Detailing on a budget? Or simply looking for the best value for money? There are some top-notch waxes out there at a reasonable price point, and I’ll be looking here at three that take the top spot in that category of best cheap car wax.
For the best cheap car wax, I’m looking at waxes costing under the £30 mark. There are many sub £20 waxes on the market, and future articles may look at those in more detail, but £30 is my starting point for the Best cheap car wax.
And, to cut to the chase. The wax that takes the honours as Best cheap car wax is…..Collinite No.845 Insulator Wax. With DoDo Juice Supernatural Hybrid a close second and Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax bring up the respectable rear.
How was the Best cheap car wax decided? Testing methodology and scoring criteria.
For me, the very best way to try out and test waxes is to really put them through the rigours of regular use, testing them in the real world.
For this purpose, all the waxes were tested on my daily driver cars, cars used in all UK weathers, through the varying seasons, in varying conditions, and regularly washed and maintained with weekly/fortnightly washes.
Each wax was on the cars for several months to enable thorough experience and monitoring of their all-around capabilities and performance in equal conditions.
To rate the waxes in use, I measured them against the following criteria, rating one to five stars for each category.
- Ease of application
- Finish and paint enhancement
- Value for money
- Hydrophobicity – sheeting and Beading
What should you be looking for in a budget car wax?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. It depends on what’s most important to you.
If your looking for a cheap wax that you can stick on and not have to reapply for ages, knowing the car is well protected, then that might be your primary criteria.
If you’re looking for a cheap car wax that will give you fantastic paint enhancement above and over all else, and are happy to reapply regularly, then the former may be your deciding factor. However, the best cheap car wax should cover all bases to a good degree, and ultimately it’s about quality and value for money.
Best Cheap Car Waxes – Top 3
So here we have my top picks for the best cheap car waxes:
Collinite waxes are always impressive. They do what they say, and they do it well, very well. 845 is no different.
It’s a liquid wax and is a more user-friendly, easier-to-apply version of Collinite 476S.
At first sight, it looks like an unassuming product, probably because the packaging is pretty basic. But don’t be fooled by that; what’s within that bland-looking bottle is a superb tough, highly durable, workhorse wax, giving around 5/6 months of protection (with a regular washing regime).
Being a liquid wax, there’s real ease of application, easy to apply, easy to buff off, with a few minutes hazing all that’s needed in between. The only thing to note is the bottle needs a good shake, and if stored in a cold environment, benefits from being warmed to room temp before use – standing the cold bottle in some warm water works a treat to thin wax thickened by the cold.
845 gives a very competent finish to paintwork and excellent water beading. A wax is suitable for all colours but particularly good on lighter colours, a little lacking in depth enhancement for the darker paints.
It’s not Concours quality wax, but it imparts great gloss and shine. It’s a small trade-off for such a tough, durable, long-lasting wax, one good for use all year round but particularly well suited to harsher winter months and the salt and road grime that comes with winter. That’s where this wax excels. And it’s multi-functional wax. Suitable for all paintwork, smooth exterior plastic trim (avoid textured plastics), and superb as a wheel protectant too.
A little goes a long way, so a 473ml bottle will last ages, making it very hard to beat as a value for money wax. On a budget, it’s really all you need to protect the exterior of your car.
- Tough and durable
- 5-6 months lifespan
- Superb value for money
- Easy application
- Great wax for winter grime
- Multipurpose – great for paintwork, trim and wheels
- Hand or DA application (buff off by hand)
- A 473ml bottle lasts a long time
- Great beading
- Suitable for all colours
Prepmycar Rating: 4.3/5.0
DoDo Supernatural Hybrid is a hybrid combination of Brazilian carnauba and synthetic sealant. This pairing gives a finish worthy of a carnauba-based wax, with increased durability characteristic of a synthetic sealant. Best of both worlds coming together in a paste wax.
SNH has decent durability and longevity of around 3-4 months (with regular washing). It excels on the finish, giving a crisp, sharp finish characterised by stunning reflectivity and amazing shine.
Again, it’s a wax suitable for all colours, but it will really bring out the best of lighter colours – silvers and whites. Arguably the finish is a little clinical, a little sterile on darker colours, unlike some of DoDo Juice’s colour-charged waxes, which add depth to dark blues and blacks. Application is easy enough, a little more effort is needed with this paste wax over liquid waxes, but easy enough when applied with a good foam wax applicator.
A hazing time of 5-10 minutes (temp/humidity dependent) is required before buffing off. If left to haze too long, it can require more effort to remove. Plastic trim is best avoided as it can leave white residue behind, which is hard to remove, especially from textured plastics.
Another stunner from DoDo Juice at a reasonable price point.
- Amazing reflective shine
- Crisp sharp finish
- Good durability and lifespan – 3/4 months
- Superb beading -typical DoDo Juice wax beading
- Suitable for all colours but best for lighter colours
- Brazilian carnauba plus synthetic sealant for great finish and good durability
- Easy application
- Available in 30ml sample pots as well as full size pots
Prepmycar Rating: 4.2/5.0
Chemical Guys Butter Wet Wax is a beautiful liquid wax that imparts a stunning dripping wet look, shine and gloss and depth to paint; particularly effective on darker paints and blacks but suitable for the use on any colour.
It’s incredibly easy wax to apply, actually a joy to apply and buff off and can be applied by hand or with a DA on a finishing pad, then buffed off by hand.
Where this wax struggles is durability and longevity, which at best is 4-6 weeks (with regular washing). So not entirely up to the rigours of tough winter protection, but as a spring and summer wax, it’s simply perfect and a great wax for layering over other more durable wax. The tropical banana smell is pretty good too!
A simple but beautiful finishing wax at a great price.
Prepmycar Rating: 3.7/5.0
Detailing on a budget?
It’s very, very easy to get caught up in buying lots of different detailing products and gear and can be a slippery slope! But as long as you have the basics right, you probably don’t need a lot else, and there are ways to make savings, making products work harder for you, making them more economical purchases. Here are a few pointers.
- Value for money bulk-sized products 5L.
- Multi-use products that can offer versatility. For instance, trim gels that can be used as tyre dressings; waxes suitable for bodywork and wheels; detailing sprays that can be used for glass, plastic and trim as well as paintwork etc.
- Shampoos that can provide a level of protection and shine as well as cleansing.
- Value for money multipacks of microfibres/cloths/drying towels; duo packs of chemicals.
- Smaller sample pots of products to try before you commit.
Then you might want to put saved money towards one or two standout detailing products that really make a difference. Either way, a bit of savvy detailing on a budget should both achieve your aims and be enjoyable!
Which car wax lasts the longest?
In terms of durability, Bilt Hamber Double Speed is one of the longest-lasting waxes that you can get. It's also very good value as one of the "cheaper" car waxes on the market.
What is the easiest car wax to use?
Most car waxes are relatively easy to use. The key is good preparation on the paint and then being able to work under the manufacturer guidance. Collinite 845 is one of the easiest car waxes that I've tested.
What is the best car wax on the market?
For me, Collinite 915 is about as good as it gets. It has great aesthetics, durability and is easy to apply. It also comes in at a good price point, which is great in terms of value.
How much should I spend on a wax?
Budget is something that only you can answer. However, for around £30 you are going to be able to get a very good car wax that is up there with many of the more expensive brands.