PROTECTION for your paint and maximum respect on the roads – your engine deserves a bit of Karate Kid-style: ‘wax on, wax off’.
Let’s open a small window into the world of automotive aesthetics. Here is our selection of the best polishes for cars in 2021.
1. Soft99 Fusso Lightweight coat
- Soft99 Fusso Wax Coat Light 200g, £ 26.50 from Amazon – buy here
Multi-award winning Japanese brand Soft99 supports every supercar fan you’ve seen in Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Where the darker, more expensive formula is considered a wax, this lightweight formula is more of a polish. It comes with its own applicator which is essential as it does not apply like a normal polish. It takes about 15 minutes for ‘haze’ (i.e. to blunt).
A very thin coat will give you incredible water repellent results, which last a long time – only needing to be applied two to three times a year – but it requires a delicate touch.
2. Halfords car polishing
- Halfords Car Polish, £ 3.50 at Halfords – buy here
This bargain of a polish has worked very well in industry tests, too often revealing more expensive products.
It’s better suited to milder weather and doesn’t offer the ultimate showroom finish, but it repels dirt and water and gives your paint a respectable shine.
At that price, if you’re still not sure about your commitment to this new aesthetic hobby, you won’t feel too cheated, if it doesn’t last.
Plus, if you are a multi-car household, you still see huge savings by doing the valet parking yourself.
3. Armor of all shields
- ArmorAll Shield Better Than A Wax, £ 13 from Halfords – buy here
Lasting up to ten washes, ArmorAll Shield Better Than A Wax helps keep dirt from building up on your car by repelling dust and dirt particles.
In an incredibly easy to apply spray bottle, there is no drying time required with this car polish. Just spray and wipe off with a microfiber cloth (not included).
Plus, ArmorAll’s lab magic created technology, which means great beading in bad weather and faster car washes.
Washing your car, he claims, also reactivates this protective layer, to retain that shine and prevent build-up.
4. Autoglym extra shine protection
- Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection, £ 12 from Halfords – buy here
British manufacturer Autoglym offers a range of affordable finishing products (including Super Resin, to polish minor scratches).
Its extra shine protection is a liquid sealant, formulated to seal in shine and prevent dirt from entering.
Autoglym claims it can protect your car for several months, and tests have shown it to be durable. Unlike other brands, it can be used on wraps and matte finishes, as well as glossy finishes.
The advice is to apply a thin layer so although this is one of our more expensive choices, the 325ml bottle should last a few years.
5. Gtechniq C2 v3 liquid crystal
- Gtechniq C2 v3 Liquid Crystal, £ 19.99 from Amazon – buy here
With fans claiming it’s better than wax, Gtechniq’s C2 v3 liquid crystal is expensive but lasts a very long time.
This varnish not only protects your paint from dirt and water damage, but also protects the color from UV bleaching, like a giant pair of sunglasses for your car, but much less cheesy.
With a stunning finish, one coat of this product will make your car look better than it did when it came out of the dealership.
In addition, excellent beading performance in water more than justifies the price.
6. Britemax Extreme Elements 2.0
- Britemax – Extreme Elements 2.0, £ 21.95 on eBay – buy here
The more expensive option here, this Britemax formula claims to deliver aerospace-grade performance.
It’s a thick blue-gray formula, which would feel just as comfortable on our guide to the best waxes, needs a little shaking before use.
This liquid wax and varnish sealer isn’t the easiest to apply, but if you have the time or need an excuse to meditate, the results are part of the high price tag and will leave you infinitely calmer.
Terrific pearls, long lifespan and showroom shine are testament to the versatile nature of Britemax Extreme Elements 2.0.
7. Triple wax diamond
- Triplewax Diamond Liquid Carnauba Wax, £ 9 from Halfords – buy here
With a base of carnauba wax, this liquid formula from Triplewax is a surprisingly affordable option for polishing your car, without the need for waxing as well.
Very easy to apply, Triplewax Diamond Liquid Carnauba Wax is a long-lasting varnish that withstands several washes, each time bringing back a brilliant shine.
Triplewax claims it removes minor blemishes – microscopic debris on the surface of the paintwork – without scratching it, which also saves time on the car’s clay.
For those short on time and don’t want to skimp on a shortcut solution, this could be the answer.
8. Farécla G3 professional surface sealer
- Farécla G3 Professional Surface Sealant, £ 11.97 from Amazon – buy here
Farecla has a reputation for providing exceptional aesthetic products.
This is their newest addition to the line, a varnish that protects and seals to repel water and impart great shine.
Containing silicone, this polish applies like the others on our list, spray it on, wipe off residue, then polish to a shine.
It’s not as cheap as some of the more durable products on the list, but if you’re already a Farecla fan, it will work well with other products in the line.
9. Dodo Jus Future Armor
- Dodo Juice Future Armor, £ 15.35 from Amazon – buy here
Essex-based Dodo Juice is by no means the cheapest, even adding two microfiber cloths with each purchase.
However, these guys take a pragmatic approach.
The fact that their brand name takes the mickey out of corporate brands and their claims of excessive performance define DDJ’s attitude to delivering great quality products.
Future Armor is a spray that acts alone or as a layer on existing wax.
Fans love it because it pearls “amazingly” – so much so that if you want your car to dry out, after you apply DDJ some say you can just drive away and the water will blow away.
Which automotive polish is the best on the market?
It’s a bit geeky – a meditative equivalent of adult coloring books, so no surprise some fans may spend more hours polishing their cars than consuming boxes on Netflix.
However, these guys might actually be onto something.
Considering the increased cost of buying new cars and the price of those special metallic finishes, it’s worth keeping this paintwork in pristine condition, especially if you want to keep your car’s residual value.
Car detailing is something that only needs to be done thoroughly twice a year.
A few “update details” between these biannual events include polishing, so you’re looking at a product that you’ll be using quarterly.
Is wax or polish better for your car?
Polishes and waxes were once considered two separate requirements – one for shine, the other for protection.
However, technology has evolved and products on the market today can often do both very well.
The idea is that the varnish keeps the paint shiny but also protects the transparent top layers from dirt, microscopic road debris and water.
Any good polish will force the water to bead up, maintaining this barrier and will help remove dirt much faster in weekly washes.
Just to be clear, car polish isn’t just a commitment.
Like any good craftsman, start with the right tools and the end result will be what you wanted.
How long does a car polish take?
How long will a good polish last, what type and what brand you use.
Some of the products on our list will keep your car looking flawless for eight weeks or more, while others estimate that they only need to be applied once every few months.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best car polishes on the market? Then you might also like our selection of the best car waxes.
We’re here to help you find the best products at the best prices – at home, for your wardrobe, or for a specific occasion. Find more The sun selects.
Keep the interior of your vehicle clean with the best vacuum cleaners and interior cleaners. Additionally, you can find our latest automotive recommendations on our automotive page..
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