So here is the advice for beginners. Doing this won't take you into the 'Detailers' Club' but it will ensure you don't damage your new car while washing it.....
Contrary to what we believe, washing a car without following a few basic rules causes more harm than good. The single biggest cause of scratching to the paintwork is poor washing technique because you pick up grit from the bodywork and then swirl it around under your sponge on other parts of the car. Your sponge becomes sandpaper!
So first rule. Ditch the sponge and get a noodle hand mitt or better still, a lambs wool mitt. Sponges are for washing old bangers not. Jaguar F-Pace.
Second rule. Buy two buckets of a different colour. This is called the 'two bucket wash method'. It's simple. Shampoo in one bucket and plain water in the other. Take nice clean dry mitt, dip in shampoo bucket, wash bodywork and then rinse out in the other bucket before starting the cycle again. That way the grit settles in your second bucket and the water you apply with your next wash is grit-free.
Third rule. Hose or power wash the car down to get as much grit off of it first before using your mitt. Getting the grit off the bodywork at the start helps reduce the sandpaper effect.
Fourth rule. Don't use a chamois leather, it's not 1977 anymore. Use a proper, big drying towel. They will dry your car if you pat it in one foul swoop. The chamois leather will also scratch your paint work.
As you can see, it's all about avoiding the sandpaper effect when washing. This is the biggest leap of progress a beginner can make, it doesn't cost much and doesn't add much time to the process. Beyond that you start to become obsessive, bit by bit. So decide where you want to stop - the 80/20 rule applies.
Finally, just use a quality shampoo. Never, ever use washing up liquid as it contains abrasive salt and will strip your car of its protective finishes.
If my cars are dirty but the weather is so poor that I cannot do this basic routine or I don't have time - they stay dirty. Better that than ruin the paintwork with a bodged cleaning routine.
The forgoing is particularly relevant if you have a dark coloured car as those scratchy swirly marks will show up faster.
There is much more to car detailing but this is my top tip for beginners who want to do the basic car wash without causing damage.
And of course, enjoy it!
PS. Needless to say, I wouldn't recommend car wash machines. Either roller or where you do the work - those cleaning brushes are probably full of grit from where the last person dropped the brush on the ground!