Originally Posted by vitaminc
[I] am looking for a trust worthy auto detailer in my area. What kind of details and precautions should i pay attention to?
The guys from Auto Lavish wrote this article - worth the read (please note I had to edit a few portions to comply with forum rules - edited portions have  around selected text):
by Marc Harris & Jacob Bunyan
[We] try to do all we can to help fellow car enthusiasts treat their cars better and achieve higher and higher levels of gloss and personal satisfaction. That being said, there are many cases in which an individual simply doesn’t have the time or energy to get their car back into proper shape. This article will focus on helping you choose the right detailer to satisfy your car care needs.
Here is some advice on how to choose a professional detailer: Don’t
automatically think that anyone that calls themself a pro, is in fact a pro. There are many people in detailing looking to make a quick buck with limited knowledge and supplies. On numerous occasions, images of work professionals have done has been stolen and used illegally without their permission. Do
research on potential detailers within driving range of your area or detailers that are willing to come to you. Individuals should be able and willing to share some of the work they’ve done for other clients with you and answer questions on the type of work they offer. Don’t
expect a professional to be able to give you the most accurate quote price over the phone. Until we see a car in person under light, we can’t be sure what to fully expect. In some cases, odd or rare problems arise and require extra time to work on them. Do
expect to pay a fair price for a fair amount of work. Many professionals will need 10+ hours of work to transform your car back to like-new condition (and in some cases nearly 40!
). A Professional using a lot of high quality products may spend over $100 in product use alone on your vehicle: don’t expect to get a miracle turn-around performed for $75. Don’t
hesitate to ask about a detailer’s background, why and how they got into detailing, or questions about your specific type of car. Many of the top detailers are passionate about their work and avid car enthusiasts. A professional that truly loves cars is more likely to provide a higher level of work than someone who’s indifferent about automobiles. Put your car in the hands of someone that will treat it as good, if not better, than their own car. Do
be sure to find out about payment options, safety precautions, and scheduling information as soon as possible. You’ll need to make sure a detailer accepts your form of payment before they start on your car. It is additionally important to find out about various safety precautions a detailer takes. To begin, your detailer should be insured and his or her business should be registered. Other important factors to some clients include but is not limited to: does a detailer take paint thickness measurements, what risky areas are on your car that may need special attention, what type of wheel cleaner will be used on your specific type of wheels, and if the detailer has an opening for the time of the year in which you want work performed?
Some other keys to discuss with your detailer or to think about
o Do you have options in the look / finish of interior surfaces? Matte finish vs satin finish vs gloss. This also applies to tire-dressing
o Are no-slip products used on interior surfaces, especially pedals?
o Is the detailer well organized?
o Does the detailers have untouched photos of cars they’ve worked on in full sunlight or under intense halogen lights?
o For those looking for something special to brag about; are luxury wax options, or concours prep details offered?
I hope this article has shed some light on this topic for those looking for a third party source of car care. [portion removed to comply with forum rules]
Marc Harris and Jacob Bunyan
Rochester, MI http://www.autolavish.com