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How Much Does Car Detailing Increase the Value of Your Car?

Updated: Apr 22, 2022


If you are new to detailing your car, you may be wondering if auto detailing a car is worth the cost. The extensive work that goes into detailing a car extends the life of the car and increases its value.

We all know that the better shape a car is in, the more it is worth. A car that has been well maintained is going to increase the value of your car whether you’re trading it in or selling it privately. It can actually get you top dollar.

When people sell a car, they usually focus on the mechanical aspects of the vehicle, and rightly so - a car that will not start is not going to fetch a high asking price.

But what about the appearance and aesthetic side of your vehicle? How much does that matter?

Maybe you decide to run it through the car wash (we talk more about how car washes actually decrease the value of your car here) and give it a quick vacuum, but that’s usually it for the average seller. It won’t stand out as anything spectacular when buyers go to look at it.

But what if you decided to detail your car prior to selling it? Would that car detailing increase the value of your car?

Detailing is certainly going to be more expensive than a quick car wash, but is it worth it? That is what we are here to find out. Let’s see what the numbers have to say.

How Much Will Car Detailing Increase the Value of Your Car?

Based on our findings, car detailing can increase the trade-in value of your car by 10% or the private-selling value by 9%, which, depending on the total value of your car, could leave you pocketing $1,400 or more (minus the cost of the detail) just by investing in car detailing before selling.

Our Kelley Blue Book Study on Car Valuation

kelly blue book