Retail & Consumer Products

Motor Vehicle Detailer

Motor vehicle detailers clean most parts of a vehicle including cracks and crevices that are not cleaned by standard car washing.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Motor Vehicle Detailer do?

Motor vehicle detailers clean most parts of a vehicle including cracks and crevices that are not cleaned by standard car washing.


Work activities

As a motor vehicle detailer, you would:

  • wash vehicle exteriors using cleaning solution, water, cloths, and brushes
  • clean all dirt, grease and tar from the exterior of the vehicle
  • vacuum and clean vehicle interiors, including dashboards, consoles, carpets and car seats
  • recondition vehicle interiors, applying appropriate chemical reconditioners
  • apply wax or polish to vehicle exteriors using cloths or buffing machines
  • clean engines, engine compartments and underbodies with steam cleaning equipment and cleaning agents to remove grease and grime
  • cleans and polish wheel rims and blacken tyres
  • apply touchup paint to chipped body surfaces of vehicles
  • repair minor surface rust stains and treat with rust-proofing chemicals
  • rejuvenate dull paintwork on older vehicles.

Key skills and interests

To become a motor vehicle detailer, you would need:

  • to enjoy practical work
  • an eye for detail
  • to be able to work without supervision
  • to be able to work with strong detergents and chemicals
  • a good level of physical fitness.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a motor vehicle detailer you would usually work throughout the week and at weekends. Part-time work and overtime may be available.


Motor vehicle detailers work for a car dealership, specialty detailing businesses, mechanic shops, car wash businesses or as self-employed contractors.

You would often be working outdoors at garages, workshops or on customers' premises. With a mobile detailing service, you would travel from job to job. You would need a current drivers' licence.

You may need to wear protective clothing and goggles if you are using strong cleaning chemicals.


How to become an Motor Vehicle Detailer?

Entry Level Education

You can work as a motor vehicle detailer without formal qualifications. You would get some on-the-job training.

You would usually be required to have a drivers' licence to be a motor vehicle detailer.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Employment for motor vehicle detailers is expected to remain relatively steady over the next 5-10 years.

Little, if any growth in employment has occurred over the last 3-5 years. This is likely to continue with any growth being at a relatively slow rate. More advanced mechanical equipment technology is likely to continue to impact on the number of job openings.


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