How Much Does It Cost To Wax A Car?

In addition to giving your car’s exterior a quick facelift and making it appear almost brand new, waxing it also adds an important layer of protection against UV rays, salt, pollution, and various types of debris. While everyone should do this to ensure the longevity of their car, you might be delayed because you are unsure of how much a car wax service costs and whether or not this price is reasonable, let alone justified.

There is no set price for car waxing, but most people should plan to spend between $55 and $150, with larger vehicles and hand waxing falling on the more expensive end of the scale. In the end, the average cost varies widely because of a number of factors.

CarMats will go over the factors that will most likely affect the sticker price of your vehicle’s wax in this article, as well as how you might be able to lower this cost if necessary.

What Affects Car Wax Prices?

The majority of detailing or auto shops offer car waxing as a relatively common service. But you’ll soon discover that this service’s cost hardly ever varies between businesses or even between cars. This is due to the fact that there are a number of variables that can affect how much a car wax service will cost overall.

The following variables affect how much it will cost to wax a car overall:

  • Vehicle size
  • Vehicle condition
  • Application method
  • Professional vs. DIY
  • Individual cost vs. package cost

Let’s go over these factors in greater detail so you can better estimate how much it might cost to wax your car and how you might be able to lower or raise that cost.

Vehicle Size

It should come as no surprise that a larger vehicle will require more wax product to completely cover its exterior, as well as more time to complete the task. This means that you are not only paying more for the wax itself, but also for the work that goes into making it.

Larger vehicles, including SUVs, vans, and trucks, typically cost $75 to $150 as opposed to $50 to $125 for a standard or mini car.

Vehicle Condition

The main point we want to make here is that wax must be applied to a clean, dry exterior. This factor interacts somewhat with the individual versus package costs we’ll discuss later.

Even if your car seems clean (perhaps you just washed it), it must be washed right before waxing in order to get rid of any dirt, sand, dust, or other debris. If you put wax on a dirty surface, the rough surface of these things will rub into the protective layers and paint of your car, leaving scratches or swirls.

So, no matter what, your car will need to be washed before it can be waxed. That said, the shop may charge more to clean your car if it is exceptionally dirty. Larger cars will require more time to clean, so this is also true for them.

Application Method

You may have noticed that many automatic car washes offer some kind of waxing option if you’ve ever used one. Most of the time, the liquid is sprayed on your car as it moves along the belt.

Even though a layer of wax from an automatic car wash is better than no wax at all, it is clearly not as good as having a professional hand wax your car.

The products used for hand waxing are almost always of higher quality and efficacy than the spray-on waxes used in automatic car washes. Additionally, the people who are applying the wax will be more thorough than the automated hoses, which will only spray your car for a few seconds at a time.

This not only guarantees that every square inch of your car’s surface will be waxed but also allows the person doing it by hand to add more wax if necessary to buff out a particular area.

Given that you’re paying for better materials and labor, getting your car hand-waxed is, unsurprisingly, more expensive than using a machine, but the expense is always justifiable.

Professional Vs. DIY

Of course, there is a third choice for the person who will wax your car. Unquestionably, purchasing a $10–$15 bottle or canister of wax paste, some microfiber towels, and a foam application pad and doing it yourself is the most economical way to have your car waxed.

Because the companies are billing you for the product used as well as labor and/or maintenance for the machines involved, paying for a wax through an automated car wash or a professional service will likely cost you more than the cost of a single bottle of wax product.

Yes, paying for these services is more convenient, and it is generally safer to have a professional wax your car for you if you have no experience with car detailing or waxing, but if you’re on a tight budget, you might be able to do it yourself.

Individual Cost Vs. Package Cost

As we hinted at in the previous section, getting a car wax almost always entails getting a car wash (or at the very least, a rinse), as it is essential to get rid of any dirt or grime from the car’s exterior.

Because of this, professional services often sell waxes in packages that, depending on the type of package, include services like polishing, detailing the outside, and even detailing the inside.

You may have gone to your detailing shop thinking you’d only pay for waxing, but you found out that it’s better to buy a package that includes more services that your car needs right away.

Final Thoughts

Although the cost of having your car waxed is unclear, it is reasonable to assume that you will spend between $50 and $125 or between $75 and $150 to have a smaller vehicle professionally hand-waxed. If saving money is your top priority, either use an automated car wash that offers a wax option or DIY; it shouldn’t cost more than $30.

Read more:

How Much Does It Cost To Touch Up Car Paint?

How Much Does It Cost To Rewire A Car?

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