The best rain repellents for cars: the CAR experts decide

Driving in the wet is an inevitability, but streaky, opaque windscreens don't have to be thanks to effective rain repellents for cars.

Best rain repellent for cars

by Chris Williams |

Living in a nation as moist as the UK, rain is a fact of life like cricket, Sainsbury’s, and Weet-a-Bix (though, I’m antipodean and claim 'Weet-Bix' is our thing). Driving in the wet demands higher concentration but trepidation gets thrown into the mix when car windows become smeared with a combination of persistent rainwater and muck.

A set of windscreen wipers in their prime certainly help to mitigate this issue, but rain repellent for cars can make a huge difference.

What is a rain repellent?

It’s not some Gore-Tex jacket for cars, but rather a solution you apply to glass, windows, and/or body panels. The rain repellent will then create a clear, non-stick, hydrophobic barrier on the surface that makes it harder for water and other residues to take up residence on your car’s exterior. Depending on the product, the rain repellent will last weeks, months, and sometimes years.

Some people claim rain repellent products and glass cleaners can smear glass and make visibility in dry or darker conditions difficult. Indeed, some inferior products can do this, which is why choosing an effective rain repellent for your car is crucial. We’re here to help you with this.

Related: The best wheel sealants and protectors | The best car cleaning kits for comprehensive car care

The best car rain repellents for windscreens

Rain-X Windscreen Washer Additive & Water Repellent Glass Cleaner

Rain-X Windscreen Washer Additive & Water Repellent Glass Cleaner
Amazon

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Rain-X has long been the product of choice with its only drawback being the longevity of the product on the windscreen. Happily, however, you can now add some concentrate to your washer fluid meaning that every time you clean your windscreen, you get a little top up of Rain-X. The invisible hydrophobic coating will repel rain, sleet and snow while making the removal of road salt, ice, mud, and bugs easier. To apply, use a cloth on a clean windscreen and once dry buff clean with a clean dry cloth.

Pros

Effectiveness

Value

Cons

Additive needed to keep effectiveness up

SOFT99 Glaco

SOFT99 Glaco
Amazon

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William Lobley/Bauer

the SOFT99 Glaco Roll-On is the strong water-repellent liquid wiper in the Glaco range. The foam applicator means that less product is wasted on your cloth for application, simply squeeze the tube and apply it to your windows. The two step application will mean it takes slightly longer than some products as you have to wait for the repellent to dry before buffing with a microfibre cloth.

You can read our full Glaco review by clicking here

Pros:

Long lasting

Protects windscreen from deposits

Cons:

Takes a bit of time to apply properly

Meguiar's Perfect Clarity Glass Sealant 118ml

The best non-spray rain repellent
Meguiar's Perfect Clarity Glass Sealant
Amazon

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This is a sealant you apply to glass having cleaned and dried it already. You then put a little on the pad provided and cover the pane of glass; leave it for ten minutes and wipe off the excess with a damp microfibre towel. Meguiar's suggests a second coat "for best results".

Pros

Very hydrophobic

Long-lasting

Cons

An extra car cleaning step

Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass

The best rain repellent for detailers
Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass
Amazon

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Gtechniq talks about its G1 products having a superior adhesion to glass than its competitors' thanks to impressive chemical bonding. It certainly works and the "lasts up to 20,000 miles" claim is legitimate. However, the catch is you need to set aside some time to apply it. For best results, you ought to apply three coats, first in a circular motion, second horizontally, third vertically to the windscreen followed by the G2 residue remover (supplied). It's a bit of a faff but considering it's once in a blue moon, it's worthwhile.

Pros

Longevity

Comes in 15ml for windscreens only or 100ml for all windows

Cons

Bit of a process to apply

Totally Essential Eco-Friendly & Biodegradable Screenwash with Rain Repellent 5L Concentrate

Best screenwash with rain repellent
Totally Essential Eco-Friendly & Biodegradable Screenwash with Rain Repellent
Amazon

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If applying a dedicated rain repellent doesn't take your fancy, instead you can top up your car's washer bottle with some screenwash with rain repellent in it. You might as well since screenwash needs topping up every so often anyway. Don't expect this to be as good as the products above, but it's still very effective.

Pros

Time-saving

Five-litre concentrate equals good value

Cons

Not as effective as dedicated rain repellents

Related: Car upholstery cleaners that truly work

The best car rain repellents for bodywork

Gtechniq EXOv4

The best long lasting rain repelent for bodywork
Gtechniq EXOv4
Amazon

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Like the Gtechniq product above, this is a hydrophobic coating. The difference of course is that this is for bodywork. You apply it in a similar way too: wet the application pad and rub it onto the surface, one panel at a time before buffing it with a microfibre cloth after a couple of minutes. For best results do two coats. Comes in 30ml or 50ml bottles and lasts for a remarkable maximum of 24 months.

Pros

Fantastic durability

Equally impressive water and dirt repellency

Cons

A bit time consuming to apply

Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating Kit

The best ceramic rain repellent
Autoglym Ultra High Definition Ceramic Coating Kit
Amazon

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Ceramic polymer coating on cars provides fantastic long-lasting water repellency and protection from UV, acidic substances like bird poo, and light scratches. It also helps protect a previously applied polish. This two-stage kit from Autoglym is one of the top ceramic coatings out there. The preparation solution removes any old wax or other protectants on the car's surface, and the ceramic coating provides protection for up to 12 months.

Pros

Effectiveness

Longevity

Cons

Takes time to apply

Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Pro Flex Car Spray Wax 680ml

The best Graphene-infused rain repellent
Turtle Wax Hybrid Solutions Pro Flex Car Spray Wax 680ml
Amazon

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This is a new all-surface protectant for cars. In regard to ceramic coatings, this is graphene-infused, which is another step up. Said graphene-infusion creates a hardy polymer coating that provides not only great water repellency but also UV protection. This can be applied to all exterior materials including glass, headlights, and wheels.

Pros

Lasts up to a year

Quick spray

Cons

Price

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