Should You Tip Car Detailers For Their Service?

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guy giving a tip to a car detailer, illustration

Even though it’s entirely normal to tip workers for most service activities, I realized that many people aren’t sure if they should tip car detailers. Today, I’ll give you my opinion on this topic and show you whether you should or shouldn’t provide bakshish to a car detailer. 

Key Takeaways:

  • You should tip car detailers if you’re happy with the work.
  • If the detailer is just an employee, that’s another reason to tip them for their hard work.
  • The typical rule is to tip car detailers anywhere between 10% to 15% of the total price.
  • Car detailers don’t expect tips, but they highly appreciate it.

How Much To Tip Car Detailers

There’s no definitive rule on how much to tip car detailers, but a standard 10-15% rule is a great base. So, if the detailing service costs $70, tipping a detailer $7 or $10 is fantastic. 

Even if you round a tip, it’s still okay. But again, try to keep it at 10-15% of the price. 

If you’re extremely happy with the service, it’s a good thing to tip them even more than 15% of the service price. Of course, if you’re not on a tight budget. If you can afford it, tip them. 

Why It’s Good To Tip Detailers

There are several reasons why it’s good to tip car detailers.

All of these reasons are my opinions, and I believe you’ll agree with me:

  • Workers will earn some extra money on the job. They’ll have money for a snack or something similar.
  • If you tip owners of detailing services, they’re more likely to spend it on even better equipment. 
  • Car detailers will remember you, so the next time you bring your car for a detailing service, they’ll do an even better job, especially for some specific things. For example, they’ll clean something extra without charging you.  
  • Next time, they’ll maybe take your vehicle even if their schedule is already wholly appointed. 

I don’t know for you, but for me, the reasons above are more than enough to tip someone. 

Do Car Detailers Expect Tips?

Most car detailers don’t expect you to give them a tip. I would say more than 90%. However, every single auto detailer will highly appreciate tipping from car owners. 

When someone tips auto detailers, it’s not just about the extra money they receive. Tipping detailers means a confirmation of a great job done. 

Also, there are two types of detailers:

  • Detailers who work for themselves – mostly won’t expect any tips since they’re already taking all the profits.
  • Detailers who work for somebody else – probably don’t expect you to tip them, but they’ll be delighted if you do. 

Tip Detailers According To These Things

As I already said, there’s no rule on tipping anyone, especially car detailers. If you think that 15% isn’t enough for some auto detailing service, you can always give more, and vice versa. 

I like to tip a car detailer based on the following:

  • Personal satisfaction – if I’m extremely satisfied with the overall job done, I’m more likely to tip more. It doesn’t strictly apply to the job done but to detailers communication with you, etc. 
  • Products they’re using – if you realize that detailers use high-quality products, which reduce their profit, it’s excellent to tip them because of that. 
  • Level of detail – some car detailers have exceptional attention to detail, and they’ll clean your vehicle even more than expected. That deserves some extra tip for them, at least in my opinion. 
  • Extra things detailers did free of charge – very often, car detailers will do some additional cleaning tasks free of charge. That’s how they stand out from the competition and keep you as a customer. For instance, many people have stains on the headliner, but they don’t expect detailers to do that if it’s not a part of the service. Detailers may clean minor stains on the headliner to surprise you with their service quality. 
  • Worker vs. owner – If the detailer works for himself, I probably won’t tip as much as other detailers who work for someone. There’s a big difference. Workers only work for a salary, and any extra money is highly appreciated. I think it’s just another great thing you can do to make someone happy and satisfied with you as a customer. 

Should You Tip If You’re Not Happy With The Service?

tip, car detailers,

Tipping someone if you’re not happy with their service is one of the most discussed topics when it comes to bakshish. Personally, I always tip, even if I’m not completely satisfied with the service. 

However, I won’t tip too much, and I’ll tip much less than a standard service I’m happy with. For instance, if my usual tip is 15%, I’ll give a 5% tip for a service I’m not satisfied with. 

Furthermore, if you’re not happy with the service, it doesn’t always mean that the service was terrible itself. Maybe your expectations were too high, so keep that in mind. 

Also, if you’re not happy with the service, gently explain that to the car detailer. Most of them will be more than happy to fix the issue or explain why they couldn’t do the job completely. There are often some things that just can’t be cleaned (some old stains, etc.). Experienced detailers will recognize those stains even before they take your car.

On the other hand, beginners in the auto detailing world won’t know about it, and they’ll try anything to clean it, unsuccessfully. In the end, they’ll be sadder than you, trust me.

If you’re a detailer and don’t know how to deal with unhappy customers, make sure to check this video tutorial.

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