Born to detail

What is car detailing

The term 'car detailing' has been widely used in America for some time but it is still not often understood in the UK. To confuse matters, an ever increasing number of companies are using the term simply because they sometimes polish (mop) a car or offer valeting.

Car detailing really isn't defined by one single process but is instead a term that covers a wide variety of techniques and products which, to get the best results, require considerable skill to apply.

A valeter may get your car clean by typically spending an hour or less on it and a bodyshop may quickly run a polisher over your car to remove a few marks, but neither can be classified as detailing.

A few of the differences a professional detailer brings to improving your car include:

  • Knowledge - a technical understanding of every aspect of a car's finish (they/we have many of experience)
  • Equipment - state of the art products combined with many £1000's worth of equipment
  • Time - a typical detail can take anywhere from 6 to 30 or more hours of labour to complete
  • Aftercare - being willing and able to provide extensive after service support
  • Paint protection - not only knowing how to improve the look but also ensuring that it stays that way
  • Results driven - we produce guaranteed high quality results for a fixed price and are not time limited

There isn't really one globally adopted definition for what detailers do, but the one we think comes the closest is:

'The systematic rejuvenation and protection of the various surfaces of a vehicle.'

Breaking this definition down:

  • Systematic - we use a series of well ordered procedures to achieve the most effective and efficient results
  • Rejuvenation - what we do is aimed at (within limits) getting your car to beyond showroom condition. What is involved in doing this varies from car to car but can include processes such as machine polishing, paintwork cleansing, claying, leather conditioning, engine bay re-conditioning, glass polishing, etc. None of these in itself define "detailing" but are simply among the tools available to a professional detailer
  • Protection - once the vehicle has been "rejuvenated" we will apply products to help keep it in top condition. These range from waxes/sealants to leather conditioners, UV vinyl protection and upholstery dirt repellents
  • Various surfaces - cars are quite naturally made from many different materials and they all require their own specific type of treatment and understanding

By combining Smartdetail extensive experience with a well ordered and practiced approach to car detailing and ensuring that we have researched and tested everything we use.