The best car detailers in Canberra

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detailing on a red Ford Falcon

MACH1 Detailing Specialists is one of Canberra’s most recommended car detailers. Photo: MACH1.

No matter what type of vehicle you have – high-performance, sports, vintage, four-wheel-drive or a ute – a professional car detailer can keep your investment looking as good as the day it rolled off the factory floor.

Do-it-yourself cleaning, with a bucket of soapy water, a sponge and loads of elbow grease, is hard work. It’s also never as good as a wash and clean by a professional car detailer. They’ll tackle your vehicle inside and out. They’ll also protect it from the elements and extend the life of its paintwork.

Car detailing, also known as auto detailing, is one of the best ways to keep your car in tip-top condition. Beyond a basic wash and vacuum, detailers use specialist tools, products and techniques to recondition and restore and maintain vehicles. This is so they look brand new.

In this article, we’ll outline the qualities to consider when choosing a car detailer, and share where to find the best in Canberra.

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 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 with car detailing. You’ll want a quality detailer who won’t just give your vehicle a once-over. Choose one who will revitalise every nook, cranny, surface and section of your car.
  • Quality tools and products. The quality of car-detailing tools and products varies considerably. Also, different vehicles may need different products. Check that your car detailer has sound knowledge and uses quality products and tools.
  • Convenience. Some car detailers will come to you. With others, you need to take your car to them, which takes time and might not be convenient. Some car detailers offer flexible appointment times. Others are open longer hours to accommodate busy individuals. Whatever your situation, choose a car detailer who minimises hassle and stress.
  • Value for money. Quality car detailing will cost more than washing your car yourself. And it costs more than using a drive-through car wash. Having said that, car detailing shouldn’t break the bank. A great detailer sets reasonable prices and works with your budget. Be aware, however, of car detailers promising unusually low prices. 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 Facebook as well as maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

MACH1 Detailing Specialists

MACH1 Detailing Specialists

MACH1 Detailing Specialists are professionals in mobile, personalised car detailing, providing outstanding service. This dedicated car detailing company provides genuine first-class experience. The attentive, experienced team improves the appearance of vehicles every time.

For over 11 years, MACH1 Detailing Specialists has washed and detailed vehicles guaranteeing complete satisfaction. Cost-effective services include two wash and polish services, a detailing service, concourse service, and custom packages for boats and heavy vehicles. Large-scale services are available and MACH1 Detailing Specialists handles unique enquiries.

MACH1 Detailing Specialists only uses high-quality cleaning products that don’t damage cars. The company has won awards in car shows.

On Google, Damien Wood wrote, “This would have to be the best car detailer in the country, absolute fantastic job and l could not be happier. After driving around the bush, he had his work cut out. To be honest, the car looks better than it did when I drove it out the showroom.”

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 wrote 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 went above and beyond!”

5/66 Heffernan Street
Mitchell ACT 2911
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.

Car with doors open

Platinum Car Wash and Detailing, one of Canberra's most recommended car detailers. Photo: Supplied.

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.”

1/2 Park Street
Belconnen ACT 2617

Xquisit Car Detailing

Established in 1999, Xquisit Car Detailing has three vans on the road and an online booking system. It is the only detailing group with all technicians certified by the Motor Trade Association of Australia. Packages include the Gold Detail, Silver Detail and Exterior/Interior.

On Google, Emma Hunt wrote, “I came across Xquisit as I was getting ready to advertise my 10-year old Ford Fiesta, for sale. They fitted me in within a few days and the results were phenomenal.”

If you’re looking for more information on vehicle services in Canberra, you might like our articles on the best car washes, best car service centres, best mechanics, and best panel beaters and smash repairers Canberra has to offer.

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 paintwork, glass and upholstery. Car detailing can also include cleaning and treating the tyres.

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 its resale value if you plan on selling it in the future.

How often should I have my car detailed?

It is generally recommended that you have your car at least partly detailed every four to six months, but this obviously depends on what condition your car is in. Remember that the more often you have your car detailed, the better condition the vehicle 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 five hours. Make sure you double-check scheduling estimates with your car-detailing service to figure out a timeframe that works for you.

What is the difference between a 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.

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We recently booked Mach1 Detailing to detail our fleet of company cars. We were so impressed several of our staff ended up having their personal cars detailed through Mach1. A simple process, everything was explained over the phone so we knew exactly what we were getting. 1st class customer service. We would highly recommend.

canberraguy199112:19 pm 29 Jun 22

I’ve recently had my car detailed by Brant from Mach1 detailing specialists, I was amazed about what he was able to achieve. He made my car look like it just came off the showroom floor. Brant is very honest about what he’s able to achieve. His prices are extremely reasonable as well. If you’re looking for one of Canberras best car detailers look no further than mach1.

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

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

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.

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

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

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?

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 ?

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.

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.

What’s claybar, pls?

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

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…

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.

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 Caulfield9:41 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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…

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?

Holden Caulfield2:10 pm 17 Jan 12

bugmenot said :

It’s in teh other thread, but I’ll bring it up again here…

Final Inspection in Melbourne. There are many, many people from Canberra who take the time to travel down for their services. Arguably Australia’s best.

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

It’s in teh other thread, but I’ll bring it up again here…

Final Inspection in Melbourne. There are many, many people from Canberra who take the time to travel down for their services. Arguably Australia’s best.

They are the only place that I will recommend. I’ve not been convinced of any detailer in Canberra that I would classify as “good”. In fact, I’ve corrected some local “professionals” work who have left the paint of a >$100,000 car riddled with holograms. Sadly, that place has already been recommended above… 🙁

Though it ultimately depends on what you are after as a “detail”. Some peoples definition is a little hazy.

I havent used DetailFX personally, but hve seen some of the work they do and put into show cars and its flawless.

I tried to get my old car into them before a photoshoot but were booked out …. I didnt trust anyone else in Canberra so I flew a detailer down from Brisbane for a day

brad301168 said :

By fast the best detailers are Rick and Jane at Advanced Car Detailers underneath the Shell service station at Curtin Shops. The specialise in high quality detailing and I have never been dissapointed with there work over the past 12 years.

I will never use them again, flooded my engine electrics and cpu with water, damaged my car then tried to blame me, did not buff all the polish off the paint – then would not fix it after. I paid $300 and may as well have taken the car through a service station wash.

I have since gotten a detail from DMS detailing in Sydney, comes down every now and then, he did a fantastic job, same price, but the car looked brand new, not just washed.

By fast the best detailers are Rick and Jane at Advanced Car Detailers underneath the Shell service station at Curtin Shops. The specialise in high quality detailing and I have never been dissapointed with there work over the past 12 years.

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).

Depends on what your after.
For a top notch service see: http://obsessioncardetailing.blogspot.com/

Expensive and he only works on exotic cars, but, if your after quality (and meet the other criteria), he’s 110% top notch.

Holden Caulfield9:20 am 17 Jan 12

Ezy said :

Detail FX in Phillip. A family run business who live for cars. They do everything from your average daily car to street machines > 6282 2425

I have used them before too. I wouldn’t say the results were perfect (just a few missed spots on the interior), but they were pretty good and my car looked awesome when I got it back.

IIRC I paid about $300 for an interior/exterior once over, including engine bay.

I took mine to Waves at Gungahlin recently and they did a fantastic job! Looks like a brand new car. I think the price was only about $35 too from memory.

As I now have a car worth looking after I’ve been looking into this myself, as well as trawling many websites on car products and proper wash/polish/wax techniques.

Ace in Quenbeyan seem to get a lot of thumbs up, but sadly their website says they are closed until further notice due to family reasons.
http://www.acedetailing.com.au/

Previous RiotACT thread here:
http://the-riotact.com/car-detailing-in-canberra-any-recommendations/17087

Also one about scratch/dent repair:
http://the-riotact.com/scratchdent-removal/37855

I’m off to Cartisan tomorrow to get a “pre-sale enhancement” service done on my old car (very stone chipped and scratched). I’ll try remember to let you know how that goes.

Detail FX in Phillip. A family run business who live for cars. They do everything from your average daily car to street machines > 6282 2425

Thanks for the update CWB, I’m about to get a new (used) car and one at the top of the list wasn’t even cleaned for the inspection/test drive when we had a look!

Ace it is!

captainwhorebags2:51 pm 24 Sep 10

Quick bump for this old thread – I got my car detailed at Ace Detailing a few days ago and the result is absolutely outstanding. The car is only 12 months old and looks better now than it did when I picked it up from the dealer. $250 got me a full detail, including leather car and engine bay.

I will second Damian at Final Inspection (in Melbourne)… Wish I could find somebody here that paid the attention to detail that Damian does.

My advice for selecting a detailer here would be to inspect their work thoroughly in various lighting conditions. There’s far too many “professionally detailed” cars running around here that have massive amounts of swirls and holograms in the finish.

Educate yourself about what a real detail involves and specifically about the faults that appear due to a less than satisfactory detail job.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback. I think I might try Ace at Queanbeyan early in the New Year and then someone different the next time it’s due. Will let you all know how it goes in case anyone is planning on following my lead!

Cartisan also sound promising – I have one too many swirls in the black duco from brush washes and a few stone chips in the bonnet from highway driving. It would be interesting to see what they offer, as the alternative is getting a re-spray which will be much more costly.

I haven’t used them personally, but have had Cartisan Paint Repair Systems 2/17 Walder Belconnen 6253 0704 recommended to me by a work mate (usually great tips from this bloke) after a post failed to give way to me after one too many night shifts (grazed the paint).

Recommended on the basis of fixing paint damage specifically – noticed you mentioned cut & polish.

grunge_hippy8:11 pm 23 Dec 09

daddy said :

Advanced Car Detailing Services in Curtin behind the Shell servo.

6285 4145

nooooooooo. they just did my car (smash repairs sent it there) they didnt do the windscreen, the side windows or the front grill…still full of bug crap. they even forgot the clean around the rear handle of the boot, the toyota sign is still encrusted with dirt.

Ace is the way to go. like sigma said, they own the business, so they actually care.

I’ll do it on my lawn for you. $150.00, I have a hose, bucket, car wash stuff and an industrial truck mount steam cleaner that I use on the weekend to steam clean carpets. Ohh and the stuff that makes it smell nice.

Holden Caulfield3:33 pm 23 Dec 09

Damian at Final Inspection.

Only trouble is, he is in Melbourne. 😛

But you wouldn’t be the first person to travel interstate for his services.

I’ve used VIP ( not a franchise) in Fyshwick.
Great job….around $120

fnaah said :

Out of wild curiosity, how much (ballpark figure) would such a tratment normally cost?

About $250 for a full detail

Advanced Car Detailing Services in Curtin behind the Shell servo.

6285 4145

I have used Ace Detailing in Queanbeyan a number of times. They have a pick up and delivery service, which is very helpful for me because I need a clean car for my business, but don’t have the time to take it to Queanbeyan. They do a great job every time.

Try C&J Car Detailing – (02) 6254 4525?. Good bloke, good prices, great job.

Malcolm_Powder12:13 pm 23 Dec 09

Go and speak with the guys at Commonwealth motors at Tuggeranong. Great blokes and they do a great job.

Out of wild curiosity, how much (ballpark figure) would such a tratment normally cost?

I have had my car detailed by Ace Detailing in Queanbeyan a number of times a top rate job. I have had my car cleaned by others they have young teenagers cleaning cars that seem to don’t give a hoot about your car. Ace have only two people working there and they own the business. I have had great dealing with these guys.

That’s My two cents

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