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Best tyre shine 2021

Restore the showroom look to your sidewalls as we pick from the best spray-on tyre shine treatments

We spend so much time selecting alloys when we get the chance, it would be a shame to wrap them in grey, tired-looking rubber. A good scrub may remove the grime but, unless the tyres are pretty new, it won’t restore a deep shine.

For that you need a tyre treatment. You still need clean rubber to make the most of one, but application can be as quick as simply spraying it on and letting it dry. Add in a price that’s towards the bottom of the car-care scale, and it’s hard not to like a tyre shine – it’s the finishing touch to a car clean. To find the best we applied products to two large tyres, and monitored the finish over six weeks. We also factored in ease of use and price.

Verdict

1. CarPlan Tyre Slik

Tyre shine reviews

CarPlan Tyre Slik

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There are many products that have won our tests multiple times, but CarPlan’s Tyre Slik is alone in that it has been unbeaten in more than 20 years of testing. It’s unusual because rivals can eventually match a pacesetter, or do the job more cheaply.

But Tyre Slik has managed to keep all at bay, although it was close with the similar Simoniz product. It came down to the final assessment after six weeks, which tipped the balance in CarPlan’s favour. It’s been close before, but never as tight as this.

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Simoniz Back to Black Tyre & Trim

We thought that CarPlan’s remarkable record could be broken this year, because Simoniz had a small price advantage over its rival this time around. It matches Tyre Slik’s easy spray-and-go application, but it was yet another commendation for Back to Black because it slipped back at the last assessment, with a touch more grey in its section. It was still clearly present, though.

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Turtle Wax Wet’n’Black Tyre Dressing

Turtle Wax provides the trigger pack option for those who don’t like using an aerosol. It’s not quite as easy to use because the spray isn’t very fine, but it tends to go further. It’s also the one to go for if a high gloss is your preference. It can’t match our top two on price or on the sidewall and was a clear step behind, but it was still working at the end of the test, even if it had gathered a bit more grime than CarPlan or Simoniz.

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Autoglym High Performance Tyre Gel

This gel from Autoglym is the one for those that love to work the coating into every nook and cranny of a sidewall. The sweet-smelling silicone-based gel can’t match aerosols for ease of use, but there’s very little waste, which helps to balance that higher price. The extra effort is worth it, because Autoglym’s section could be easily identified at the end, when many had disappeared.

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Meguiar’s Ultimate Tyre Shine

Price: Around £14
Size: 386ml
Contact: www.meguiars.co.uk

Usually we assess tyre shines in harsh winter weather. But the milder summer conditions were not such a severe test, and there was little to choose between this new Meguiar’s and serial winner Tyre Slik.

The Ultimate Tyre Shine goes on easily, requiring only a few aerosol passes to get an even finish. Meguiar’s says this is its ‘highest-gloss tyre shine’ and it certainly is very shiny – maybe too much for some tastes. It dulls fairly quickly, though, and repels grime well, if a little less effectively than our winner at first. However, it still beads water strongly after six weeks. The one area where our multiple champ had a big advantage is price; it is around a third of the cost of the Meguiar’s. 

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Angelwax Elixir

Price: Around 10
Size: 500ml
Contact: www.angelwax.co.uk

If you prefer the control of a trigger spray applied by an applicator, then this rubber and tyre dressing from Scottish producer Angelwax is the one to go for. Its initial appearance was good and we didn’t have to work at it to get an even finish. During the test it racked up a series of top scores as it resisted the road grime, leaving it behind our top products. Not the cheapest option, but there’s little wastage with this type of application.

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Halfords Wet Look Tyre Dressing

Price: Around £4
Size: 500ml
Contact: www.halfords.co.uk

If any of our group were troubled by the changes to our test, it was this regular top-four finisher from Halfords. It started well, and many may prefer its slightly more muted finish to our champion’s, but as the trial progressed it fell back. It particularly struggled on the front tyre compared with the top performers as time went on. However, it was still good enough to see off the rest of the competition, helped by a keen price that was the least expensive here.

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The Treatment Black-On Tire Shine System

Price: Around £14
Size: 118.5 x2
Contact: www.amazon.co.uk

Black-On is applied in two parts. A black base coat goes on with the supplied sponge. You then need to wait up to 10 minutes before applying the top coat with another sponge. It’s messy and time-consuming, and while the result is similar to the Tyre Slik’s finish, it’s not as effective at repelling grime. It was a little behind after two weeks, and not beading water as well as the two aerosols by the end.  

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Now that your tyres are taken car of, why not get your hands on the best wheel cleaner for sale?

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Products editor

Kim has worked for Auto Express for more than three decades and all but a year of that time in the Products section. His current role as products editor involves managing the section’s content and team of testers plus doing some of the tests himself. 

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