Wash & Dry

How Much to Tip a Car Wash? (Attendants & Detailers)

Written by Howell Crist / Fact checked by Sam Howard

how much to tip a car wash

Tipping in any service is not mandatory but a sure way to show that you appreciate the service done well for you. One good example is tipping at car wash.

There are a few factors to consider in determining how much to tip a car wash. If you’re unsure how much to give, a good rule of thumb is 10-15% of the total cost of the service you availed.

How Much Do You Tip Car Washers?

Our big concern is always how much is appropriate. There are some factors to consider in tipping the service for your car wash so you do not feel like you over or under-tip:

1. Size of the car


Bigger cars take more time and effort to clean than small cars. It also uses more water soap and other resources. Therefore, it’s only natural that you tip more for vehicles that are harder to clean.

For example, a $25 car wash from a mid-range shop for small cars like sedans and hatchbacks may expect you to give a tip ranging from $2-$3.

Meanwhile, a standard tip for SUVs, vans, and trucks would be $4-$5, also depending on the extra services you purchased. Generally, the bigger the vehicle, the more you should tip.

2. Type of services done


There are various car washes & services, and some take more effort and time than others.

For instance, you may be wondering if you should tip at automatic car wash wherein a staff member looks after your car while it’s being cleaned by a machine. This type of service requires minimal effort from the employee, so you may tip them less or not at all.

Another light service is drying and waxing the car. For their services, you should tip car wash dryers $2 to $5.

Next is the traditional car wash wherein the car wash attendant washes your car by hand using a bucket with soap and water. This is a more tedious task than the automatic car wash, so you might want to consider giving a little more as a tip.

Related: Average Automatic Car Wash Time

According to Reddit, for a $25 car hand wash, $3 – $5 is a solid and acceptable tip.

Another type of service in a car wash is car detailing. Car detailing is more than just a car wash. It involves deep cleaning your car’s interior and exterior, almost restoring it to its brand-new state.

It’s a standard practice to tip a car detailer about $10-$20 of the overall cost of the service done to your car. This is because a detailer is specialized in his work, and it took him around 2-5 hours, depending on the package you availed.

3. Quality of Service Received


Giving a tip all boils down to whether you were happy with the service you received. Consider how the employee did his job or how professionally he gets along with you.

If he did an excellent job, you should tip him 20% – 25%. If he did poor work, you can tip him less or not at all.

The Car Wash Tip Calculator

A car wash tip calculator is a tool that computes the car wash tip amount for various percentages of the car service cost. It also shows the total amount that includes the tip.

This can be handy, especially if, for example, you’re wondering about how much do you tip for a $30 car wash. It’s easy to use since you only need to input the total amount of the service you availed.

Once you press calculate, the tip amount will show along with the corresponding tip percentage.

Why Tip Car Wash Attendants

1. To show gratitude


The most obvious reason why someone gives a tip is that they are happy with the product or service that they received. To tip car wash guy will also boost his confidence that he had a job well done.

You might also want to tip car wash attendant if you encounter someone very polite and friendly. Although this should be a standard in customer service, there are some that are not very pleasant.

2. Tipping may entitle you to certain benefits


Customers who give a tip at a full service car wash are more likely to be remembered by the attendants than those who don’t. Chances are, car wash employees will go out of their way to give you exceptional service whenever you pay them a visit.


Tipping at a car wash is not required, but it is greatly appreciated. If you want to give one, the factors provided earlier may help you to determine how much to tip a car wash. It doesn’t have to be much, but a little can still make someone’s work appreciated.

If you found this article useful, please forward it to others who may be interested.

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Our chief editor is Sam Howard. The vast market of car care necessitates extensive research. He entered the market, experienced the service, and reported customer feedback in order to provide the best advice and content to car owners. We have faith in him to turn our website into a reliable resource for all car owners.

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