Vehicle Groomer/Cleaner Kaiwhakapaipai Waka

Vehicle groomers/cleaners clean and polish vehicles, and may also drive, park and maintain vehicles.

Vehicle groomers/cleaners may do some or all of the following:

  • vacuum and shampoo vehicles
  • clean door jambs, rubber seals, and plastic work
  • clean the vehicle's exterior, including wheels, mudflaps and bumpers
  • steam-clean the engine, boot, door sills and outside of the vehicle
  • remove surface scratches on bodywork
  • shift and position vehicles
  • pick up and drop off vehicles and their owners
  • perform basic mechanical checks such as water, oil and tyre pressure.

Those who work for car rental companies may also:

  • complete paperwork
  • assist clients with their luggage
  • identify and report damage 
  • check and report on fuel levels.

Physical Requirements

Vehicle groomers/cleaners need to be reasonably fit and healthy, and agile enough to easily move around the interior of a vehicle.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for vehicle groomers/cleaners includes:

  • work as a cleaner
  • work with cars, particularly paint or panel work.

Personal Qualities

Vehicle groomers/cleaners need to be:

  • organised
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • reliable and honest.


Vehicle groomers/cleaners need to have:

  • good cleaning skills, including knowledge of cleaning equipment and substances, and how to use them safely
  • knowledge of paint technology (how paints are made, and their properties)
  • knowledge of skills and techniques required for cleaning and polishing different paint types
  • customer service skills.

Business management skills may also be useful for vehicle groomers/cleaners who run their own business.


Vehicle groomers/cleaners:

  • usually work regular business hours but may also work weekends or evenings, or have early starts or late finishes
  • work indoors and outdoors in workshops, showrooms and at rental car companies
  • work in conditions that can be noisy, with strong smells of solvents and chemicals (although there is usually equipment to remove fumes).

Vehicle Groomer/Cleaners can earn around $23 per hour.

Pay for vehicle groomers/cleaners varies, but they usually earn minimum wage or above.

Source: Careers New Zealand research, 2017.

Vehicle groomers/cleaners may progress to set up their own business.

Years Of Training

To become a vehicle groomer/cleaner you usually need to have a full, clean driver's licence, although some employers may accept a restricted licence.

Vehicle groomers/cleaners must be able to drive manual as well as automatic vehicles.

Vehicle Groomer/Cleaner