Car shampoo: everything you need to know and the best car shampoos 2018 - Best car shampoo 2018

Shampoo specially for your car? It might sound like overkill, but there's a good reason why professional detailers swear by it.

Best car shampoo 2018

Now that you’re well versed in all things car shampoo, we’ll show you the best car shampoos you can buy to clean your car. The majority of shampoos out there will do the job – lifting dirt and grime from your car with a thorough wash, however that hasn’t stopped us from testing what’s out there to see which best achieves that bright elusive sheen at the right price.

Autoglym

Price: Around £7.50Size: 500mlRating: ★★★★★

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Autoglym’s condition car wash is our pick of the bunch. It’s cleverly formulated with a water repellent agent that forces water to bead off the surface after you've rinsed off the shampoo, helping to prevent water spots fomring where you haven’t been quick enough with a shammy to dry the surface. So, once you’ve hosed off the low foaming formula you shouldn't have too much work left to do. It’s good value as well working out at 30p per wash.

Buy now from Amazon

Power Maxed Shampoo & Ultra Wax

Price: Around £9Size: 1,000mlRating: ★★★★☆

Concocted with a healthy helping of Carnauba wax, the brightly-coloured shampoo makes light of the post-rinse drying race against evaporating water droplets, leaving panels largely dry thanks to effective beading that prevents water spots appearing. That said, it fell short of the full five-stars and hence settles for the runner-up’s spot, but at 22p per wash it is cheaper than Autoglym’s offering.

Buy now from Amazon

Angelwax Shampoo

Price: Around £8Size: 500mlRating: ★★★★☆

It was only beaten by our winner in terms of drying time, post-rinse, and it lathered easily when worked onto the paintwork producing an airy foam. It’s just as economical per wash as our winner, too.

Buy now from Angel Wax

Bilt Hamber auto-wash

Price: Around £10Size: 300mlRating: ★★★★☆

Despite undercutting the top few at 17p a wash, it’s not enough to redeem the Bilt Hamber’s shampoo, which failed to replicate the water repellency qualities of those ranked above it.

Buy now from Halfords

Halfords Car Wash

Price: Around £6.50Size: 2,500mlRating: ★★★★☆

It may look like Halfords has prioritised quantity over quality with the big container, but don’t be fooled. You do have to use more shampoo per wash than most of the other options on the list, however it offers impressive beading, helping to shift water rapidly.

Buy now from Halfords

Simoniz Protection Car Wash

Price: £7.99Size: 2,000mlRating: ★★★★☆

Simoniz triumphs for value with one wash equating to 7p, so you’ll forgive it for not matching the top shampoos for water repellency.

Turtle Wax Wash & Wax

Price: Around £8Size: 1,000mlRating: ★★★☆☆

Claims of a ‘high gloss and water repellent finish’ are not far off the mark. The turtle wax clearly shifted rinse water off the surface as described, albeit not as well as rivals. It missed out on a fourth star due to the requisite two capfuls per wash.

Buy now from Turtle Wax

Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax

Price: Around £17Size: 1,420mlRating: ★★★☆☆

Another carnauba wax-infused shampoo that performed admirably, matching the winner in most respects. Despite that, its expensive £17 price tag meant each was cost almost £2.

Buy now from Amazon

Mer high Shine Car Wash

Price: Around £7Size: 500ml Rating: ★★★☆☆

Worked with a mitt it lathered up well producing an effective foam, although it was a slow process. So, while it matched Angelwax in the rinse test, it’s dearer at 35p a bucket, which holds it back overall.

Buy now from Amazon

CarPlan Demon Foam

Price: Around £12Size: 2,000mlRating: ★★★☆☆

Acknowledging not everyone has access to a pressure washer, CarPlan supplies its shampoo with a hose attachment which helps apply a thick, soapy layer of shampoo to your car. However, it fails to impress in the all-important beading criteria with little evidence of water repellency.

Buy now from Halfords

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