Rain repellent: is it worth using on your car?

by SpeedLux
car driving on road

We’ve all been in rainstorms where visibility is a real challenge, and you want to do everything you can to clear the water from your field of vision. 

A good set of windscreen wipers is your first line of defence and it is well worth replacing them regularly to ensure they do the best job they can. Three-year-old used cars UK-wide have to go through the MoT test each year, and the driver’s view of the road is one of the top reasons for failure.

But you might want to take it a step further and treat your windscreen with a rain repellent, which makes it harder for water to stick to the glass. 

Why should I use a rain repellent?

First and foremost, a rain repellent is designed to help stop your windscreen from smearing when it is raining but it can have other benefits too. 

They will also help your windscreen wipers last longer, which could save you money, not just in wiper blades but in MoT retest fees when your car fails the first time around.

Many of them also claim to be able to offer some protection against snow and ice, which should save you time and effort on a frosty winter morning.

What should a good rain repellent do?

The main job of a rain repellent is to boost your car’s visibility. A good one will bead the rain straight off the windscreen, leaving you with a clear view of the road ahead. A bad one will leave a smear on the glass, especially when it is sunny or in darker conditions, thus negating the main benefit you are aiming.

Some repellents will last longer than others. Some are designed to last for thousands of miles, but others will only stay effective for a few weeks. You tend to pay more for those that last longer, but you also tend to have to work harder to apply them in the first place.

There are three main ways to apply a rain repellent – you can get spray-ons, roll-ons or those that use an applicator. The spray ones are the easiest to use, but they don’t last as long, while the applicator ones are more likely to last longer but are trickier to get onto the glass in the first place.

Can I use a rain repellent on anything else?

It’s possible to use a rain repellent on more than just your windscreen and it could give you greater visibility elsewhere.

The jury is out on the benefit of applying them to a car’s side windows, as some of the cheaper spray-on versions could catch on the rubber seals and wear out the motors that raise and lower the windows faster as a result. However, there’s no hard evidence that this is the case.

It could be worth treating your door mirrors, too, while there are plenty of cars that feature rear-facing cameras these days too. There are even some repellents that are specifically designed for these cameras.

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