I often get asked “what’s the benefit of using a mobile valet over a £5 hand car wash?”
Well, there are many answers but it’s really dependant on the hand car wash or mobile valet that you’re using.
As an example, we will assume it’s one of the very basic, typical hand car washes versus DC Car Care as the valet for comparison.
The hand car wash:
For them it’s a simple numbers game (not to say I don’t need to earn a living) but their focus is on volume and turn over.
To achieve this, they often use harsh chemicals, which is not always a problem if you know what you’re doing with them; but you’ll often find they mix it a fair bit stronger, because they feel it will clean quicker and make their job easier – which isn’t totally untrue – however it can (and often does) leave acid etching. Most often seen on chrome, trim and sometimes on the paint.
You’ll notice they often have barrels of water sat there ready – generally these barrels are used all day for all the cars, without the water being changed, because that would involve additional water costs and also cost time – something they cannot afford when the turn over of cars needs to be quick. The downside to this is that unless you’re the first car in, they’re rubbing dirt and grit from other vehicles across that nice shiney paint of yours. Which is going to dull the paint and cause micro scratches (often looks like spider webs in direct sun light).
A valeter like myself will use two buckets full of fresh water on each car, the first bucket will be the shampoo, whilst the second bucket contains pure water. A valet will clean one panel at a time and then rinse the mitt in the plain water to remove the dirt, before putting the mitt back into the shampoo and onto the next panel. This helps to stop those micro swirls occurring that I mentioned previously.
The next thing you’ll notice at the hand car wash is their cloths. They use that same cloth on every car, and they generally look filthy. Again, all they’re doing is rubbing filth into your paint work.
I replace any cloth that gets dirty, even if I’m mid-clean. And it would certainly not be used on a second vehicle. You’ll also find the quality of the cloths and mitts used by a valet are of far better quality.
The hand car wash will wax your car for an extra fiver – bargain! Or is it? They often use a liquid wax, which is quicker and easier to apply, and usually cheap and cheerful. So what’s the downside…you’ve saved money and the car looks great. Well it might look great when you drive off, but 3 days later it will start to look a little dull again. That liquid wax they used wasn’t a particularly long lasting wax, so did you really get your true monies worth?
Some valeters may use a high quality liquid wax but I prefer to use a hard wax as it’s a much higher quality product designed to last on average 6-12 weeks.
So there you have it. Just a few reasons why I would recommend a valet over a hand car wash any day.
However I am biased, so below are a few pictures of the cars we regularly clean for you to make your own judgments on – not to mention our 40+ 5* reviews on Facebook or the 2000+ people that like my Facebook page.
DC Car Care Team