How to Start A Mobile Car Detailing Business?

Are you interested in the auto detailing industry and plan on starting a business in car detailing? Starting a mobile car detailing business can be lucrative if you are passionate about cars and have a keen eye for detail.

A lot of car owners are concerned about the state of their cars, wanting to keep them clean at all times. Now, you can leverage this opportunity as auto detailing services are in demand and serve as an excellent small business. 

Starting and running an auto detailing business is not straight forward; you need to find the right location, get market analysis, acquire the necessary skills, and gain full knowledge of the detailing industry. 

Regardless of the competition for clients, the demand for experts in the field is on the rise, leading to a thriving industry. So, this is a sign for you to become a business owner, go into the industry, and grow your car detailing company

A vehicle detailing business is among the top garage-based small business ideas where owners make lots of money yearly. The detailing service offered is the same as the regular ones we know but at a reduced price. These small business owners ensure that their customers get the best service along with convenience.

What is mobile auto detailing?

Contrary to traditional auto detailing servicing, mobile detailing services are offered wherever the client finds convenient. This means that the customer decides on the location for the detailing based on their schedule.

This involves cleaning the interior and exterior of a car thoroughly and turning it brand new. The detailing service is carried out by professionals who have been trained with various products and systems. They are ready to come to your aid and restore your car to its fresh and new state. 

Individuals may choose to detail their car at home or the garage of their place of business. Your job as a car detailer is to meet your customer’s needs by being prompt to appointments, noting their detail, and offering the best services timely.

What you stand to gain?

Weighing the benefits to be gotten from a business before starting it is a fundamental step to take. Take a look at some of the benefits:

Small capital

It is easier to start a mobile detailing business than a traditional auto detailing store. This is because you basically need proper training, an auto vacuum cleaner, a trailer, cleaning supplies, equipment, and hardware. 

The start-up cost is much smaller, as you do not need to pay for space, electricity, and furnishing like you would in an auto detailing shop. Small capital is needed to start a mobile car detailing business and keep it running. Marketing, purchase of high-quality equipment, supplies, and products, repairs, and maintenance are the only costs you may have as your business grows. 

Huge profit

Typically, a business with low startup and operating costs will yield more profit; hence, your small business will be more profitable than a big one. Clients are open to paying more for convenience as long as the service is top-notch. 

The major costs a car detailer is likely to have in this type of business are one-time. This means that money spent on startups will be replaced, and profit will start rolling in once a strong footing has been established in the industry. 

Flexible operation

Being in this business gives you the opportunity to choose your business model and operation. Since there is no rigidity in the mobile detailing industry, your goals and objectives may change as time progresses based on your level of experience and the demand. 

As you venture into the mobile detailing space, you can decide who your next customer will be and the location to go. Fun fact: You can operate a brick-and-mortar and mobile car detailing service. While a business with a physical location gives you a permanent location, a mobile operation gives you the time and space to know what you want. 

Business adaptability

The ability to adapt to the growing nature of a mobile car detailing business is one skill that every mobile detailer should have. Provide quality detailing services to make your brand known and give you a name in the industry. Simple referrals from past and present customers about your robust service will help improve your business within a short period.

Comfort and convenience are two things that clients look for when choosing a detailing service for their car. You can be ahead in the business by having a team that can quickly tend to clients’ needs. 

Create different service packages and tweak them to suit the preferences and needs of your clients. This act will increase your business growth and help you expand further into the industry while speedily building your customer base without spending so much. 

How to start a mobile auto detailing business?

As you begin the process of starting your mobile detailing business, follow these steps: 

8 Steps to Start A Mobile Auto Detailing Business?

Make sufficient research

Detailing businesses are hard nuts to crack, but once you figure your way out, the road will be easy to walk through. To start a car detailing business, you must do thorough research to get market analysis as a foundation for your upcoming business. 

Since the world is becoming more technologically inclined, you need to be updated with the cutting-edge technologies and services used in the industry. Consider a franchise to see if that is better than growing your business from scratch. 

Another thing to do for your car wash business is to discover the number of customers you can attract and their frequency. For a faster analysis, try using social media for your investigation. In addition, check out other detailing businesses in your locality to see how they operate and determine if it will be beneficial to open one. 

Create a business plan

Underestimating the power of a business plan will give you a headstart when you decide to venture into any business. As for the detailing business, setting goals and objectives that you intend to achieve is important. 

Your business plan should stem from your research and analysis. Learn from your competitors, their strategies, services, and management. If their strategies worked and got them where they are, it should work for you, too. 

A sound business plan is crucial for the success of your business. Your plan should be written and documented. Follow the necessary steps, and don’t skip any. 

Remember that a well-written business plan gives you an understanding of how long it takes to get the client base and profit you need. 

The car wash industry evolves due to its competition and demand, so ensure that you keep the following in mind as you develop a business plan:

  • Make long and short-term goals
  • Bring out your business passion
  • Speak to your target audience
  • Keep on researching
  • Move with the trends
  • Be clear and precise for better understanding

Ensure you go to training

Before going any further, you must get proper training, especially if you have no prior knowledge or experience in car detailing. Sacrifice some time to learn the business’s basics, techniques and other important aspects. You might see the business and the management as easy to handle, but you need to have an understanding of some intricacies. 

There are many auto techniques that you need to know, and these detailing techniques evolve and increase over time as new equipment and technologies are introduced to the market and industry. 

You have the tendency to be ahead of your competitors if you continue improving your skills and practising. 

If you are worried about the training, it would interest you to know that there are several offline and online training facilities available, but you will be tasked with the responsibility of finding your best fit. 

Check out online car detailing course providers like AutoGeek, AMMO NYC, Detail King, Rightlook, and Udemy. These courses cost between $20 and $200, depending on the platform you choose. 

Pick a business name 

Now that you have acquired the right lessons and training for your new business, it is time to pick a name. Bear in mind that whatever name you choose will impact your business, its success, and growth. Make your business name catchy and simple enough for potential clients to connect with you easily.

When picking a business name, follow the guidelines of your state. You can search online to know if the name you have in mind is available or not; a reservation or business name is also allowed to prevent other potential business owners from using it. 

As earlier stated, your name should be catchy. It should also be meaningful and easy to remember. Try to relate it to your type of business and the services you want to offer. 

If you can, include the location of your business in the name for better SEO and make it short and web-friendly. 

Get a legal permit and license

The next step is getting the necessary permit and business license to run your business smoothly and within the law. This is where you have to decide whether you’ll need a general liability business license. If you are uncertain about which to do, contact a legal adviser. 

Your permit gives you permission to operate in your locality, and some give you permission across other states. Go to your county, city, or town office to follow up on your permit. 

Business licenses vary depending on location and the type of detailing business you plan to establish. Register your business with the appropriate authorities to avoid issues and set up a business account to separate your personal and business finances. 

Insurance is vital 

Every business needs insurance. Your business can only be safe when insurance policies are there to shield it. 

Get insurance policies like Commercial Umbrella Policy, Business Auto Policy, Worker’s Compensation, and Garage Keepers Legal Liability Insurance. You can find these policies in some insurance companies. 

Before you buy any business insurance, evaluate their compensation and policy documents. Consider some factors like monthly or annual policy, legal accreditation, reputation, licensing and quality of customer service. 

You’ll need general liability business insurance if you are running a general liability company for coverage for damages and injuries. Do not ignore the power of references and recommendations. Talk to people who have used policies from the insurance company to be sure that you are getting quality. Avoid companies with negative feedback from customers. 

Buy the necessary equipment

After taking the steps above, getting a name, necessary license and permit, go ahead and invest in quality equipment for your car detailing services. You have the option of buying or leasing equipment and detailing supplies for your business. 

If you want to save money, look out for stores with equipment packages on sale. This will give you a discount and allow you to buy good quality items for the best prices. 

Before you step into the market, make a list to guide your spending. Your list should include items such as microfiber mitts, pressure washers, tire shine, auto vacuum cleaners, a duster, car wash and wax products. 

Build a website and start marketing

Since you’re starting a mobile car wash, it is only necessary to have a website and build your social media presence. You will be able to reach a wider customer base in different locations with these tools. Not only social media, but you must take care about SEO for Google free organic traffic. We have written a detail article on ‘Local SEO For Car Detailing Business‘. Please read that content to get more idea how you can rank your site on Google.

Set yourself apart from other mobile detailers and run a successful business by following Google updates and algorithms. A professional and informative website with excellent customer service will put you in the spotlight in the industry. 

A service menu helps your customers see what services you offer. Include exterior detailing, paint correction, and interior detail in your service menu, as these are major services clients request. 

Create a plan showing how your business will be marketed in the digital world. Tailor your marketing plan to meet your target audience and market. Your marketing plan should include your marketing process, locations, promotions, price, products and services. 


Going into the world of automotive detailing requires dedication and focus as the industry has become competitive and demanding. You can build a successful mobile detailing business from scratch by following the steps outlined above. 

Polish your skills and get set to embark on this amazing journey of mobile car detailing.

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