Rain repellent is a hydrophobic coating applied to the windscreen of your car that prevents water from clinging to the glass and obscuring your vision. Given the relentless horizontal precipitation common to the British Isles, we’d say it’s one of the best upgrades UK motorists can do to their cars.
If you’re still on the fence about whether it’s worth shelling out for rain repellent, have a look through the Met Office’s list of past weather events. In 2022, the UK was battered by no less than five storms, the strongest of which dumped more than 200mm of rain onto Wales and the Pennines.
Rain repellent is a particularly good investment for 2nd hand cars. By the time a car is passed on to its second owner, any protective coatings applied to the windscreen when the car was new will have been washed away – so make sure you apply some fresh rain repellent to keep your vision clear.
As an added benefit, rain repellents can make your windscreen wipers last longer by providing an extra layer of lubrication between the rubber blades and the glass. Not all rain repellents are created equal, though – some last weeks, some months and some years. Scroll down for the best on sale.
Soft99 Glaco Roll-on
This is the best rain repellent on sale. It’s nothing short of sheer genius, as it combines the product and the applicator in one handheld device. A simple squeeze of the bottle pushes the rain repellent onto a foam pad above the nozzle, which you then use to coat the glass.
Keep applying until the windscreen is hazed over, leave it for 10 minutes to dry and then buff clear with a microfibre towel to enjoy two months of streak-free vision on the roads. The roll-on system is a great time-saver and an effective means at making sure the entire windscreen is coated.
Autobrite Direct Vision +
This product was originally designed to clean and protect motorcycle helmets, but it works great on car windscreens too. It’s an incredibly hydrophobic material – once applied, water leaps away from the surface of the glass like it’s been scalded.
As an added benefit, it’s also an effective cleaner that makes light work of exploded insects and road grime, although it doesn’t last for as long as some of the other products in this list. Overall, if you can’t be bothered applying a separate glass cleaner and rain repellent, this is the product for you.
Rain-X 2in1 Glass Cleaner + Rain Repellent
Rain-X is a long-standing name in the rain repellent business – but the company hasn’t let that pedigree go to its head. This is one of the best-value rain-repellents on sale, with 500ml bottles being priced from as little as £5.
The protection it offers can only be measured in weeks rather than months, but its easy application process means maintaining the finish isn’t an arduous task. Simply spray the Rain-X onto the glass and wipe it straight off with a clean cloth. No curing. No buffing. No nonsense.
Gtechniq G1 ClearVision Smart Glass
This is a deeply impressive glass protector. Gtechniq says it’ll offer 20,000 miles of rain repelling power – but that’s only if you’re willing to apply it correctly. And, as we’ll now explain, that’s easier said than done. Get a notepad out. You’ll forget if you don’t write this lot down.
First, you need to clean the glass, preferably with Gtechniq’s own glass cleaner. Then, crack out the ClearVision kit, which comes with two products. Apply three layers of G1 Smart Glass, then leave it to cure. Next, add some G2 Residue Remover. Once that’s done, you need to make sure you don’t get the windscreen wet for 12 hours. It’s an arduous job, but it’s worth it.
EZ Car Care Lotus
This is another great product for the time-poor. If you haven’t got hours to spend laboring over your windscreen, just pick up a bottle of this stuff. Like the Rain-X above, you just spray it on and wipe it off. It doesn’t need any curing time and does a good job of breaking down dirt.
The finish is surprisingly durable given its relatively affordable price of just £10. There’s always a compromise, though – and this is no exception. The EZ Car Care Lotus spray isn’t the best-smelling product here so, if you have a strong gag reflex, perhaps consider looking elsewhere.
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