Do you think cars look better clean or dirty?

Or does it depend on the vehicle?

2w ago

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We can probably all agree that some things in life are much better when they're clean. Cutlery. Carpets. Shoes. Rap songs. No, wait. Maybe not that last one.

But few things (that we can talk about on a family friendly website) are better when they're dirty. We're honestly struggling to think of anything in fact – anything except cars. Why is this? Here are our thoughts on the matter – but we'd love to hear yours in the comments below.

Making the case for dirty cars

There's a certain joy to seeing a car that's well used and rarely cleaned – almost as if the owner's making a statement about the car being a tool rather than a bejewelled trinket to wow and dazzle car geeks at weekend shows.

We love to see it, frankly

We love to see it, frankly

Obviously there's a line of thought that if the vehicle in question is a mud-plugging 4x4 then the dirt caked to its punched-out wheelarches is almost a badge of honor. The more baked-on the filth is, the more that Jeep (or whatever) has been through the wars – the more it's "seen things, man". It's the 4x4 that sits at the bar late into the evening, staring into the abyss while nursing a Monster Energy. Utilitarian off-road vehicles undoubtedly look better filthy, don't they? After all, none of us like to see these vehicles used for wafting daintily around the streets of Hollywood, do we?

Just heading out to shred some dirt tracks in the Koenigsegg, mother

Just heading out to shred some dirt tracks in the Koenigsegg, mother

Then there's the thorny subject of sports cars, super cars and exotic cars that only ever seem to be presented with that glistening clean wet-look aura. Clearly these tend to be holed up in the garage for the winter months, but there's something undoubtedly cool about seeing cars like these being used year-round with a nice film of road grime coating their curves and intakes. There's a guy living near us who uses his Porsche 918 Spyder well into January and who doesn't seem to clean it all that often. Hero or nut job?

Clean is… so vanilla

We've no doubt that the majority of car people love cleaning cars – or at least having their car cleaned. And sure, there's a certain pride in getting your vehicle looking as fresh as the day it was painted (or better, sometimes…).

Ah, there's the solution

Ah, there's the solution

Perhaps the real answer here is to get your car properly detailed and then coated with a hardy ceramic coating – such as Gtechniq's Crystal Serum Ultra – that way you can let the filth accumulate and linger, safe in the knowledge that most of the dirt will just wash away next time you change your mind on the topic.

So which do you prefer? Clean or dirty? Tell us in the comments (and um, keep it clean?)!

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Comments (24)

  • If I see an off-roader with no dirt, dents, or scratches, that's suspicious.

      14 days ago
  • It all depends on the vehicle. A Land Rover Defender or a Jeep Wrangler without mud looks kinda naked, where a Rolls-Royce with mud just looks poorly.

      15 days ago
  • Depends on the car when i see my dad's patrol covered in dust and mud I think it looks like it's been used properly but when I see my dad's supra covered in mud (that actually happened once lol) it just doesn't look right also got a few strange looks coming home

      14 days ago
  • Depends what sort of dirt. If your car is dirty clean it. if u have just been off roading, I understand, but clean it when you get home. If it’s dirt from a historic race or sumn eg the bugs on a GT40 from 1966, or dust from a barn find duesenberg then leave it as it is

      11 days ago
  • I think a dirty Jeep or Pickup shows that they had a good time

      12 days ago