Woah! "BEST" is a pretty big word. Fortunately, we just might have an answer to the question - "What is the best way to protect car paint?".
Let us presume you've just bought your new car. And the only thing, besides driving it and keeping it spotless and clean, that is constantly on your mind is - 'How can I keep the car protected?', 'How can I keep the car clean long-term?', 'How can I keep the car looking as new forever?'.
Well, you know, if you have money flying out of your butt, you can do the following. Drive the car to a professional Car Detailing Shop and have them check if the paint needs any correction before the next step.
Since sometimes, factory paint even can leave some nasty orange peel that you wouldn't want to look at for the next 10 years! So once that is done, do some research and find a shop in your local area that installs Pain Protection Film onto cars with the highest reputation. Take your car there.
You can even have it delivered there to avoid driving it and having the paint contaminated in any way ( avoid highway driving for that one to minimize the risk). Have them install the highest quality PPF onto your whole car. We would recommend the gloss finish to bring out the original paint, but you also have the option of satin or matte at some shops.
You can read more on how Wax, Car Sealant, Ceramic Coating, and Paint Protection Film differ and compare to each other, what each offers, and their disadvantages.
Once that has been successfully completed, take it one step further and cover the car, which is now covered in Car Protection Wrap, with Ceramic Coating! Yes, you are reading this correctly. You can indeed put Ceramic Coating on top of PPF! And since you are mega-rich, have some professionals do that for you! Note that car shops performing PPF installation or Ceramic Coat will usually do detailing work. Most of the high cost comes from the preparation work that is being done to ensure a flawless finishing result. You can rely on them to do a perfect job, but we are talking a mega-rich scenario, and a detailing shop jump might do a bit better of a job at making your car's paint perfect before Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coating installation.
All this should cost you anywhere from 6000$ all the way up to 12000$ for the two-plus the cost of any paint correction or detailing that was perhaps performed beforehand. But who cares! Your car is now covered in a happy cocoon of happiness, and you won't have to worry about driving it anywhere or getting scratched or dirty. It is now, and will for the foreseeable future be - protected. It is now safe! So now you probably have an eight-millimeter-thick PPF on top of your car's paint. And on top of that sits a top-quality Ceramic Coat that shields the paint even further. And the question is, 'How does that work?'. Ceramic Coating and Paint Protection Film, are they compatible? Well, yes, they are. And they complement each other nicely. You see, PPF is much like the paint of your car. It has most of its strengths and most of its weaknesses. That is why you treat a car covered with PPF as if it wasn't covered with PPF.
The Paint Protection Film will work as a shielding layer that will take the bullet instead of the car paint itself. But it will still get dirty, and you will always have to wash the car if you want to keep it looking nice. Now you can clean the car properly every time it gets dirty, or you can install a Ceramic Coating on top of the PPF to help you with the cleaning maintenance.
The CC on top of the PPF will give the car its hydrophobic properties and slickness, thus repelling dirt and dust by letting it slip off the car's surface, and it will sometimes even further enhance that color and the deep, deep glossy shine. Of course, you will still have to clean the car occasionally. But a simple wash should do the trick instead of an hour or more of intensive labor, multiple buckets, pH-neutral shampoo, a foam cannon, tons of microfiber towels, and much more.
The best thing about it is, even if you feel that the Ceramic Coat is starting to weaken in some areas over time, spray some Ceramic Coating on it using one of the spray-on - wipe off Ceramic Coating products, of which there are plenty on the market.
Some enthusiasts might ask themselves if they can take it even a step further and put some Car Wax or a Polymer Sealant on top of the Ceramic Coating.
Technically, you could, but that would be literally overkill and serve little to no purpose. You see, while Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coating protect the car's paint in different ways, they end up fulfilling gaps where the other one fails, thus giving an even better result than what you previously had.
Carnauba Wax and Polymer Sealants do almost the same thing Ceramic Coating does, just worse and for a shorter duration. So we recommend you avoid that 'extra' step some might suggest. But hey, it is your vehicle, and you are allowed to do whatever you want to it. Remember that.
Can you do even more?
You can read both articles on our thoughts on those two matters if you want to go into more detail.
And there you go! If you bought a new car, you have done everything mentioned above, and unless you wreck it, it will continue looking pristine or probably even better throughout its lifespan.
If you are looking to preserve the value of a car - these are the things we recommend. It might seem silly at first, spending an amount of money with which you might buy a decent car. But hey, we all know that some out there can afford that the same way we could afford a trip to McDonald's and treating ourselves to a Happy Meal on a sunny Sunday.
This is perhaps the ultimate way to preserve showroom cars, antiques, or any ridiculously expensive cars on Earth. If you find yourself having such a car, go and treat your car to an expensive makeover!
You can read more about what Ceramic Coatings are, how they work, and how they rank among other methods of car paint protection.