher prices than that of the competition.

Without keeping you waiting, let’s get down to what factors determine how much you charge and the different prices that you should charge.

Factors that determine the charges for a mobile car washing

  • Size and type of the vehicle – the size of the vehicle plays a huge role in the overall price that you will charge. For example, the price you charge for washing a saloon car won’t be the same for a large saloon or van.
  • Quality – what type of car washing does your client need? Is it a basic car wash, mini valet, full valet or standard valet? All of these will be charged differently.
  • Method used – are going to use water and bucket, steam wash or waterless products? What types of chemicals are you going to use? Is the product eco-friendly or not? Different methods and products will attract a different price.
  • Location – the area your customer is located will also play a role in determining how much you charge them. The price for a customer who is within 5kms won’t be the same with that of 20kms.
  • Regular customer discount – if you’ve got regular customers, you will give them a discount even if it’s a £1 or £2. This will encourage them to continue getting your car wash services.

When coming up with car wash charges, you should have in mind all the costs involved such as overhead costs, fuel utilized to get you to your customer, insurances, and tax. Also, you must keep track and note down all the transactions (what you earn and spend) that you perform for tax purposes.

Mobile car wash prices

  • Basic mobile car wash can range from £6 to £20

Saloon – £8

Large saloon – £10

4X4/MPV’s – £12

Vans – £15

  • Exterior wash only from £6 to £15

Saloon – £6

Large saloon – £9

4X4/MPV’s – £12

Vans – £12

  • Interior and exterior wash  from £10 to 25

Saloon – £10

Large saloon -£13

4X4/MPV’s – £15

Vans – £20

Additional car wash services

Some people may request for special services such as plastic dressing only, leather conditioning, water spot removal, carpets shampooed, tire dressing, paint protection, upholstery shampooed, and pet hair removal. Come up with a price for every service just in case a client asks for it.

What is car valeting?

Many people are usually confused when they hear car valeting and car detailing. These two are similar but only referred to differently in their respective countries. In the UK, it is car valeting while in the US it is car detailing. Some people argue that car detailing involves more meticulous cleaning than car valeting. Is this really the case? This is a topic for another day.

In simple terms, car valeting is the procedure of cleaning, polishing, and waxing of a car to attain a new look and improve its resale value. A car that is valeted can be displayed in the showroom ready for sale. Car valeting normally includes cleaning the wheels and nuts, washing the car, polishing, waxing the body, dressing exterior tyres & plastics, polishing the brightwork, and polishing the glass.

To spontaneously valet the car, you will have to use clay to get rid of undesirable contaminants from the paint such as tar spots, iron filings, tree sap, etc… Such substances make the paint to feel rough and have a dull appearance.

The exterior cleaning procedure should entail the use of a wide range of tools, chemicals, and accessories in order to reach all corners and get rid of soil and other particles on the car. While the interior cleaning procedure should involve vacuuming all corners such as seats, dash, luggage areas, centre console, vents, and carpets. Thereafter, use different chemicals and tools to wet clean upholstery, carpets, headlining, and trim.

What does a mini-car valet include?

I know most of you feel a little bit confused with the mini valeting thing. If you’re new to valeting, then you may not know the difference. But if you’re into car washing business, then you definitely know the difference. Full valeting is done to vehicles that are very dirty while a mini valet is performed on a vehicle that needs to enhance its appearance.

So, what does a mini car valet includes:

  • Exterior of the car properly washed and dried
  • Remove bugs from window and headlight
  • Clean and dry windows
  • Vacuum the whole interior of the car
  • Clean and buff interior dashboard, interior windows, plastics, clocks, side doors, and dash
  • Apply air freshener for a nice smelling interior

In the UK, a mini car valet is usually charged from £10 to £30. The price can vary depending on a wide range of factors.

Saloon – £15

Large saloon – £20

4X4/MPV’s – £20

Vans – £25

What does a full car valet include?

Unlike a mini valet, a full valet is better suited for people with a very dirty car that needs a lot of work. It involves more tasks and it is also slightly expensive than a mini valet. So, you will charge more if a person asks for a full car valet instead of a mini car valet. A full valet features all the services of a mini valet with some extras. These include:

  • Polish metal
  • Apply tire shine
  • Clean headlining
  • Full interior shampoo of seats, carpets, and mats
  • Clean and feed leather
  • Get rid of tar spots and other dirt
  • Apply wax on the exterior to protect and shine the body

For a full car valeting service in the UK, you can charge somewhere from £40 to £160 or even more. Below are the prices for different car sizes

Saloon – £120

Large saloon – £150

4X4/MPV’s – £150

Vans – £170


From the first day of operating your car wash business, you should ensure that you set the prices right as it will help grow or stagnant your business. You can start by offering competitive prices and then raise them slowly as you create a name for yourself. This is just an estimate of what you can offer as you can still raise or lower the prices according to the costs you will incur and services that you will be offering.

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