The best car detailers in Canberra

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Platinum Hand Car Wash & Detailing, one of Canberra’s most recommended car detailers. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Whether you drive a high performance vehicle, restore older cars as a hobby, or work at a dealer buying secondhand cars for resale, chances are you’d like to keep your investments looking as good as the day they rolled off the factory floor.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can achieve yourself with a bucket of soapy water and a sponge. If you’re serious about keeping your vehicle thoroughly clean inside and out, protecting it from the elements and extending the life of the paintwork, you’ll need to have your car professionally detailed.

Car detailing, also known as auto-detailing, is one of the best ways to keep your car in tip-top condition. Much more than just a basic car wash and vacuum, car detailers use specialist tools, products and techniques to recondition and restore your car so it looks – and feels – brand new.

But what qualities should you look for in a car detailer, and where can you find the best in Canberra? Let’s take a closer look.

What makes a great car detailer?

Car detailing is both an art and a science. The best car detailers have the skills and flair to ensure a polished finish, as well as the expertise to choose the products, tools and application techniques that best suit your vehicle.

It can be helpful to keep the following in mind when choosing a car detailer.

  • Experience. Look for a car detailer with experience on their side. The more years they’ve been in the business, the better chance they’ve worked on cars like yours. An experienced car detailer should also be able to set realistic expectations, avoid rookie mistakes that risk damaging your car, and provide expert advice on how to maintain your vehicle.
  • Attention to detail. Detail is in the name: a good detailer won’t just give your vehicle a once-over; they’ll carefully revitalise every nook, cranny, surface, and section in your car.
  • Quality tools and products. The quality of car detailing tools and products can vary considerably, and different vehicles may need different products. Check that your chosen car detailer has a sound knowledge of the products and tools they use, and understands which product to apply and when.
  • Convenience. Some car detailers will come to you, while others prefer you bring the car to them – which can be particularly convenient if you work or shop nearby. Some offer flexible appointment times, and others are open longer hours to accommodate busy individuals. Whatever your preference, opt for a car detailer that minimises hassle and stress.
  • Value for money. It’s true that quality car detailing will cost more than a trip to the drive-through car wash. But it also shouldn’t break the bank. A great detailer sets reasonable prices that work with your budget. Be aware, however, of car detailers promising unusually low prices, as this could indicate a lack of skill or experience.

The best car detailers in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.

Platinum Hand Car Wash & Detailing

Platinum Hand Car Wash & Detailing

Platinum Hand Car Wash & Detailing guarantees customers will be completely satisfied with any level of service they choose. With eight years’ experience, there’s nothing the crew can’t tackle. Knowledgeable, resourceful and fully trained, the crew gets the job done efficiently and effectively, using only the highest-rating cleaning products.

Services include the platinum car wash service, platinum wax, and pre-sale car detailing. Platinum Hand Car Wash & Detailing also offers a cut and polish service, headlight restoration, interior detailing and even ceramic paint protection. The crew has learned all the tricks required to make cars spotless and sparkly new. Services add years of durability to vehicles.

Chris Lee wrote on Google, “Took our 10-year-old, never-been-detailed family car in for a pre-sale clean service … Astonished at how well the car came up. Brilliant service. Outstanding work. Cannot recommend them enough. My new ‘go to’ car detailers.”

103 Osburn Drive
Macgregor ACT 2615
Dapper Auto

Dapper Auto

Conveniently located in Mitchell, Dapper Auto was founded by a pair of car-culture enthusiasts with an eye for detailing and protective flair. Their focus is on refining, restoring, and improving the condition of any make or model, ensuring it looks – and feels like new.

Dapper Auto offers a range of auto enhancing services, from window tinting through and vinyl wrapping, through to paint protection film, ceramic coating and more. The team have also built an enviable reputation for their specialisation in car cleaning and detailing.

Offering a comprehensive bumper to bonnet and top to bottom clean, detailing is also accompanied by a reconditioning of both the car’s interior and exterior. This restorative process is designed to condition all facets of the car, creating that factory-new feeing.

With a team of highly experienced and award-winning detailing professionals, Dapper Auto pride themselves on their meticulous level of care and superior quality finishes. To revitalise your car with some of the finest detailing in town look to Dapper Auto.

Tina Jones shared this glowing review on Google, The guys did a brilliant job on my car. I am so very happy with the work they did. Highly recommend as several other places do just an adequate job but these guys did above and beyond!”

5/66 Heffernan Street
Mitchell ACT 2911
Mach1 Detailing Specialists

Mach1 Detailing Specialists

If you’re after personalised service, high quality workmanship and a genuine first-class experience, Canberra’s Mach1 Detailing Specialists could be the company for you. It’s a family-run business that is committed to ensuring your car looks its best.

Whether your car needs a standard wash and polish, scratch and scuff removal, or a concourse detailing service before it is displayed at a car show or presentation, Mach1’s experienced team is ready to help. For added convenience, they even come to you.

Happy customer sammyg wrote on RiotACT, “just had my car done a few weeks ago by Mach1 detailing Specialists. i was amazed with the job that they did they made the car like it just came out to the showroom… it took about 3 hours for them to complete the car… i will be using these guy for all of my car cleaning needs and would recommend them to everyone”.

Enzo Auto Detailing

If you’re after high quality workmanship using the best detailing tools, look no further than Enzo Auto Detailing. It’s an Opti-Coat certified car detailer specialising in auto detailing, ceramic coating paint protection and paint protection films installation, also known as PPF. Enzo Auto Detailing services are all about high quality on long lasting finishes, from highly protective ceramic coating to general detailing and comprehensive whole care refurbishment.

Here’s what happy customer Caren Greer had to say about their experience with Enzo Auto Detailing in a Google review, “Fantastic ceramic coating work. Albert also goes through with me how to maintain my car for long term, very patient and professional. Recommended.” 

Adrian's Detailing Canberra

If you care about quality workmanship, eco-friendly products and convenience, Adrian’s Detailing Canberra could be the car detailing company for you. It’s a mobile detailing service that comes to you, with services including cut and polish, paint decontamination and fabric and carpet protection – all using waterless, eco-friendly products.

Facebook reviewer Kathryn wrote, “Polite, punctual and professional. The outcome was far beyond my expectations. He brings all his own equipment and leaves no mess behind.”

Your experience with car detailers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the car detailing companies listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do car detailers do?
Car Detailers wash and clean exteriors and interiors of motor vehicles, and touch up paint work, glass and upholstery. Car detailing can also include cleaning and treating the tires.
Is car detailing purely for aesthetic purposes?
While car detailing is primarily for preserving your car's appearance, it has the added benefit of repairing any issues your car might have incurred, such as scratched paint or damaged material inside. Plus, while car detailing preserves the appearance and comfort of your car, it also protects the resale value of your car if you plan on selling it in the future!
How often should I have my car detailed?
It is generally recommended to have your car at least partly detailed every 4-6 months, but this obviously depends on what kind of condition your car is in. Remember that the more often you get your car detailed, the better condition your car will be in.
How long does it take to fully detail a car?
Depending on the size and general state of your car, a full detail shouldn't take longer than about 5 hours. Make sure you double check time estimates with your car detailing service to figure out a time frame that works for you.
What is the difference between car wash and car detailing?
Car washes offer exterior and interior cleans at different levels of thoroughness, but there are services that only detailers offer. For example, a car wash won't repair damaged material inside your car, or fix chipped paint. Car detailing is more focused on reconditioning and restoration than car washing.

What's Your Opinion?


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49 Responses to The best car detailers in Canberra
Tanzil Hossain Tanzil Hossain 11:49 pm 14 Mar 21

OCD is miles ahead. There's a reason Saad works on Porsches and exotics!

Boss290gt Boss290gt 7:22 pm 16 Mar 17

You should give Brant at MACH1 at try, they’re reasonably priced for the quality and they’re mobile. They’re in a few states but he deals with all customers personally and he is based himself in Canberra. Their website is http://www.mach1detailing.com.au

Boss290gt Boss290gt 7:18 pm 16 Mar 17

I’ve used MACH1 for years, they have never let me down. a very personalised and professional service. all the years I’ve dealt with them I have never been able to find a bad review about them. their website is http://www.mach1detailing.com.au

DHV DHV 9:50 am 05 Mar 13

If you are still looking for a place to get your car detailed. We offer a family run business based in Gunghalin. My husband is a massive car enthusiast and treats every car like it is his own. We offer impeccable attention to detail at an affordable price. Contact us at dhvdetailing@gmail.com or give us a call on 0421 731 304.

sammyg sammyg 2:51 pm 18 May 12

Ive been using Mach1 Detailing Specialists. they do the lot and are very good at what they do and plus they will come to you. worth giving them a call .
http://www.mach1detailing.com.au

sammyg sammyg 2:47 pm 18 May 12

just had my car done a few weeks ago by Mach1 detailing Specialists. i was amazed with the job that they did they made the car like it just came out to the showroom.

they were very easy to deal with and quick to book. they called me up on the day to reschedule due to there being poor weather planned for the day witch i thought was fantastic ( nothing worst than just getting your car cleaned and then it rains).

the day that they come the car i was expecting them to arrive in some old van thing or a station wagon but to my surprise they arrived in a ford GT witch got me thinking that these guys take pride in what they do.

they did a walk around the car with me to point out any damage or any concerns that i had and then they started with the cleaning. it took about 3 hours for them to complete the car. and as i said before it looked like it had just came off the showroom floor.

i will be using these guy for all of my car cleaning needs and would recommend them to everyone

give them a buzz and visit there website http://www.mach1detailing.com.au

Chop71 Chop71 2:18 pm 10 Apr 12

Has anyone had a water damaged (just carpets) experience? Mrs Chops car stinks after the last onslaught of rain and really needs a propper steam clean – or carpet replacement. Just wondering costs and will it ever be new again?

    jkealy jkealy 9:17 pm 19 Oct 21

    I had this exact same problem and thought I would never get rid of the damp smell in the car. I took it to Sam at Detailing Canberra and he was 100% sure he could get rid of it. They spent some time on it (6 hours + removed seats) and when I picked it up it was almost as good as new!

    You can check out their website at https://detailingcanberra.com.au

    I think they also have a mobile car detailing service which may be worth asking about!

    Hope this helps ?

Deref Deref 4:40 pm 29 Jan 12

RedDogInCan said :

Deref said :

What’s claybar, pls?.

It’s a piece of putty like stuff that you rub gently over you paintwork with a cleaning solution to remove dirt that has become embedded into the paint. Your car needs to be already really clean before you use it, otherwise it will scratch the paint. I used to use it on my show cars but the two days it takes to properly detail a car to this standard is probably overkill for the daily drive.

🙂 Thanks. Sounds pretty good.

RedDogInCan RedDogInCan 4:05 pm 29 Jan 12

Deref said :

What’s claybar, pls?.

It’s a piece of putty like stuff that you rub gently over you paintwork with a cleaning solution to remove dirt that has become embedded into the paint. Your car needs to be already really clean before you use it, otherwise it will scratch the paint. I used to use it on my show cars but the two days it takes to properly detail a car to this standard is probably overkill for the daily drive.

Deref Deref 7:56 am 29 Jan 12

What’s claybar, pls?

I had Time Tunnel in Fyshwick do a car for me some years ago. Pretty disappointing for the price.

grug grug 8:44 pm 28 Jan 12

bugmenot said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Send out the word and try and get Damian to come up here for a few days!

According to DA (FI’s forum), there are already works afoot to make this happen! Sounds like it could possibly be a regular thing, too.

Good times, indeed… I’m sure you’ll hear about it if it eventuates

A poll is up on DA (final inspection’s forum) to see how many people would be interested in a Canberra-based clinic, or to have Damien do some detailing work up here. Looks as though it could be a goer for March if enough people express an interest…

AlpineViper AlpineViper 2:47 pm 20 Jan 12

Just be aware that Waves list on their “menu” that they use Armorall. Every detailing site/forum I’ve come across since starting to read about detailing claims that that Armorall is a bad idea – something to do with the silicons mixed in the cleaner in it make the material you are applying it to dependent on it. If you dont apply it regularly thereafter and let it dries out then you can start getting cracks in your dashboard.

2.0 2.0 10:19 am 20 Jan 12

Loxmyf said :

There’s a difference between a good car wash and a detail. Waves will wash your car for $35. They’ll wash the outside and clean/vacuum the inside, and do a pretty good job. But they won’t claybar or remove swirls or wax your car for that price (if they offer the service at all).

Waves do pretty much anything you want, (claybar, cut polish, hand polish, 365 day paint protection, shampoo carpets/seats, leather cleaning/treatment, aircon treatments etc.) and they actually do quite a good job. take your car into Braddon and they will give you a price depending on what you want done.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 9:41 am 20 Jan 12

bugmenot said :

Holden Caulfield said :

Send out the word and try and get Damian to come up here for a few days!

According to DA (FI’s forum), there are already works afoot to make this happen! Sounds like it could possibly be a regular thing, too.

Good times, indeed… I’m sure you’ll hear about it if it eventuates

Good news.

Pear Pear 8:18 am 20 Jan 12

Do not use the one in the Canberra Centre car park! Hopeless job.

bugmenot bugmenot 10:47 am 18 Jan 12

Holden Caulfield said :

Send out the word and try and get Damian to come up here for a few days!

According to DA (FI’s forum), there are already works afoot to make this happen! Sounds like it could possibly be a regular thing, too.

Good times, indeed… I’m sure you’ll hear about it if it eventuates

Padoof Padoof 8:03 am 18 Jan 12

Following RA research last year, I bought a gift voucher for Mr Padoof from Ace car detailing. Lovely young family struggling with two young children with significant illnesses. They (finally) honoured the detail from their house after a few months of toing and froing. Turns out that one child has coeliacs and the other a brain tumour…makes you realise how lucky you are when you hear how horrid some families have it.

Wishing Rob and his family all the best, but it didn’t seem likely that he’ll be setting up at the Queanbeyan location again.

AlpineViper AlpineViper 10:55 pm 17 Jan 12

ramblingted said :

Maybe detailing is too fine a word for it..all I want on my 2000 Subaru wagon is someone to give it a good going over inside to get rid of the residue of a few years of many trips to the tip, and a couple of hairy but much missed four legged friends…

In that case I’d say Waves at gungahlin will do you fine.

Loxmyf Loxmyf 9:21 pm 17 Jan 12

AlpineViper said :

I think traveling to Melbourne might be a bit extreme for what many of us are after with our fairly standard cars :p

How do you drive it back without it getting instantly ruined by 7 hours of dust and bugs?

Take it to one of the local car washes and give it a high pressure rinse. /experience

ramblingted ramblingted 9:12 pm 17 Jan 12

Maybe detailing is too fine a word for it..all I want on my 2000 Subaru wagon is someone to give it a good going over inside to get rid of the residue of a few years of many trips to the tip, and a couple of hairy but much missed four legged friends…

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