How to start a car valeting business

If you’re passionate about cars, have strong attention to detail and excellent customer service skills, a car valet business could be for you…

Useful links

What is a car valeting business and who is it suited to?
Creating a car valeting business plan
Car valeting rules and regulations
How much does it cost to start a car valeting business?
How much can you earn running a car valeting business?
Tips and useful contacts

How much does it cost to start a car valeting business?

“Setting up a valeting business can cost as little or as much as you like”, asserts CK Detailing owner Keir.

“You will have to spend a few hundred on equipment and if you plan to be mobile on a van. You will also want insurance to carry out valeting. If you plan on having a unit to work from then your costs will be greatly increased”, Keir continues.

There’s a dizzying array of equipment used in car washing and valeting, ranging from brushes and squeegees to jet washers, polishers and a host of cleaning chemicals. At the very least you will need items to cover these basic functions.

However, when you’re starting out there’s no need to splash out on expensive equipment – you can buy everything you need second-hand from online stores which can be found by a quick browse on search engines.

As you grow your business – and perhaps take on staff to help you – you can upgrade and expand the range of equipment that you use. Search around online for the best value and ask others in the industry for their recommendations.


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“There’s a huge range of products on the market for valeters and detailers” Keir explains and, when deciding which to use, you need to do your research: “Make sure you don’t just go for the biggest names, but you get the best for your budget. Some waxes and polishes will apply much easier and last much longer, which increases customer satisfaction”.

iValet UK’s Tyler says that “costs can be anything from a very basic, simple setup for £2,000 working from the back of a car, to £15,000 or more to become part of a larger company as a franchisee – the advantages of course to the franchise are becoming part of an already established business with a proven plan and record”.

At this point you may feel ready to start valeting cars and earning some money for your hard work – but how much money is your car valeting operation likely to make you? Read on…

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