Advertiser Disclosure

Tire Spray

A high-quality ceramic car coating can change the look of your car – it deepens your car’s paint color, adds a glass-like finish, and protects your vehicle from the elements. But what is the best ceramic coating for cars?

In this buyers guide, we’ll go over the best ceramic coatings for cars based on detailing experience, cost, performance, longevity, and consumer ratings. We’ll also discuss what a ceramic car coating is, the pros and cons of using one, and what to look for in a high-quality product.


In this article:

 


 

What Is A Ceramic Car Coating?

Ceramic car coating is a chemical, liquid polymer that bonds with a vehicle’s clearcoat and protects the paint from environmental damage like rain, dirt, debris, industrial fallout, and UV rays. Ceramic coatings are hydrophobic, meaning they will repel water and make 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 glossy finish to your paint job while also increasing the color’s depth.

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

 


 

Why Apply Ceramic Car Coating?

There are a few reasons why you should add ceramic car coating to your detailing arsenal, including:

Longer-lasting than car wax: While waxing gives your car a beautiful glow, it only lasts three to six months. Comparatively, 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 that 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 hard 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.

 


 

The 5 Best Ceramic Coatings for Cars

 

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 the top three products a superlative to help direct you to the product best suited for your detailing projects.

 


 

#1 Best Overall: Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating


Check Price >

 
external_image

Price: $14.97

Longevity: Up to 12 months

The Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating holds the No. 1 spot on our list of the best ceramic coatings for cars because of its affordable price point, exceptional performance, and easy application process. 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 it 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.

What Customers Are Saying: With over 6,100 Amazon customer reviews, the ceramic spray holds a 4.7 out of 5.0-star rating. Positive customer reviews mention the spray’s ease of use, especially for beginner detailers, and beautiful finish. Negative reviews report some streaks left on the car’s surface after use, though these reviews are in the minority.

Key Features

  • Made from hydrophobic SiO2 polymers
  • Can be used on all exterior surfaces
  • Fruity fragrance
  • Easy application process

 


 

#2 Closest To Pro: CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0


Check Price >

 
external_image

Price: $86.99 for kit

Longevity: 18 to 24 months

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 begins. This includes:

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

What Customers Are Saying: The CarPro CQuartz ceramic coating has a 4.7-star rating on Amazon, backed by more than 700 customer reviews. Many customers praise the coating’s water-repellent properties and high-gloss shine. Some say their vehicle achieved an almost wet look after application. The biggest issue buyers report is the application time. From reviews, the total application time ranges between 10 and 12 hours.

Key Features

This kit includes the following:

  • 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

 


 

#3 Fastest Application: Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating


Check Price >

 
external_image

Price: $37.64

Longevity: Varies

The Chemical Guys HydroSlick SiO2 Ceramic Coating has the easiest and quickest application process out of all the products on our list of best ceramic coatings for cars. After washing your vehicle, apply the gel, let cure for as little 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.

What Customers Are Saying: With over 2,600 Amazon customer reviews, this ceramic car coating holds a 4.6-star rating. Positive reviews report the product’s ease of use and hydrophobic qualities. Many buyers note to use only a small amount of this ceramic coating to make sure it buffs off easily after application. One-star ratings only made up three percent of the product’s total reviews, but they mention that the product doesn’t last longer than a few months.

Key Features

  • Made from hydrophobic SiO2 polymers
  • Can be used on all exterior surfaces
  • Easy application process

 


 

#4 Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat


Check Price >

 
external_image

Price: $19.95

Longevity: Varies

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

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

What Customers Are Saying: Backed by over 40,000 Amazon customer reviews, the Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat has a 4.3 out of 5.0-star rating. Eighty percent of buyers give this product at least a 4.0, many of whom report the product’s no-hassle application and mirror-like finish. Negative reviews mention that the product’s water resistance is lacking.

Key Features

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

 


 

#5 Epic Elements Protect Ceramic Coating


Check Price >

 
external_image

Price: $18.91

Longevity: Up to six months

Our final pick for the best ceramic coating for cars is the Epic Elements Protect Ceramic Coating. Another three-in-one formula, the coating protects your vehicle from rain, UV rays, dirt, debris, and industrial fallout after one application. In consumer tests, the Epic Elements Protect Ceramic Coating was hydrophobic and held up against multiple chemical solvents.

This ceramic coating can be used on any vehicle surface, and only requires a spray, wipe, and gentle buff with a microfiber towel to apply. It delivers a high-shine finish with little effort.

What Customers Are Saying: The Epic Elements Protect Ceramic Coating has a 4.5-star rating with almost 2,000 Amazon customer reviews. Most buyers report long-lasting protection after application and a glassy finish. Only four percent of the product’s reviews are negative. The few negative reviews mention some swirling and streaking after application.

Key Features

  • Three-in-one formula
  • Can be used on all exterior surfaces
  • Easy application process
  • Light fragrance

 


 

What To Look For In The Best Ceramic Coatings

Hydro Suds

The best ceramic car coating largely depends on your prior experience with detailing, as well as your budget and time constraints. Here’s what to look for in a high-quality ceramic coating:

Beginner Detailer

  • Hybrid wax-ceramic coating or three-in-one formula for no-fuss application
  • Spray products that have minimal application steps: wash, spray, dry, and buff
  • Little to no curing time
  • Lasts three to six months
  • Does not require multi-step upkeep

Mid-Level Detailer

  • Silica or quartz-compound ceramic coating
  • 24-hour curing time
  • Lasts six months to one year

Advanced Detailer

  • Silica or quartz-compound ceramic coating
  • Multi-step application process: washing, removing iron compounds, clay baring, denatured alcohol wipedown, “painting” application rather than spray
  • One- to five-day curing time
  • Light and temperature specifications during application
  • Able to commit between 10 and 15 hours to process
  • Dedicated to aftercare and upkeep

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best ceramic car coating?

Based on our review criteria – cost, ease of use, performance, longevity, and customer ratings – the Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating is the best ceramic car coating. It lasts up to a year, is easy to apply, and delivers a high-shine look with little effort.

Is ceramic coating good for your car?

Ceramic car coatings protect your car’s clearcoat from environmental damage and UV rays, so yes, they are good for your car.

How much does it cost to get your car ceramic coated?

Based on our research, a professionally done ceramic coating can cost between $1,000 and $2,000.

How long does ceramic coating last?

Ceramic car coatings can last between three months and three years, depending on the product you purchase.