How Much Does It Cost to Get a Car Buffed and Polished?

Maintaining a car can sometimes be a tough task. There are so many things that go into owning a car, like keeping up with maintenance, getting oil changes, getting your tires rotated, etc. Sometimes, it can be easy to forget about other maintenance tasks that can help your car stay in tip-top shape.

Buffing and polishing your car is one of those tasks that can help your car look brand new. Car owners should expect to pay anywhere from $20-$50 an hour for car buffing and polishing. Regular-sized cars might take just a couple of hours, whereas bigger cars like SUVs and trucks can cost upwards of $200.

Think your car might be looking a little worse for wear? Then keep reading to find out more about how much it costs to get your car buffed and polished so it can have it looking amazing in no time at all. 

The cost to get your car buffed and polished.

Why Should You Buff Your Car?

It is so easy to take your car to the car wash and get the cheapest wash they have to offer. However, this doesn’t do much other than clean dirt off your car. Instead of removing scratches and defects from your car, some car wash machines may put more scratches on your paint job. 

These scratches will build over time, and before you realize it, your car will be full of them. This can be a costly mistake because having scratches on your paint can greatly reduce the value of your car. Also, most insurances will not cover this type of damage, so you will have to cover the costs on your own. 

Buffing your car is a much gentler way to clean your car. Add this with a nice polish and wax service, and this will act as a sealant, further protecting your car from the damages of everyday wear and tear. 

Many professionals recommend buffing and polishing your car regularly to keep it in tip-top shape year-round. 

How Much Does It Cost to Buff a Car?      

So now you may be wondering how expensive it is to get your car buffed and keep your paint shining. How much you pay when you take your car to a detailer to get it buffed depends on the state of the car. If the car has a lot of scratches, or its paint is really fading away, then it might cost you more than the average price.

Most detailers charge an hourly rate of $20 to $50. It is for this reason that the state of your car plays a major role in how much you end up paying. Typically, average-sized vehicles pay anywhere from $50-$200. SUV owners should expect to pay anywhere between $125-$300. 

Knowing how much it typically costs to get your car buffed can help prevent you from being overcharged. There might be some unethical detailers that try to overcharge you for this service, so it is good to have a ballpark idea of what it may cost you before you go.  

A good tip to keep in mind is to visit many detail shops and look at online reviews before taking your car there to get buffed. It is important that you know that they know what they are doing so that they will not cause any damage to your paint while buffing it. Damage that happens to your car while buffing could cost you a fortune. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that some detail shops often have deals and specials that can seriously reduce the cost of getting your car buffed. You should look online to find any specials in your area while still reading reviews to make sure your car is in good hands and that you are getting the best deal possible. 

Is Buffing the Same as Polishing?     

Now let’s talk about the difference between getting your car polished and getting it buffed. Can you get one done instead of doing both? The price of getting these two procedures done to your car can definitely add up.

Polishing is a process where abrasive belts are used to remove scratches and imperfections on the paint. This process creates a brushed or lined finish. This can sometimes leave lines on your paint that can be seen from close up. 

Buffing, on the other hand, is a process that uses cloth wheels and a chemical compound to remove these lines. These two processes complement each other and are completely different from one another.  

Therefore buffing and polishing are not the same. They involve different procedures and have very different results. It is a personal preference of which one is better suited for your needs. 

You should be advised that having either of these done to your car too often can cause damage to your paint by removing too much of it. You should be careful about how often you get either of these two processes done to your car. 

The answer to the question of whether you can get one of these done without the other all depends on your preference. You don’t have to buff your car after you polish it, and neither do you have to polish your car before buffing it. It all depends on your preference. If you just want to get your car buffed, you can just apply wax to the paint prior to getting it buffed.        

Is Buffing Your Car Worth It?       

The answer really depends on how much you care about your car and its paint job. If you are someone who is really passionate about keeping your car looking its best it can, then buffing is probably worth it for you. 

Buffing has a lot of benefits for your paint. It can remove small scratches and even make the damage from a fender bender disappear. Buffing can make a paint that is fading look brand new again. Additionally, it can help your paint look new after exposure to the elements without having to get your car repainted. 

On top of having a car that looks amazing, by having your car polished and buffed, you will also maintain the value of your car. By removing minor scratches and restoring your paint after it begins to fade, you will be able to give your car a higher value. Scratches on your paint, rust, and other defects can greatly decrease the market value of your car. 

By taking good care of your car and having it polished and buffed a couple of times every year, you will have a car that maintains its value a lot better. This is a great benefit of buffing your car, which can literally save you thousands of dollars when you go to sell or trade-in your car. 

As you may now realize, buffing is a great option to restore your paint without having to pay the costly price of getting it completely repainted. It is for this reason that buffing your car is worth it for most people

Avoid the Costly Price and Buff Your Car Yourself

If you want to avoid paying the costly price at a detailer shop, you can buff your car yourself. However, you need to be careful. Buffing your car yourself can cause more harm than good if you don’t know how to properly use the tools required.

Step 1: Buy Supplies

First, you will first need to buy a couple of things. You need to buy a power buffer. This will make your life much easier. Next, you will need to buy a buffing compound. Lastly, you will need car soap and some microfiber towels.

Step 2: Wash Your Car

With the supplies out of the way, you should now be ready to begin the process of buffing your car. First, you will need to wash your car before buffing it. This is extremely important because buffing a dirty car can actually damage the paint. 

Step 3: Use the Buffing Compound to Buff Your Car

Then, you will need to put your buffing compound on the pad on your tool. You need to monitor the amount of compound on the pad because it is not good to buff your car with a dry pad. 

Step 4: Wax Your Car

Lastly, you will want to wax your car right after you finish buffing it so that the paint is protected. 

You may now realize that buffing your car yourself involves quite a bit of steps and products. It is for this reason that you may choose to get your car buffed by a professional detailer. 

You should still keep in mind that you may be taking a risk by buffing it yourself. As mentioned earlier, making a mistake while buffing your car yourself could cost you the same in repairs, if not more than just taking it to a detail shop and letting professionals handle it. 

It is totally understandable to want to save money buffing your car. Some people might not have or might not want to spend the extra couple hundred dollars a year getting your car buffed on top of all the other costs of maintaining a car. Buffing your car yourself is a great way to save money as long as you are careful. and know what you are doing. 

Ways to Save Money Buffing Your Car

If you want to save some money on buffing your car, you should consider implementing some of the following tips that could save you hundreds of dollars every year. 

Protect Your Car From the Start

One of the best ways to save money on buffing your car is to protect your paint from the beginning, so it doesn’t need buffing. Buffing is a corrective process used to get rid of scratches on the paint. Therefore, if you are very careful about the way that you protect your car’s paint, you may not need to get it buffed as often.

Wash Your Car Regularly

This sounds like a very simple answer, but actually doing it can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t know how to start. The first thing you can do to take care of your paint is wash your car with a soft microfiber mitt and a low Ph car shampoo. What this will do is that it will protect the clear coat of your paint and the paint protection film or ceramic coating. 

Wash Your Car Washing Materials

Another great tip for saving money when buffing is to wash your microfiber towels. As you begin to wash and detail your car yourself, you will realize just how many of these microfiber towels you will need. 

These towels can get dirty pretty easily, and they should not be used to detail anything on your car once they are dirty. Instead of purchasing more and throwing the dirty ones out, you can wash them and save yourself some money. 

Get Your Car a Ceramic Wrap

An option worth considering is getting your car a ceramic wrap. This can be more expensive at first, but it will save you from having to get your car waxed every few months. Over time, the amount of money and time you will save by not having to wax your car every couple of months will be well worth it. 

Skip the Automatic Car Wash

Something worth considering is taking your car to get washed at a detailing shop rather than taking it to an automatic car wash. You might be thinking how taking your car to get washed for anywhere between $125-$200 could possibly save you any money. However, the damage that automatic car washes can do to your paint will eventually cause scratches and other damages that will cost you more.

Final Thoughts

Are you now looking at your car and thinking it could use some buffing and polishing? As you can see, this process isn’t the cheapest. You should expect to pay some money when you take your car to get buffed and polished, which is needed to keep it looking in its best shape.

If you are short on cash, it is possible to buff a car yourself. But it can also be tricky, so only attempt it if you know what you are doing and have the money to purchase the proper tools. 

You also should be taking all the steps possible to take care of your car so that it doesn’t get the scratches that require buffing in the first place.

See also: How to Fix a Milky Clear Coat on Your Car

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