Best Ceramic Coating for Cars

After considering all of the below criteria, we nominated the Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat as the best ceramic coating for cars. This affordable option is also great for motorcycles and features a hydrophobic polymer three-in-one formula that’s easy to apply in as little as 15 minutes.

To determine the best ceramic coating for cars, we looked at the following features: durability, price, ease of use, materials, and hardness factor. We know that people don’t want to frequently apply ceramic coats. So, we looked at options that were easy to apply while also providing longevity and durability. But the price is also a factor as we noted that more expensive options tended to last longer. Keep reading to learn about the rest of our top picks.

Top 5 Best Ceramic Coating for Cars

 #1  SHINE ARMOR Fortify Quick Ceramic Coat

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: An easy to use spray-on formula that gives your car a waterless car wash, coat, and shine — making it one of the best ceramic coatings for cars.

Pros
  • Very easy to apply
  • Works on cars & motorcycles
  • Hydrophobic polymer coating
Cons
  • Product may ship without spray head

For people who aren’t used to applying waxes or coats to their car, the idea of performing a DIY ceramic coat can be intimidating. But the Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat is our Top Pick because we believe it’s one of the best ceramic coatings for cars. We like that this is a simple spray-on formula that creates a sealant that is 20 times harder than the competition. It can be used on a range of surfaces as well.

To use, simply spray on the coating and wipe it off. It’s so easy to use that you can complete a full application to your car in as little as 15 minutes. You’ll also appreciate that this coating won’t streak or smear and helps to prevent scratches. It’s also hydrophobic so no more streaks or droplets after it rains. For peace of mind during long car rides, you’ll also want to look into the best car seat protector.

 #2  Mothers 01024 CMX Ceramic Spray Coating

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A great option for budget-focused shoppers with a silicon dioxide/titanium dioxide blend in an easy spray-on formula.

Pros
  • Best on a budget
  • Silicon dioxide & titanium dioxide blend
  • Spray on, wipe off formula
Cons
  • Requires 24 hours to cure

The Mother CMX Ceramic Spray Coating is another spray-on/wipe-off coating that is easy to apply but offers a wide range of benefits. In addition to being our Honorable Mention and Best on a Budget nomination, we think it’s also one of the best professional ceramic coating options for an affordable price.

This product can be used alone or as a way to refresh a previous sealant or ceramic coating application. We also liked that it features a blend of silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide for long term hydrophobic protection that ensures water beads up rather than sitting on your car’s exterior or your car’s wax. Once your cars looking great, grab the best car diffuser so that it smells great too.

 #3  Ethos Handcrafted Car Care Ceramic Wax Pro

Award: BEST DURABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: Aerospace-grade Teflon resin and a three-in-one formula make this the best ceramic coating for a mirror-like shine with a hydrophobic finish.

Pros
  • Aerospace-grade Teflon resin
  • Silicon dioxide & titanium dioxide blend
  • Can also be applied to windows
Cons
  • May be difficult to remove

If it’s good enough for the aerospace industry and NASA, it has to be good enough for your car. The Ethos Handcrafted Car Care Ceramix Wax Pro Kit features a patented Teflon resin that was also used by NASA to prevent weathering on the space shuttles. This three-in-one formula is one of the best ceramic coatings in our guide and can be used on cars, boats, motorcycles, and RVs.

Ethos promises that their ceramic wax will last 10 times longer than a traditional carnauba wax finish or polymer sealant. But you’ll like that in addition to a top coat with a high gloss shine, you also get a hydrophobic seal while also protecting your car from oxidation, corrosion, UV rays, and other environmental contaminants. You’ll also appreciate that the Ethos Ceramic Car Wax squeeze bottle comes with a buff for the application process, making applying the hydrophobic coating product quick and easy. If you like a cool drive, you’ll definitely want to look into the best cold air intake too. For another great paint sealant like the Ethos Ceramic Wax, be sure to check out the Sonax Ceramic Coating, which provides a layer of protection to your car’s surface to give it a durable and glossy paint coating that protects your paint job from dust, acid rain, water spots, scratches, etc. anywhere from one to three years.

 #4  Migliore Strata Coating

Award: BEST FOR WHEELS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A versatile coating that can be applied to a wide range of materials including wheels makes it the best ceramic coating for wheels.

Pros
  • Most versatile; paint, wheels and more
  • Can be applied to glass and plastic
  • Lasts a minimum of 1 year
Cons
  • Expensive

Hands down, the Migliore Strata Coating is the most expensive option in our round-up. However, we think it deserves to be here because, in addition to working with a variety of vehicles, motorcycles, boats, and even RVs, you have the versatility to use this ceramic coating on a range of surfaces including plastic, glass and even the wheels on your car. Because of this, we think it’s the best ceramic coating for wheels in our guide. But the added versatility makes this the best professional ceramic coating option in our guide.

While this is one of the smaller containers in our guide, we think you’ll like that it features an easy application process that leaves you with a glossy finish and helps to minimize your overall exterior maintenance on your car. You’ll get over a year of protection that includes hydrophobic properties and UV protection. For some music while you’re driving, you’ll also want the best Bluetooth FM transmitter.

 #5  Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating is the only ceramic coating in our guide to offer a 9H hardness factor and come with a complete application kit.

Pros
  • Longest lasting ceramic coating
  • 9H hardness factor
  • Complete application kit
Cons
  • Expensive

If your focus is on getting the hardest and most durable ceramic coating, then the Color N Drive Car Ceramic Coating Kit is the way to go. We’ve nominated it as our Best Quality recommendation because it’s the only selection in our guide to offer a 9H hardness factor. This brand features a Nano-Bionic ceramic composition which is self-cleaning and very hydrophobic.

You’ll like that while giving you UV protection, you’ll get water repellent protection that also prevents dirt and grime from building up on your car’s exterior. This is an easy to apply coating where a little goes a long way — even though this is one of the smaller bottle sizes (50 milliliters). Once applied and cured, you’ll get a high definition deep gloss finish that will have your car looking factory new. This kit comes with the ceramic coating, a pretreatment, two coated sponges, a spreading microfiber, a polishing microfiber, and gloves. If your tires are looking a little flat, take a look at the best tire inflator too.

How We Decided

A ceramic coating is a great way to extend the lifespan of your car’s paint job while also further protecting it from common environmental factors that can damage the paint. To create our guide, we looked at the following factors — durability, price, ease of use, materials, and hardness factor.

Durability and price are two factors that tend to go hand in hand. If you’re shopping for a ceramic coating on a budget, then you should be aware that cheaper coatings tend to last for a few months. This includes our Top Pick, Honorable Mention, and #3 recommendations. In contrast, more expensive coatings tend to last for at least a year. This is seen in our #4 and Best Quality picks that last for one and two years respectively. However, if you’re primarily focused on cost, then our Honorable Mention is also our Best on a Budget.

In terms of ease of use, all of our picks are designed to be very user friendly. But if you’re looking for a complete kit, our Best Quality recommendation is your best bet because it comes with a pre-treatment and multiple cloths and applicator sponges to make the process easier. Still, most of the picks in our guide (Top Pick, Honorable Mention, and #3) are spray-on formulas that only need to be wiped off to be activated. But you should always check the individual instructions for how long the coating must cure before it offers the full protection advertised.

For the hardness, this was a little bit more difficult to determine. We noted that cheaper brands tended to not focus on hardness but rather their ability to repel water, block UV rays, or prevent general wear and tear on your car’s paint. In contrast, the only two products that referenced hardness in terms of overall durability were the #3 pick which noted a patented Teflon that was used on NASA space shuttles and our Best Quality recommendation which is rated at 9H or diamond-like hardness.

Likewise, materials varied greatly between brands. Some focused on unique combinations such as silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide, while others focused on nano-bionic particles that are naturally hydrophobic.

Best Ceramic Coating for Cars Buying Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. Climate
    Do you live in a warm region that gets lots of sun, or is it mostly cloudy? If you live in a sunny region, then a ceramic coating is a great way to preserve the lifespan of your car’s paint job. But on the flip side, if you live in a primarily cold climate applying a ceramic coating to your car might be a waste of money.
  2. Materials
    Ceramic coating is a generic category. But within it, there are three main types of materials used to create that ceramic coat. The most common options are polymer (also known as epoxy), quartz, and hybrid which is a combination of polymer and quartz. While all of them are great and provide a permanent level of protection for your car’s paint, the hybrid option is considered the best because you get the enhanced hardness of quartz along with the permanence of polymer.
  3. Durability
    This refers to how long a coating will last before you will need to reapply it. While some brands will promise a lifespan that lasts as long as the car, more realistic options will give you protection that lasts from two to five years.
  4. Ease of Use
    Unless you’re a motorhead or a serious car enthusiast, you may not be familiar with how to apply a ceramic coating. But as compared to other car applications like a waterproof coating, ceramic coatings are designed to be very user friendly. Still, you should always confirm before purchasing that the product you want to use is truly easy to apply on your own.
  5. Hardness Factor
    Since the whole point of a ceramic coating is that it’s meant to protect your car’s paint from rust, oxidation, scratches, and general dirt and grime, you’re going to want a hard coating. Basically, the harder the coating, the more protection you get. As a guide, a ceramic coating that’s rated “9H” has a diamond-level hardness.
  6. Age of Your Car
    Think about your car, it’s current age and the condition of its paint. If your car is very old, or has significant chipped paint, then applying a ceramic coating isn’t a good idea. This is because the paint on older cars tends to be thinner due to age and wear. So, instead of creating enhanced protection, it can have a reverse effect by bonding to the actual body of your car — leading to more damage.

Ceramic Coating for Cars FAQs

Is ceramic coating good for your car?

The short answer is yes, but as long as certain conditions apply. A good ceramic coating can extend the lifespan of your car’s paint by protecting it from the damaging effects of UV rays, oxidation, rust, dirt, and even water. This aftermarket upgrade is best for cars that are used frequently. If you rarely drive a car, leave it primarily in the garage, or are thinking of applying a ceramic coat to an older car with thinning paint, there’s a good argument to be made for not applying a ceramic coat.

What is the best ceramic wax for cars?

The best ceramic coating is going to depend on the age of your car, the application process, and the protective features that are most important to you. However, in our guide we nominated the Shine Armor Fortify Quick Coat as our Top Pick. It is a spray-on/wipe-off formula that’s easy for even the least DIY savvy person to apply. It can be applied in 15 minutes and once it’s cured, it will provide hydrophobic, UV, and dirt and grime protection for your car’s paint.

Can you mess up ceramic coating?

Yes, you can mess up a ceramic coating if you don’t follow the application directions. Because ceramic coatings are designed to bond to your car’s paint, if you don’t do it properly, it can be very difficult to remove so you can reapply it. Always follow the instructions, and if you’re not sure you’re going to do it properly, it’s best to hire a professional to do it.

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Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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