If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best car vacuum cleaner is we recommend the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum as our top pick.
Maybe you really enjoy cleaning your car or maybe you absolutely hate it. Eitherway in most cases it’s one of those things that need to be done. If you have kids or pets it can be a messy job and having a reliable and powerful car vacuum is even more important.
Try asking your kids not to drop food in the car or asking your pets not to shed hair all over the upholstery (pointless right!).
If you are like me then you love to go for a drive (even if its just to the grocery store) in a nice clean car. It’s can be surprising just how clean even an older car can look when you have the right tools to get the job done.
Since there are many types of cars and even other vehicles we will look at a range of vacuums here for different situations. We have strived to cover all situations here so hopefully your own scenario is covered in our guide below.
Here are the best car vacuum cleaners we will be reviewing:
What to look for when choosing a vacuum for cleaning your car
The features you will need in a good vacuum for your car may vary slightly depending on your situation. Portability versus power and other factors such as tools and attachment’s will come into play.
Choose a powerful car vacuum
If you want a diverse option that covers more than just the car then you may want to choose something different like a small shop vac. We have an entire guide on the best shop vacuums here you can check out.
Shop vacs have the added bonus of being wet/dry vacs so if you frequently use your car for activities that involved getting wet that can be super important for a complete clean up.
Cordless car vacuum vs corded car vacuum
This is one of those things that comes up a lot when looking for a vacuum for cleaning the car.
Cordless car vacuums are of course easier to use when it comes to a car or other vehicle. No need to worry about a power supply or getting tangled in a cord while moving around the vehicle.
The downside of course is that you may have to stop and charge it during longer jobs. Also if you forget to charge it once your done, next time you clean the car you suddenly realise you have to wait since you now need to charge your vacuum.
Cordless car vacuums are also generally more expensive then their corded rivals and possibly the most important point here they are often not the most powerful car vacuum out there. This is an issue for particularly messy or stubborn dirt in your car. Deposits such as pet hair or food stuck deep in the upholstery.
The advice in this debate is pretty simple. If you need a portable car vacuum to quickly clean the car and a power outlet is an issue then go with cordless. If you need a more powerful car vacuum and have a power supply nearby then go with a corded car vacuum.
Best Car Vacuum Cleaners – The Options
There are many different needs when it comes to car or vehicle cleaning so the below models should cover all situations. Our top pick for each scenario has been included. This should allow you to make the smart choice that works for you.
Best Cordless Car Vacuum
It says it in the name but just to be clear this is of course a cordless vacuum. Interestingly we also included this one in our guide on the best vacuum for stairs so it does have multiple uses.
- Super light at 2.6 lbs
- Cordless for easy use on the go
- Very short recharge time so not too long to wait
- A solid and reliable vacuum from a well known brand
- Not as powerful as the corded options when it comes to suction
- Running time has been reported as being short in many cases
- Filter can be tricky to clean
Most Powerful Car Vacuum
Before we go into detail on this vacuum I can already here you saying that doesn’t look like a vac I would use to clean my car. I have to agree that at first glance I would agree with you.
One of the main reasons we feel this is the ultimate car vacuum is that it can be used for all your household vacuuming needs as a typical upright vacuum. Then with the touch of a button it transforms into a handheld super vac for car cleaning.
- Powerful Vacuum- No issues with leaving any dirt behind with this one
- Useful for all household needs as well as the car – dual function
- Good tools & accessories for pet hair, crevice tools and more
- Despite its diversity it weights just 12.5 lbs
- Anti Allergen HEPA filters
- 25 foot cord
- Comes disassembled- It only takes minutes to set it up but this could be a negative for some people
- Not a fully handheld vacuum like some of the other models if that is what you are looking for
Best Handheld Vacuum For Car Cleaning
While we recommend the Shark Vacuum above as our top pick in this guide this black and decker comes in a close second.
It is a very different vac since it’s cordless but delivers a lot for cordless cleaning in your car or around the house. A little expensive versus the rivals but they have sold a lot of these and the feedback is for the most part excellent. A solid choice.
- Very good battery life which makes it easier to get a full clean done
- Light at 3.2 lbs
- Washable tank and filter for easy cleaning and fresh vacuuming
- Handy flexi hose for getting into tricky corners
- Awesome pet hair brush attachment
- Expensive compared to other rival models but delivers quality for this
- A little loud but this is to be expected given the power delivered in a small device
- Charging base is not wall mountable
Best Portable Vacuum For Car Cleaning
The dirt devil seems at first glance to be a cordless vacuum but it isint. It is a super portable vacuum in terms of size and weight but does need to be plugged in so keep that in mind.
- Very well priced so delivers a lot of value
- Lots of power since its a corded vacuum
- Surprisingly has good tool attachments for such a small vac
- 16 foot power cord
- Light at 3.75 pounds
- Really noisy which is probably to be expected for a small yet powerful vacuum
- Vents are on the sides which can be annoying since it can blow dirt around while cleaning
- Hard to clean the filter
Best Vacuum For Car Interior
If you are looking for a vacuum for car detailing the Black & Decker BDH2000PL Max has an interesting and unique design. The adjustable nozzle gives it a really great reach for getting under car seats, into corners and hard to reach places.
- Cordless for easy use in the car
- Fairly light at 3.8 lbs
- Handy side emptying dirt bin
- Tricky to get pet hair and debris out of the filter
- Some issues with quality in recent times
So Which Is The Best Car Vacuum?
As you can see there are many different types of vacuums which can fit into the category of car cleaning. Some are not so obvious at first but are worth reviewing for broader use.
Our recommendation is the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum which provides the advantage of a traditional upright vacuum coupled with awesome features to keep your vehicle clean and tidy.
If you would prefer a completely cordless handheld option then our top recommendation in that category is the Black & Decker BDH2020FL 20V Max Lithium Flex Vac. It does not offer the diverse range of the Shark model but is certainly a great vac and one of the best in the cordless range.
Happy Clean Motoring!