Home News Tipping Car Wash – Is it Necessary And How Much Should You Tip

Tipping Car Wash – Is it Necessary And How Much Should You Tip

by Kelvin Yates

Washing your car is one of those little things that you have to do for customary maintenance. It is not deemed necessary, but it holds multiple hidden benefits. Whether you wash your car professionally or on your own, you must get it done regularly. If you choose to go for a professional car wash, tipping a car wash is something a lot of people put thought into.

If you choose a professional car wash, you might be expecting a few things. Whether it be just to save some time, or you might just need someone else to get the job done for you. Either way, you are going to expect a perfectly cleaned ride.

Tipping is usually done when you are happy with the service that you received. Or, it can also be a way to thank the person who did the job. Typically, we are used to tipping at restaurants, salons, parking, room service, etc…

You might have heard about places where tipping is not customary. This might lead you to wonder whether car washes are one of those places. Or, if you do decide to tip, who should you tip. Tipping a car wash is no easy matter. There are a lot of things to consider before tipping.

Why Should You Wash Your Car?

How often do you wash your car? For some, they need their car washed regularly. But most car owners often wait till the car is really dirty before even thinking about a car wash. It doesn’t matter which of the above categories you belong to, you must know the advantages of washing your car regularly.

Apart from the obvious reason, to have a good-looking ride, there are many more reasons as well. Many people take pride in their cars. Internal parts of the car like the engine are important. But the first impression comes from the external look. People do not see the maintenance you do to your car.

They often stare at the looks of your car. A clean car looks better and communicates pride. Who doesn’t feel better driving a clean car? This is the first thing that comes to mind, so wash your car if it is dirty. There are many more hidden benefits of getting your car washed regularly.

Protection From Damage

When you wash your car with soap and a brush, you are removing dirt and other impurities from your car’s body. This will reduce the damage your car takes from the elements. Mud, rain, dirt, and even salt are all known to damage the paint (such as now knowing how to remove Plasti Dip properly) and the body of a vehicle. Though it cannot be noticed immediately, with time, you will be able to see how your paint is affected by the impurities.

Washing your car

Washing your car can make it last longer. Especially if you wash your engine as well. It could remove the dirt in the exterior of the engine and stop that dirt from reaching the internal components. Removing dirt and debris from the engine might not seem necessary since the engine is well covered. However, dirt finding its way inside the engine is not uncommon.

Improves Safety

Having clear windows and windshield is imperative before going for a drive. If your windshield is not up to par, you are putting yourself as well as everyone else on the road at risk. For starters, you won’t be able to see oncoming traffic. At night, the conditions could get even worse, you might not be able to see the road clearly. Even if your windshield has just a spot of dirt, it is dangerous. It has been proven that spots in your windshield easily attract your attention.

You might not value having clear windows. But having clear windows especially in the front seat windows is necessary. You see your side mirrors through the windows. Any driver knows the importance of side-view mirrors.

Other than the glass, the tires should be clean before taking the car out. The best way to make sure these are clean is to get your car washed regularly.

Increases The Value

If you are someone who plans on selling your car or trading it in the future, washing your car is an important aspect of maintenance. Whether you are planning on letting go of your car in some months or years, it is important to maintain a sparkling look on your car.

Regular washes help avoid rust, scratches, dull spots on your paint, and many other issues. A good-looking car will always bring in more value than a car that is not pleasing. This will let you get a value as close as possible to your investment. Also, repairing rusted parts is not cheap.

Other than the above, having a clean car can also result in many more benefits such as increased fuel economy, protect you from bacteria, and many more.

How Often Should You Get Your Car Washed?

How often is a regular car wash?

It actually depends on the area you live in. If you live in a coastal area with a constant sea breeze coming in, you should get your car washed at least once every two weeks. Salt can induce rust in your car. The sea breeze has a much higher salt content and is higher than the weather in other areas. If the salt settles in your car, your car will start to rust almost immediately so frequent washes are required if you live close to a coast.

The same kind of problem is also seen in rural areas. Here, instead of salt, you have tree saps dropping in your car. Tree saps can easily affect your paint job. Depending on the type of tree, the contents of the saps vary. This causes different types of damages to your car. Bird droppings are also not good for your car. These can easily be avoided by regular car washes. So here too getting your car washed every two weeks will help you protect your paint.

If you live in the city, the only thing that affects your car is dust. This is not as bad as tree saps, bird droppings, or salt. This doesn’t mean you do not need to get your car washed. But, you don’t need a car wash as regularly. It would be enough if you get your car washed once a month.

Benefits Of A Professional Car Wash

You might be skeptical about what a professional car wash can do that you cannot. Obviously, a professional will be better than you at washing and detailing your car. By choosing a professional car wash, you get several benefits that you won’t get if you do it yourself. Here are a few.

Saves Time

This is one of the biggest benefits that you can get. You can save time and effort if you choose a professional to wash your car for you. A car wash is usually not in your daily schedule, so if you want to save the trouble, you can hire someone else to do it for you.

But if washing your car is something that you love to do in your past time, it doesn’t matter if you do it yourself. But even though you wash your own car most of the time, occasionally you should let a professional do it, because he would work the finest details in your car that you might miss.

Professional Care

No matter how many times you have washed your car, the guy at the car wash is much more experienced than you at it. He goes through dozens of cars on a daily basis. It is not even a competition if you think about it.

A car wash service includes professionals that would inspect your entire car for existing or potential repairs that your car needs, or might need in the future. After they let you know about the problem, you can get it repaired as you wish. This way, you can be prepared or solve the problem before it turns into something major.

Increase Resale Value

Yes, you can make your car pretty by washing it yourself. But you cannot compete with the finish a professional car wash offers. If you are taking your car to a potential buyer or for a trade, it is best to get washed by a professional before you do so. These services would wash and prepare your car, so it looks neat and presentable. This would easily attract your client more and let you bargain for a few extra bucks. As mentioned earlier, the outer looks always make the first impression.

Right Tools Will Be Used

In a car wash, they make sure to give you the best possible service. For this, they use the latest and best possible equipment. The equipment you use might have the potential to damage your car. With a professional car wash, you don’t have to worry about that. They have tools that would get the job done without putting your car in harm’s way. These professionals would make sure that the job is done in the right way.

Saves Money

Weird right, how could paying someone save you cash. When you wash your car by yourself, your car is at risk. One small mistake or lack of concentration could ruin your paint. Think of it this way, if you are using a cloth or a brush to wash your car, and a bit of sand or dirt gets in between the cloth and the surface of your car, you can scrub the paint off.

The slightest slip-up can cost you a paint job. With a professional car wash, you do not have to worry about that. They choose the best environment and the equipment so disasters like that do not happen. Fixing a scratch on your paint will cost more than a paint job.

These are just a few of the numerous advantages that a professional car wash offers over a DIY job.

Tipping Car Wash, Who Exactly Should You Tip?

Tipping a car wash can get complicated. With today’s automated machines who exactly to tip? What if you see multiple attendants?

Mechanical Car Wash

Today, most car washes have an automated line. When you go through, the car gets cleaned. In this case, who should you tip? Even though a machine does the work, there will be an attendant out there monitoring the machine working. He would also guide people to get their car wash.

He might not look like he does a lot of work worthy of getting a tip. But, a lot rides on him. He ensures the machine runs properly and in rare cases, if the machine misses a spot or the customer isn’t satisfied, he would give a touch-up. If this is the case, he should be tipped.

Some car washes work on a self-serve basis. This is what creates most of the confusion over tipping a car wash. Even if this was the case, you would eventually meet a human along the way, at least at the cashier. So you can leave the tip with that person.

Manual Car Wash

Maybe the car wash doesn’t rely on modern machines. In that case, there will be an attendant who washes your car by hand. Today, anyone who does it by hand would have a pressure washer. In some cases, the attendant might use a double bucket method. This is where one bucket is filled with water while the other is filled with soap. The attendant will use a microfiber cloth to rub the soap in your car and wash it with water.

In this case, the attendant who washes your car is the one deserving a tip. It doesn’t matter whether he uses a pressure washer or buckets.

Multiple Attendants Working On Your Car

This is another one of those complicated moments. What if multiple attendants work on your car? In this case, you cannot just tip one person. Tipping one person could get problematic. Here, it is advised to tip all those who work on your car if you can afford it. If not, it is better not to tip at all. If you still want to tip, you may let the cashier know to add the tip to the bill. That way, the car wash will get the tip.

In some car washes, you might see a box for tipping. It is best to leave your tips in the box in that case. The majority of the car washes do this to ensure everyone who is working gets an equal share of the tip.

How Much Should You Tip?

Now that you know who to tip, the next question about tipping a car wash is how much to tip?

This depends on the size of your car and the amount of work done on it. And of course the quality of the work as well.

$1-3 Tip

This is when your car is really dirty and you decide to go for a wash, rather than just spraying some water over it. If your car hasn’t been washed for a while, the dirt accumulated could be extraordinary. It is not as easy as it seems to be clean. If you have tried this yourself, you would know how hard it is.

Power Washer

It takes a good 30 min to an hour to get a perfect job done. And if you own an economy-sized car, the cost for this will be close to $10. In this scenario tipping a car wash with $1-3 is fair.

$3-5 Tip

This is the tip of the job mentioned above is done on your car. In this case, you own a larger vehicle such as an SUV or pickup truck. They would usually charge around $15 for this job.

Another scenario that this tip is valid is when detailed work is done on your economy-sized car. This could be something like getting your interior vacuumed. Some car washes charge to vacuum the interior of your car,  but some car washes do it for free. Either way, a tip of $3-5 dollars is good enough.

10-20% tip

This is for when an expensive service is done on your car like a detailing job. The job could easily take 4-6 hours when done correctly. And the labor is intense. If you get your car detailed with the wash, it could cost anywhere from $70-100 and upwards. In this case, you might as well offer a tip of 10-20% of the bill. Most people consider this kind of tipping customary at restaurants as well.

When Not To Tip

There are some occasions it is best not to tip. For example, there are car washes that do not allow or recommend tipping. There aren’t very many times when you’re going to be admonished for tipping car wash attendants. But some believe that the attendants are paid a fair wage for their work and they don’t need to do the job on tips. If this was the case, you would see signs clearly mentioning that tipping is not allowed.

Another scenario is when you are not satisfied with the service you received. If your car is not cleaned the way you expect, you could ask the attendant to revise their work and correct their errors. If they don’t do so, then you won’t need to tip.

The same can be said if your car is damaged during the wash. Though, this would rarely happen. If this happens, not only should you not tip, you should also submit an official complaint.

Finally, if the attendant does something that you did not ask for. For example, if you asked for a wash and the attendant did a vacuum on your interior, you do not need to tip for the service.

Another scenario to consider is when the attendant comes out and asks for a tip. This is a poor work ethic and you are almost forced to give a tip. In this circumstance, it is best to avoid giving a tip. Ultimately, if you are not satisfied with the service you received, don’t force yourself to hand out tips.

Is Tipping A Car Wash Necessary?

At the end of the day, you will have your own thoughts on tipping. Don’t be forced by social norms on tipping. Nobody can force you into tipping a car wash. Some might even lay hints to get tips, again, not necessary.

Tipping is a form of showing appreciation for someone who exceeded your expectation by their work. Even if it is a small tip, it is an act of gratitude.

If you do visit the car wash regularly, tipping could get you certain perks. Tipping them may result in a friendlier or better service. Beware, if you tip too much, they might start expecting a tip every time you go there.

If you are not satisfied with the service you’ve received, don’t feel pressured to leave a tip. Also, make sure to let them know that you are unhappy with the service that you received. Always be real with your comments and nobody expects you to tip everyone. Do not take pride in your tipping either.

Conclusively, there is no standard amount to tip. You don’t need to tip if you don’t want to. At the end of the day, they are doing their jobs and they are getting paid for it. Out of appreciation if you do decide to tip, you should tip an amount that feels right relative to the job that has been done on your car.

Car Wash FAQs: How Much Should I Tip a Car Wash Service – Facts

  1. Professional car wash services are quicker, more effective, and more comprehensive than doing it yourself, as they can include inside cleaning, interior vacuuming, and auto detailing.
  2. Tipping is promoted in the car wash service sector, as it is in other service industries.
  3. The amount to tip your car detailer or car wash attendant should depend on the size of your car, the number of services they do, and the quality of the job they do.
  4. The typical tip amount for washing and drying an economy-sized automobile is $2.
  5. For an economy-sized car vacuumed in addition to the car wash and hand-drying service, a $3 tip is suitable.
  6. The typical tip for cleaning larger vehicles, such as vans, SUVs, or trucks, is $4.
  7. For having a larger vehicle cleaned and vacuumed, the typical gratuity is $5.
  8. The usual tip amount for full-service auto detailing and car wash is 15% of the cost of the entire service, and a 10-15% tip is a good place to start if you don’t know what to tip.
  9. Tipping demonstrates your appreciation for the service provided, especially when the quality of craftsmanship is outstanding.
  10. As a returning client, your tip will likely be remembered, and the attendant will likely pay special attention to and care for your vehicle, occasionally including complimentary extras to repay your kindness.

You may also like

Leave a Comment