Auto detailing milage question?

I do full details on cars and I'm mobile. Unfortunately, for me to continue to being mobile and run cheap good deals like "$40 for a full detail with wax, free engine cleaning" (to bring in more customers), I need gas. What should I do with milage prices when I travel a couple cities away (like 25 to 50 miles away from my city), it hurts my supplies, gas money, and profit. What should I do with milage? Should i do a milage fee if they're not close to me?

Dances with Weed

Your detail should be upwards of $150...that would be fairly cheap with the wax. You need to reevaluate your price structure. The sooner the better. Just to wash the outside of the car would be $40.


Put a radius where your $40 applies. For locations outside the radius, add a fee for a second radius, etc etc. And really $40 for a mobile detailing fee is pretty cheap. Our gardener charges $40 just for showing up.


Like any good business, you need to stop guessing. Get a sheet of paper and a pencil and calculate your costs. EVERYTHING. Detergent costs you 25 cents/car. You buy a $5 buffing rag and it lasts for 3 cars so it's $1.50 per. Gas, overhead. You'll be surprised, it might approach $10/car. Maintenance on your van is $200/visit which is 3 times a year = $600, which is $50 a month. Add it all up. Then figure how much you would have to pay somebody to do the work and double it, and add that in. Why pay someone? Because your business makes a profit on labor. The fact that YOU are labor doesn't matter - you should pay yourself (or a worker, or both) AND make a profit for your business. I'm guess your cost with overhead is going to be more like $50 without doing any work. You should be getting $100/car for a full detailing job. That's still half what the shops near me get.

Casey Y

Well, you are offering a service for less than you can afford...that's a problem. I understand you are trying to build up the business, but that's a problem. Anyway, set a radius...outside said radius, you charge a fee. Gets tricky to put this in your advertisement, but otherwise, you are falsely advertising if you want to charge a fee.

A Hunch

Common sense says that if you charge a mileage fee for business outside a specific radius, that you will have fewer customers in areas where the mileage fee applies. If you are in a metropolitan area, where there are a hundreds of detailers to choose from, you might not get any business in those areas. You also need to take into consideration the time it takes to go to the further distance. If it's taken you 2 hours to travel, that's 2 hours you aren't working on cars. So you are going to have to decide: - higher profit, less business - more business, less profit.

real estate guy

I answered your other question on this. However, keep in mind that its also a round trip. 30 miles away = 60 mile round trip. Gas is not the only cost. Your time and wear and tear on your car. I would add $1.00 per mile charge. So if it's 30 miles away, the upcharge is $30 plus your regular fee.


Yes, that sounds like a good idea. Perhaps, anything farther than 15 miles away, charge so much per mile.