Do you have scratches on your car’s clear coat, or has your paint started fading? Buffing can help restore the showroom finish your car once had. It offers fast results and is more affordable than paint correction.
Buffing is one of the few detailing jobs that you can do by yourself. However, to get a professional touch, most car owners prefer to pay an expert detailer to buff their car.
Detailers often use the most advanced tools and quality buffing compounds that will remove all scratch marks on your car and restore faded paint.
If you are considering having your car buffed, before you go to a detailer’s shop or garage, it is necessary that you find out what the charges are.
This will help you budget for your car’s buffing needs and you can also avoid being overcharged. It’s a cruel world out there and if you don’t know the average cost for buffing, you can easily get conned by unethical detailers.
Table of Contents
- What to Pay for Car Buffing?
- Why Do Buffing Charges Vary?
- Expect to be Charged More by Professionals
- Factors that Affect the Cost of Buffing a Car
- What do Detailers Charge for Professional Buffing?
- Buffing a Car by Yourself
What to Pay for Car Buffing?
The estimated cost of buffing a car is from $20 to $50 an hour. This depends on the condition of the car and the level of professionalism of the detailer.
If a car has heavy scratches, the buffing will definitely take longer and you will end up paying more.
Also, if a detailer has an excellent reputation and they offer flawless services, the charges are going to be high. Unlike dent removal and paint correction, buffing is a bit cheaper.
For an averaged size vehicle, you can expect to pay a buffing fee of $50 to $200. SUVs and trucks can be buffed for $125 to $300.
Setting aside the above amount can ensure you get an excellent buffing job done on your car.
Why Do Buffing Charges Vary?
If you request buffing fees from one car detailer to another, you will realize that there is no standard charge. Every detailer has their rates and it is up to you to find one with affordable rates and great service delivery.
Regarding car detailing, I would strongly advise you against going for the cheapest buffing service providers. In most cases, you will end up with a meager buffing job.
One of the reasons why buffing charges vary is because local detailers rely heavily on volume. Their aim at the end of the day is to buff as many cars as possible so that they can maximize profits.
The disadvantage of working with such detailers is that you pay a significant amount of money and get less-than-amazing results.
Avoid local detailers that will hand over your car the minute it looks slightly better than it did when you brought it in. a thorough buffing of a car should take at least two hours.
This is irrespective of whether the buffing is being done by one or multiple detailers. Therefore, as you start hunting for detailers to buff your car, expect varying charges.
Do not be afraid to ask for a breakdown of the cost. This will help you understand what you are getting.
Expect to be Charged More by Professionals
Please be informed that professional detailers are very different from the guys you can find at your nearby carwash.
In most cases, if you want your car to be buffed by an expert, you will have to book in advance and you can wait for up to two weeks.
The good thing about professionals is that they don’t rush their work. This means after buffing, your car will look amazing.
As great as professional detailers are, they will charge you more than the guys at the carwash. Some can even charge you triple. We have come across detailers charging up to $500 for buffing.
The main advantage of working with a professional detailer is that they will do an excellent job on your vehicle.
It’s also worth noting that expensive doesn’t always mean the results will be impressive.
You have to be very keen during research and find a detailer who knows what they are doing.
It may take you a couple of days to find the right candidate for the job but the results will be worth it.
If the fees for having your car buffed by a professional detailer look a little bit high, then expect average results from your car wash guys. Alternatively, if you are up for the task, you can try buffing the car by yourself.
Factors that Affect the Cost of Buffing a Car
Not having an understanding of what occurs in the buffing process can leave you wondering, why do I have to pay a certain amount to have my car buffed?
Well, there are a couple of factors that contribute to the total cost of buffing. They include;
The level of scratches and the extent of the car paint fade
Scratches are the key determiner of how much you are going to pay for car buffing. Before we go any further, you should know that buffing can only conceal scratches done on the car’s clear coat.
Anything below that can only be remedied by paint correction. If your car has minimal scratches, your car isn’t going to take long to be buffed. However, if there are many scratches, set aside a bigger budget.
The level of expertise possessed by the individual doing the buffing
If you buff a car by yourself, you significantly lower the costs. Because all you will need are the tools to buff the car. You won’t be paying for labor nor will there be additional costs.
Then you can also hire the guys at your nearest car wash to buff the car for you. This will set you back a couple of dollars. But it won’t be as expensive as hiring a professional car detailer.
Not unless you are very experienced with buffing, only a professional detailer can give your car that showroom finish that you crave. Car wash people can only give you a finish that isn’t so bad or good.
What do Detailers Charge for Professional Buffing?
For a thorough buffing job, most detailers will ask for about $250 to $300. This price can change depending on the extent of detailing done to your car.
Most car owners prefer to kill two birds with one stone by getting their car’s exterior buffed and the interior detailed. Such a service will attract more charges and you can pay $400 for a thorough cleaning, buffing, and detailing.
There are some detailers who may charge per hour. Also, depending on the status of the car, a thorough detailing job can take from 4 to 8 hours. Some cars, especially those in terrible conditions take even longer.
As you hire a detailer to buff your car, some of the things you should settle on including the rates, how long the detailing job will take, and if there are other expenses you should know about.
Buffing a Car by Yourself
If you are passionate about detailing, you may also consider buffing the car by yourself. This option has many advantages.
For one, you get to work on your car without hurry and this ensures a thorough buffing. In the process, you also learn the art of buffing. And this comes in very handy in the future.
Anyway, if you don’t want to pay for car buffing, here is a guide on how to do it yourself;
Source the necessary buffing supplies
For any buffing job to proceed smoothly, you need to gather all the necessary supplies. This includes power buffers and buffing compounds which are available in most auto shops near you.
It is advisable to also buy some wax which you will apply to the car once you are done with buffing.
Prepare your car for buffing by washing it
As you may already know, buffing involves the rubbing of a compound into the paint. During that process, should there be debris on the paint, the extent of damage done to your car will be very severe.
To avoid such occurrences wash your car and keep dust off it.
Begin by putting a generous amount of buffing compound into a buffing pad
Switch on the power buffing tool and start rubbing the compound into your car surface in circular motions.
It is important to focus on the level of buffing compound so that whenever it runs out, you can immediately add some.
On areas where there are scratches, buff more compound. This helps cover the scratches by filling in the buffing compound into tiny spaces.
Finish off the buffing with some wax
Though not mandatory, waxing also has a couple of advantages. During buffing, you may have stripped off some paint.
Wax, reinstates that paint and it adds a layer of protection that will prevent the buffing from being washed off or removed by rain and other elements.
Wax can be applied to the buffing tool and then applied using the same circular motions.
Using the above guide, you can avoid paying for buffing and do it yourself. Please note that it may take time and does require some little knowledge and skill.