What is detailing?

  • Detailing isn’t just about washing, polishing, and waxing a car. It’s taking the next step of attention to detail and thorough cleaning. It’s about taking pride in your vehicle and taking care of its paintwork, exterior and interior to the highest standard.

What makes a Detail different to a Valet?

  • A Valet doesn’t go into as much depth as a Detail in the stages to wash, prepare, restore, and protect the vehicle from the effects of road salt, brake dust, bird lime, rain, and general grime. Detailing also often includes paint correction to restore your car’s paintwork to a better than showroom finish, removing any swirl marks, spider webbing and holograms that your car may inherit over time.

What are Swirl marks?

  • Swirls are literally thousands of very shallow micro-scratches in the top coat of the paintwork that catch light and cause the paint to look like it is covered in cobwebs. Swirl marks often become much more visible under direct sunlight or a petrol station forecourt.

How are Swirl marks caused?

  • Swirl marks are primarily caused from poor washing techniques, side of the road £3 hand washes are prime causers as are automated car washes and garage jet washes (brushes)

What are Holograms?

  • Holograms are the ghost type lines you see on your car under intense light. These are often induced by a poor machine polish technique. A poor machine polish often results in not breaking down and working the polish for long enough, or not refining the polishing with a fine finishing polish.

What is Oxidation?

  • Oxidation is the deterioration of the paintwork through heat and oxygen breaking down the paintwork’s molecular structure. Basically the direct exposure to sunlight causes the oils in the paintwork to dry out, and the paint becomes exposed to damage. Oxidation is extremely apparent in older red cars that appear to be very pink, or sometimes even white and exceedingly dull, however oxidation can appear on any colour car.

How can defects be removed?

  • The most effective way of removing swirl marks and holograms is with a thorough machine polish. Machine polishing is using fine polishes and compounds to remove 1000ths of a millimetre of the paints surface at a time to flatten the surface of the paint to a mirror like finish, allowing the light to reflect in uniform, creating an incredibly deep shine.

Why valet at all?

Considering that a car is normally your second biggest purchase next to your house, it is wise to take good care of it. Indeed, it is best to take the view that the car is an investment, which you must take care of. Granted, you are very unlikely to sell an ordinary car for more than you bought it, no matter how well you look after it, but if you compare the difference in value between two cars of the same age that are in different condition, you will see that this difference can sometimes run to thousands of pounds. The only time most people consider having their car valeted is when they are about to sell it. This is not a bad idea and it is true to say that many car dealers buy cars in poor condition, have them valeted and sell them on at a good profit, so it can certainly increase the amount of money you will get for your vehicle. However, the old adage of prevention is better than cure is one that is very true in this respect.

Having your vehicle regularly valeted during the period you own and use it will mean it is much better condition than it would otherwise be, even with a pre-sale valet. The reason for this is that instead of trying to fix problems before selling it on, you will be maintaining your car, such that those problems never develop. Your cars paint-work provides a good example here. Paint is not just put on a car to make it look nice, but to protect the bodywork so that it doesn’t get damage and rust. Even a small chip and scratch can lead to rusting bodywork if not dealt with quickly. Having your car regularly valeted prevents this problem in three ways. Firstly, regular valeting helps protect paint sealants and the integrity of your paintwork in general, meaning it is less likely to show signs of age. Secondly, any damage that does occur will be noticed at a regular valet and dealt with quickly, as opposed to being left for a period of time to get much worse. Finally, having a regular professional valet protects you from the damage that can be caused by taking your car through an automated car wash. When damage from an automated car wash is mentioned you may be thinking of disasters that involve the machine breaking off your windscreen wiper and scraping it along your paintwork, which may not happen every day. However, there is damage that is caused by automated car washes every time you use them. If you have ever stopped to examine the brushes used in automated car washes you will know that they are more like brooms than the soft sponge and chamois you would wash your car with if you were doing it by hand. These harsh brushes not only remove protective waxes and sealants from your paintwork, but also cause minor scratches and swirl marks (from the circular brushes) that make your car look terrible. The problem gets worse the more often you use an automated car wash, but unfortunately, because the wash removes your protective coatings meaning dirt sticks to the paintwork much more easily, you will be returning more often and doing more damage.

Having your car valeted protects the wax or sealant and means you have to wash your car less often. What with road tax, petrol prices and car insurance quotes, motoring can be an expensive business. Although it may seem like an unnecessary expense, having your car valeted means protecting your investment so when you come to sell it you’ll probably get your money back and more. In addition, it makes your car more pleasant to be in and something you can take real pride in.