The sun is not your car's friend, especially as your car approaches 10 years old. Look at any Vauxhall Corsa C painted red and you'll see the sun has turned them all a shade of pink nobody would willingly apply to a car.
The same happens to black trim on your car. The sun fades them from a rich black to a sad-looking matte grey that gives the indication your car is kept in a greenhouse on hot days.
Thankfully there is an effective treatment for faded black trim. Trim restorer is an easy to apply a solution that will make even the most sun-damaged car look like new again. The best part is, they're good value for money and will transform how your car looks. As for the faded Vauxhall, you'll need to crack out the machine polisher or better yet, buy a better car.
The best black trim restorer
Meguiar's G15812EU Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer
The best black trim restorer
Our top choice for making your car look new again, we like Meguiar's Ultimate Black Plastic Restorer because it is incredibly effective at transforming plastic trim. Apply it using an applicator and it will not only restore the black colour, but it'll also apply a UV clear coat to keep the finish looking good for longer. We also like that it can be used on internal plastic trim too.
CarPlan BTW375 Trim Wax
The best budget black trim restorer
Our budget choice for black trim restoration comes from CarPlan. Designed primarily for removing excess wax from black trim (it can leave a nasty white mark), the CarPlan product will also restore faded colours on black plastic and rubber. Not as effective as the CarPlan example, but good value and giving acceptable results.
Gtechniq C4 Permanent Trim Restorer
The best black trim restorer for long-lasting results
For long-lasting results, we champion this product from Gtechniq. Not explicitly designed for black trim, the C4 Permanent Trim Restorer will restore faded colour and provide a thin layer of protection that's designed to last up to two years. It ships with an applicator pad too, making it a great complete kit.
Autoglym Black Dye
The best black trim restorer for fabric
Trim pieces aren't limited to plastic, vinyl and rubber. Fabric trim can also lose its lustre over time and need a little top-up. This black dye from Autoglym is safe to use on the usual black trim but can also be used to breathe new life into floor mats and other bits of fabric trim. It's not the easiest item to work with but is very effective if you're handy with the masking tape.
Autoglym AG 163254 Bumper & Trim Gel
Another very good choice for reviving faded trim, the Autoglym gel will restore lost colour and provide a layer of water-resistant protection. It's suitable for exterior plastics only sadly, but can be used on exterior rubber and vinyl too.
The best applicators for restoring trim
Special care should be taken when using any of these black trim restorers as they're all flammable and several are skin irritants. As such it's recommended that an applicator is used to apply the product to a car.
What you need to know about black trim restorers
How does it work?
Each example works slightly differently but they all follow the same basic concept. Apply some of the product to an applicator, rub it into the desired area and wait for it to dry. Once it has, buff it and remove any excess product with a drying towel.
Can I use this on coloured trims?
The majority of these products are specifically formulated for black trim pieces which may give you a poor finish if you apply it to painted trim pieces. If the coloured trim is looking tired then it's probably time to look at polishing it.
What about chrome and other bare metal surfaces?
Again, using a black trim restorer on chrome or other metal trim will more than likely result in a dreadful finish. Look at getting some proper metal polish if you want shiny metalwork.