The Best Car Polish 2023

Restoring shine and removing light scratches or swirl marks from your car’s paintwork can be easily achieved using a quality car polish. Within this article, we round up a list of the best polishes that are highly effective and can be applied by hand or machine.


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Best Car Polish
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If you require a quick answer, the best car polish is the Autoglym Super Resin, which is an all-in-one polish that cleans and conditions. It also leaves behind a protective barrier due to the inclusion of silicone and fillers in the polish. However, if need to remove light scratches or swirl marks, the Meguiar’s Ultimate is the best alternative.

To rate the car polishes within this article, we based our recommendations on testing, our experience using multiple polishes, the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the polish’s type, ability to remove paint defects, finish, ease of application, bottle sizes and value for money.

Best Car Polish Overview

Before you begin to wax your car, it’s advised that you polish it beforehand to thoroughly clean the paintwork. Depending upon the type of car polish you decide to use, many are also abrasive, which means they will remove fine scratches, swirl marks and other light defects in the paint.

Below is a list of the best car polishes that gently clean the paintwork and leave behind a high gloss finish.

The Best Car Polish


1. Best Overall: Autoglym Super Resin Polish


By far the most popular car polish in the UK is the Autoglym Super Resin Polish. The main reason for its popularity is because it’s an “all-in-one” formula that’s designed to gently clean and condition the bodywork and leave behind a high gloss finish. It can also be used on all types of paint with a single-step application providing great results.

As it’s an all-in-one polish, it also provides a protective barrier, which is due to the inclusion of silicone in the formula.

Pros
  • Available in 325, 500 or 1,000 ml bottles
  • Specialised emulsifiers and conditioners
  • Suitable for all paint types
  • Single-step application
  • Award winning formula that's been in production for many decades
  • UK based brand with plenty of tutorials online of how to use their products
  • Easy to apply by hand (as long as you apply it in the shade)
  • Restore dull surfaces and leaves a deep shine
Cons
  • Only removes very minor defects
  • During testing, we found that it left behind light dusting when buffing it off

To conclude, the Autoglym Super Resin Polish is the best car polish for those that want a low abrasive formula and a protective high gloss finish. It’s not going to remove any medium to heavy defects but for cleaning the bodywork and enhancing its shine, you can’t go wrong with the Super Resin Polish by Autoglym. We personally use this car polish as a formula for regular use and it often amazes people that Autoglym’s polish achieve such great results.

2. Best For Swirl Marks & Scratches: Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Polish


If you are looking for a more abrasive car polish to remove swirl marks or light scratches, Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish is the answer. It’s safe to use on all glossy paints (and clear coats) and it prepares the surface ready for waxing.

Another great bonus of this formula is the fact that it contains conditioning oils, which are designed to enhance the gloss finish and add depth to the colour of the paint.

Pros
  • Application by hand or polisher
  • Adds depth of colour and clarity
  • Wet reflective gloss finish
  • During testing, we were very impressed with how effective the polish was as eliminating swirl marks and fine scratches
  • Safe to use on all glossy paints
Cons
  • Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives

For tackling fine scratches, swirl marks, holograms and other light defects, the Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish is the best option. It isn’t the cheapest but it’s a high-quality polish that’s very effective and certainly won’t disappoint.

From our experience, you can achieve great results by hand but if the defects are quite excessive, we recommend applying the polish with either a rotary or dual action machine.

3. Best Colour Specific: Turtle Wax Color Magic


Another popular car polish is Turtle Wax’s Colour Magic, which is a colour-specific formula. It’s available in formulas designed for white, silver, red, blue or black cars and it has recently been improved for even better results.

What makes this formula “colour-specific” are the unique polymers and pigments within the formula that intensify the colour and completely restore the paintwork to its original showroom finish.

Pros
  • Available as a polish for multiple colours
  • During testing, we found that it did a great job at masking minor scratches and swirl marks
  • Easy on and off formula
  • Relatively affordable
Cons
  • Covers your hands in polish (it's advised that you apply with gloves)
  • Temporarily hides defects instead of completely removing them

Overall, the Turtle Wax Colour Magic is an effective car polish that cleans, shines and restores in a single step. Compared to its previous formula, the improved version is easier to apply, which is a great bonus. We find ourselves using this car polish a lot if we need to hide defects in the paint but don’t have the time to machine polish the car.

4. Best All-Rounder: Mer Auto Shine Ultimate Polish


The Mer Auto Shine Polish is a German-made formula that also cleans, shines and protects in a single step. The polish itself includes several conditioning agents that restore dull paintwork as well as mild abrasives to remove any fine scratches or swirl marks. Therefore, it’s very similar to Autoglym’s Super Resin polish and its main competitor.

Pros
  • Easy to apply by hand
  • Mild abrasive for removing light defects
  • Made in Germany
  • Large 1 litre bottle
Cons
  • More difficult to buff off when compared to alternative polishes

Overall, the Mer Auto Shine is an excellent all-round car polish that’s easy to apply and provides great results. It also comes in a large 1-litre bottle, which provides great value for the money when compared to similar-priced polishes.

5. Best For Cutting: Farecla G3 Cutting Car Polish


The Farecla G3 is a detailing product that’s well-known to professionals and body shops and for good reason too. This is because it’s the ultimate cutting compound that’s designed to be used with a rotary or dual-action polisher to remove medium to heavy defects in the paint. From heavy swirl marks to scratches, it’s no problem for this polish.

It’s important to note that this is an abrasive formula and it’s not recommended for beginners because it may cause buffing marks or holograms to appear if used incorrectly.

Pros
  • During testing, we found it easy to apply by machine
  • Permanently removes defects in the paint
  • Suitable for all modern paints
  • Easy to wipe off
  • Cutting and finishing formula (Stage 1 & 2)
Cons
  • Needs to be applied correctly for the best results
  • Relatively expensive

Overall, the Farecla G3 is the best car polish for scratches or heavy defects that refuse to shift with standard polishes. After use, we strongly recommend using wax to enhance the shine of the corrected paintwork.

As mentioned above, if you are new to the world of polishing cars, we would recommend avoiding this polish. Failing to apply it correctly on your car’s paint can make it worse than it was before as it will leave marks.

6. Easiest To Apply By Hand: Auto Finesse Tripple Car Polish


Another “all-in-one” car polish produced by a reputable UK brand is the Auto Finesse Tripple. It’s designed to remove stubborn oxidation and contamination from the paintwork and provide a deep clean with relative ease.

As it’s an all-in-one formula, it also features carnauba content in the formula, which provides additional shine to the paint as well as much needed protection.

Pros
  • Designed and tested by professionals
  • Provides a deep clean to the paintwork
  • Suitable for all modern paint types
  • Made in the UK
  • Very easy to apply and buff off
Cons
  • More expensive than alternative polishes
  • Only removes light defects in the paint

The Auto Finesse Tripple is the best alternative to the Autoglym Super Resin Polish but the additional cost makes it a less attractive option. However, it’s slightly more abrasive, which is ideal for tackling tough dirt bonded to the paint. We also find it easier to apply and remove, which may be a requirement for those struggling with Autoglym’s polish.

How We Tested & Rated

Whether we are polishing a daily driver or a classic car, we have plenty of experience using a whole range of car polishes. This can include using an “all-in-one” polish regularly to formulas that are more abrasive for tackling the dreaded swirl marks in the paint. Therefore, our experience of using many different formulas allows us to hand-pick a select few from the huge range of car polishes that are available in the UK.

Best Car Polish UK
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During our testing, we analyse the polish’s effectiveness, ease of application (including buffing off), ability to remove defects, protective qualities and finish.

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best car polish for scratches

Below is a video we posted on our YouTube channel that shows us testing the Autoglym Super Resin polish. As you can see in the video, the polish is very easy to apply and buff off and it’s perfect for regular use.

To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest car polishes (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that if we notice a brand has released a new and improved formula, we will attempt to buy it and put it to the test where applicable.

As well as our testing and experience using a variety of car polishes, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the polish’s type, ability to remove paint defects, finish, ease of application, bottle sizes and value for money.

Conclusion

Polishing your car can completely transform the paintwork and restore its original showroom shine. Whether you simply wish to clean the paintwork or remove light scratches, the recommendations above are suitable for all types of polishing.

It’s important to note that if you wish to remove light defects in the paintwork, you’ll need to use an abrasive formula. Although “all-in-one” formulas work great, most contain fillers that temporarily hide defects. Therefore, to permanently remove the defects in the paint, abrasive polishes and the correct polishing technique are required.

If you require further information regarding our car polish recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

To polish out a scratch, you’ll want to use a formula that has abrasive qualities and a suitable applicator (or machine). You’ll then want to thoroughly work the polish into the scratch until the polish begins to haze on the paintwork. You can then buff off any residue and inspect the finished result and repeat if necessary. If the scratch doesn’t polish off, you may want to use a dedicated car scratch remover product instead.

To maintain your car’s shine and fix any minor defects in the paint (swirl marks or light scratches), polishing your car two to three times a year should be more than enough. Of course, if you were to use a car polish that isn’t too abrasive, you can polish your car every weekend if you wanted because it wouldn’t remove any of the clear coat.

After applying polish to your car, you’ll want to safely remove it to reveal the results. To do this, you’ll want to invest in multiple microfibre cloths that are designed for cars. We suggest multiple because you may find that they become covered in polish residue very quickly whilst you are buffing it off from the paintwork.

The length of time car polish lasts is dependent on the formula that’s used. For example, if you’ve used an abrasive car polish/compound, the results will be permanent because the polish would’ve removed the defects in the paint. However, if you’ve used a polish that’s designed to clean the paintwork and hide the defects, it may only last a few weeks unless a protective coating such as wax is used on top of the polished finish.

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