The best car vacuum 2024: lightweight vacs to keep your car spotless

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webnexttech | The best car vacuum 2024: lightweight vacs to keep your car spotless
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Skip to main content Open menu Close menu Tech Radar TechRadar the technology experts Search Search TechRadar RSS US Edition Asia Singapore Europe Danmark Suomi Norge Sverige UK Italia Nederland België (Nederlands) France Deutschland España North America US (English) Canada México Australasia Australia New Zealand Phones Computing TVs AI Streaming Health Audio Cameras More Home News Best Reviews Opinion How to Versus Deals Coupons Tech Radar Pro Tech Radar Gaming Trending WWDC 2024 LIVE iPhone 16 Galaxy Ring iPad Pro 13 (2024) review Best VPN NYT Wordle today When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works. Home Small Appliances Vacuums The best car vacuum 2024: lightweight vacs to keep your car spotless News By Verity BurnsContributions from Jim McCauley, Ruth Hamilton last updated 10 June 2024 Keep your car’s interior pristine with these portable vacuums Jump to: Quick list 1. Best overall 2. Compact 3. Best premium 4. With a hose How to choose How we test Best car vacuum: quick menu (Image credit: Dyson / Future) Quick list 1. Best car vacuum overall 2. Best compact car vacuum 3. Best home/car vacuum 4. Best car vacuum with a hose How to choose How we test Investing in one of the best car vacuums is the most convenient way to ensure the inside of your vehicle stays spick and span. A good car vacuum is practically a must-have if you have kids or pets, but it’s a useful accessory for most drivers. It’ll take care of dust, dirt, crumbs and grit that’ll build up on your car’s carpets and upholstery, and make the interior look good as new in a few minutes. Car vacuums are are designed to be ultra-portable, and easy to maneuver and get into cracks, crevices and awkward corners. Modern options benefit from improved battery and suction power, and some of today’s best vacuum cleaner brands have a dedicated car vac that makes use of the same technology you’ll find in their larger machines, too. We’ve tested all the models in this guide and can vouch for how well they perform. If you’re short of space or cash, we’d recommend one of the best cordless vacuums instead: if you shop around you can find models that convert to handhelds (although they’re generally not quite as small as a dedicated car vac). We’ve included one of those in this guide so you can judge what’ll work for you. The best car vacuum: quick list Best overall 1. Shark Ultracyclone Pet Pro Plus View at Amazon Best overall This Shark handheld is the best car vacuum around. It offers good suction and comes with a versatile range of tools for different in-car cleaning jobs – including one especially for pet hair. Read more below Streamlined 2. Eufy Clean HomeVac H20 Check Amazon Best small Eufy’s HomeVac H20 is compact and streamlined to stash neatly in your car, and you can keep it topped up with its in-car charger. It’s not as powerful as the Shark (#1) though. Read more below Home + car 3. Dyson V8 Animal View at Amazon View at Dyson Inc. View at Newegg Best premium This Dyson’s primarily a household vacuum, but it’s just about lightweight enough to use in your car and its power and suction are outstanding; impressive battery life, too, as long as you stick to standard mode. Read more below Flexible hose 4. Black and Decker 12V Dustbuster Flexi Check Amazon Best with a hose This car vacuum’s flexible hose makes light work of getting into tight corners, and it’s budget-friendly, too. While the suction isn’t the best, it’ll pick up most dirt and debris with a bit of perseverance. Read more below The best car vacuums 2024: recommended by experts Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test. The best car vacuum for most people (Image credit: Future) 1. Shark Ultracyclone Pet Pro Plus / Classic Handheld Pet Vacuum Best car vacuum for most people Our expert review: Specifications Type: Cordless Bin size: 450ml Max battery life: 15 mins on test (10 mins quoted) Weight: 1.39kg Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (Red) Reasons to buy + Great performance+ Decent battery life+ Useful, versatile tools Reasons to avoid – No swappable battery- Only one power setting- A little bulky The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ (or the Shark Classic Handheld Pet Vacuum CH950UKT in the UK) is the very best car vacuums for most people. Its size, shape and weight make it perfect for cleaning your car, and the range of useful attachments covers a wide range of tasks. During our testing, the standout attachments for car cleaning were most definitely the motorized pet hair tool and the crevice tool. The latter was particularly helpful, as, despite the vacuum’s compact size, its all-in-one design still makes getting into the harder-to-reach areas such as behind foot pedals or inside door bins tricky. However, the motorized tool is a great size for more widespread clean-ups on carpets and upholstery, and it also made quick work of both smaller and larger debris in our standard tests. Its one power setting copes copes well with most tasks, although it does mean that one pass may not be enough for really set-in dirt, and it can struggle with the most stubborn of pet hair too. We found you’ll get around 15 minutes of battery life, 50% more than its quoted 10 minutes, and enough time to do a good clean of your whole car. The price tag is affordable and offers tremendous value. This is the perfect buy for busy families, and a great option if you’re dealing with pet hair daily too. Read more: Shark Ultracyclone Pet Plus Pro review The best small car vacuum (Image credit: Future) 2. Eufy Clean HomeVac H20 Best compact car vacuum Our expert review: Specifications Type: Cordless Bin size: Not stated Max battery: 20 mins Weight: 654g Today’s Best Deals Check Amazon Reasons to buy + Two suction modes+ Quick to charge+ Compact and easy to store Reasons to avoid – No good for larger debris- Charging plug not included- Loud for such a small device If you’re looking for something compact and straightforward, the eufy Clean HomeVac H20 could be the best car vac for you. This cordless, handheld vacuum cleaner comes with an array of attachments that make it well-suited for car cleaning, but the whole thing is streamlined and compact. Each component feels sturdy, and when switching between the attachments, a satisfying ‘click’ delivers reassurance that all is in place and secure. The HomeVac H20 offers two suction modes – Eco and Max – that you select by pushing a button on the main unit, beneath the power button, and there’s also a battery indicator light. Best of all, we liked that the HomeVac H20 could be charged using an in-car charger; we made use of this handy feature on a few occasions, and it’s a real boon for larger cars, for which its 20-minute battery life wouldn’t necessarily suffice. The attachments and in-car charger make the eufy Clean HomeVac H20 a good option to have in the car at all times. It’s not as powerful as some rivals but it’s handy to have for quick cleanups. Read more: Eufy Clean HomeVac H20 review The best premium car vacuum (Image credit: TechRadar) 3. Dyson V8 Best multi-use car vacuum with unrivaled suction Our expert review: Specifications Type: Cordless Bin size: 540ml Max battery: 40 mins on standard/7 mins on max Weight: 2.56kg Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon View at Dyson Inc. View at Newegg Reasons to buy + For home and car+ Powerful; two suction levels+ Long battery life Reasons to avoid – Overkill if you have a home vac- A bit heavy Many will recognize the Dyson V8 as a household vacuum, but its form factor and included tools make it easy to turn into a car vacuum too. It’s pricier than all the dedicated car vacuums in our ranking, but you’ll only need one model for both home and car. The power and suction here are unrivaled when compared with smaller, more portable handheld vacs, and the battery life on the standard mode is far longer, too. We found it could pick up most debris on the standard setting, with an occasional blast on Max mode to tackle more ingrained dirt. The size of the handheld unit can be a bit of a downfall when trying to get in more awkward spots, even when using the crevice tool, and the added weight means it can get a bit tiring to hold too. But if you need the power and performance, you won’t find much better than this. If you’re regularly dealing with pet hair, opt for the ‘Animal’ version, which comes with a special attachment designed specifically for this. Read more: Dyson V8 review The best car vacuum with a hose (Image credit: Future) 4. Black + Decker 12V Dustbuster Flexi Best car vacuum with a hose Our expert review: Specifications Type: Corded Bin size: 500ml Battery life: n/a Weight: 1.49kg Today’s Best Deals Check Amazon Reasons to buy + Affordable+ Hose is lightweight to use+ Good range of included tools Reasons to avoid – Suction hit-and-miss- Corded won’t suit everyone- Only one suction level The Black and Decker 12V Auto Flexi Vacuum is a budget-friendly car vacuum that delivers decent performance for a low price. It runs via a 12V corded connection and uses your car’s accessory power outlet, or the old ‘cigarette lighter’ socket, for power. It has a far more traditional vacuum style than most other car vacuums in our list, in that it has a larger main body for collecting debris, and a 1.5m-long hose for moving around. This is convenient for those who may find the weight of an all-in-one or stick vacuum a struggle, as the hose is very lightweight in use. There’s a single level of suction and a large 19 fl oz/560ml dust canister. Despite feeling relatively soft on suction, it can provide an acceptable clean of both large and small debris, with perseverance. It will require several passovers to get a good finish though and take longer than using something more powerful. It can’t tackle ground-in dirt and pet hair either; it simply doesn’t have the power to handle it. The design could be better in some places. For example, the door for emptying the bin sits on the side of the vacuum’s main body so isn’t the easiest to ditch the dirt cleanly. Overall, this is a handy car vac for those who need something that’s both budget and lightweight to use and who clean little and often. If you need something more heavy duty you should look elsewhere. Read more: Black and Decker Dustbuster Flexi Auto review Where to buy the best car vacuum: Dyson V8 $419.99 $299.99View See all prices Shark Handheld Cordless Pet Vacuum $56.99View See all prices We check over 250 million products every day for the best prices How to choose the best car vacuum If you’re in the market for a car vacuum, there are a few things you should think about. One of the first questions could be – do you actually need one? If you own something like the Dyson V8, it can shape-shift into a form factor that can work very well to clean cars with and comes with all the power, bin size and additional tools of a fully-fledged vacuum cleaner for great performance. Of course, this comes at a considerably higher cost than a dedicated car vacuum and can be heavier too. If you decide you do need something more dedicated, there are several things to bear in mind. One of the first is whether you want corded or cordless. Most car vacs these days do run on a rechargeable battery, so do consider the battery life in these situations. Be sure to check whether it has more than one suction level to understand what the battery life figure refers to. If you are going for corded, make sure the cord is long enough to allow you to do the full car. Next up, think about form factor, including weight and how comfortable it looks to hold. Can you imagine cleaning a whole car with it, and does it come with the necessary tools for your situation? Crevice tools are particularly useful for cleaning cars, but pet owners will want to look out for specific tools to tackle pet hair if possible. You might also want to consider the bin size, to be sure it has a decent capacity for a full car clean – if the bin is too small you might have to stop to empty it halfway through. Speaking of which, consider how the bin opens on the car vac and if it looks like it can be emptied cleanly. There’s nothing worse than losing half of your bin’s contents onto the floor – or worse, on you – as you try to transfer to the bin. How we test car vacuums To find the best car vacuum you can buy, we test how well each model can clean up a range of dirt and debris from different areas of a car. We use the same kind of things you’ll be cleaning too: crushed digestive biscuits for our finer dirt test, and oats for the larger one. We then section off a testing area of 20cm x 20cm in the boot so that we can test carpet pick up, and we do the same on the driver’s seat for the upholstery test. This allows us to assess the performance of each in a controlled environment, while also carrying out “real-world” testing over a period of time too. This includes general car clean-ups, observing the handling of pet hair, and finding out how well they can get into tight spaces, like door bins. As well as evaluating each vacuum’s cleaning performance, we also consider the other things that would be important when making a buying decision, including how long the battery lasts compared to the manufacturer’s claims (or how long the wire is, in the case of corded vacs), how loud it is in use and the usefulness of any included tools for different jobs. We also consider the weight and ergonomics, to understand if people are going to be able to use it comfortably to clean the whole car and if the bin capacity it has will make that possible. Lastly, we rate based on how easy it is to empty the vacuum cleanly, and how easy it is to keep clean, as well as general feedback on ease of use. You’ve reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top ^ Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox Sign up for breaking news, reviews, opinion, top tech deals, and more. Contact me with news and offers from other Future brandsReceive email from us on behalf of our trusted partners or sponsorsBy submitting your information you agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and are aged 16 or over. Verity Burns Social Links Navigation Verity is a freelance technology journalist, with previous on-staff roles at What Hi-Fi?, Stuff, Pocket-lint and MSN. Having chalked up more than 15 years in the industry, she has covered the highs and lows across the breadth of consumer tech, sometimes travelling to the other side of the world to do so. With a specialism in audio and TV, however, it means she’s managed to spend a lot of time watching films and listening to music in the name of “work”. You’ll occasionally catch her on BBC Radio commenting on the latest tech news stories, and always find her in the living room, tweaking terrible TV settings at parties. With contributions from Jim McCauley Ruth HamiltonHomes Editor More about vacuums What are the disadvantages of a robot vacuum cleaner? Our favorite upright vacuum cleaner is $100 off when you use this promo code at Shark Latest It might not be long before on-board AI makes your graphics card less of a power hog See more latest ► Most Popular Microsoft has yanked Windows 11 24H2 update from testing – is this a bad sign? Can’t wait for iOS 18? 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