Detailing survey results and feedback

Detailing survey results and feedback

Detailers share their thoughts and predictions for the industry and their businesses.

Last year, Professional Carwashing & Detailing (PC&D) conducted a survey among its subscribers in the detailing category. The survey was sent to 4,473 subscribers. In the following pages, we understand how businesses offering detailing services feel about the market, the future of detailing services as well as consumer confidence.

Key findings

• The most popular chemical types used are: tire/cleaner dressing (94%); glass cleaner (89%); carwash soap/shampoo (89%); all-purpose interior cleaner (89%); and carpet shampoo (81%).

• About 53% of respondents answered demand was higher in 2023 compared to 2022.

• Similarly, 56% of respondents expected 2023 revenue to be higher than 2022.

• The biggest challenges for detailing professionals include labor (67%) and pricing (50%).

Open-ended feedback

We received many open-ended responses when asked, “What are your thoughts on the future of the car detailing industry? Specifically, are there any changes you anticipate?” These edited responses included:

• Training, training and training for hired employees.

• Vehicles are becoming very complicated, including many cubbies and compartments that increase supervision need and require more time.

• Labor shortage.

• New finishes and car wraps.

• Auto manufacturers are constantly testing new products, technologies, paints and clear-coats. I believe they are trying to find the best economical solution to continue charging the consumer for purchasing and upkeep of vehicles. EVs will change the industry. Inflation, interest rates and the cost of vehicles are constantly increasing, while salaries are still not coming close to making it easier for families to afford cars.

• The current state of the market will continue to tighten into the near future with economic uncertainty across the U.S. Minimum wage in my area is going up significantly, starting Jan. 1, 2024, which will make it incredibly difficult to price fairly for a luxury expense.

• Less demand with upcoming paint technology on vehicles to prevent scratches and marks. People also completing detailing by themselves will cause lack of need for a detailing facility.

• Free-standing detail shops without a carwash will have a difficult time surviving. Mobile detailers will also face a difficult time with new environmental regulations.

• It will be very competitive.

• It will always be strong and necessary.

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