A high-quality ceramic car coating can change the look of your car by deepening your car’s paint color, adding a glass-like finish, and protecting your vehicle from the elements. But what’s the best ceramic coating for cars?

In this buyers guide, we review the best ceramic coatings for cars based on detailing experience, cost, performance, longevity, and consumer ratings. We’ll also explore how ceramic car coatings work, the pros and cons of using one, and what to look for in high-quality ceramic coating products.

4 Best Ceramic Coatings For Cars

Best Ceramic Coatings For Cars

  1. Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating
  2. CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0
  3. Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating
  4. Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

We chose our list of the best ceramic coatings for cars based on ease of use, high customer satisfaction ratings, industry-tested performance, and overall value. We’ve given each product a superlative to help direct you to the product best suited for your car detailing projects.

#1 Editor’s Pick: Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating

Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating

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The Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating has a simple and quick application process. After washing your vehicle, apply the gel, let it cure for as few as 30 seconds, and dry the treated surfaces with a high-quality microfiber towel. The ceramic coating is designed with SiO2 hydrophobic compounds to ensure water beads and sheets after application.

While the Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating doesn’t quite deliver the same level of shine and scratch-resistance as a traditional ceramic coating, it’s a great option for beginner detailers.

Key Features

  • Made from hydrophobic SiO2 polymers
  • Works on all exterior surfaces
  • Easy application process

Our Experience

Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating

Chemical Guys HydroSlick formula is an easy-to-apply gel. The instructions are simple: wipe on, wipe off, and all you’ll need are some microfiber cloths. As with any ceramic coating, you’ll want to clean your car’s paint beforehand.

The results aren’t quite as durable as a multi-stage kit such as CQuartz but seem to last longer than what you’ll get from spray-on coatings. The gel is thick and feels like you’re applying a layer of protection. This is less obvious when using spray-on products, especially with a white vehicle.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5
Ease of Use4.5

What Customers Are Saying

With more than 4,500 ratings, Chemical Guys HydroSlick has an average Amazon review score of 4.6 out of 5. About 91 percent of reviews rate it 4 or more stars.

Reviewers are typically happy with the appearance and shine the HydroSlick formula offers. At-home detailers looking for a showroom finish appreciate this product, especially since it’s relatively easy to apply. You’ll need to prepare your car first, but this coating adds a deep shine.

Reviews about longevity are mixed. While we found the product to last for a month (so far), some complain that it comes off after three or four car washes. Others say that HydroSlick lasts for a long time, so longevity may depend on how well you apply the product.

#2 Best Protection: CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0

CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0

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We recommend the CarPro CQuartz ceramic coating kit for any detailer keen on a professional look without the high price tag. After curing, the coating is chemical- and salt-resistant, as well as ultra water-repelling. It’s also formulated with an above-average SiO2 quartz content, making the coating glossy and long-wearing.

However, this ceramic car coating is not for beginners. Like many higher-quality ceramic coatings, you’ll need to prep your vehicle thoroughly before the actual application process. This includes:

  • Washing with a wax-free, pH-balanced soap
  • Removing any embedded iron from the paint
  • Rubbing all surfaces with a clay bar
  • Polishing to remove any streaks, water marks, or other imperfections
  • Wiping down all surfaces with denatured alcohol

Key Features

  • 50.0-milliliter bottle of CQuartz UK 3.0
  • 100.0-milliliter bottle of CarPro Reload Silica Spray
  • 16.0-inch microfiber suede towel
  • CarPro foam applicator block
  • Four microfiber suede applicators

Our Experience

CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0

While applying the CQuartz protective coating is more involved than other products, the process isn’t overly difficult. We found the instructions easy to follow, and the kit includes everything you’ll need for application.

We only applied CQuartz to a small portion of the test vehicle, however. Covering the entire paint job of one car with the tiny applicator would probably take an entire day, considering the preparation steps you’ll also need to take.

Once applied, CQuartz offers appearance and protection like few other at-home kits. Customer reviews indicate this coating can last beyond a year.

Overall Rating4.2 out of 5
Ease of Use3

What Customers Are Saying

CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 has an average Amazon score of 4.7 from over 1,300 ratings. About 93 percent of reviews rate this ceramic coating 4 or more stars.

Good and negative reviews seem to be fairly consistent about one thing: This product takes a long time to properly apply. Most users claim that once applied, it offers an excellent shine and long-lasting protection. The effort appears to be worth it for many people, but a few believe easier-to-apply coatings are good enough.

#3 Easiest Application: Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating

Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating

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The Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating is affordable, offers exceptional performance, and is easy to apply.

This ceramic coating features SiO2 polymers – silica nanoparticles – which give your car a glass-like look and shine. These polymers also aid in water repelling and sheeting after the ceramic coating cures. In consumer tests, this product not only looks great but also proves it can withstand harsh elements and strong chemical solvents.

This ceramic coating’s application process is simple, requiring only two sprays, a wipedown with a microfiber towel, and a 24-hour cure time.

Key Features

  • Made from hydrophobic SiO2 polymers
  • Good for all exterior surfaces
  • Fruity fragrance
  • Easy application

Our Experience

Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating

Turtle Wax is far and away the easiest to use of the ceramic coatings we tested. The solution comes in a spray bottle so that all the user needs to do is spray and wipe. Application takes less than a minute for a small section of car. The time difference between this and other coatings is even more pronounced when coating an entire vehicle.

We found the shine to be nice but not any more noticeable than other ceramic coatings. As of now (one month after application), the coating holds up.

Overall Rating4.2 out of 5
Ease of Use5

What Customers Are Saying

Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating has an average Amazon rating of 4.6 based on more than 12,500 ratings. About 92 percent of reviewers award this ceramic coating a minimum of 4 stars.

Reviewers love how easy it is to apply this coating, and appreciate the quality shine it produces. While it doesn’t last as long as professional jobs and pricier products, Turtle Wax is inexpensive.

Dedicated enthusiasts with more time on their hands seem to prefer other options, saying that Turtle Wax requires several coats for a pleasing shine and that it doesn’t last more than a couple of months.

#4 Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

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The Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat is one of the most popular DIY ceramic coatings. The three-in-one formula acts as a waterless wash, coat, and shine for your vehicle. Not only can you apply the Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat to cars and trucks but also boats, motorbikes, recreational vehicles (RVs), and four-wheelers. Like the Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating, this spray’s formula is between a wax and a coating, making it easy to apply but not as long-lasting.

According to Shine Armor, the spray takes only 15 minutes to apply. Make sure your vehicle is properly washed (preferably with a pH-balanced shampoo) before applying the ceramic coating. You can use it on your clearcoat, wheels, windshield, and mirrors.

Key Features

  • Three-in-one formula
  • Good on all exterior surfaces
  • Easy application process
  • Light grape scent

Our Experience

Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

In many ways, our experience with Shine Armor was nearly identical to Epic Elements Protect. It is easy to use but comes in a lower-quality spray bottle than Turtle Wax ceramic coating. The shine is noticeable but not the best of the products we tested.

On our test vehicle, Shine Armor and Epic Elements Protect have lasted at least a month, but based on customer reviews, we don’t expect Shine Armor to have as much longevity.

Overall Rating3.8 out of 5
Ease of Use5

What Customers Are Saying

Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat has an average of 4.3 stars on Amazon based on more than 68,500 ratings. About 81 percent of reviewers give the product 4 or more stars.

The customer consensus is that this is an easy-to-apply ceramic coating with decent results. It may not offer extra-long protection, but it does add a quality shine and protection that lasts around two months.

Buyers Guide: Best Ceramic Coatings For Cars

A nano-ceramic coating can protect your car’s exterior from marring, water spots, and bird droppings. These coatings typically last much longer than a typical wax coating. While you can have a professional apply ceramic coatings, these are also reasonably simple to apply yourself.

What Is A Ceramic Car Coating?

Ceramic car coating is a chemical, liquid polymer that bonds with a vehicle’s clearcoat and protects a vehicle’s paint from environmental damage such as rain, grime, dirt, debris, industrial fallout, and UV rays. Ceramic coatings have hydrophobic properties, meaning they repel water and take any moisture bead or sheet easily away from a car’s surface. This is why car enthusiasts often note the product’s cleaning properties – water and dirt can’t easily stick to your vehicle.

However, ceramic car coatings aren’t just functional. After application and curing, these products harden to give your car that “candy apple” shine. The best ceramic coatings for cars add a high-gloss finish to your paint job while also increasing the color’s depth.

Drivers can have the ceramic coating done professionally or use do-it-yourself, or DIY, products. Although pro-grade ceramic coatings have longer staying power – upward of three years – they can be expensive. A professional detail may cost between $1,000 and $2,000. High-quality, DIY ceramic coatings are an excellent way to get a professional-grade look without the professional price tag.

Why Apply Ceramic Car Coating?

Reasons you may want to add ceramic car coating to your detailing arsenal include:

Longer-lasting than car wax: While waxing gives your car a beautiful glow, it only lasts three to six months. Some of the best ceramic coatings for cars last more than a year. Applying a ceramic car coating may be more labor-intensive, but you don’t need to reapply it as frequently as traditional carnauba wax.

Protection from the elements: Ceramic coatings protect your vehicle from UV rays, debris, rain, stains, oils, dirt, contaminants, and industrial fallout. Depending on where you live, your paint job can take a beating. A ceramic car coating ensures your paint coating is guarded in the long term.

Cut down on cleaning time: After a ceramic car coating cures and hardens, your car’s surface will become slick, making it tough for water, dirt, and debris to stick. The fewer particles on your car, the less time it takes to clean.

Cost-effective way to enhance your car: On average, ceramic car coating products range from $15 to $25. Pro-grade kits cost more, but most are less than $100.

Our Review Standards

The ceramic coatings in this article underwent two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices.

For testing, our product team ordered the four ceramic coatings that fared best in these areas. A team member tested each product on a white sedan, evaluating the product based on ease of use, appearance, and longevity.

Ceramic Coating Testing Process

Ceramic Coating Testing Process

To test ceramic coatings, we applied each to a different section on the trunk of a white Ford Fusion. In addition to testing the ease of use, we checked each section regularly to see which ceramic coating lasted the longest.

About a month after application, all the ceramic coatings were still repelling water. We will update this article as we observe which ceramic coatings last several months or even beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

*Data accurate at time of publication.