If you’re a detailing business owner in California, this data-driven research will help you understand car detailing prices in California. Read on to learn the average price of detailing in California, the range of pricing within top cities in California, and how your pricing stacks up.

New to this site? Mobile Tech RX provides tools and resources to help detailing and auto recon professionals start and grow their businesses. (For help on how to raise your detailing prices, check out our detailing app that helps you create perfect estimates.) Learn more about Mobile Tech RX and why thousands of business owners have tried our #1 app for detailing.

Why is pricing important for car detailing?

We wrote this article to shed light on car detailing prices across the state of California. As a business owner, you know that revenue and profit are important factors that contribute to your success. And your pricing strategy is the main contributor to revenue.

How do you determine your pricing? A common mistake of many detailers is to base their pricing only off of their very local competition. But what if all of the detailers in another town near you all charge 50% more than you and your competition across the street? That means that both you and the detailers in your area have a very good and valid reason to raise prices. (For help on how to raise your detailing prices, check out the Mobile Tech RX detailing app that helps you create perfect estimates.)

Fortunately, with this guide, you can see the average prices for detailing services both locally and more broadly at the state-level. We hope you read this article and use it as a very straightforward and practical guide that helps you compare your business’ pricing to your city, to the broader region around you, and to the rest of the state of California. We also hope this gives you a reason and confidence to raise your prices.

Average Car Detailing Price in California

The average price of a detailing service in the state of California is $176.30. If we compare the California average to the national average of $160.16, we see that average California prices are about 10% higher than the rest of the country. 

Average Detailing Prices in California heat map

Most Expensive and Least Expensive Cities 

The California cities with the most expensive detailing on average are Antioch, Burbank, and Vacaville. The average cost of detailing in these three cities is $456.33

Hemet, Downey, and Fremont are the least expensive cities in California for detailing. The average cost of detailing in these three cities is $71.67.

What’s interesting when we look at the most expensive and least expensive cities for detailing in California is that there doesn’t seem to be a correlation between the cost of living in the area and the average price of detailing. This could prove that pricing strategies among detailing entrepreneurs in California is more random than strategic. 

Range of Detailing Prices Across California

Let’s consider the range of prices for detailing in cities across the state of California. If we wanted the cheapest detail in the city with the lowest price, we would go to Palmdale, CA. The cheapest cost of a detail in Palmdale is $25.

If we wanted to find the most expensive detail in the city with the highest price, we would go to El Monte, CA, where the most expensive detail costs $1600. When we compare these two cities, we see the range across the lowest price and the highest price in California is a whopping $1575.

Citrus Heights$125.00$199.00$250.00
Costa Mesa$65.00$100.00$145.00
Daly City$175.00$200.00$300.00
El Cajon$118.00$175.00$225.00
El Monte$75.00$225.00$1,600.00
Elk Grove$100.00$160.00$250.00
Garden Grove$112.00$189.00$599.00
Huntington Beach$179.00$250.00$400.00
Long Beach$100.00$140.00$220.00
Los Angeles$35.00$100.00$199.00
Mission Viejo$80.00$120.00$150.00
Moreno Valley$45.00$100.00$175.00
Newport Beach$125.00$200.00$400.00
Rancho Cucamonga$44.00$145.00$200.00
Redwood City$180.00$220.00$307.00
San Bernardino$69.00$100.00$165.00
San Diego$105.00$179.00$250.00
San Francisco$110.00$110.00$200.00
San Jose$1.00$142.00$250.00
San Leandro$149.00$189.00$225.00
San Marcos$140.00$240.00$280.00
San Mateo$190.00$240.00$260.00
Santa Ana$120.00$240.00$800.00
Santa Barbara$90.00$120.00$214.00
Santa Clara$125.00$200.00$280.00
Santa Clarita$149.00$210.00$280.00
Santa Maria$84.00$150.00$208.00
Santa Monica$68.00$150.00$300.00
Santa Rosa$190.00$250.00$320.00
Simi Valley$115.00$155.00$196.00
Thousand Oaks$145.00$175.00$250.00
West Covina$89.00$220.00$350.00

Let’s narrow down a little bit in how we look at the range of prices across California. Now, let’s compare the average price in the cheapest city and the most expensive city. Downey, CA, has the lowest average price at $65 while Antioch has the highest average price in the state at $800. The range across the average prices in California cities is $735.

This large range of pricing is another clue that pricing strategy in car detailing businesses is perhaps not as strategic as it could be. 

A Closer Look: Car Detailing Prices in California’s Top 3 Counties

We looked into the 3 most populous counties in California to do a deeper dive into the average price of detailing services. Since LA and San Diego make up almost 10% of all detailing businesses in the US, this is very important and significant data for the detailing industry.

Price of Detailing in LA County

Detailing Prices in San Diego County

Price of Detailing in Orange County

The Bottom Line

You should be aware of the range in detailing prices in California to help you come up with your own strategic and competitive pricing. It might be difficult to close the pricing gap by simply increasing your base package pricing. But you can and should look to variables and conditional factors of the cars that come into your shops. This could include paint correction, excessive interior stains, or Brightwork. Start charging for those variables!

A tool like Mobile Tech RX’s detailing app can help you keep your base pricing and also close the gap with conditional factors that you should be charging for but aren’t. Our estimating app makes it easy to work in higher prices to your daily estimates while also keeping your customers happy.  

Research methodology

To pull numbers for this report, we used data from Yelp to find the low, average, and high price for auto detailing in cities around the state of California. We listed the 100 most populous cities in California and compiled pricing data by city where car detailing prices were available. (17 of the 100 cities didn’t have enough accurate data on detailing pricing to use them in this report.) 

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