Keeping your fleet in good conditions is important as it will leave a positive impression on customers. You have two options to give your fleet the best look possible: ceramic coating and waxing. But which of these options is best for your fleet?

Understanding the difference between ceramic coating and waxing will help you figure out the best option. Here we will explain the difference between the two so that you can have an easy time making the right decision for your fleet.

Fleet Waxing

Wax is a blend of malleable solids that protect the paint. Applying wax to the vehicle will elongate the life of the paint. It serves as a sacrificial barrier protecting the paint against weather elements.

The most common types of waxes include paraffin, montan, and carnauba. You must remember that no car wax is pure. The marketing stating “100% wax” is a bit misleading as it refers to the purity of the compound. Wax formulations often include petroleum distillates, natural oils, and beeswax.

Ceramic Coating

Ceramic coating is a more recent development in vehicle detailing. The coating is also known by different names such as quartz, silica, and silicon dioxide (SiO2­­­). The material has a curing property in that it creates a chemical bond with the paint. The coating provides protection against environmental pollutants, soaps, and water.

Ceramic coating is a sealant that serves as a barrier against dust, dirt, and other pollutants. Microscopic particles are suspended in the resin which penetrates the finishing of the vehicle. The result is a glass-like polished look that also protects the paint.

Difference between Waxing and Ceramic Coating

Ease of Application

Ceramic wax and traditional wax are similar in one way – apply either to a clean surface. Traditional wax requires a dry surface, while ceramic wax does not. Spray ceramic wax on a clean surface and wipe with a microfiber towel to reveal a high gloss finish. Natural carnauba paste wax also requires time to dry. You have to wait before you buff the residue away.

Temperature Requirements

The application of ceramic coating and waxing is similar. You have to leave the vehicle out in the sun for a few hours after applying the wax and a coat of ceramic. But you have to be more careful regarding the temperature when applying wax.

Wax should not be applied if the ambient temperature is less than 60F or greater than 80F. The wax won’t liquefy properly at lower temperatures. This will make it difficult to apply wax to the vehicle. At higher temperatures, the wax will not adhere to the surface properly.

In contrast, the ceramic coating does not require a specific ambient temperature. You can apply the coating anytime during the year. But applying the ceramic coating during the fall will provide the best protection.

Hydrophobic Properties

Ceramic coating is better than waxing as they have hydrophobic properties. Applying a coat of ceramic to the surface will make it repel water. Water won’t adhere to the surface and slide off easily. This prevents water spots and other damaging effects caused by the water.

The hydrophobic properties are also marketed by some detailers as providing the ‘lotus effect’. The leaves of the lotus plants have amazing hydrophobic qualities. They are self-cleaning, thereby looking polished and slick at all times. A coat of ceramic will also offer similar protection to the car.

Water beads will seem to slide off the surface of the vehicle. What’s more, the water will take with it dirt, dust, salt, and other environmental pollutants. Water will slide off the treated glass as well as make it safer and easier for the driver to keep eyes on the road during torrential rain.

Another benefit of the hydrophobic qualities of the ceramic coating is that it will be easier to clean the vehicles. Less water will be required for cleaning the fleet that will help conserve the precious resource. You can feel good that you are doing good for the environment through the application of the ceramic coating.

Types of Surfaces

Ceramic coating is safe for application on all types of surfaces. The coating can be applied to glass, plastic, metal, and paint. In contrast, wax can only be applied to the paint of the vehicle. You have to make sure that the wax is not applied to adjacent surfaces such as the windshield.

Value for Money

Ceramic coating is worth the price due to its durability. A coat of ceramic can last under normal conditions for three years or more. Contrarily, waxing only lasts for up to six months. You will have to apply wax more frequently as compared to ceramic coating.


Ceramic coating also provides greater protection against contaminants. It acts as a barrier protecting against minor scratches. Most professional car detailing companies offer warranties as they are confident that the coating will last for many years.

Final Remarks

Ultraviolet light, heat, dust, and detergents can take a toll on the paint. Waxing and ceramic coating both provide resistance against contaminants and pollutants. They serve as a barrier protecting the paint of the vehicle. Applying wax and ceramic coating will protect vehicles that remain mostly on the road. The chemical compounds will prevent sun and sand particles at freeway speeds from damaging the paint.

The application of ceramic coating will also protect acidic compounds. The coating will protect the paint against brake dust and bug residuals. Moreover, the coating will protect the paint against the corrosive effect of acid rain.

Ceramic coating is better than waxing as it offers long-lasting protection. A coat of ceramic can last for years thereby costing you less in the long term as compared to the traditional wax. Ceramic coating will preserve the finishing of the vehicle and provide a polished look for a long time. They repel swirl marks when washing and keep the vehicle looking slick and beautiful.

Mobile Turtle Fleet & Auto Detailing offers mobile car washing and detailing services. We offer ceramic coating and waxing services in Beaumont, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Rancho Mirage in CA. Our professional and affordable full fleet detailing and washing service will help ensure that your fleet looks best creating a positive impression on your customers.