By Rod Puzey, CD-SV, RoadFS/Zenware, Boise, Idaho, United States

Your vehicle is more than just a means of transportation; it’s possibly the second biggest investment you will make. Whether you plan to sell it in the future or simply want to increase its value, maintaining or enhancing the overall appearance and condition of your vehicle is important. One way to achieve this is by enlisting the services of an International Detailing Association (IDA) Certified Detailer. Let’s explore how an IDA Certified Detailer can elevate your vehicle’s value and why investing in their expertise is a smart move.

Unparalleled knowledge, attention to detail, professional-grade products and techniques are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the reasons you should seek out and use an IDA Certified Detailer.

IDA Certified Detailers undergo rigorous examination processes to earn their certification and hands-on skills validation. They possess an in-depth understanding of various automotive, boat, motorcycle, and RV detailing techniques. In addition, they also must understand all aspects regarding products and equipment. Their expertise allows them to address specific issues and provide tailored solutions for your vehicle’s unique requirements, whatever level of shine you are going for. With their knowledge and skills, IDA Certified Detailers can significantly enhance the overall appearance and value of your vehicle.

As the name suggests, detailers pay meticulous attention to every aspect of your vehicle. From the exterior paint to the interior surfaces, they diligently clean, polish, and protect every nook and cranny and remove stubborn stains, odors, and signs of wear. Their keen eye for detail ensures that even the most minor imperfections are addressed, leaving your vehicle looking immaculate. Potential buyers or appraisers are more likely to recognize and appreciate the care that has gone into maintaining the vehicle, resulting in a higher value.

IDA Certified Detailers have access to top-of-the-line products and learn about advanced techniques to achieve outstanding results. These professionals have access to industry-leading cleaning agents, polishes, dressings, and coatings that are constantly changing. By utilizing these superior products, techniques, and training, they can restore your vehicle’s finish, remove swirl marks, eliminate scratches, and protect the paint from environmental damage.

Let’s jump into a real-world experiment to give you an example. I own a 2007 Chevy truck that I’ve had since it was new. I use it in the mountains, I haul cars and trailers with it, and I do not take very good care of the exterior. I decided to do an experiment with it. I took my truck to a local car dealer and had them assess the value of it as if they were buying it. The used car manager gave it an appraisal that came back at $14,000. They actually asked to buy it on the spot. Here is a picture of how the paint looked at the appraisal:

The next step for the truck was to get any dents pulled, and I sprayed bed liner on the lower half to protect it from Idaho’s rocks and road hazards. I also wrapped the front hood emblem as it was showing wear, which the dealer had pointed out. This was a total cost of $1,220 for the paintless dent repair (PDR), hood emblem wrap, and bed liner spray. (Scroll through the images below.)

After that, it was time for the IDA Certified Detailer to fix as many of the paint swirls and scratches as possible. In my area, there are many IDA detailers, and you can use the Find a Detailer tool to find them in your city, state, or country. This resource allows you to see all the professional detailers who are members in the IDA, along with their location and specialties. I went to two of these IDA detailers in my area, and the estimate for the paint correction and detail was $800 – $1,200. Estimates will vary depending on how in-depth you want the shop to go, the size of the vehicle, and how much damage it has. Detailers can polish and fix minor scratches and apply a coating that will protect your car’s paint. They can also make a new car look better than when you take it off the lot – it’s all up to you.

After using a machine polisher and the products best suited for my truck, the paint looks fantastic. The swirls and scratches were removed, giving the paint a level of shine it hasn’t seen in years.

I returned to the dealership after all the work was completed and got the appraisal redone. The numbers are crazy to me, but now they offered $24,000 and told me if I were to resell it to a private party, it would probably be worth $30,000 – $31,000. That is a $17,000 increase in value for a total investment of just $2,420. (Scroll through the images below.)

Each situation is different, and values will depend on factors such as condition and age, but an IDA Certified Detailer can help work wonders to increase your car’s value or resale price. Their expertise, attention to detail, and use of professional-grade products are all factors that contribute to the enhanced desirability and increased value of your vehicle. By entrusting your vehicle to the skilled hands of an IDA Certified Detailer, you are making an investment that pays off in both aesthetic appeal and financial returns. So, when it comes to raising the value of your vehicle, don’t underestimate the power of an IDA Certified Detailer – find one near you today!

About the Author: Rod Puzey, CD-SV, is the CFO of RoadFS/Zenware, located in Boise, Idaho, United States.