The best car wax 2018

With a little elbow grease, the best car waxes can make even tired paintwork look like new: from Turtle Wax to Autoglym, here's a round-up of the best buffers for your ride

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Whether you’re bringing the best out of a budget motor or lovingly looking after every inch of a luxury car, there can be something quite therapeutic about washing the car. But when it comes to adding those finishing touches, nothing beats a good wax. 

Not only do they shine up a treat, they can restore lightly faded paintwork to a more cheerful shade, and protect against rainwater and debris as you go about your business.

But even the best car waxes on the market won’t reach their full potential if not properly applied. Each product will have its own tips and tricks, but in general, you should make sure  your paintwork is completely clean and dry before applying the wax. 

It’s also best to treat one panel at a time, as if left to dry and not worked in particularly quickly, wax can leave a tell-tale white residue. 

While typically applied to dry surfaces, newer products to the market can be applied to wet vehicles, so if time isn't always on your side and you need a wax that is quickly applied, keep your eyes peeled for aqua waxes.

From traditional hard waxes to super-fast liquids, there’s a wax out there for every kind of motorist. Keep reading for our top picks of the waxes that’ll keep your car looking sleek and sharp.

Our pick of the best car wax to buy today

Autoglym Rapid Aqua Wax

1. Autoglym Rapid Aqua Wax

Our favourite wax can be used on wet or dry surfaces for maximum convenience

Best for: Timesaver
Type: Liquid
Size: 700g
Reasons to buy
+Apply to wet or dry paintwork+No smears or streaks
Reasons to avoid
-Not the longest lasting once applied 

This clever liquid wax stands out for its ability to be used on both wet or dry cars, making it a great timesaver if you need a clean machine in a hurry. It gives a smear-free finish on just-washed surfaces and saves a huge amount of effort by cutting out the middleman between soaping and shining. The wax itself doesn’t last too long in unfavourable weather conditions, but for pure convenience, we can’t fault it. If you prefer the watertight nature of a traditional wax, you might not want to opt for this one, but for anyone who loves the idea of applying a wax to their car in minutes that provides a really decent shine, this is a top choice.

Soft99 Fusso Wax Coat Light

2. Soft99 Fusso Wax Coat Light

White and silver cars will be left polished and protected to perfection with this superb wax

Best for: Light-coloured cars
Type: Paste
Size: 200g
Reasons to buy
+Specifically for light paintwork+Incredible lasting power
Reasons to avoid
- Quite expensive

Everyone with light-coloured paintwork on their car will know what a pain it is to keep it looking clean: enter Soft99’s Fusso Wax Coat. Specifically designed for white and light cars, it forms a protective layer that repels dirt, debris and water. While it takes a bit of elbow grease and around an hour of your time to properly apply and buff in, the finish is excellent. This wax is also available in a dark vehicle alternative and comes with the somewhat comforting knowledge that the finish can last for up to 12 months.

Turtle Wax FG7633 Green Line Original Car Wax

3. Turtle Wax FG7633 Green Line Original Car Wax

The original and best budget car wax, easy to use and gives a fantastic finish

Best for: Budget buy
Type: Liquid
Size: 500g
Reasons to buy
+Superb value +Great finish
Reasons to avoid
- Harder coming off than going on

The original product from the classic company we all know and love. Green Line wax from Turtle Wax is an excellent budget buy, offering a great finish for a tiny price. It applies smoothly and easily, lifts away grime and light oxidisation, brings a brilliant shine to lacklustre paintwork, and protects against the elements. Porsche owners might balk at the idea of using it on their steed, but for your average motor, it’s really fantastic. For anyone looking for a cheap car wax that actually performs pretty well, grab a bottle of this stuff.

 Simoniz Original Wax

4. Simoniz Original Wax

Traditional wax for traditional cars

Best for: Old-school choice
Type: Paste
Size: 150g
Reasons to buy
+Time-tested quality product+Natural wax
Reasons to avoid
-Takes a looooong time to buff 

Simoniz’ Original Wax is probably exactly what’ll come to mind when you imagine “proper” car wax. Its tin, with its vintage stylings, just adds to the ritual of really looking after your motor. It’s hard work to apply, but a little goes a long way, and the payoff is more than worth it. Using natural Carnauba (the “queen of waxes”), it buffs to a brilliant shine for long-lasting protection. A classic for a reason, with unbeatable value for money. If you are looking for a car wax for a traditional vehicle or classic car, don't bother with anything else on this list.

Angelwax Desirable

5. Angelwax Desirable

The ultimate wax for car obsessives that provides the perfect finish

Best for: Car obsessives
Type: Paste
Size: 250g
Reasons to buy
+Great for luxury cars+Smells great 
Reasons to avoid
-Eye-watering price 

This wax looks ludicrously expensive compared to the other picks on our list, and frankly, it is. But if you’re a dedicated restorer of vintage vehicles, or take great pride in an immodestly priced but incredibly beautiful car, this is the detailing wax for you. With 5 months of performance after application, its protective prowess is pretty incredible, plus it’s easy to apply and remove, smells amazing, and gives a glossy finish — but for £65, that’s exactly what you’d expect. If you drive a standard car, this is total overkill but if your cruiser is upmarket, treat it right with this wax.