23 Apr Best Car Vacuum Cleaner
If you go to the car wash and have the inside and outside done then a great way to save money is to hoover the inside yourself. To get the same result as the professionals the key to getting the best car vacuum is to choose one with excellent suction.
It’s very easy to get lazy and just let the car wash do the inside but If you choose a car hoover with good suction power then you can vacuum the inside of your car to the same standard as a professional car wash in about 7 minutes.
My local car wash charges £7 for the inside so I let them do the hard work and do the outside for £8 and I do the inside myself in 10 minutes total and that includes a blast of polish on the dashboard.
The secret to a great car vacuum cleaner is in the suction power it can generate.
Unfortunately, there is no getting away from the fact that the very cheapest hoovers for the car simply will not deliver the right amount of suction you need to get up all the dirt that accumulates.
And because there are so many nooks and crannies in your car you need to make sure that not only is the suction very powerful but you get the right accessories that allow you to get into all the little gaps down the side of your seats and at the back of where the feet rest.
The battery is the thing that costs the money and the better the battery the better the suction so its best to spend a little more and get one that’s going to deliver and then you can use it around your home as well.
The best value for money car vacuum cleaners are multi-purpose and not just reserved for the car.
You should be able to use them in the house as well as the car so you get the benefit of being able to use it as either a handheld cleaner to help clear up all the small pieces of mess in your home without having to drag out the main hoover.
Some car vacuum cleaners plug into the 12v socket in your car which used to be the lighter socket but we don’t recommend those because firstly they can’t generate the suction power you need to suck up all the dirt that gets dragged in from outside and you will just end up getting frustrated.
The other reason not to bother with a 12V car hoover that plugs into the lighter socket is that you can only use it in your car. The best car vacuum cleaners can be used in both the car and in your home.
Some of the best cordless vacuum cleaners convert really well into handhelds so if you are looking for a full-size vacuum cleaner to do the main cleaning in your home that will double up as a car vacuum cleaner we have a few on our list.
Some car hoovers can be quite expensive and not everyone needs the mega suction power of a Dyson so if you don’t have lots of messy pets and children dragging mud into the car we included products that cover a range of budgets and needs that are broken down into 3 specific categories.
Cheap car vacuums. If you mainly need just a quick clean and brush up in your car then a low-cost hoover may be all you need.
Dust and dirt accumulate no matter how tidy you try and be but if you don’t have pets or children then you probably don’t need to spend a lot of money. Just keep a lookout for decent accessories.
Premium car vacuums. The best suction power comes from the top brands such as Dyson, Shark and Gtech. You will pay for it but they do deliver and will replicate the performance you get at a car wash. These are ideal if you have pets or messy children.
Full size vacuums that convert. If you are looking for a car vacuum cleaner but your main hoover has seen better days it might be worth considering paying out a bit more and getting a full-size hoover that doubles up and can be used in the car as well.
All of the hoovers listed below will make cleaning your car stress-free and quick whilst delivering the results you expect.
These are the best car vacuum cleaners in the UK:
Black and Decker PD1820L Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Most handheld vacuum cleaners are made specifically for dealing with accidental spills in your home and you can also use them in the car but this one has been designed the other way round. You can certainly use for many things in your home but it’s most effective in the car.
There are so many places in the car that are extremely hard to reach like down the side of seats, under the seats, the storage areas inside the doors and more.
This hoover will deal with them all effortlessly making hoovering the inside of your car a pleasure. It’s basically a mini version of the ones they use in the car wash with a long hose.
This one comes with a 1.5 metre hose making it super easy to get into all the nooks and crannies with ease. Suction is strong and you also get a 15 minute runtime ensuring you can do the whole car in one go without having to recharge the battery.
Dofly Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
This is another handheld at the budget end of the market that is very suitable for car use due to the excellent suite of accessories that it comes with.
It doesn’t have the strongest suction like a Dyson that costs hundreds of pounds but if you are looking for value then this offers a lot.
You get a full set of accessories including a long crevice tool and a brush nozzle and a digital display showing how much battery life you have left.
You also get a longer than average 30 minutes of use from a single charge and a simple one-button release to remove the waste container from the main unit to empty it into the bin.
A great set of accessories combined with a large waste container and a long run time from a single battery charge makes this a great choice for the car.
Dyson V7 Trigger Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
This is much much more than a car vacuum cleaner but it will certainly do as good a job on your car as a professional car wash will do on the interior of your vehicle.
There is no other handheld vacuum cleaner on the market that has better suction than this Dyson so if you have pets and messy kids then you’ll need a premium car vac with excellent suction power.
The best thing about this is the motorised brush attachment that acts like a mini supercharged hoover as the brush rotates as you run it across your car seats and upholstery.
There are two power levels, low and high. Low power has better suction than some of the budget handheld cleaners so you only need to switch to high with stubborn dirt that’s trying to get away.
On low power you’ll get 30 minutes out of one charge but if you keep it permanently on high you’ll only get 7 minutes out of it so switching between the two is the best way to manage the battery effectively.
The filtration is also excellent with everything that gets sucked up staying inside the waste container with nothing being released back into the air.
You can of course use this throughout your entire home for a multitude of tasks but it also makes an excellent cleaner for your car.
This is a top-end vacuum cleaner that delivers with top of the range cleaning performance.
Gtech Mk2 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Not as expensive as the Dyson but arguably as effective this is another premium handheld vacuum cleaner that is perfect for car use.
It weighs just 1.5kg which is really light and a big help when you are twisting and turning with your wrist into all the corners of the car. It doesn’t feel heavy to hold even after 10 minutes of continuous use.
As you would expect for a premium product the suction is excellent and suitable for the most demanding of homes. If you have pets and children going in and out of the car all the time the Gtech will deal with it no problem.
There is one power mode – very strong – and you get 20 minutes of continuous use from one charge. There are also lights on the front which is handy to see the dirt lurking under the seats and in less well lit areas.
One thing that is unique to the Gtech from a handheld perspective is the extended wand that comes with it as standard and helps to eliminate kneeling across the car seats to get to tucked away areas giving a long enough reach to stretch across the width of most cars.
There is a motorised brush tool for use on the seats and car carpets. This is a great all-rounder with really strong suction.
Shark WV200UK Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
This is a superlight handheld with an extremely thin design making it ideal for car use. It only weighs 1.3kg making it the lightest handheld we have tested and it’s just 9.5cm wide making it the narrowest as well.
Small in size certainly does not translate into small in power though as Shark has managed to fit a powerful battery into this cordless handheld hoover ensuring it delivers powerful suction that is easily capable of dealing with the challenges that car dirt throws at it.
I use this handheld on my own car and I have yet to come across any debris that it is not able to pick up. The crevice accessory tool slots into the larger opening of the main vacuum and that allows you to get more powerful focussed suction on the floor of the car and the upholstery tool works great on the seats.
It only comes with one power mode which is basically turbo and you can expect about 8 minutes on one charge. I wouldn’t normally keep a vacuum cleaner out on display but this one looks so good that it sits out in the corner of my kitchen worksurface ready to be grabbed at a seconds notice for any unexpected spillages. Another winner from Shark.
Dyson V10 Vacuum Cleaner
This is not a car vacuum cleaner in its full-size form but when you unclip the central wand and add any one of the accessories it morphs into one of the best car vacuums you will ever use.
One of the standalone handhelds above will all do a great job on the car but if your current full-size hoover that you use in the house has seen better days then you will kill two birds with one stone by upgrading to the Dyson V10.
It’s not the latest cordless vacuum from Dyson but we believe it represents better value for money because it’s significantly cheaper than the newest one but it still has incredible suction power that will stand up to the toughest possible ground in dirt in your car.
Dyson is the most recognised brand name in vacuum cleaners and this is probably the best one that they do. This is the vacuum cleaner that I use on a daily basis and it takes no prisoners when it comes to dirt in the house or in the car. It simply annihilates everything in its path.
It is expensive but it’s worth it.
Miele C3 Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
This may seem like an unlikely candidate for a car vacuum cleaner because it is corded but if you can get your car close enough to the house to get to a plug socket this is probably the best value for money selection out of all of them.
It does come with an 8.5 metre cord which is really long so if your car is normally in the drive or if you can park in the road outside your house it should be able to reach.
Aside from the car it’s one of our highest rated vacuum cleaners overall and will easily double up as an excellent car vacuum and because it is corded the suction power is magnificent and you’ll never need to worry about the battery running out.
It comes with a full set of accessories that makes cleaning the car a breeze and it is made by Miele who are one the most highly respected top end brands you can buy but surprisingly, the C3 can be bought at a very reasonable almost budget price point and that makes it outstanding value for money.
Things to consider with a car vacuum cleaner
The car is one of those places that can take a beating when it comes to the variety of things that can end up on the seats and floor.
It’s much more likely that dirt from outside will end up in your car because it’s not possible to wipe your feet before you step into the car.
When you combine that with kids and pets you need to make sure you select the right car hoover for your needs.
These are some of the things to think about before making a decision.
If you buy a car vac with good enough suction it should only take you about 10 minutes to give it a good clean but if you have a larger car then it may take longer.
If you go for a cordless model that is powered by a battery then check that the battery life on full power will last long enough for your needs.
Often there will be a claim of “up to X” number of minutes battery life but the figure they quote is often the maximum you will get on low power mode.
When you are vacuuming a car you’ll need to use it on full power to get up all the dirt that gets embedded onto the seats and the floor so make sure you get at least 10 minutes out if it on full power as there is nothing more frustrating than running out mid clean and having to charge for a few hours before you can start again.
As a general rule the more you pay for a cordless car hoover the better the suction will be and the more effective it will be in your car.
Depending on how close your car is to your front door you may be able to reach with a corded vacuum cleaner and then you can achieve maximum suction with the lowest cost without having to worry about the battery running out.
This will not work for a lot of people particularly if you live in a flat so if your car gets very dirty then look for a vacuum that delivers the most amount of suction you can afford.
It can be difficult to get into every part of a car such as underneath and down the side of your seats.
Some car vacuums come with bendy attachments such as a bendy crevice tool ensures you can reach even the most tucked away places in your car.
The main thing is to check out what comes with it to ensure that you are not disappointed when you realise it won’t provide suction to the hard to get to areas.
The key thing here is to not pay more than you need to. If you can reach your car with a corded vacuum then the attachments it comes with may well be good enough to do your car and it will never run out of battery and the suction will be really strong.
If your car is too far from your house then you won’t need super strong suction if your car is not subject to lots of traffic with animals and people getting in and out all day.
If your car has generally light use then a budget car vacuum will be fine but for pets and children you’ll want something with more suction and you’ll need to consider a premium model.