There are both fixed and mobile detailers. Consumers often will use either or both during the life of their car. Mobile Detailing is nice because they come to you. Fixed site auto detailers often work in a controlled environment and can produce higher quality work. Due to the competitive aspects fixed site detailers generally will offer pick up and drop of services. Due to costs to run an automotive detailing shop the prices are often a little higher and this gives the advantage to the mobile auto-detailing practitioner.
Many mobile auto detailers are short-term industry players, who run their small businesses for a couple of years and then exit the market. Some auto detailers of both fixed and mobile will say that anyone who has not been in business for at least one year has no business calling them selves a detailer. It takes a lot of experience and training to become a professional detailer, this can take years. We don't see detailers as competition.
Most mobile detailers operate out of backs of pick-ups, vans or trailers. There might be 150 to 200 mobile detailers in large markets such as Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta or Los Angeles. Generally they will wash five to ten cars per day at $ 12.00- $ 20.00 each although some get more and also make good tips up to 25%. In addition they may detail one or two cars at $ 60.00- $ 100.00. Occasionally they will get $ 120.00 to $ 250.00 to detail a car or SUV in areas of extremely good demographics for instance in California, cities such as: Silicon Valley, Century City, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Montecito, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, La Jolla, Laguna Niguel or Rancho Bernardo
Usually a full detail for a mobile detailing service takes two guys two hours or one person three to four hours. Obviously their volume itself makes them no real threat to full service car washes offering quick details or to fixed site auto detailing businesses with longevity in the market and strong referrals from large customer bases. Have you noticed the auto detailing business in your area? When was the last time you got your car detailed? Where you pleased with the job? What did it cost you? All things to think about indeed.