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 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.”
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!”
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.”
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.