How to Start an Auto Detailing Business: Products and Requirements!

Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by admin

Having a home-based car detailing business is one of the more lucrative businesses you can start. There is minimal overhead and just about everyone has a vehicle. Most people also don’t have the time in their day to clean their vehicle.

If you have a love for vehicles and enjoy cleaning your own, this may be the perfect career choice for you.

What is Mobile Automotive Detailing

Automotive detailing is the process of cleaning, restoring, and polishing a vehicle. The end goal of this process is to return the vehicle to it’s original showroom quality. Detailing can be done on both the inside and outside of the vehicle.

The mobile part comes into play as you’ll be traveling to the homes and even offices of your clients. This means that you will need a vehicle that carry all of your equipment wherever you go. Usually the client will detail what they want done and you can bring products accordingly.

How Much Can You Make?

As with all business ventures, the end goal is to make money. The truth is, the earning potential is quite high. As we noted, there is minimal overhead. You can also make as much or as little as you wish.

If you were to have your vehicle detailed , you can expect to pay $100 – $150 per session. This cost includes the interior as well as the exterior. In a basic car servicing from a professional you’ll receive wash and wax, interior vacuuming, interior polish, windows and mirrors, as well as trim and tire cleaning.

What Products Do You Need?

You’ll be happy to know that there are minimal tools and products required for the job. In most cases if you enjoy detailing your own vehicles, you may already own some of the products. However sites like Mentalitch mention a few parts to clean as well as products to use on those areas. We also gathered a few other noteworthy products to have in your arsenal.

Here is a quick overview of some the products you’ll need:

  • Minimum of two buckets
  • Sponges
  • Applicators/Brushes
  • Foam cannon
  • Vacuum and blower
  • Microfiber towels or Chamois
  • Wax and polish
  • Glass cleaner
  • Clay bar
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Carpet cleaning products and stain removers
    *This list is going to vary based on your services and what your client is after.

Legal & Business Formation

As with any business, you need to consider the legal aspects of starting your car detailing business, even if its a home-based business. For instance, you might want to consider starting an LLC or S-Corp in the event of liability for creditors or the potential of a client suing you.

Starting an LLC for your Car detailing business will help you write off certain products, materials and tools that you purchase for your business using deductions and will help you lower your overall tax rate.

You can learn more about starting an LLC or S-Corp here:

You might also need to consider permits in your state for auto detailing. In most cases, cities and towns where you’ll be operating will have specific terms and regulations for doing so.

Last is insurance.

The most common type used for the mobile auto detailing business would be Garge Keeper’s Liability insurrance. Getting this type of insurance shows a sign of trust between you and your potential clientele. It’s also handy to have in the event something goes wrong while your client’s vehilce is in your pocession.


If your passion is detailing cars. Then this might be one of the best career moves you can make. You have flexible work hours and you are your own boss. Nothing beats being out in the sun doing what you love day in and day out.