1) Are you insured?
Any competent detailing company will carry what’s known as ‘garage keepers’ insurance. Like in any industry, accidents do unfortunately happen from time to time. Whether it’s from the detailing process itself such as damage to the paint or while moving your vehicle in and out of the shop, it’s important for any professional detailing company to have themselves (and you) covered.
2) What chemicals/products do you use?
We spend an amazing amount of time in our cars these days. Whether you’re just commuting to work or moving the kids around, it’s important to know what chemicals have been used during the detailing process. Many traditional detailing products contain cheap ingredients which can lead to health problems with prolonged exposure. Make sure you ask your detailer for MSDS sheets so you can confirm for yourself what’s being used around you and your family.
3) Do you have any customer referrals?
Here you could simply start by asking the company directly for customers who’ve received a similar service. Of course, the detailing company will likely just refer you out to satisfied clients, so you may want to go on the web and check out websites such as yelp.com or bbb.org to get a more realistic picture of company’s rating.
4) How long should I expect the protectants and coatings to last?
Depending on the service level you select, most detailing companies will apply sealants and protectants to your vehicle. Get a clear understanding and expectation of how long these should last. Be wary of any company that claims a protectant/sealant will last for 6+ months as the majority of products on the market today will begin to degrade after 2 – 3 months from application.
5) What is included/not included with my service package?
Make sure you fully understand what you’re paying for. Many times a company will have you bring your vehicle to the shop first for a walkthrough to address any areas which will take extra time and incur additional fees. Excessive pet hair, odors, stains, damaged/scratched paint will certainly be addressed prior to starting the work so you’re not left with a surprise bill at the end of your detail.