This question is asked quite a lot. Many of my new clients that purchase a brand new car contact me asking “not sure if it needs anything, but I was wondering if you could take a look at it?” With that, I wanted to answer the question as best as possible based on my personal and professional experience.
First off, there’s really no “right” answer here because there are numerous variables that come into play…
This one should be obvious. Some new cars look as they should being brand new. They have no swirl marks, buffer holograms or other defects in the paint finish. However, these are way too few and far in between. Most cars I have seen that come straight from the factory have at least a minimal amount of swirling, some buffer holograms and even sanding marks. Cars that are new but get a dealer prep can be delivered to the customer in even worse shape because their prep is extremely poor. It’s almost guaranteed there will be wax in many edges and crevices, but it gets even worse if they do a polishing prep and leave a number of holograms and swirl marks all over. My article on the Ferrari 458 Italia New Car Prep and Paint Correction is a perfect example of a vehicle that was poorly prepped by the dealer and delivered to the customer in dire need of proper detailing and polishing. Lastly, there are cars that are new but sit at the dealer lot for weeks or months until purchased. These are normally delivered in bad shape as well due to the poor washing and detailing done to keep them clean as well as a prep before a customer picks up. To put it all in perspective, if you’re purchasing a new car, try your best to have it delivered from the factory to you or instruct the dealer not to do any sort of washing or detailing and leave it to you or a quality detailer.
This is surely an important variable because the main purpose of my job is making sure the client is happy and gets exactly what they want. So it’s extremely important to know exactly what the clients wants from the car, regardless of the condition, and that they’re aware of any defects, etc. I make sure to point out everything I see, then get the client’s opinion as to whether they wish to have that fixed immediately or leave it for future correction. In other words, finding out what the client wishes to do with the vehicle should be discussed and cleared up, then a decision made based on that and the vehicle condition.
Vehicle Type and Usage
Going along with the client’s expectations, the way a vehicle will be used should be taken into consideration. Someone buying a new Ferrari that will get driven 4-6 times monthly and someone with a new Honda that will be driven daily will probably want different services, even if the cars are in the same exact condition. Not only that, but as a responsible detailer I will always recommend a service based not only on the current condition of the vehicle, but also figure out how it will be used and base my recommendation on that. If both were mildly swirled with a handful of buffer holograms and some sanding marks, I would probably recommend the Ferrari get perfected immediately as it will stay that way for a while. For the Honda, unless defects are in obvious areas and bother the client, I would likely want to wait a while until the vehicle accumulates more swirl marks over the months/years and correct the paint at that time to, for lack of a better word, make better use of the clear coat removal.
To conclude, I believe the answer to this question is normally “yes” to an extent, but all variables and options should be taken into consideration before making a final decision. Most new vehicles I have seen do require some amount of polishing, but I don’t always recommend doing it immediately.
As always, I welcome any comments or questions on the article and thanks very much for reading!