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Volvo Life Paint - readers give their verdict

Some of you even used it - but give a far from ringing endorsement

When it was confirmed earlier this week that Volvo is now selling its Life Paint through selected UK dealerships following a successful trial earlier this year, we asked the community what you thought of it.

- Volvo's controversial Life Paint now available in dealers across UK (+ video)

When the product, which gives a luminescent coating to surfaces it is sprayed on such as clothing, was piloted earlier this year, cycling campaigners criticised Volvo for what they viewed as a victim-blaming exercise.

But the paint, trialled in six London bike shops in March, proved a hit with punters – one shop shifted 500 free samples in two days and was fielding inquiries from as far away as the US and Australia.

Equally, we found opinion split about it among users – here is a selection of your responses from Facebook and in comments to our article earlier this week.


Those included some from people who had actually tried it – though their verdict was far from being a ringing endorsement of the product.

I went to my local Volvo showroom to check it out. Didn't get very far once I'd asked him what the price was - £10 for a small can. He also said it would wash off of smooth objects fairly easily in the rain, and would come out in one wash of fabric/clothing. I did comment that it doesn't come across as all about safety if they're charging that much (and considering how long it would last). He said he'd feed the info back up the chain as I wasn't the first to mention that.

James McMillan

Having used It I cannot recommend it, it looks like glitter paint more than reflective and it only rally works under Direct light, car headlights don't do much at all.

Ace Kristyan Bieler

It's a great product / concept but it doesn't last very long! Someone needs to make some clothing like my kicks. Black until in direct light where they turn bright iridescent.

Chris Colouryum

I used it for a night event last weekend and was very disappointed. Sure it shows up nicely on a flash picture but going through London at 2am it did not have any noticeable difference and on the dark country roads there was no difference from other riders to those that had been sprayed. My issue is the video is a huge misrepresentation and may lead people to falsely believe they are safer when they are not. Save your cash and buy some decent reflective with 3M Tape or high vis jackets and decent 100 lumen lights.

Stephen Hughes

Others have come up with their own solutions to make themselves more visible at night

I have had good luck using reflective tape and tires with reflective sidewalls

Doug Atkins

Some viewed it as a cycnical marketing ploy on Volvo’s part.

This victim blaming corporate whitewashing product needs to be boycotted ...

Paul Cooke

More victim blaming BS from a car company that does nothing to tell the car owners driving their cars to use their f'ing eyes. Think I might get a few to tag those cars where drivers fail to abide simple rules of the road. Least then when cyclists see them near they know to watch out.

Wolf Simpson

I have repeatedly asked Volvo for evidence that their product reduces crashes as they claim. Silence.

Andrew Reeves-Hall

There was some support for Volvo, however.

I do not see how anyone is putting the blame on the cyclists? There seems to be a bit of martyrdom complex happening here. Volvo have technology which warns drivers about proximity to drivers. Is that blaming cyclists? Come on.

Blue Moonday

And finally, not everyone welcomes free samples …

My mum got a free can of this from Volvo as she works for a company operating some of their vehicles. She asked me if I wanted it. I think my response might have offended her slightly ... hopefully she'll convey my thoughts back to her contacts at Volvo.


Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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