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What is car detailing?

We often get asked “What is car detailing?” by our customers. It’s a good question and one that we’ll let Danny Newby – who heads up our four man car care & detailing team – answer and explain the difference between valeting and detailing.


Valeting is the process of getting a car clean and there’s more to it than many people imagine.

Our process includes washing & polishing the bodywork and wheels, dressing non-painted exterior plastics and the tyres, making sure any chrome or brightwork is shiny and bright and polishing the windows and glass. The interior is vacuumed in all areas and a variety of techniques and products are used to ensure that the all the upholstery, trim, carpets and headlining are clean and in tip-top condition. Doing this efficiently and effectively actual takes experience – particularly when you are looking for the kind of showroom finish that we expect at Redline.


The stark reality is that even when valeted correctly by a professional, many cars are still not in “showroom” condition. The problem with a well-lit showroom is that the very same lights that are designed to show off the cars also reveal any scratches, blemished and imperfections – and this is where detailing comes in.

What is car detailing

Detailing is the finer process of “correcting” paintwork to remove those imperfections and cleaning the parts of a car that don’t usually get a thorough overhaul – for example attending to the engine bay in detail or removing the wheels to clean all the surfaces that can’t be reached when they are still attached to the car.

Paint correction

You can see an example of paint correction above – on the left hand side of the Range Rover’s bonnet you can see the accumulated effects of the elements, everyday wear & tear and a non-professional car washing regime. To the right you can see the results of paint-correction – achieved using a machine polisher, some carefully chosen products and a considerable amount of skill and experience. The finished effect can then be enhanced, prolonged and preserved using professional quality waxes and products – at Redline we recommend Swissvax products.


Keeping your car in great condition will enhance it’s value – if the next owner doesn’t need to do any work on it, it will save you £££. You’ll also enjoy using it more and most owners are more conscientious if their car looks great.

Detailing & valeting tips

If you want to correct the paintwork on your car – get a professional to do it. (Redline offer a professional on-site detailing and paint correction service)

Wash off the road film – powerwash your car before getting to work with a sponge. If you don’t you’ll be create swirl marks as you rub the accumulated grit and detritus into your paintwork.

Choose your wheel cleaner with care. Some wheel cleaners use corrosive acid to remove the grime – low quality products can actually damage your wheels. Use the best quality products that you can.

Clay Bar. The humble clay bar will remove tar and other contaminents and leave your paintwork wonderfully smooth and shiny. You’ll be amazed at the results.

Love a clean car?

If you love a clean car and simply don’t have the time (or the inclination) to do it yourself, get in touch with our Service department who can book your pride and joy in for a well-deserved detail. Prices for a Protection Detail start from £250 + VAT and Correction Details cost from £350 + VAT.


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