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Starting a Mobile Detailing Business for Under $100

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Starting a mobile detailing business doesn't have to be complicated. In fact, you can get up and running for less than $100. I know, there are some "pros" out there shaking there heads claiming that you need the latest dual action polisher to really be a "detailer". But let's be honest here for a minute. Is the average consumer really examining every last swirl on their vehicles? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, the upper-tier of detailing definitely has it's place and is truly an art. But for those just getting into the industry, there is no reason you have to commit to thousands of dollars of purchases. 

If you're on a tight budget, $100 will get you the basic cleaning products for providing exterior detailing services. We went through this exercise recently with a detailer who just wanted to provide his customers with a simple wash. The package we put together for him was as follows: 

2 x 16 oz. Waterless Car Wash Concentrate - $39.98

3 x 24 oz. Empty Spray Bottles - $11.25

24 x Microfiber Towels - $39.98 

Total Investment: $91.21

This package gave the customer enough product to wash about 70 vehicles. Please remember we are assuming an average of 5 oz. of ready-to-use waterless car wash formula per car. 

So think about this for a minute, if this detailer is able to charge an average of $35 per car (see our previous post on average hand wash costs) then they stand to gross $2,450! Not too shabby of a return on a modest $100 launching cost. 

Of course, this is just a starting point and additional services could be added to net an even greater return. Say for example including a deluxe wheel clean and tire dressing for $15? Or perhaps a hand wax application for an additional $25? The possibilities are endless and there is no reason why anyone should ever think that cost is a prohibitive factor from getting started.


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