Using a car polish is different to waxing your car because by polishing, you are removing defects and cleaning the paintwork. Many people that are new to detailing make the mistake of assuming the two products are the same, which means that they are unable to achieve the results they desire. You can have the best car wax on the market but it won’t be able to remove defects like the car polishes listed in this article.
If you require a quick answer, the best car polish is the Autoglym Super Resin, which is an all-in-one product that’s suitable for all types of paintwork and includes fillers for masking over defects. However, if you need to permanently remove defects in the paint, the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is the best alternative.
To rate the car polishes within this article, we based our recommendations upon testing, research and multiple factors. The factors that we considered included their ease of application, type, finish, effectiveness and value for money.
Table of Contents
- The Best Car Polish
- How We Tested & Picked
- Car Polish Buying Guide
Car Polish Comparison
|Car Polish||Bottle Capacity||Abrasive Level|
|Autoglym Super Resin||325, 500 or 1,000ml||Low|
|Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish||473ml||Medium|
|Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound||450ml||High|
|Auto Finesse Tripple||250 or 500ml||Low|
|T-Cut 365 Paint Work Kit||2 x 500ml||Medium|
|Mer The Ultimate Polish||1,000ml||Low|
|Turtle Wax Color Magic||500ml||Low|
Polishes are available in multiple forms with some being more abrasive than others. Depending upon the severity of the defects will reflect in the car polish that you require. However, it’s always advised to start with the least abrasive formula to begin with so that there is no abnormalities in the paintwork.
Below is a list of the best car polishes that remove light defects or swirl marks and leave a showroom shine.
The Best Car Polish
1. Autoglym Super Resin Polish
The most popular car polish in the UK is the Autoglym Super Resin, which is suitable for all paint types. It’s not an abrasive polish but it’s able to remove minor defects in the paintwork as well as fill them temporarily.
In terms of the application, the best method of applying this car polish is by hand using an applicator. It’s also only suitable for painted surfaces because it may leave a residue upon unpainted surfaces that can be difficult to remove.
Other features of the Autoglym Super Resin Polish include:
- Reputable brand and award winning polish
- Formula contains a protective wax
- Lasts a couple of months
- Produces a high gloss shine
- Available in multiple sizes
- Ideal for beginners
The Autoglym Super Resin Polish uses a safe formulation that’s suitable for all paintwork and provides great results. The only drawback is that if there are heavy defects, it may struggle to rectify the defects in the paint. However, as it’s a low abrasive formula, this does mean that you can use it regularly to clean the paintwork and increase its shine.
2. Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Polish
Unlike the Autoglym alternative, this car polish will be able to remove more defects and can be applied by hand or machine. It’s also a pure polish and doesn’t contain a wax, which means it’s advised to wax the car afterwards.
Other features of the Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Polish include:
- Pre-waxing glaze for deep reflections with high gloss
- Clear surface defects, tree sap, road film and more
- Easy to apply without hard to remove residue
- Only available in a 16 oz bottle
- Great results on dark-coloured cars
For the best results using the Meguiar’s car polish, we recommend that you apply it by a polisher and not in direct sunlight. It’s a high quality polish that won’t disappoint and it removes far more defects than the Autoglym alternative.
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3. Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound Polish
If the current polish you are using isn’t removing the defects, you may require a polishing cutting compound. It’s a step-above the regular car polish and includes a more abrasive compound that cuts fast into the paintwork.
The Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is the best option that uses micro-abrasive compounds that are less harsh than the traditional alternatives.
Other features of the Meguiar’s Ultimate Polishing Compound include:
- Effortlessly remove swirl marks and light scratches
- Safe on clear coat and single stage paint
- Hand or polishing machine application
- Easy to apply with great results
- Suitable for other applications
- 450 ml bottle
Although you are able to apply this polishing compound by hand, it’s advised that you use a polisher for the best results. If you require a polish to restore colour and clarity, the Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is the perfect solution.
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4. Auto Finesse Tripple Car Polish
The AutoFinesse Tripple is another “all-in-one” car polish that’s very similar to Autogylm alternative. The formula provides a deep clean that removes stubborn oxidation and contamination and leaves a showroom finish.
Other features of the Auto Finesse Tripple include:
- Formula includes carnauba content
- Application by hand
- Available in a 250 or 500 ml bottle
- Easy on and off formula
- Suitable for all paint colours
- Used by professionals
Although it’s more expensive than Autoglym polish, we found that it was less dusty whilst buffing off the residue and covering swirl marks. The Tripple formula by AutoFinesse is an excellent “all-in-one” product that’s ideal for keeping your daily driver in showroom condition.
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5. T-Cut 365 Paintwork Perfection Car Polish
T-Cut is a detailing product that has mixed opinions from many professional detailers around the world. However, the results speak for themselves and most of the negative opinions are from people that aren’t using the polish correctly.
This particular T-Cut is a car polish for black cars that has been specifically designed to restore the paintwork and protect it for up to 12 months.
Other features of the T-Cut Paintwork Perfection Kit include:
- Removes light scratches, oxidation, swirl marks and other defects
- Adds colour pigments to enrich the paint colour
- Includes a clear sealant, applicator pad and microfiber cloth
- Available in a range of specific colour options other than black
- Suitable for painted surfaces only
- Fills in and masks stone chips
Overall, the T-Cut car polish is ideal for occasional use and quickly fixing light scratches or masking chips. This particular version of T-Cut is the best option for blacks cars but the brand offer a range of kits for other colours.
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6. The Ultimate Polish By Mer
Mer car polish is another popular product that contains mild abrasives to tackle light scratches and other defects. Using the brand’s patented “Auto Shine Technologie”, the polish cleans, shines and protects with very little effort.
In terms of value for your money, the Mer car polish comes in a large 1 litre bottle, which will be more than enough for 50 or more polishing sessions.
Other features of the Mer Car Polish include:
- Conditioning agent to nourish and restore dull paintwork
- Removes light swirl marks and scratches
- Hand or machine application
- Easy on and off
- Streak free finish
- Can be mixed with car shampoo
Overall, it’s a cheap car polish that provides a showroom finish that’s similar to the premium alternatives. The Mer brand have a great reputation and also offer a variety of other detailing products to match.
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7. Turtle Wax 52708 Color Magic Polish
Turtle Wax are another popular brand in the UK that produce a wide range of car cleaning products. The Color Magic polish is a colour match formula that’s suitable for black, red, blue, silver and white cars.
The brand state that this car polish cleans, restores and adds colour to the paintwork for an outstanding shine. It masks any minor scratches or swirls and enriches the colour for professional results straight from the bottle.
Other features of the Turtle Wax Color Magic include:
- New and improved formula for a colour boost
- Easy to use with no hard buffing
- 500 ml bottle
- Suitable for minor scruffs and scratches
- Gloss enhancing silicones
- Includes Carnauba and Montan Wax for protection
Overall, the Turtle Wax Color Magic is a highly effective car polish that masks minor scratches and swirls. The formula contains both polymers and pigments that blend with the paintwork to further enrich and boost the colour.
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How We Tested & Picked
After many years of polishing cars, we have tried and tested a range of formulas on good and very neglected car paintwork’s. However, as well as our experience of using a number of car polishes, we also based our recommendations upon hours of research and a number of factors. The factors that we considered included their ease of application, type, finish, effectiveness and value for money.
Car Polish Buying Guide
Polishing your car with the best car polish you can get your hands on can make a big difference. Thanks to modern technology, the formula of most polishes is easier to apply and buff off without any leftover residue.
The choice of application is a matter of personal preference with most polishes suggesting both methods. However, if you already own a car polisher, you are able to apply the polish far more efficiently.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding car polishes.
Compounds, Polishes and Waxes
When deciding upon a detailing product to tackle your neglected paintwork, you will need to treat it accordingly. Depending upon the severity of the defects, you will want to use a compound for paint correction or a car polish for light defects. Both the compound and polish should be used prior to waxing because the wax provides a protective layer.
Hand or Machine Application
Certain polishes will produce better results when applied by hand or a polisher. Hand application is the safest and easiest but it can be very time consuming and require plenty of elbow grease for the best outcome.
Alternatively, using a car polisher requires that you own the machine in the first place and an idea of how to use it safely. However, it does allow you to polish the car more efficiently and provide effortless results.
To ensure that you don’t cause any further damage to your paintwork, you will want to fully wash the car beforehand. You will want to use a quality car shampoo that removes all the dirt and debris from the paintwork. You can even go a step further and use a clay bar to remove tough dirt that stays on the paintwork even after multiple washes.
Before you begin to apply the car polish, you will need to ensure the paintwork is completely dry. If the polish touches water, it can reduce its effectiveness and be difficult to rub into the paintwork.
As mentioned above, the severity of the defects will determine the abrasive level that you require. Most “all-in-one” polishes will only be able to remove very light defects and provide a temporary solution by using a filler. The filling of the defects may only last for a few weeks and they will eventually reappear.
You can use an “all-in-one” polish on a regular basis but it’s not advised with a medium to high abrasive polish. Constantly cutting the clear coat can cause abnormalities in the paintwork.
Many detailing brands offer a range of polishes with some suited for black cars, white cars and much more. If the paintwork suffers from dullness, using a colour specific car polish can be the best option to restore shine and clarity.
Another benefit of choosing a colour specific polish is that they will often mask up stone chips. However, you will often have to pay a premium price for these types of polishes.
Buffing Off and Residue
For many people, the worst part of polishing your car is the “buffing off” stage. Some polishes are notorious for being difficult to remove with a dusty residue that can ruin the finish and be difficult to remove.
To make the buffing process easier, you should never polish your car in the direct sunlight. This can cause the polish to bake onto the paintwork, which can be a nightmare to remove.
Using the best car polish you can get your hands on can transform your car’s paintwork. They are fairly cheap to purchase but can add extra value to your car with a few hours of polishing.
All of our recommendations are suited to a range of budgets and provide different abrasive qualities. We advise that you choose the least abrasive car polish before moving to the stronger cutting formulas.