Speed Reads:

Editor’s Choice
Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating

Part ceramic wax, part sealant, this product is best for auto enthusiasts in a time crunch.

Best Protection
CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0

A pro-quality ceramic coating kit with all the tools you need to detail your car.

Easiest Application
Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating

A cost-effective and easy-to-apply ceramic coating that delivers long-lasting shine.

Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

A three-in-one waterless wash, coat, and shine ceramic coating for vehicles.

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.

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.

Best Ceramic Coatings For Cars

Five of the best ceramic coatings for cars that were tested and reviewed by our auto product team.

For this review, our team thoroughly tested and evaluated each [product] based on each item’s ease of use, appearance, and longevity. The scores in each category are compiled into a single overall rating that ranges from 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

Each ceramic coating’s ratings, including their scores in each review category, are highlighted below:

What Is The Best Ceramic Coating?

Brand/ModelOverall (Out of 5.0 Stars)Ease of UseAppearanceLongevity
Chemical Guys HydroSlick4.
CarPro CQuartz4.
Turtle Wax Ceramic Spray4.
Shine Armor Fortify3.

Our Review Standards

To select the ceramic coatings featured in this buyers guide, our team first combed through dozens of resources such as auto enthusiast forums, manufacturer and car coating-specific websites, and reviews from online retailers. We pay particularly close attention to quality reviews and recommendations that highlight shine quality, durability, ease of application, and value.

We then have our network of experts share their thoughts on the selected coatings. These experts have over 100 years of combined experience in aftermarket auto fields ranging from detailing to accessories to tires, and everything in between. These experts helped us identify the qualities that would be most important to someone looking for a ceramic coating and the standout brands in each category.

Ceramic Coating Testing Process

An image of the back of a vehicle with markings to show where each of the five ceramic coatings were used on the vehicle.

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.

Ease of Use

Our ease of use score is based on how simple it is to apply the ceramic coating. Some ceramic coatings require several steps while a few can be sprayed on. Generally, we found that spray-on ceramic coatings do not last as long as those that must be carefully applied.

We gave the highest ease of use rating to ceramic coatings that could be properly applied the quickest.


Our appearance score is based on how the ceramic coating looks once it is applied. To receive high marks in this category, a ceramic coating should have no swirling, leaving only a glossy shine if it is noticeable at all.


Our longevity score is based on how long a ceramic coating lasts before it wears away. We based this score not only on our own experience but also on customer reviews. Considering both allows us to better know how well a ceramic coating holds up in different environments.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of writers, editors, researchers, and product experts collaborates to thoroughly vet top products. We try to perform in-house testing on real vehicles whenever possible before making our recommendations.

When testing is not feasible, however, our aim is to make your life easier by doing all the online research for you and presenting that research in the form of easy-to-read product comparisons and buyers guides, rather than outright recommendations. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

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

  • Cost: Around $40
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 6,100 ratings

Other key features

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

The 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.

Our Experience

The Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating paired with a microfiber towel to coat the exterior of a vehicle.

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.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Use4.5
Overall Rating4.5

What Customers Are Saying

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

  • Cost: Around $95
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 1,600 ratings

Other 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

The CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 kit.

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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

Our Experience

The CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 being used to coat the exterior of a vehicle.

While applying the CarPro 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.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Use3.0
Overall Rating4.2

What Customers Are Saying

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

  • Cost: Around $15
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 20,000 ratings

Other key features

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

The 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.

Our Experience

The Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating being used to coat the exterior of a vehicle.

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.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Use5.0
Overall Rating4.2

What Customers Are Saying

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

  • Cost: Around $12
  • Amazon review score: 4.3 out of 5.0 based on over 79,000 ratings

Other key features

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

The 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.

Our Experience

The Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat being used to coat the exterior of a vehicle.

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.

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Use5.0
Overall Rating3.8

What Customers Are Saying

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 and other hazards. 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: 

  • Acid rain
  • Grime, dirt, and debris 
  • Industrial fallout
  • UV rays 
  • Water spots
  • Bird droppings

Silicon dioxide is the key ingredient in ceramic coatings. It gives them 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 A 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.

Should I Use Other Products With A Ceramic Coating?

Vehicle owners looking for the best car care may try multiple methods to preserve the vehicle’s finish. While you can use wax after a ceramic paint coating has cured, it can be redundant. Both perform similar functions.

Buffing can help with paint correction and remove swirl marks, but adding wax for sheen and shine is a job already done by the ceramic coating.

There is never a time, in my opinion, where you would use both a coating and a wax,” says Clark Webster, an auto detailing expert with over a decade of experience. “The wax would need to go on top of the coating, but the hydrophobic properties of the coating would render the wax useless. There are ‘top coats’ designed specifically for coatings, that help rejuvenate the base coating as well as add additional protection. This almost eliminates the need for traditional waxes.”

Ceramic Coating Versus Car Wax

Ceramic coatings and car wax perform essentially the same function: to protect your paint and add a pleasing shine. But which is better? Detailing professional Clark Webster told us:

Ceramic coatings are far more durable than waxes, so from a performance/durability/longevity standpoint, you’ll get more protection and less environmental breakdown from a coating than you would a wax. In general, a wax will last between three-four months. A coating can last anywhere from six months to five years.”

Of course, a car wax is much less expensive than a ceramic coating. To pay a professional to coat your vehicle can cost as much as a new paint job. A ceramic coating that you apply yourself is much less expensive, but the application is difficult and it is easy to make mistakes.

That said, applying a ceramic coating is doable for the at-home enthusiast, but you may want to take a class in the process beforehand. Check with your local detailing shops to see if any offer training in ceramic coating application.

Best Ceramic Coatings: Bottom Line

Ceramic coatings are a step above the protection offered by a basic car wax, but come at a premium and sometimes require a skilled hand. Below are a few options ranging from budget-friendly to perfectionist.

Top Rated Ceramic Coatings

  1. Editor’s Choice: Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating
  2. Best Protection: CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0
  3. Easiest Application: Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating
  4. Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat

Best Ceramic Coatings: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.