Packages and Pricing: How to Be Profitable in Auto Detailing

Packages and Pricing: How to Be Profitable in Auto Detailing

Auto Detailing Packages can be tough to decide what to offer. Analysis will need to be done in order to define your package names, decide which services should be offered and to price them appropriately. Here are some great examples to get started with how to name and price auto detailing packages.

Name Your Auto Detailing Packages

To name the packages, there are a few popular options available.

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Diamond

As you can see this is straightforward and easily understood. This is pretty common across the industry so customers will understand when they go to your website to see your services.

Another option that is clear to understand would be:

  • Standard
  • Deluxe
  • Premium

One more option for package names:

  • Classic
  • Signature
  • Ultimate

When ordering the packages on your website, order them in reverse. This way you are providing the top of the line option as the best and it shows the progression of each piece of value being dropped at each level.

Quick tip: Order your packages from highest price to lowest to showcase value

When starting out another option is to go with interior only, exterior only, both interior and exterior. This is recommended for those who want to market to customers who want this type of service. This is where your market analysis from the business plan you crested comes into play.

Services Offered in Each Package

It can be difficult to decide which services to offer for each package level. The thing to keep in mind is setting them up for the potential to upsell to the next package level.

When starting out, stick to what you are capable of providing to achieve the best results. For example, if you have not shampooed carpets before, do not offer it until you know how to professionally shampoo carpets.

To properly lay out the packages for upselling, think of 3 different tiers available for each process. For the process of cleaning the paint, the three tiers could be:

  • Wash and wax
  • Wash, clay, AIO
  • Wash, clay, 2-step compound/polish, wax

This can be applied to interior panels as well.

  • Clean the interior panels
  • Protect the interior panels
  • Recondition the interior panels

Now come up with each of the services to offer and the three tiers and start to piece them together.

Silver Package

  • Exterior Wash and Wax
  • Tires and wheels cleaned
  • Interior Vacuumed
  • Interior panels cleaned
  • Glass cleaned inside and out

Gold Package

  • Exterior Wash, Claybar treatment, One-step AIO
  • Tires and Wheels cleaned and tire dressing applied
  • Interior vacuumed
  • Interior panels cleaned and protected
  • Glass cleaned inside and out

Platinum Package

  • Exterior Wash, Claybar treatment, 2-step Polish and Compound, Wax
  • Tires and Wheels cleaned and tire coating applied
  • Interior vacuumed
  • Interior panels cleaned, reconditioned and protected
  • Interior seats and floors shampooed/reconditioned
  • Glass cleaned inside and out
  • Windshield treatment

Diamond Package

  • Exterior Wash, Claybar treatment, 2-step Polish and Compound, Ceramic Coating
  • Tires and Wheels cleaned and tire coating applied
  • Interior vacuumed
  • Interior panels cleaned, reconditioned and protected
  • Interior seats and floors shampooed/reconditioned
  • Glass cleaned inside and out
  • All windows treated

As noted in bold, each package builds off of the previous. This is an example and not an exact of what you should offer but is a starting example to show how each packages upsells the previous.

Be sure that the packages you have defined allow for flexibility. Provide a customer who may not want the Diamond package the ability to get all windows treated instead of just the windshield.

Upselling auto detailing services is key to providing customers with the desired results that they may not even know are possible unless you mention it.

Now that you have each of your services outlined for each package, let’s move onto how to price.

How to Price Auto Detailing Services

Pricing detailing services can sometimes be difficult when starting out. One thing that should have been done from the start is the market analysis of detailers near you. Doing this analysis should give you an idea of how much customers in your location are paying for detailing services.

By doing the research for how much customers in your area are paying, you should also have gotten an idea of what services and packages they are paying for. Ceramic coating might not even be offered in your area which could be a good thing if you want to break into that market or it could mean that no one wants that or they can't afford it in your area.

It is common for auto detailers to decide how much per hour they are willing to be paid and then building packages on that. If the Silver Package takes 2 hours from setup to breakdown and the minimum hourly rate they want is $30, it will be priced at $60. This price is actually low for most areas and you are selling yourself short if the price of your Silver Package is $60.

The $30 an hour can not just be thought of out of nowhere, instead it should be a precise calculation of the cost of running your business, how much you are worth in your market, and the skills you bring to the table.

Cost of Running an Auto Detailing Business

The cost of supplies should be taken into account, this will include all of the auto detailing tools required to do each job. Calculate the cost of each product and how long it will last, you should know how much product you use per service by using measured containers and spray bottles.

By tracking how much product is used, you will accurately charge your customer.

Do not forget to take into account each of these as well:

  • Tool and equipment cost (polisher, buckets, microfibers, etc.)
  • Gas used while driving to customer locations
  • Wear and tear on your vehicle
  • Fixed location rent/mortgage, electricity, etc. if applicable
  • Business setup, taxes, and insurance costs
  • Website hosting, advertising, and marketing costs.

Without taking each of these into account it can be easy to actually end up losing money on each detail.

Market Analysis

This analysis should have been done in the business plan, if not, this is a very important step to understand your market.

Search online for your competition and see what services and prices are being promoted. Do not stop at two or three competitors for your specific town. Find at least 30 in order to have the best results in analyzing the data.

Read all of the reviews that you can on your competition using Google Places and Yelp. This will give you an idea of what your potential customers like and dislike about what is currently offered.

Keep track of this analysis using a Google Drive Spreadsheet so you don't forget it or lose track of all of this important information.

Auto Detailing Skills

Once you have the cost of your goods and market analysis, take into account the skills and services you are offering, how long have you been detailing, what training you have gone through, how many customers you have, etc.

See where your skills meet market needs and where you are able to provide solutions specifically catered to your target customers.

Once you do the analysis of those three you can accurately determine what your hourly rate should be.

On average the price for the Silver package is $100-$130 so keep that in mind when determining the prices you are looking to charge.


When starting a detailing business it can be easy to underprice services in order to get business. Customers equate price to quality and you could lose out in business if you are undercutting the competition.

Customers equate price to quality and you could lose out in business if you are undercutting the competition.

By not charging appropriately, money is literally being left on the table. If prices are low starting out, original customers you pulled in with the low prices might end up leaving when you raise your rates.

The types of customers you want to do business with are those who are comfortable paying you well for your services and not just looking for the next bargain.

We went through how to setup packages for your auto detailing business. Packages should be named appropriately, built to allow for natural up-selling, and priced according to your costs, skills, and market.

Keep serving, learning, and growing.