What is Car Valeting

Car valeting is a service provided to clean and improve the overall appearance of a vehicle. There are various levels of valeting services available, and most professionals offer a variety of packages to suit different requirements and price points.

Here at Diamond Cut Detailing, we offer a high-level valeting service which utilises the most premium tools and best practices to ensure the vehicle is cleaned thoroughly and safely.

Valeting is easiest to define when split into three main areas:

  • Exterior cleaning
  • Exterior protection
  • Interior valeting

Some valeting packages will include all these aspects, whereas some may just include an exterior or interior clean. Typically, a “mini-valet” will include an exterior wash and quick tidy up of the interior. Full valets usually include a deeper clean of the exterior and interior, as well as the application of a wax or sealant to the paintwork, and a tire and trim dressing to the exterior plastic and rubber.

Now we will go through these three aspects of valeting in some more detail, so you know what to expect.


Exterior Cleaning

The first step for most valets, is to clean the exterior of the vehicle. There are many different techniques and levels to this cleaning process though, so it isn’t quite as straight-forward as it first may seem. Here is a rundown of the potential processes and techniques involved in an exterior wash:

  • Pre-wash stage to remove as much dirt as possible before washing the paintwork using a mitt.
  • Cleaning of the wheel-face, wheel-barrel, arches and tires.
  • A contact wash, using a car shampoo and wash mitt specifically designed to be gentle on the paintwork, instead of sponges or brushes which can cause micro-scratches.
  • A two-bucket wash method can be used which involves using separate buckets for the car shampoo and water. This means the mitt can be rinsed periodically to prevent dirt being wiped back onto the paint and inflicting damage to the clear coat.
  • Rinse and dry with a microfiber towel or compressed air to minimise contact with the paintwork to reduce the chance of micro-scratches.

At Diamond Cut Detailing, we only offer safe wash-techniques to ensure the vehicle is properly cleaned and maintained. Some roadside car wash services offer a basic valeting package, using a single bucket and no pre-wash stage. However, rushed techniques like this are likely to cause clear coat scratches and swirl marks which dull the finish.

Instead, at Diamond Cut Detailing all exterior cleans are performed using the best practices including a thorough prewash to remove as much dirt as possible before touching the paintwork. This dramatically reduces risk of inflicting fine clear coat scratches. The pre-wash stage is performed using premium chemicals such as snow foams, and we never use traffic film removers (TFRs) which are corrosive and potentially damaging to the paintwork. Wash-mitts are used which are specifically designed to gently lift dirt off the panels, instead of sponges and brushes which will likely cause scratching and marring.


Exterior Protection

As well as cleaning the exterior, some valeting packages will also include protection of some of the exterior surfaces. This may include:

  • Application of paint protection in the form of a wax or sealant.
  • Application of a tire dressing or gel to protect the rubber and provide a darker look.
  • Alloy wheel protection using a sealant.


Interior Valeting

Interior valeting services also come in various levels, depending on the package selected. Most interior valeting packages include a vacuum followed by cleaning of the mats, steering wheel, windows, plastics and seats. Some packages also include the headliner, boot parcel and shelf, door sills, and the air vents. The next level up includes protecting the interior surfaces using fabric sealants, leather conditioners and sealants, and plastic dressings, however this is commonly referred to as “interior detailing”.

At Diamond Cut Detailing, we offer an interior deep cleaning package using high-end cleaning equipment and products to ensure the most thorough level of cleaning possible.


Popular Packages

As mentioned earlier, there are often different levels of service provided which can be broken down into packages to suit various requirements. Here is a summary of some of the most popular valeting packages available and the pricing.

  • Exterior Wash: the level of service depends where you take your car to be washed. For exterior washes which use premium tools and safe techniques to wash the car without causing clear coat scratches, the cost typically starts at £40.
  • Full Interior: the cost of this package usually depends on the size and condition of the vehicle. Typically, in the UK, this will cost between £50-100.
  • Interior and Exterior Deep Clean: for the highest level of service, the cost in the UK will usually be upwards of £150, again depending on the size and condition of the vehicle.


Frequently Asked Questions

To sum everything up, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about car valeting services.

What is the difference between car washing and valeting?

Car washing is usually a quicker and less in-depth service compared to car valeting. Car washing generally does not include any extras that more premium valeting services would provide, such as the application of a wax or sealant, tire dressing and a thorough clean of the interior.

What is the difference between car detailing and valeting?

Car valeting and detailing both involve a thorough clean of a vehicle’s interior and exterior, and premium valeting services also include the application of a paint protection similarly, to detailing services. However, detailing is more in-depth and often includes paint enhancement, and the application of more premium paint protection options such as ceramic coatings. This is generally why detailing packages cost significantly more than car valeting services.

How often should a car be valeted?

Most cars need to be valeted at least 3-4 times per year. This ensures that they remain clean, protected, and in good condition to prevent the exterior and interior surfaces from showing signs of age. Cars which are driven daily and stored outside usually need to be valeted more frequently.

What is included in a full car valet?

Different valets will provide different services in their full car valet packages, so it is difficult to define exactly what is included. However, it usually includes a thorough interior and exterior clean, the application of a wax or sealant to the paint, and the application of a tire and trim dressing to rejuvenate the appearance of the plastics and rubber.

At Diamond Cut Detailing, we offer a deep interior and exterior cleaning service using the best practices and products to achieve a high-level result.

How long does it take to valet a car?

Mini-valets, where the interior and exterior are quickly cleaned up, usually take less than one hour. Whereas, full valets can take around half a day to complete. It all depends on the level of service which is provided. Some valeting services may include additional extras which would typically only be found in “detailing packages” so can take up to a day to complete.


Diamond Cut Detailing offers valeting services and operates from a purpose-built studio in Exeter. Call Lewis on 07730 783808 or get in touch by emailing info@diamondcutdetailing.co.uk.