Andy’s Car Valeting

A Car Owner’s Guide to Car Valeting and Other Car Services

Apart from a house, one of the most expensive purchases anyone will ever make in their life is a car. As a valuable investment, it’s only right for car owners to protect their vehicles and hire maintenance services to ensure their cars are in top condition all the time. Thankfully, car detailing and mobile car valeting services are now easily within reach.


However, due to the recent increase in popularity in these services, there has been a big confusion between vehicle valeting and detailing. As far as the internet is concerned (if that’s anything to go by), there is actually no difference between the two. It’s just that they are called differently in different countries.


Read through this blog for more information!

What Exactly is Car Valeting?

Car detailing in the USA is valeting in the UK. It’s basically the same process of cleaning, polishing, and waxing a car for various reasons like removing mud stains and tar spots, giving it a new look, and enhancing its resale value.


Valeting usually includes basic processes like:
⦁ cleaning the wheels and shuts;
⦁ polishing and waxing the bodywork;
⦁ dressing exterior plastics and tyres; and
⦁ polishing the glass and bodywork.

During the cleaning process, a clay bar is primarily used to remove unwanted contaminants (e.g., tar spots, tree sap, iron filings, and industrial fallout) from the paint. These contaminants can cause the paint to feel rough and also give it a dull appearance. When cleaning the exterior, various items are used to reach awkward areas.



Car valets typically use a variety of chemicals, tools, and other accessories to clean off as much soiling as possible. They vacuum the interior in all areas including the centre console, dash, upholstered seats, carpets, luggage areas, and vents. Afterwards, they will use chemicals and tools to wet-clean any soiled areas such as headlining, trim, and upholstery. They do all this to leave any car as near to the condition the day it left the showroom.


More about Car Valet You Should Know

One of the most common professional services that a car valet can offer to their customers is a full valet service. As its name would suggest, this service should “fully clean” a vehicle and bring it back to its original showroom look. Of course, there are limits to this as you cannot expect a full valet to tend to swirl marks, light scratches, and leather or upholstery damage. These tasks require a lot more attention and skill than what the full valet does, so you might want to go for a car detailing service if you need to get your car’s upholstered seats repaired.

A more accurate description of vehicle valeting is a full clean because it is designed to get rid of all the impurities from both the inside and outside of a vehicle. Check out what you can expect a full valet should include:


Tar Spots/Tree Sap/Stain Removal

Mud, crumbs, stains, tree sap, hard dirt spots – these are some of the things that can dramatically alter the look of your car. Your daily routine can cause these substances to accumulate on your car’s interior and exterior, especially if you use the motorway a lot. You may not notice it, but your car may be covered in tree sap if it has been sitting under a tree or parked next to a bush for a long period of time.

Spilled food, coffee, and other beverages can also stain your car’s upholstered seats and carpet. All these stains should be removed lest they stick to your car forever. This is why most car owners turn to a full valet service – so they can remove such unsightly stains on their car.

If you see stubborn stains all over your vehicle’s interior and can’t seem to clean them off, contact a car valet near you to get rid of them and make your car look good again. Car valets make use of cleaning agents and vacuums that can effectively remove tar spots, tree sap, and other stains from upholstered surfaces and car seats.


Full Exterior Wash and Dry

Car valeting is not just a simple wash. It is a full wash of your vehicle’s body and its wheels. You can trust that car valets are knowledgeable in using the right chemicals and equipment to give your car a sparkling exterior, stain-free interior, well-maintained tyres, and spotless windows. Note that this service runs longer than a regular hand car wash. Expect your car valet to take their time to make sure nothing is missed.


Full Interior Vacuum

Obviously, the interior of your car should be fully vacuumed too. The boot, side pockets, storage compartments, dashboard, glove box, and every other nook and cranny within your vehicle should be vacuumed to ensure cleanliness.

One of the common reasons car owners go for a full interior vacuum is to get rid of the bad smell in their car interior. This smell is usually caused by hidden spills or items dumped into the dashboard and secret little compartments. If you smell something in your car, then it’s time for you to hire a full vacuum service to restore your car’s freshness.

Full Interior Carpet Shampoo

Once the interior is fully vacuumed, a car valet then removes all of the hard dirt and filth that a vacuum cannot get to within the carpets. This requires the right products and time to get a lasting effect. Car washes will usually just get the surface of the carpet and make it look clean. But when it comes to a car’s carpet, a deep clean and shampoo is needed to get rid of deep-seated dirt.

Leather Car Seat Treatment

Your vehicle should be professionally cleaned with the right product. Far too many car owners underestimate the importance of cleaning leather car seats before applying their choice of conditioner. The thing with leather is that it is trickier to clean than most materials within a car, and the choice of product also affects how the leather will look.

Also, it takes effort and time to bring the dirt up from the leather and prevent it from getting sucked right back in. You can hire a mobile car valeting service to clean your car’s leather parts and restore their sheen with the right leather cleaner and conditioner.

Cleaning of Dashboard and Plastic Trim

So far, we’ve touched on the main areas that need deep cleaning. But we shouldn’t forget about all of the plastics within a car – the plastic trim should just as well be cleaned and dried. The fluff in dashboards tend to linger and should also be cleaned.


Cleaning of Headlining, Windows, and Glass

Often referred to as headlining, the top of your car gets dirty and needs careful cleaning to avoid damage. A car valet should know the best way to clean your car’s headlining without risking damaging it in the process. The metal trim needs cleaning too. Also, let us not forget about the windows and glass that should be fully cleaned and buffed dry.

There should be no smudges on the metal trim, windows, mirrors, wing mirrors, and door handles. Once a car valet finishes up on the handles, your car should be all good for tyre dressing.

Tyres and Trim Dressing

Your vehicle won’t get a brand new look without getting its tyres and trim dressed to perfection. These parts, along with the exterior plastics that are starting to fade, should be treated to help them look clean and fresh. This step finishes off the final look nicely.

Wax Application

So, your car is now free from dirt and other contaminants. The last step is applying a layer of wax for protection. With this wax application, you can keep your car cleaner for longer. This does not only ensure a lasting shine but also makes the next wash a breeze.


How is Valeting Different from Detailing?

As what we have mentioned thus far, vehicle valeting offers a very extensive method of cleaning. It ensures you, as the owner, are left with a car that is a pleasure to drive and a joy to look at. It also gives you a car with a higher resale value.

So where do things start to blur between detailing and valeting? For one, the difference that we can easily point out is the paint correction process. Detailing involves a careful paint rectification process to get the car’s paint looking its best – free from scratches, swirl marks, and other blemishes.

Usually, car detailers remove these blemishes by using a machine polisher: a fixed rotary polisher and a dual-action polisher to remove delicate paint at the refining stage. Apart from a machine polisher, car detailers also use a selection of abrasive polishes and pads designed to remove defects. These pads polish the car’s surface and leave a swirl-free and flawless hologram finish.


How Much Do Professional Car Services Cost?

As a major investment, it makes practical sense to take care of your car. To give it that just-out-of-the-showroom look, you can have it cleaned regularly in the form of a wash, valet, and detail service. These professional services will prevent contaminants like air-borne pollutants, bug guts, dirt, dust, salt, and tree sap from adhering to your car.

Let’s take a look at the following car wash prices, car detailing prices, and car valet prices in major cities to give you an idea how much it would cost to make your car look like new.


Hand Car Wash

This service involves washing a car’s exterior by hand by trained professionals. While it is more time-consuming than an automatic car wash, a hand car wash is believed to be more effective in giving a longer-lasting clean finish. Trained professionals can do a better job of cleaning wiper blades and ensure they don’t streak the windscreen.

This is the average cost of hand car wash for small- and medium-sized vehicles:

⦁ London – £20
⦁ Glasgow – £20
⦁ Manchester – £20

Automatic Tunnel Car Wash

At some point, car owners have tried buying a car wash service in an unattended terminal. This service may be quick and efficient if you are in a rush, but this only includes spinning the brushes and dangling cloth pieces to wash your car.


You can expect to pay this cost for an automatic tunnel car wash in:

⦁ London – £8
⦁ Glasgow – £5
⦁ Manchester – £5

Self-Service Car Wash

What makes this service convenient is that you just insert coins into a machine and then you can wash your car yourself using a jet spray attached to the machine. These machines are timed and the amount of money inserted corresponds with the length of time you can wash your car. If you haven’t tried using a self-service car wash before, know that these machines are fairly easy to operate as they come in three settings: wash, soap, and rinse.

For small- and medium-sized vehicles, this is the average cost you will be paying:

⦁ London – £1 for 2 minutes
⦁ Glasgow – £1 for 2 minutes
⦁ Manchester – £1 for 2 minutes



Car Valet

If you want a service that deep-cleans your car, then this service should do the job. As mentioned above, this service includes vacuuming and shampooing the car’s interior with the use of high-pressure sprays and steam cleaners. After cleaning the grit from engine, frame and wheel arches, a valet waxes the bodywork for a sleek finish.


On average, you will be paying this amount in these cities:

⦁ London – £150
⦁ Glasgow – £40
⦁ Manchester – £65

Car Detail

Many people often confuse car detail with car valet. We have already established that their obvious difference is in the process – detailing involves paint correction while valeting usually does not. Like with valeting, car detailing also uses vacuuming and steam-cleaning techniques to clean the interior parts including leather, vinyl, plastics, natural fibres and carbon fibre plastics.

As it already involves paint correction, this service is the most expensive.

⦁ London – £250
⦁ Glasgow – £100
⦁ Manchester – £120

So, which car service should you go for? It all depends on how your car looks and what you want to get done. Ideally, it is best to wash your car at least every two weeks (especially if you use the motorway every day). If you don’t want grime to build up on the bodywork, then wash your car at least once a fortnight.


Looking for Car Valet Services in Ipswich and Suffolk?

Bring back your car’s fresh-from-the-showroom look with the help of Andy’s Car Valeting. To book our mobile car valeting services, you may call 01728 572990 or email info@ipswichcarvaleting.co.uk.

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