What you need to know about tipping carwash and other services

Updated Nov 30, 2022 | Same topic: Handy Maintenance Tips

Here’s everything you need to know about tipping your carwash attendant -- along with other service people you take your car to

Filipinos are known to be very generous people. We’re hospitable, caring, and are always prepared to lend a helping hand. Unfortunately, despite the reputation, a lot of us aren’t so accustomed to giving out tips for the goods and services we pay for.

We could make infinite guesses as to why a lot of Filipinos aren’t used to giving out tips. For starters, we’re pretty sure that the act didn’t originate in the Philippines. Second, not everyone is capable or prepared to give out more than the original price of the service or goods that they are supposed to pay for.

car wash

We could make infinite guesses as to why a lot of Filipinos aren’t used to giving out tips

Whatever the reason, it’s a good thing that there are still people who are generous enough to tip. Everyone knows that the law prohibits employees and establishments from asking for tips from customers. In fact, some establishments even ban the idea of giving tips.

But what exactly are tips for? Is there a mandated amount or rate that you need to keep in mind? Should you always tip when you avail of service for your car? Read this article from Philkotse.com to find out. 

1. Giving tips in a car wash

One of the establishments where tipping is expected is at the carwash. The customer’s tip can depend on several factors like the price of the service, the size of the vehicle, how satisfied the customer is, and so on.

Most of the time, the customer will just tip the attendant with whatever paper bill he or she can fish from his pocket first. But if you’re curious as to how you should tip your car wash attendant properly, here are a few noteworthy tips that might want to consider.

man holding money

How much should you tip?

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2. The size of the vehicle

The size of the vehicle affects a lot of things when it comes to carwash services. First off, the bigger your vehicle is, the more time (and effort) it takes to clean it. It also takes more resources (more shampoo, water, etc.).

different cars

The size of the vehicle affects a lot of things when it comes to carwash services

“Economy vehicles.” – These vehicles, usually four-door sedans and hatchbacks, are common in the city. If you ordered the basic service of a plain wash with shampoo and a cloth-drying procedure, P30.00 should be fine.

Economy vehicles

“Economy vehicles” are subcompact/compacts

Vans, SUVs and other utility vehicles. These types of vehicles are way larger. Some vans sport more windows that require cleaning. This means that the attendant will also have a longer time cleaning it. You can choose to give a generous amount of P50 for the service. But you can raise it by another P50 if you still want your car vacuumed.

Vans, SUVs and Other Utility Vehicles

Bigger vehicles require a lot more work and resources -- so tip accordingly

If there’s more than one attendant cleaning your car, you can opt to split the amount with both of them. If you’re feeling generous, you can give them both an individual tip of P40.

Full-service – A full-on cleaning service typically involves multiple processes. It usually starts from cleaning the inside and outside of the car, including vacuuming. The attendants may also clean under the hood if you ordered a service that includes that.

full-on car cleaning service

A full-on cleaning service typically involves multiple processes

If you also went for polishing and waxing, the tip can be even higher. For a more straightforward calculation, try and tip the attendant at least 10 percent of the total cost of the services you want to avail.

So, for example, your total service cost is around P400, but you noticed that they were also selling your favorite car deodorizer at P100. Your total bill would be P500. So with the 10-percent rule in mind, try to tip at least P50.

3. Additional services

The usual services that most carwash shops offer are wash and vacuuming services. Although these are the most necessary steps to get a squeaky clean car, there are also other services that you can avail to make your ride look and (sometimes smell) even better. Depending on the quality of service, you can add another P10 or P20 on the original amount you wanted to tip the attendant.

Car polishing

Every vehicle out there is made with multiple layers of exterior coating. A polishing service buffs the topmost layer of your vehicle. The tools and devices used in polishing are designed to have abrasive agents. These are responsible for “reacting” with your car’s topcoat layer.

car polishing

Every vehicle out there is made with multiple layers of exterior coating

The purpose of polishing is to make sure that there’s no remaining dirt that could have possibly stuck in the fine layer. Polishing not only gives your car a smooth shine. It also makes the paint last longer.

Car waxing

You can also spare some money for car waxing. Once your vehicle is polished, you can have it waxed next. The wax will act as a thin, protective coating on the exterior of your car.

car waxing

You can also spare some money for car waxing

This will protect the paint from various external conditions that could damage the color of your polished car. Harmful elements include UV light and possible oxidation of the paint. The UV light can cause yellowing and fading of the car paint.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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