How Much To Tip Car Wash?

Tipping is usually done when you are delighted or more than satisfied with a service given to you. It can also indicate a sign of gratitude to the person who served you exceedingly. Typically, giving tips is common in restaurants, hotels, valet parking, or salon settings.

In other cultures, tipping has been a common practice for almost every service. Whether you are just buying over a drive thru or you got a hair cut in a nearby salon, tips just come off normally.

However, there are times when tipping may not be appropriate and you just wonder whether to give or not.

Going to a car wash may be one of the typical activities you do on a regular basis. It does not only save you time, but it also makes things more convenient since there will be someone to do the job for you. Plus, you can be sure that your car will be perfectly clean and beautiful.

Are You Supposed To Tip Car Wash?

If yes, how much to tip at car wash?

These are only some of the commonly asked questions in terms of tips. Ask yourself, do you tip at a car wash? Or should you tip at a car wash?

Tipping is not a requirement that everyone must follow. It also does not measure an employee’s performance and success, but one of the establishments and services that we are sometimes expected to give tips is at the car wash.  

Washing your own car is not an easy task; which is why bringing your car in a car wash service can be a good idea.

We all know that doing it alone takes time and effort. What more for car wash attendants? It could be a tough job, especially during long hours of continuous cleaning, especially if they are going beyond in their services.

Apart from these, there are no limitations because vehicles come in a number of types and sizes.

How Much Do You Tip Car Wash Attendants?

If you have decided to give some tip to the car wash attendant, any amount will do. There is no specific amount to follow as long as you are happy with the experience.

But the more appropriate way of giving a tip should also depend on the value of service that you get.

If you see that the car wash services, products, and features deserve to be given a bit more than their actual price then you could give a fair amount of $2. This amount is enough for a decent job, but beyond that, you can give more.

At times, you can also adjust your tip according to how you are treated by the staff or the attendants. If you see that they are friendly and accommodating, you can consider adding a little amount on their tips.

Car wash attendants usually only have a fixed salary, regardless of the size of the car they are servicing. Thus, the amount that you should tip for car wash attendants should mainly depend on a few different factors.

To help you be guided, here are some things that you might want to consider when giving tips:


1 - Size of the Car.

Do you think your car is too big and too hard to clean? The size of your vehicle is important to consider since it affects too many factors. Obviously, the bigger the size of the car, the more resources and effort to use.

Economy vehicles or more commonly identified as four-door sedans and hatchbacks belong to the basic standard size of cars.

How Much To Tip At A Full Service Car Wash?

  • Economy Size. - If you ordered for a car wash service this size, your tip can range from $1 - $2. Generally, a basic service car wash for an economy vehicle comprises of getting washed and dried up with a towel. But if you will add for a vacuum service, you can increase your tip to $3.However, if you think that the service is not that good, it is your option to give a lower tip amount.
  • SUVs, Vans, Trucks. - If you have a bigger car, you can give a $4 tip. Bigger vehicles require more time to finish and they are more tiring to clean, so you may want to consider these factors.
  • Sports Car or Larger Vehicles. - When it comes to luxury and sports cars, you may need to give a higher tip to the car attendant as these types require a more detailed cleaning service. High end cars are usually given special services since they are more delicate and they are obligated to look great.
    They are not only washed, dried, and vacuumed, but they are also waxed, lubricated, and so forth to maintain their glossy finish and paint. Thus, you can give a tip around or higher than $5 to compliment their service.
    The same goes for larger vehicles, if it takes more time and effort to do, a good tip is suggested.


2 - Full Service Auto Detailing.

Full service car detailing is another job. Thus, if you have asked for this aside from the usual wash, dry, and vacuum, you may need to give a fair amount of tip.
However, in some cases, it is better if you will follow the customary tip for car wash, especially if you don’t know how much to tip car wash detail.
As a polite gesture, a standard tip of 10% to 15% may do. But if you are really impressed with the attendant’s service, you might want to tip up to 20% or more.
So if for example, your auto detailing costs around $100, you can give a $10 to $15 tip to the person who did the job.


3 - Quality of the Service.

Of course, the quality of the service is basically the most obvious reason why you give tips. Car wash services are different but the basic amount that you can tip car wash guys in the assembly line may start from $2.

The proper tip for a car wash typically depends on the quality of service, the size of the car, and the additional services given by the attendant.

However, giving the tip may not be as easy as leaving it on the table just like how you do in a restaurant. In a car wash setting, you may never come in contact with the person again afterwards.

Thus, there are many options on how you can give the tip to the car attendant safely and more appropriately.

  • The best option to give it is in person. If you have the chance, hand it over to him so you can also commend him for doing a great job. This way, you are able to ensure that the tip goes correctly to the right person.
  • Ask the cashier if they have a personal car wash tip box where you can drop that person's tip.
  • If for some reason, you do not know where to allocate the tip, you can just kindly ask the manager and advise to add the tip on the attendant’s salary.


Tipping is not only a sign of gratitude but it can also establish a long lasting relationship to you and your detailer. When you are able to build trust, you can also benefit in the long run.

Again, there is no rule that says you must tip for every service and that there is a particular amount on how much to tip hand car wash services. Tipping is voluntary and it should not give you pressure.

Nevertheless, the advantage of giving tips to service attendants is evident. You are not only able to help them but you can also expect the same quality service the next time you come back.

If you are a return customer, most probably the attendant may do some extra service just to please you. He may even be inspired to do more on his job.

On the other side, other businesses would have to disagree with this type of system due to certain reasons. It is just up to you to consider and respect their policies.

Tips are just a creative way of complimenting staffs but you should also take note of the policies in a service business. The reason why other businesses discourage giving of tips is to avoid culture confusion, disagreements, and misconception of their brand.

In other countries aside from the US, tips are not accepted and thus, considered as an insult. It can also ruin the business reputation, thinking that the wage they are paying may not be enough.

Some attendants may also show aggressiveness in receiving tips and rely on those in order to do their jobs properly. Whatever reason it may be, being a customer requires taking responsibility of your own actions.

Indeed, there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to giving tips, you just need to take into consideration the consequences of doing it on a regular basis. Preferably, you can do this once in a while or seasonally.

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2 thoughts on “How Much To Tip Car Wash?”

  1. A fair general guideline is 10-15% of the total cost of the service you used if you’re unsure of how much to offer.

    • Hi Oliver,
      Yes, a fair general guideline for tipping at a car wash is 10-15% of the total cost of the service, if you’re unsure of how much to offer. However, the amount you choose to tip ultimately depends on your level of satisfaction with the service provided.

      If you feel that the service was exceptional, you might choose to tip more than 15%, or if the service was below your expectations, you might choose to tip less than 10%. You can also consider other factors such as the complexity of the job, the level of effort put in by the workers, and the amount of time taken to complete the job.

      Ultimately, tipping is a personal choice, and there is no obligation to tip at a car wash. However, tipping is a way to show appreciation for good service and to support the hard work of the employees.

      Thank you for sharing! Best of luck to you! ❤️


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