Having had a nother think about this thread I decided to give a more comprehensive answer for you as it's hard to offer this kind of advise without caveats, suffice to say, you can't hold anyone here responsible for how the job turns out should you choose to take or not take that advice. I still say go with my previous suggestion but this is an alternative answer and the path I'll be doing myself on my car. I'll be doing an extra stage with wet sanding. WASHING If you can, invest in a pressure washer that you can add the detergent to and allows you to alter the concentration levels. For Karcher, I believe this starts at their K5 range and obviuosly, it's a one time buy. I'm aming for a bucketless wash this way. If not, rinsing with a hose is just fine. What ever you do, don't ever, ever go direct to washing with a mitt or sponge, aways rinse thoroughly first. Alternatively, you can use the two bucket method with grit guards. Although necessary, I personally beilieve these are a rip off. The average is around £20 per bucket upto the ridiculous £70 for the Swissvax bucket system. Either way you'll need a high quality wash microfibre was mitt or sponge. I have a foam spray lance which is solid brass at £35 (aviod the plastic types like Karcher) and Valet Pro ph Neutral Snow Foam at £18. Then use a high quality heavy pile microfibre drying towel. I use Monster Purple Monster Edgless XL at £14 Cost of DIY wash - from £107 PAINT CARE Firstly, and must really, is going over the entire car with a clay bar. Paint, lights, glass and wheels. I use Bilt Hambers at £10 per bar, you get twice as much as other brands and you only need water as lube. If you use the regular clay, leave it on a warm surface or in warm water to soften. I cut my clay to size depending what I'm doing, a cheap cheese wire is brilliant for cutting it. you can even use warmish water to actually clay with. If you don't clay the car, you're only going to end up mixing the surfacants and industrial fallout into your paint. Once correctly done, you'll notice an immediate depth and definition to the paint (especially if metalic). Think of it as de-misting your rear window. Cost of DIY claying - from £10 Machine polish the car including the glass (use a raylon pad for the glass). The difference from not doing it is literally night and day and it's a one time job. Whether or not you need/want a multiple stage job is upto you. The condition of the paint may warrant several stages or not. You can get a Makita 9227C off eBay for arount £100 or you can buy a new DA or Rotary from £80-£400. My preferance would be the Makita. I currently have Sonax Cut Max and Perfect Finish PROFLINE. My preference is Menzerna, but Sonax is what I have at the moment. If you go this route you need to decide which kind of machine you want, either DA or Rotary. DA is Dual Action and at it's basic level is an orbital sander/polisher (think of the way a spiro-graph works) and a rotary is essentialy a slow, variable speed angle grinder. If you've never machine polished before the safest option is DA, you can do A LOT of damage by missusing a rotary. If you're unsure but would like to try machining, talk to your local scrapper for bent panels to practice on. When people mention single/multiple stage/pass, they are talking about the number of times to machine the paintwork. You can get compunds, heavy cut, medium cut, light cut and finishing polishes. I doubt you'd need a full on compound but a medium and light/finish polish may do the trick. You might even get away with a single stage polish using something like Menzerna's 3-in-1, which cuts, glosses and seals in one go. These are never as good as seperate products but if the paint work is good you should be OK. As for polishing pads, a medium and light/finishing pad is all you may need. It's a lot of effort but once done, it's easy to maintain the finish. I go with Hex Logic pads, popular cutting polishes/glossers are from 3M, Auto Finesse, Carlack, Chemicle Guys, Menzerna, Meguiars, Poor Boys and Scholl. You will get away with buying sampler kits. These are generally different grades of compound/cutting polish in small (250ml) bottles. These are enough to polish several cars! A bottle of panel wipe wouldn't do any harm to wipe down after polishing and several good quality Microfibre cloths (Monster, Gtechnig, Autoglym, Menzerna etc). I use CarPro's CeriGlass polish with a raylon pad or hand for the glass work. Cost of DIY machine polishing = from £150 For waxing, I've currently got a tin of Collinite 476S. It's a carnuba based wax, applies and buffs off easily, gives good protection, lasts for a a good while and is relatively cheap. It can also be layered to increase gloss. If my supplier hadn't of run out of Victoria Wax - Concours, I would have got that instead. I'm also going to look at Swissvax's Blau-Wiess, about £145, which has been specifically formulated for German car manufacturers paint . I doubt you'll be looking at Swissvax Crystal Rock. You'll need a few applicators (pounds) and a few high quality buffining Microfibre cloths. I use Monster Microfibre Purple Monster, they're £13 for a pack of 3. Cost of DIY waxing - from £45 WHEEL CARE Do the wheels first. All that's needed here for weekly maintenance is a wheel cleaner. You can use the wax on your wheels after as a temporary sealent. As with all washing products, choose an acid free ph neutral cleaner. Some are applied as a liquid, others as liquid gel. I'm currently using Sonax wheel cleaner plus (Full Effect). I don't know how it performs with seriously baked on crud but on my wheels I'm quite happy with it. My only gripe was with the instructed activating dwell time. It was more than the 5 minutes stated on the bottle, nearly double it. You'll know when it's activated as it turns red. A gentle aggitating brush, if needed, to clean the rim is all that's needed but don't go spending a fortune on a brush.. If you're cleaning weekly, all you may need to do is apply and rinse off when it's activated for a couple of minutes. Also shampoo them after washing the car. I use Gtechniq T1 Tyre and Trim at £13, which can be layered depending on the level of "wet look" you're after. Cost of DIY - from £20 GLASS CARE You can use a cream or liquid for this. I personally wouldn't pay over £15 for either. I use Gtechniq G6 Perfect Glass at £10 as it's formulated with privacy tint in mind, which my car has, or you can go with their G4 nano polish at £8. An applicator and a couple of microfibres are in order too. You can buy top line 'glass microfibre' cloths or general purpose. To be honest, Autoglym, Gtechniq and Menzerna are pretty much the same for around the same price. Some use waffle weave, others standard MF weave cloths, which ever's good for you. For general purpose I even bought 60 MF cloths off of eBay for £20! cost of DIY - from £15 If going the way of a sealent isn't on the cards, my advise would be clay bar the car yourself, get a bodyshop to give it the once over with a machine for a couple of hundred then invest a £100 or so for the weekly wash kit (excluding cost of pressure washer). I'd avoid filler polishing products like Autoglym's super resin polish. On a scale of 1-10 (10 highest) they have a 0.5 cutting rate and a average shine/gloss. All they do is try to mask the small scratches and swirls by literally 'filling' in the defects with polish. I may get shot down for this, but even Gtechniqs P1 nano polish is more of a filler than a cutting polish. Let us know how you get on.