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How to Turn Your Car Dealership’s Detail Department into a Cash Machine

For many dealerships, the detail department is seen as a necessary cost of doing business. But with the right systems and strategy, your shop’s car care services could be generating significant profits. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through how to create a highly profitable detail department within your dealership. 

Define the Types of Details

Not all details are created equal. Define the different types you’ll offer and price accordingly:

attracting new customers

– Used car details – your bread-and-butter service 

– New car preps – ensure showroom-quality 

– Customer paid details – present as premium packages

– Add-ons like pet hair removal and ceramic coatings 

Used car details take 2-3 hours on average. Pay detailers a fair flat rate of 3.5-4 hours to complete these efficiently. Price at market rates or higher.

Calculate Your Costs

Treat detailing like a business. Calculate your:

– Labor costs – Detailers’ flat rate hours x pay rate

– Chemical costs – Inventory and track all compounds used

– Water usage – Factor in utility costs for the car wash  

– Electricity – Lighting, equipment use

– Damage – Build in margin for occasional mishaps

By understanding your expenses, you can price profitably. 

Offer Detail Training

Partner with a chemical supplier that offers hands-on training. Well-trained detailers use less product, work faster, and deliver consistent quality. Ongoing training is an investment that pays dividends.

Market Detailing Services

Promote your detailing packages in your dealership and on your website. Create enticing menu options at different price points. Educate customers on the value of ceramic coatings, pet hair removal, and odor elimination. Market these as premium add-ons.

Stay up-to-date on the latest compounds, tools, and techniques. Attend industry events and read trade publications. Experiment with new offerings like paint correction services. pioneer the future of detailing.

When treated strategically, dealership detailing can transform from a cost center to a profit machine. Use these tips to maximize its revenue potential.

To discuss hands-on coaching for your service department, book a 15-minute digital strategy session here. Our team of industry experts can help unlock the full potential of your shop. Get started today!

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