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Answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive about the detailing services we offer can be found in this section, along with detailed information about the products and methods we use. However, because detailing is such a broad subject, we know that we will not have covered everything in as much detail as some customers would like. Therefore, if you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to get in touch using our enquiry form or via the e-mail address shown above - we're always happy to help.
Traditional valeting services are usually based on a low cost high volume wash and wax model aimed at the masses. However, there are now an increasing number of detailing services being offered to more discerning customers, with a shift in emphasis towards specialist techniques such as paint correction and the use of higher quality products for surface protection. Such services are more time intensive and require a much greater degree of skill, meaning that they are more expensive. However, because the value of used vehicles is greatly affected by their aesthetic condition, such work typically pays for itself, particularly on prestige and performance vehicles.
Relatively few detailing companies in the UK offer the same level of professionalism and commitment to their trade as ourselves. Over the last eight years we have gained an internationally recognised reputation for the standard of our work, and have invested heavily in almost every aspect of our business (premises, equipment, training and insurance cover) in order to ensure that our customers are in skilled and safe hands. Potential customers should note that we are not amateur enthusiasts; we have a wealth of experience and detailing is our full time profession.
Our pricing structure is based on a standard hourly rate of £45 + VAT. This in itself is not expensive; most main dealerships charge two to three times as much for labour on repairs and servicing, and their work is no more skilled than our own. Time is the real reason why our prices appear to be high, for it takes on average 8 hours to perform a Protection Detail, 16 hours to perform an Enhancement Detail and between 24-40 hours to complete a Correction Detail. However, rather than charge by the hour, we instead offer a fixed price for each service, as this ensures that our customers know exactly what they will be paying in advance, no matter how long the detail actually takes (and some have been known to take far longer than expected!).
Our loyalty scheme is well worth considering if you wish to maintain your car in excellent condition but have little time to spend detailing it yourself. In a nutshell, it rewards you for visiting our studio on a regular basis with a discount that makes long-term professional care more affordable. Regular details will not only keep your car looking good all year round but will also ensure it retains as much residual value as possible in the long run. To benefit from our loyalty scheme, you must first book your car in to receive one of our standard detailing treatments (please review our service options page for details). At the time of collecting your car (after this initial detail is completed), you will be offered the opportunity to make a further booking (up to a maximum of six months ahead) with a 10% discount applied. When this next detail is performed, you will be given the same opportunity again, ad infinitum.
Sadly, it is all too common for brand new vehicles to be delivered with any number of defects present in the paint, such as obvious marring and machine polishing holograms leftover from the production line. It is equally disappointing that many dealerships do not have the time or skills available on-site to correct these defects prior to handover; instead all that is typically offered is a basic valet (which often does more harm than good) and a poor quality 'lifetime' protection package (applied by the same valeter). If these thoughts concern you, we are happy to take on new car deliveries and ensure that you receive your vehicle in perfect condition with the very best surface treatments applied from the outset. Protecting the bodywork and alloy wheels properly from day one will ensure that they remain easy to keep clean over the first six to twelve months of ownership, and will also help to prevent the harmful acids in everyday contaminants (such as bird droppings and bug remains) from etching the paint.
It is never too late to make a vast improvement to the appearance of sound paint by careful machine polishing (and, if necessary, wetsanding). In cases where sub-surface defects are very severe, the limiting factor is always paint depth. If the defects lie wholly within the uppermost layer of paint (either the pigment layer in older single stage paint systems or the clearcoat in modern paint systems) then there is a very high likelihood of achieving a level of correction of 95% or more. However, in cases where such defects penetrate to no more than 20% of the depth of the uppermost layer of paint, there's a very high likelihood of achieving a near perfect level of correction. Indeed, many of our customers are often amazed at the degree to which we are able to restore heavily swirled finishes, to the extent that we almost always do away with the need for any additional bodyshop attention.
Maintaining paint to a high swirl free standard is dependent on two key factors. The first is the use of high quality car care products, whose properties are proven, and the second is good technique, which must be learnt. Based on our long term experience of maintaining cars, we know that it is possible to keep paint swirl free for two to three years at a time, even with regular washing. Many of the techniques we advocate for safe washing can be found in the relevant guide in the car care advice section of our website. In addition, we are always happy to offer detailed advice (and even hands on tuition if necessary) in order to ensure that our customers are able to safely and effectively maintain the finish we leave them with.
One of the things that has struck us as odd over the last eight years is that the vast majority of concours level cars we have seen, no matter how clean and well presented, have always seemed to have sub-standard paint in terms of featuring visible sub-surface defects like swirl marks and scratches. It is almost as if paint condition doesn't matter at such events, as long as the bodywork is shiny and the rest of the car is perfect in terms of cleanliness and originality. We beg to differ! The bodywork is arguably the defining feature of almost all cars, and is the first thing people assess when they see a car at an event or show, so it is imperative that the bodywork looks flawless. Using modern polishing methods, we are able to achieve a 99% level of correction or better on most paint types, old or new. So, unless your bodywork is already in perfect condition we guarantee we can make it look even better, both in terms of the overall level of shine and the near complete removal of visible sub-surface defects.
All of the products we use professionally are available to buy in our online store. Our philosophy is simple; we only sell products that we know to work well based on our direct professional experience. This greatly benefits our retail customers, as they always know they are buying products whose properties and performance are proven, and also enables us to offer our detailing customers high quality maintenance kits upon request.
Stone chips are the bane of us all but unless you wrap your bodywork with an expensive clear film wrap like Ventureshield or Armourfend then there is no way to avoid them; sadly no amount of sealant or wax can protect against small stones striking paint at high speeds! In many cases individual stone chips will be tiny and hard to spot, but over time their number will increase to the point where these individually insignificant defects become collectively easy to see, as affected panels take on a peppered appearance. Unfortunately, the only truly effective solution to this problem is to have the affected panels resprayed. However, in cases where widespread peppering is not evident and the issue is limited to a small number of isolated chips, then we can usually touch in such areas with a good degree of success. The results are rarely seamless upon close inspection, but from a distance the chips will no longer be visible. At the current time, we do not offer wheel refurbishment services, but can make recommendations about who would be best to use if requested.
When we first started offering professional detailing services eight years ago we did so on a mobile basis, travelling to our customers homes or places of work to detail their cars. From quite early on we realised that this approach was compromising our standards, as working outdoors and in cold cramped garages simply isn't conducive to producing first class finishes. We knew that ultimately in order to offer the level of quality we were aiming at we would need a heated indoor detailing studio to work in, that would provide perfect working conditions all year round. This dream finally became a reality in the summer of 2007 when we moved into our current premises in Kintore. In just six weeks we transformed a bare industrial shell into a spotlessly clean, well lit, well heated environment ideal for detailing vehicles to the highest possible standard. The net result of establishing this environment was a noticeable improvement in the quality of our work. Whereas before the move we were only able to achieve a 75% level of correction on most details, we soon found ourselves being able to achieve 95% or better. So pronounced was this improvement that we immediately ceased offering mobile services of any kind, as to have continued doing so would have been a compromise, and compromise is not something we are willing to live with. To detail your car to the highest possible standard, we need to perform the work at our premises in Kintore.
When requested, we are able to offer a fully insured collection and delivery service to customers living or working within twenty miles of our premises in Kintore. Our road risks policy covers us on a fully comprehensive basis for cars worth up to £150k. In cases where the value of the vehicle exceeds this, we may be able to arrange a temporary increase in cover up to the actual value of the vehicle provided we are given sufficient notice in advance (if we are unable to secure this then alternative arrangements will need to be made). However, in all cases rather than simply return the car after the work is done we will offer to collect customers and bring them to our studio to view their vehicles before they drive them away again. This is because we take a great deal of pride in our work and would rather our customers see their freshly detailed cars in a pristine state in our studio as opposed to sullied after the drive back to work or home.
While we like to share the results of some of the details we perform (in the form of images, videos and written descriptions) on both our own website and the various social media platforms we participate on, we are quite happy to adhere to strict confidentiality and privacy agreements when requested.