FOR most car owners, splashing out £20 for a full valet to make sure the paintwork is up to scratch would be considered a luxury spend.
But for more discerning motor-heads, a Kirkcaldy-based company is offering the ultimate car clean – at the bargain price of £100,000.
The makeover, thought to be the most expensive in world, is a far cry from the sponge and shammy leather usually used to buff up the bumpers.
The magic ingredient in this top-notch wash is a wax which has been gathered from one of the tallest trees in a secret location in Brazil.
The company – The Ultimate Shine – is owned and run by Paul Wilkins, a self-proclaimed perfectionist who is based in Fife.
Unsurprisingly, given the price tag, there are not many Ford Fiesta owners queueing up to secure his services. His clients tend towards the rich and occasionally famous who own rare and highly valuable cars.
Although he is unwilling to divulge the identities of some of his more well-known clients, Mr Wilkins, 34, said he was recently asked to spruce up a rare Porsche 993 GT2 worth about £750,000.
So when a wealthy owner asks him for the full £100,000 valet – what happens next?
“Well, for that price I will fly out to any location in the world. I’m usually dealing with serious car collectors who have temperature-controlled showrooms.
“We’re not talking about cars which are parked up on the side of the road so I travel to wherever they are kept,” he said.
Once the overalls are on, Mr Wilkins will de-contaminate the body of the car and the wheels. Next, in a process which can take up to a month, he machine polishes every bit of bodywork and takes out any defects.
“I might need to go over it hundreds of times to make sure it is 100 per cent clear of any marks,” he said. The next process is to go back over the body work with a special alcoholic cleaning agent to ensure they are no oily marks left on the paint. Then comes the waxing.
“We use a top-secret blend of oils in wax called Carnauba wax – which costs £65,000,” he said.
Carnauba wax – also known as Brazil or palm wax – comes from the leaves of a palm tree which is only grown in the north-eastern states of Brazil.
“We can make up different blends according to what the client wants. We offer a wax for every season which will protect the car in any element. We can even produce scented waxes,” Mr Wilkins added. “Each job is so different but what I say is that, for the £100,000 price, I will work on the car for as long as it takes. I’m a perfectionist so sometimes it’s taken me a few months before I’m happy to hand the keys back.”
Mr Wilkins, who drives a Subaru, estimates that he polishes up about three cars at the £100,000 level every year.
The car fanatic added: “I also offer a £300 valet but my real joy is turning these amazing cars into absolute perfection.”