New Car Detailing – The Lowdown!

So you’ve just bought a brand new car! It’s always exciting heading to the showroom to collect your vehicle, and detailing is probably the last thing on your mind, because your new car should look perfect. Well, that’s the theory, the reality is sometimes slightly different.

Why your brand new car needs detailing:

Once your new car has left the production line, it will pass through various hands on its journey to you. During this time it will be exposed to all sorts, travelling by train, boat and transporter lorry. This journey will result in different types of environmental fallout. Metallic particles from train tracks and brakes. Dirt and salty air moving through commercial areas around boat docks, especially if it spends some time being stored or held in a yard there. If you’ve ever crossed the Thames using the QE2 bridge at Dartford, you’ll have seen hundreds of brand new cars and vans parked next to the docks to the side of the bridge.

The car’s protective wrapping is removed when it finally arrives at the dealership. At this point, the car is washed by the in house valeters. This process is where the worst damage can occur. The valeters rarely spend more than a few minutes blasting the car with a pressure washer. Afterwards, it’s a quick wash with a grubby sponge. Then your car is rinsed and dried with an old chamois leather or, even worse, a water blade. All the dirt that has accumulated during the journey gets ground into the delicate paint surface before you’ve even sat behind the wheel!

At Auto Curators we have seen, first hand, terrible damage to new car paintwork. Silicon water blades being dragged across less than clean paint, gouging abrasive particles into the surface usually causes the worst. We see scuffs where pressure washer hoses have been pulled across the bonnet, roof or boot (or all three!)

Why you should avoid dealership new car detailing and paint protection:

You can’t get away from the fact that car dealers are all about margins, they are a business after all. Car margins have been squeezed in the last few years, so now dealers rely on add-on sales to make their money. These can typically include GAP insurance, smart repair and alloy wheel insurance, and of course, paint protection. When they sell something like a Supaguard or Lifeshine treatment, their valeters are unlikely to spend more than 20 minutes on the car. Generally, they won’t carry out any real preparatory work. Additionally, the products cost the dealership very little. However, they will sell you a treatment for between £350-£1000 (for the same treatment). The price you pay is all dependant on the price point of the vehicle.

What we offer @ Auto Curators (Hampshire & Greater London):

At Auto Curators our new car detailing treatments typically take a whole day, encompassing every part of the car.  Firstly, we carefully wash and decontaminate the paint and wheels. After that, we polish the paint to make sure it looks beautiful. Then we apply a cutting edge ceramic coating that offers genuinely durable protection for the car. Our prices start from £450 (including VAT) for a basic new car detailing treatment without any machine polishing. Our most popular treatment costs on average £695. We never fail to impress our customers, and are often told ‘that looks far better than when we picked it up!

Why most dealerships won’t offer Paint Protection Film:

I’m only aware of one dealership that has its own staff for installing PPF on site. Installing PPF to a high standard is requires expertise. It relies on well-trained staff with meticulous attention to detail. Those installers must have an in-depth understanding of how the material (and patterns) work, because installing a 2D flat pattern onto a 3D shape, using a material that can stretch but not shrink can be challenging! The environment necessary for a successful install is important too, it must be clean, with a fairly warm, stable temperature, free from drafts or sources of dust and dirt. Typically, a front end install will take two people, anywhere up to a day of work. All this needs substantial financial investment in staff training and equipment.

All of this means that the application of PPF is unappealing for a dealership. But, it’s not for us! We have the knowledge, experience, equipment and correct environment to complete PPF installation.

The top three benefits of brand-new car detailing with Auto Curators:

  • Peace of mind that your car will be inspected appropriately inside and out, with your best interests in mind, before any work starts.
  • Using our expertise, we will improve upon the delivery condition of your vehicle. Making your new car even ‘newer’.
  • You’ll experience exceptional ease of care for years to come. Cleaning your car in the future will be an effortlessly quick and enjoyable experience.

Auto Curators #TopTip for collecting your new car, before detailing:

Ideally, we’d prefer the dealership not to touch your car. We have had cars delivered to us completely covered in their transportation wrapping. This is great for us, and there is much less chance of having to undo the damage that has occurred through careless dealership washing.

That said, when you collect your car, it is essential to be able to check the whole thing very carefully for any signs of damage. Chips, scrapes, dents can be caused by little accidents that happen during transportation. Once you remove the car from the dealership, your chances of getting them to take responsibility for a dent, a chip or a little kerb mark on the wheel are slim.

We’d suggest you ask them to unwrap it, give it a gentle wash (avoiding water blades for drying). Ask them not to polish it or apply any products. This gentle wash will ensure you can properly inspect your car before taking delivery. Even if the dealership offers to throw in a paint protection treatment for free, be firm and insist that they do not.


At Auto Curators we’d love to help your car look a million dollars with one of our new car detailing services.

If you’re considering a new car treatment with Auto Curators either in Hampshire or Greater London, especially if you’re interested in PPF, do book early. That way we can help you secure a booking immediately after taking delivery.