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Auto Detailing, Mobile vs Shop

Auto detailing is an excellent service to have as part of regularly maintaining one's car. Some may be surprised to think getting your car professionally detailed is something you must drop your vehicle off at to get done. But the good news is in many cities and areas; some can come to you! Here we will discuss the pros and cons of each if you have the option and concerting which one to go with.

Mobile Auto Detailing

The biggest pro is the convenience of having someone come to you to detail your vehicle. This way, you don't have to worry about dropping off or picking it up during business hours and catching a ride from someone else. So if you work from home, have to watch kids, and can't physically drive for one reason or another. We have been mobile for over four years as of this writing, and people love it at their home or their place of work. Another pro is it is still a professional service in most cases. Interior detailing and most of our exterior can still be done mobile. We even offer ceramic coatings, although this is limited. If mobile is an option in your town, there is a high chance of finding the same pro-level detailer who loves what they do.

Some of the cons of a mobile detailer are that it can be very weather dependent. In some areas, this is not much of an issue, like southern California, but here in the upper Midwest, we see rain, freezing temps, and 100F-plus days. So mindful that if you schedule an appointment, the weather conditions could change those plans. If you have a garage, shed, burn, or another building that they could work in, that can easily take care of that issue. Another con is they may be limited in how many services they can offer. Higher-end services like PPF and high-end coatings would need a climent-controlled shop. Another con, and this is only for some people, is you are inviting a stranger to your home. Now, this is an untestable reason some will hesitate; in most cases, if you're hiring a business, you have no reason to worry. The last con is to make sure you're hiring a company. Detailing has a low barrier to entry, which for many professionals is how we all got started(Including ourselves), but that could mean the person you hire may or may not have insurance or registered with the county or state. One con and this depends on your local city and county laws, is there may be more restrictions on what a detailer can do, like with water runoff, or too much noise at a particular time, or if you live in an apartment complex with additional rules as well. Some of these will still apply in a shop, but there are more ways to comply with them.

Shop-Based Auto Detailing

A shop based is the traditional way to have your vehicle detail. It has many advantages for the workers—having all their products and equipment right there, so nothing is accidentally forgotten. This also means you may have more options for services that aren't available or are limited out in the field. Also, this again is more for the worker; they won't be fighting the elements doing the work. Like on a hot sunny day having water dry too quickly. A shop will likely have more than one worker, so they might have more working on your vehicle for quicker service and won't have to wait as long to get booked in for the service. You will even have a retail option, so you can buy some products locally to take care of the vehicle at home. Since they are inside, if it is raining or snowing, you can still get your vehicle detail with zero issues. A shop location will more likely be an entire business with insurance and everything vs. a mobile person that may or may not.

Some shops will offer a lift of some kind but not all. Some cons are the opposite: finding a ride in most cases. If they have a waiting room, you could also wait for it to be done; depending on the service, it could take hours to complete. This is the main con, which causes many people to choose mobile when they can.

I hope this article was helpful when choosing whether to use a mobile detailer vs. a shop-based detailer. Let us know if you have any questions or like to schedule your next appointment!