Best car polish 2019

Restore a showroom shine to your paint with our best car polish top buys

Before the detailing revolution, some car care producers used to treat wax and polish as the same thing. That has largely died out as more consumers realised that polishes are designed to improve the finish, while waxes are there to seal in that shine and protect it.

We haven’t conducted a polish test since the days when they doubled as a protective solution but we’ve put that right here because there are a number of products at the less aggressive end of the paint-improvement spectrum designed to lift light marks and restore the shine of a clear coat.

• Auto Express best car care cleaning and car care tips

For heavier marks and severely deteriorated paint, more abrasive products should be used. But it’s always a good idea to gradually reduce the level of coarseness, just as you would do when finishing bodywork with ever-finer sandpaper.

How we tested them

There are different levels among polishes and, where possible, we went for the lightest abrasive, as we were looking for the best shine after a set number of passes over our sectioned bonnet. To find the best, we used a pad to ensure even pressure, while control areas were adopted to assess progress and the finish left by our contenders. We also factored in the price.


There was only one clear winner in this test as the price of Angelwax’s Perfect Polish helped grab the top spot. Autobrite came in second thanks to smooth finish while Autoglym came in a respectable third place. 

  • 1. Angelwax Perfect Polish
  • 2. Autobrite Direct Cherry Glaze
  • 3. Autoglym Super Resin Polish
  • ResultsAngelwax Perfect Polish

    Price: £8.99
    Size: 500ml
    Rating: 5/5 

    Angelwax calls this a “pre-wax paint cleanser” and that was just the level of abrasiveness we were looking for. Microabrasives in the formula are designed to give a glossy finish and that’s what we saw in our test, which produced very close results. The best finish was delivered by Perfect Polish and was matched by Autobrite Direct’s Cherry Glaze, but a price advantage saw the victory go north of the border to Scottish-based Angelwax. It’s an easy and effective way to restore the shine to your paint.

    Autobrite Direct Cherry Glaze

    Price: £12
    Size: 500ml
    Rating: 4.5/5 

    We’re normally a bit cautious about using all-in-one products, because they rarely do each of their roles well. Autobrite calls this a polish glaze and wax. We can’t vouch for its protective abilities but, as a polish, it’s a cracker. Alongside our winner (above) it left the smoothest finish with the least amount of fine marks. It can be applied with a machine polisher or by hand, and buffs easily. It loses here on price, but its protective abilities help justify the greater cost.

    Autoglym Super Resin Polish

    Price: £14.50
    Size: 500ml
    Rating: 4/5 

    For many, this veteran is the go-to polish. It doesn’t claim to leave a protective finish, but it did have a revamp a few years ago to improve that aspect. It’s another polish that’s designed to be used by hand, and it’s easy to apply and buff off. It couldn’t quite match the finish of our top two, although it made significant progress on our tired paint and was visibly ahead of other rivals. As always with Autoglym products, it’s not the cheapest option, but it does work well.

    Simoniz Diamond Wax & Polish

    Price: £3.18
    Size: 500ml
    Rating: 4/5 

    Combining a wax and a polish in the same product has an old-school ring to it, but this Simoniz product worked well for us. While it was a step behind our top two, its effect was easy to see next to our control areas. Simoniz calls it a mild abrasive, yet it’s good enough to leave a decent finish. A combination of this performance and a cracking price earns it a place among our top four. At a fraction of the cost of most rivals, it’s our choice for those on a budget.

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