Editorial Note: This content was researched and produced by Motor1.com‘s expert review team. Links in this article may result in us earning a commission but do not impact our advice or recommendations. Learn More

Best Car Polishes

Car polish can help you achieve the ultimate shine on your old or new car’s paintwork.
Written and Tested By:
Will Moore
Written and Tested By: Will Moore Senior Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Will has written for several major auto sites including Motor1 since 2020, logging hundreds of hours researching and testing products ranging from child car seats to torque wrenches. Will is also Certified by Safe Kids Worldwide as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (#T836339).

Last Updated 01/04/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The best car polish in 2024 is the 3D Speed Polish. The Speed Polish from 3D is easy to use and offers great results.
  • Car polishes themselves are relatively affordable, but car polishing kits can easily cost a couple of hundred dollars. We found that you’ll spend anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on if you plan on applying your car polish by hand, or if you want a full kit for the best results.
  • Car polish is used to improve the look of your car’s paint job, making it look newer and shinier. It does so by removing small scratches and other imperfections on your vehicle’s paint.
Best Car Polish
3D Speed Car Polish and Wax

A two-in-one polish and wax that’s easy to use and gives excellent results.

Best Car Polish For Scratches
Turtle Wax 1 and Done Compound

A fast and reliable car polish that can also remove scratches.

Best Polish For Black Cars
Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish

An inexpensive and effective car polish that includes a protective wax.

Best Car Polish Kit
Chemical Guys Polisher Kit (V32-V38)

A set that includes everything you need to make your paint job glisten.

Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit

An easy-to-use polish that you can apply to your vehicle by hand.

Car polish is an abrasive compound designed to remove shallow scratches and add a pleasing shine. The best car polishes are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. However, there’s no single best polish for every person and every car. The perfect choice depends on your shine preferences and the time you’re willing to spend detailing.

In this review, we suggest several top car polishes after testing each for ease of use, appearance, and scratch-removing abilities. Uncover the pros and cons of each polish so you can pick the right product for your vehicle.


What Is The Best Car Polish?

The best car polish is the 3D Speed Car Polish and Wax according to our experts’ in-person testing experience. The Turtle Wax 1 and Done Compound, Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish, Chemical Guys Polisher Kit, and the Nu-Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit round out our picks for the best car polishes on the market in 2024.

Five of the best car polishes as tested and reviewed by our auto product team.

Car Polish Ratings

Each car polish in this review was thoroughly tested and evaluated based on several categories, including ease of application, scratch buffing, and appearance. You can find more specifics regarding our rating system here.

The scores in each category are compiled into a single overall rating that ranges from 1.0 to 5.0 stars. Each car polish’s ratings, including their overall ratings and awards from our team, are highlighted below:

Brand/ModelOverall RatingAwardCost
3D Speed Polish4.7Best Car Polish$25
Turtle Wax One And Done4.5Best Car Polish for Scratches$20
Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish4.5Best Polish for Black Cars$20
Chemical Guys Polishing Kit4.3Best Car Polish Kit$200
Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit$4N/A$20

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

For those interested in learning more, we’ve provided a detailed review of each of the best car polishes in the sections below:

1. 3D Speed Polish: Best Car Polish

The 3D Speed Car Polish And Wax.
  • Cost: Around $25
  • Cost per ounce: $1.75/ounce (oz.)
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 5,100 reviews

3D Speed Polish Review

As the name implies, 3D Speed Car Polish and Wax is a two-in-one compound that polishes your paint and applies a protective wax coating. You can use it on chrome, plastic, paint, or metal, and it’s simple to apply. You will need an electric polisher to properly apply 3D’s product.

Here’s how the 3D Speed Polish performed in each category:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application5.0
Scratch Buffing4.5
Appearance4.5
Overall Rating4.7
3D Speed Polish: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the 3D Speed Polish:

Pros Incredibly easy to use Quickest application of any tested product Great shine and results
Cons

3D Speed Car Polish: Our Experience

This hybrid wax applied easily and did a perfect job removing the shallow scratches on our test vehicle’s paint. It left behind a quality shine and didn’t take many passes to buff out. Of all the car polishes we tested, the 3D Speed Car Polish and Wax took the fewest passes to completely apply.

Because this is a two-in-one polish and wax formula, there’s no need to apply any more products after use. It’s a good choice if you want a simple car polish solution that you can complete quickly while producing high-quality results.

The 3D Speed Car Polish And Wax being used to polish the exterior of a vehicle with a car buffer.

3D Speed Car Polish & Wax: What Customers Are Saying

The numerous positive reviews often mention how easy it is to use this product. A small amount will go a long way, and it’s one of the quickest ways to apply polish and wax to a vehicle. Some reviewers say they’re surprised to get such a quality shine from a two-in-one car polish.

While we tested 3D Speed on a white car, several reviews from users with black cars note the high quality of shine produced.

Not everyone is satisfied with the results of 3D speed, however. Some users don’t believe this polish is shiny enough. Others claim the protective coating doesn’t last as long as a dedicated wax or other sealant.

2. Turtle Wax One And Done: Best Car Polish For Scratches

The Turtle Wax 1 And Done Compound.
  • Cost: Around $20
  • Cost per ounce: $1.38/oz.
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 1,400 reviews

Turtle Wax 1 And Done Review

The Turtle Wax 1 and Done Compound is a simple polish formula that’s a breeze to apply. While it doesn’t produce the same level of shine as some of the other best car polishes, it’s an excellent scratch remover and applies easily.

You can see how the Turtle Wax One And Done performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application4.5
Scratch Buffing5.0
Appearance4.0
Overall Rating4.5

This is only a car polish and doesn’t apply any protective coating. You will need to follow up with a car wax or ceramic coating. You’ll also need an electric polisher to effectively use Turtle Wax’s product.

Turtle Wax One And Done: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Turtle Wax One And Done:

Pros Excellent scratch removal Long-lasting bottle
Cons Not the shiniest polish

Turtle Wax One And Done: Our Experience

Turtle Wax doesn’t stand out as being especially shiny, but it’s easy to apply and works as well as a car polish. It took only a few passes to buff out the scratches on our test vehicle, and we didn’t need to use much product, so a single bottle would last for some time.

The Turtle Wax 1 And Done Compound being used to polish the exterior of a vehicle with a car buffer.

Turtle Wax One And Done: What Customers Are Saying

A high percentage of reviews for Turtle Wax car polish are positive, with most claiming it’s easy to use and great at scratch removal. Some even prefer the less glossy finish that it applies to shinier options.

Some of the few negative comments note that while Turtle Wax works well, cheaper polishes are just as effective.

3. Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish: Best Polish For Black Cars

The Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish.
  • Cost: Around $20
  • Cost per ounce: $1.25
  • Amazon review score: 4.4 out of 5.0 based on over 30 reviews

Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish Review

Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish is a prepping compound with a high shine. It adds a high gloss finish while removing paint swirls and small scratches. You can apply this polish by hand, but it works best when used with an orbital polisher. Meguiar’s product is a professional-grade car polish, suitable for all paint colors.

Here’s how Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish performed in each category:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application4.5
Scratch Buffing4.5
Appearance4.5
Overall Rating4.5
Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish: Our Experience

Below are the pros and cons of the Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish:

Pros Professional-grade polish Inexpensive and efficient Only small amount of product needed per polish
Cons A bit difficult to apply

Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish: Our Experience

Applying Meguiar’s ultimate polish is straightforward, and the product works well. While this polish doesn’t stand out as much as some more expensive alternatives, it’s inexpensive and efficient. What stands out most is that only a very small amount of product is necessary to polish a large surface.

The Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish being used to polish the exterior of a vehicle with a car buffer.

Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish: What Customers Are Saying

Few negative customer reviews exist for this polish. The majority of reviewers praise it as effective, especially on black vehicles. Only a small amount of polish goes a long way, and this product is excellent as a scratch remover.

One negative review says Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish can be hard to remove. You first apply this car polish with a buffer and then wipe it away. It’s important to remove the polish so a film or haze isn’t left behind. Some users claim Meguiar’s Ultimate Polish requires a bit of elbow grease to remove once you apply it.

4. Chemical Guys Polishing Kit: Best Car Polish Kit

The Chemical Guys Polisher Kit.
  • Cost: Around $200
  • Cost per ounce: $1.38
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 10,100 reviews

Chemical Guys Polishing Kit Review

The best method to apply car polish is using a random orbital or dual-action polisher. If you don’t already have such a polisher, you’ll want to buy one. The Chemical Guys polisher kit includes everything you need to get a professional-quality buff and shine.

You can see how the Chemical Guys Polishing Kit performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application3.5
Scratch Buffing4.5
Appearance5.0
Overall Rating4.3

Unlike the other best car polishes on this list, Chemical Guys’ kit includes four products to apply to your car in a certain order (V32, V34, V36, and V38). While this means more effort than a single-polymer formula, the results are a little better. If you don’t mind spending more time car detailing, this kit will produce excellent results.

Chemical Guys Polishing Kit: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Chemical Guys Polishing Kit:

Pros Includes everything needed for a great polish Great results Long-lasting shine
Cons Time-consuming application

Chemical Guys Polishing Kit: Our Experience

While the polishing process is essentially the same with this set of Chemical Guys products, it takes much longer. You must apply four formulas instead of just one, making this polish the most time-consuming.

The instructions are very easy to follow, and because this kit includes a polisher, the instructions provide detailed steps, including the speed at which to set the polisher.

We noticed this set does a better job than the all-in-one formulas at removing scratches and applying a shine. According to customer reviews, the sealant protection lasts a little longer than most two-in-one formulas.

The Chemical Guys Polisher Kit being used to polish the exterior of a vehicle with a car buffer.

Chemical Guys Polishing Kit: What Customers Are Saying

Customers say this kit is extremely user-friendly. It includes everything needed to polish a car, and the results are excellent in terms of scratch removal and final car shine.

Several users say the included polisher isn’t of the highest quality. While several positive reviews call out the Torqx polisher as easy to use, others say better products exist.

5. Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit

The Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit.
  • Cost: Around $20
  • Cost per ounce: $0.53
  • Amazon review score: 4.3 out of 5.0 based on over 1,800 reviews

Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit Review

Unlike many other polishes, Nu Finish doesn’t require a buffer to apply. If you want to put a polish on your vehicle without buying a buffer, Nu Finish is your best bet.

You can see how the Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application5.0
Scratch Buffing4.0
Appearance4.0
Overall Rating4.3

The downside is that Nu Finish does poorly with scratch removal. The product includes an effective scratch doctor formula, but you must apply this with a buffer, meaning Nu Finish isn’t a one-and-done application if you have scratches to buff out.

Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit: Pros And Cons

Below are the pros and cons of the Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit:

Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit: Our Experience

For parity, we tested the Nu Finish polish with and without our orbital buffer. The results were the same. Even with a buffer, the Nu Finish polish didn’t remove scratches, though it did produce a nice shine. The Scratch Remover formula removes scratches when used with the buffer.

While this product doesn’t include a buffer, it comes with two high-quality microfiber cloths.

Nu Finish 4-Piece Car Care Kit: What Customers Are Saying

Those who appreciate this car polish often point out how easy it is to use. It’s inexpensive and results in a high-quality shine. Numerous customers mention the low price and say it’s worth every penny.

Some less-satisfied users say the Nu Finish doesn’t look as good on black cars, leaving behind some swirl marks. Others mention what we noticed: this product doesn’t do much to remove scratches.