Connect Now:
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image

Is Mobile Detailing Profitable?

Is Mobile Detailing Profitable?

Is Mobile Detailing Profitable?
Img. Src:

Venturing into a franchising business can be very risky. After all, the main objective in handling such opportunities is to take sufficient return of investment and have a sustainable source of income. While it entails risks to take the plunge, many businessmen still dive into it and become very successful. This is because they have enough knowledge and experience. They allot time and resources to ensure that their business will be profitable. They also check the franchising options and which ones would complement their lifestyle and their resources.

One of the more popular franchising options these days in the servicing industry is mobile detailing. Mobile detail unit owners are those people who manage car detailing, washes, waxes and buffs automobiles and small trucks from mobile units. Business owners of mobile detailing units start out by purchasing vans and supplies, equipment such as mini carpet shampooers, buff polishers, wax and window cleaners and wet-dry vacuum cleaners. Others resort to buying franchises and income may vary depending on the location and the hours of operations.

Profits and Qualifications

As of 2013, the average annual income for mobile detail unit owners is at $50,000, as per Simply Hired. There is no special educational requirement needed to run a business, however, the upper hand is on owners with several years of experience in car detailing. Mobile detail unit owners can have certifications as car washers where it is available.

In an Enterpreneur article in 2013, it was reported that mobile detailing units can be acquired for as low as $2,000.

Is mobile detailing profitable? Yes, if these data are to be believed. Here are some points you need to know to find out if it best suits you and if you can work wonders with it and make it profitable.

Daily Business Operations

In ensuring that your mobile detailing business would be profitable, you need to have a baseline of your daily operating expenses. It is a labor-intensive service so you must be aware of the hourly cost of operations. This is where you will base your detailing job prices, especially, when it comes to over-sized vehicles.


Having an idea on your hourly or daily break-even point will help you determine the profit margin for each job. Lay out an effective cost-profit model that would indicate whether you are making or losing money.

What are fixed and variable costs? To answer the question: is mobile detailing profitable? It would be helpful to break down the fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs can be rent payment, monthly loan payment, insurance premium or your employee’s salaries. Variable costs usually fluctuate through time such as utilities, auto detailing supplies, office equipment, promotion costs, and maintenance costs.

Developing Service Menu

With a working hourly rate derived from your daily business operations and break-even model, you will be able to develop a service menu and the price range for each based on the amount of time for them to be completed.


 Market Research: Understanding Location and Other Factors

Is mobile detailing profitable? You will find out that while there is a huge opportunity to gain profits, there’s a lot of work to be done. Market research is key to ensuring that your business would be successful.

Understanding the demographics of your market is very critical.

For one, location plays a huge role. Mobile detailing units earn the lowest in South regions such as Louisiana with an average of $39,000 in 2013. However, it is definitely a big hit in cities such as Washington, averaging at around $79,000.

The northeastern states of Maine and Massachusetts average on $50,000 to $55,000 annual profit while in the West, the lowest profits were in Montana, with $40,000 with the highest profits in California with $57,000. In the Midwest, South Dakota averages the lowest profits while Illinois gets higher profits up to $53,000 a year.

Another thing that needs to be noted when asking the question “is mobile detailing profitable?” is the hours of operation. Detail franchise seller Carbuffs pointed out that full-time operation for mobile detailing units can drive $75,000 in profit annually. However, those operating part-time gets around $50,000 in a year. The assumption is that they detail around five to seven cars a day, five days of the week.

Climate is another important factor when it comes to profit. It should be noted that customers do not detail their cars when there are storms, snow or rains.


As US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects, jobs in the mobile detailing industry will increase 17% from 2010 to 2020. The steady increase is due to the number of motor vehicles. From 2000 to 2010, according to Statistica, car ownership has increased at a steady rate of 11% from 2000 to 2010 and continues to do so. In fact, as per CNBC, the worldwide car and mobile ownership will continue to rise until 2035, which gives optimistic job outlook for mobile detail unit owners.

Unlimited opportunities: Innovate

Successful businesses are the ones that rise above all their competitors. These are the ones with sustainable business models and have surpassed the fad stage. There really is a lot of things to think about if “is mobile detailing profitable” but the industry is at its infancy. At this point, it is best to experiment and explore opportunities to offer a unique selling point. Get the latest technology, make a mark with your target audience.

Branding is everything. Align with the brand that suits your principles well, such as, DetailXPert and their eco-friendly advocacy employing steam cleaning method. Observe how you can rise from your contemporaries by making remarkable results the most efficient way possible.

If you are convinced that mobile detailing is a profitable business opportunity, car detailing franchise opportunities such as DetailXPerts can provide you the support you need from the planning stage to market research, as well as, in your financial sustenance and training your employees. Call them now and their customer representatives will gladly walk you through the details of their franchising opportunities.

Leave a Comment (and please, use your name :-)

Getting Started

Fill out this brief form to start exploring the DetailXPerts Green Clean franchise opportunity today!

Information Request Form