The Best Car Vacuums

A reliable car vacuum is a must-have for any vehicle owner who wants to keep their ride looking and smelling fresh. Their compact size and specialized tools make fast work of cleaning all your vehicle’s nooks and crannies.

Finding the best car vacuum for your vehicle means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available attachments and styles. With the right car vacuum, this loathsome chore can become a quick, over-and-done with task.

We reviewed dozens of car vacuums to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in suction tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated car vacuums vehicle owners can purchase to ensure a clean and healthy ride.

Top Pick
Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
Offers the ability to clean both solids and liquids for the deepest clean possible.

We’ve identified Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum as the best car vacuum out there. With the ability to clean both wet and dry, this car vacuum is one that will keep your entire vehicle in tip top shape. These benefits allow you to spend less time cleaning, and more time enjoying, your ride.

The 5 Top-Rated Car Vacuums

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallArmor All, AA255 , 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum4.2
Runner UpHOTOR Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner4.4
Best Budget BuyXDesign Car Vacuum Cleaner with High Power Suction4.4
Best Cordless Car VacuumAudew Cordless Handheld Vacuum4.2
Best Bagless Car VacuumThisWorx for TWC-01 Car Vacuum4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum

The Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum took the top spot on our list of the best car vacuums, as it offers the ability to clean both wet and dry messes. This means you can give your vehicle the deepest clean possible, with just one machine. It has a 2.5 gallon reservoir, which means less frequent emptying is required, and the bagless design helps cut down on garbage. It boasts a lightweight and compact design, with a convenient carrying handle on the top of the unit. The 10-foot long power cord features integrated storage, and there’s no assembly required.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car vacuum appreciated that it was a lightweight unit, which made getting into hard-to-reach places easier, and said that it had a good amount of suction power. Some people found the clamps tricky to align, but with a bit of patience there shouldn’t be an issue.

With a price tag of about $38, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.2 on Amazon with more than 4,800 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum Key Features: 

  • Includes crevice tools and brushes with onboard storage
  • Automatic shut off helps prevent overflow
  • Built-in air and noise diffuser for more efficient and quiet operation

Our Runner Up Pick: HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner

Runner Up
HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner
Equipped with three different nozzles to meet all your car cleaning needs.

The HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner took the runner-up spot on our list of the best car vacuums, and boasts a corded, handheld design. It comes complete with three different nozzles to meet all your car cleaning needs. It features a bright, integrated LED light to help you see where you’re cleaning, and the 16.4 foot long power cord ensures you can reach anywhere in the vehicle. It uses a washable stainless steel HEPA filter for added longevity.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car vacuum appreciated how easy it was to use and clean, and really liked the long power cord. People commented that it still had ample power, even though it’s only 12-volt. People said that it did an excellent job removing pet hair, and found the storage bag helpful for keeping the accessories and unit together.

At a cost of around $30, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.4 on Amazon with more than 2,800 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

HOTOR Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner Key Features: 

  • Includes a handy storage bag
  • Bagless design for less waste
  • Detachable for quick and easy cleanups

Best Budget Pick: XDesign Car Vacuum Cleaner with High Power Suction

Best for Budget
XDesign Car Vacuum Cleaner with High Power Suction
A budget-friendly option with a sleek and simple design.

The XDesign Car Vacuum Cleaner with High Power Suction is an excellent choice for those looking for a car vacuum that won’t break the bank. It features a compact and lightweight design, with integrated carrying handle for ease of use. There is an integrated light to help you see wherever you’re cleaning, and the reusable stainless steel HEPA filter helps control dust and other allergens.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car vacuum were pleasantly surprised at how well the little vacuum cleaned, and found the included cleaning tools very helpful. People liked that it plugs into the cigarette lighter of the vehicle, removing the need for extension cords. They also commented on the storage bag, and value of the included 1-year warranty.

With a cost of approximately $18, this car vacuum is a solid choice for those looking for a car vacuum option on a budget. It has a rating of 4.4 on Amazon with more than 250 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at keeping their ride neat and tidy as its more expensive counterparts.

XDesign Car Vacuum Cleaner with High Power Suction Key Features: 

  • High-powered 98-watt motor
  • Power cord is 14.6 feet long
  • Suitable for wet or dry use

Best Cordless Car Vacuum: Audew Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Best Cordless Car Vacuum
Audew Cordless Handheld Vacuum
A lightweight, cordless design with quiet operation.

The Audew Cordless Handheld Vacuum boasts a cordless design for ease of portability, and is lightweight with an integrated carrying handle for added user comfort. It comes complete with a premium Lithium battery, which is quickly recharged within just 3-5 hours. Each charge provides up to 30 minutes of cleaning time, while the battery indicator light lets you know how much power is remaining. It comes complete with an extension hose and other cleaning accessories, as well as a bag for convenient storage.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car vacuum appreciated that it was easy to operate and clean, and said that the quality of materials used in construction was noticeable. People did comment that the canister filled quickly, but said that it was easy to dump and clean. Reviewers also liked the included accessories.

With a price tag of about $35, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.2 on Amazon with nearly 500 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Audew Cordless Handheld Vacuum Key Features: 

  • Quieter operation at just 78 dB
  • Removable and washable filter
  • Suitable for both wet and dry applications

Best Bagless Car Vacuum: ThisWorx for TWC-01 Car Vacuum

Best Bagless Car Vacuum
ThisWorx for TWC-01 Car Vacuum
Generous capacity transparent trash container with automatic shut-off lid.

The ThisWorx for TWC-01 Car Vacuum is an excellent choice for those looking for a car vacuum and don’t want the hassle of having to change collection bags. It boasts a generous capacity, and is suitable for both wet and dry applications. The transparent trash container lets you easily see when it’s time to empty the bin, while the automatic shut-off lid helps to prevent overflow. It includes a 16-foot power cable to help reach every corner of the vehicle, and uses a powerful 106-watt motor.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car vacuum appreciated that it was lightweight and easy to use, and felt that it offered a lot of power for such a compact and affordable unit. People commented that the cord was long enough that they didn’t need an extension, and that the storage case made it convenient to keep everything neatly together in the trunk of their vehicle.

At a cost of around $30, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.3 on Amazon with more than 3,200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

ThisWorx for TWC-01 Car Vacuum Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Washable HEPA filter for added convenience
  • Includes an extendable hose, nozzles, and convenient storage bag

Who Should Buy a Car Vacuum

A car vacuum is an ideal choice for those with a vehicle who don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to drag their shop vac or house vacuum outside in order to clean messes from their vehicle. Most car vacuums simply plug into the cigarette lighter of the vehicle, which eliminates the need for bulky extension cords.

Parents of small children will also appreciate the convenience that a dedicated car vacuum provides, as youngsters are often spilling snacks and dragging dirt and other debris into the vehicle. The included attachments with many car vacuums make getting into all the nooks and crannies of a car seat that much easier.

Finally, if you are using your vehicle as part of a ride-share program, you’ll appreciate the ease and convenience that a car vacuum provides for keeping your ride in picture-perfect condition at all times. Car vacuums are often compact, which means they easily tuck into the trunk space of your vehicle. Their lightweight design makes them easy to use for quick cleanups in between passengers.

Top Pick
Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
Offers the ability to clean both solids and liquids for the deepest clean possible.

Important Features to Consider

Not all car vacuums are created equal. A car vacuum should provide ample suction and be easy to operate. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best car vacuum for your vehicle:

  • Suction. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to choosing the best car vacuum for your needs is the level of suction it provides. A vacuum that is too weak won’t pick up near the amount of dirt and debris you want it to. Suction power is determined by the size of the motor, so always choose the most powerful one you can afford.
  • Size. The next most important thing when shopping for a car vacuum is the size and shape of the unit. You can easily spend 20 or 30 minutes vacuuming your car, which can put a lot of stress on your hands and wrists. Opting for units that are more compact, lightweight, or even with ergonomic handles can help to ensure your comfort and safety, especially during prolonged use.
  • Accessories. Another consideration that’s very important when picking a good car vacuum are what accessories are included. Crevice tools, smaller brushes, extension hoses, and storage bags are all additional accessories that make cleaning and storage more convenient.
  • Power cord. One of the biggest conveniences of using a car vacuum is that you don’t need to use an extension cord to operate it, so make sure that the model you choose is long enough to reach from the outlet in your car to wherever you need it to reach. Power cords that are at least 14 feet long should be enough to cover most vehicles, but if you have a larger truck or SUV, look for those with cords that are 16 feet or longer. You can also opt for a cordless car vacuum if you want to eliminate this consideration altogether.
  • Bagged vs bagless. Some car vacuums use dirt collection bags, while others have a canister you can dump into the trash bin. Consider which model you prefer, and the additional costs that bags will cause over time.
  • Wet/dry. Not all messes in a car will be dry, or you might want to give a deeper wash to your mats. Having a vacuum that can handle both wet and dry messes is helpful.
  • Filters. Filters help reduce dust and other allergens, and are helpful in a car vacuum. That said, look for models with washable and reusable filters, otherwise you’ll have to factor in the cost and inconvenience of having to replace the filter every so often.
  • Noise. Car vacuums can be quite noisy, and since your ears are closer to them when in operation compared to a traditional vacuum, you’ll want one that offers quiet operation. Look for models that are 70 dB or lower to help protect your hearing, and not annoy your neighbors.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a car vacuum. Car vacuums vary in price from $20-$50 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a car vacuum and how does it work?

A car vacuum is a type of vacuum that has been specially designed for cleaning up messes from vehicles. They are usually compact in size and lightweight, and come complete with specialized cleaning tools for getting into hard-to-reach places such as between and underneath seats. They are easy to store in your trunk, and feature a 12V plug that is ideal for use in a vehicle cigarette lighter. They work in the same way that ordinary vacuums work, suctioning up dirt, debris, and other things into a collection canister or bag. When full, you simply empty the bag or canister. They are incredibly convenient for cleaning up messes while on the go.

Can I use a car vacuum cleaner at home?

It is not recommended to use a car vacuum cleaner in the home, as it won’t provide the level of suctioning required to clean adequately. It would also take a really long time to clean a large home with such a tiny unit. Then, there’s the fact that nearly all car vacuum cleaners run on DC power, with homes only offering AC outlets — you wouldn’t be able to plug a car vacuum in anywhere in a house.

How do I vacuum my car?

The first step in vacuuming your car properly is to open all the doors so that you have easy access to the vehicle. It also makes it easy to pull the vacuum through rather than circling the car. Next, remove any floor mats and place them on a clean, dry surface outside the vehicle. Start by vacuuming the floorboards thoroughly, in both the front and rear of the vehicle. If your vacuum includes a brush attachment, use that. Sliding the front seats all the way back will allow you to reach under the seats better, as well as pick up any debris in the seat track rails. Don’t forget about the trunk area! Next, go over the upholstery, again with the brush attachment. The crevice tool allows you to get between the seat and the seat back, but reclining the seat completely is also helpful. Finally, vacuum the floor mats before returning them into the vehicle, ensuring that any snaps, hooks, or eyelets are reattached.

Is a handheld or canister vacuum best for vacuuming a car?

A handheld vacuum is a better choice than a canister vacuum for vacuuming a car, as they can more easily maneuver through a vehicle while cleaning. If you do decide to use a canister vacuum to vacuum your car, you’ll need one with a detachable extension hose and brush attachments in order to effectively reach and clean the various spaces.

Other Car Vacuums We Reviewed

Top Pick
Armor All, AA255, 2.5 Gallon 2 Peak HP Wet/Dry Utility Shop Vacuum
Offers the ability to clean both solids and liquids for the deepest clean possible.

We looked at 20 other car vacuums. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best car vacuums list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for keeping your vehicle clean. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Cordless Car Vacuums

MEG Handheld Car Vacuum Cordless

MEG Handheld Car Vacuum Cordless

This cordless car vacuum boasts a lightweight design and comfortable carry handle to help you get into hard-to-reach spaces, and charges in just 2.5 hours.

Key Features: 

  • Up to 20 minutes run time
  • Bagless design
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $45

Coen Houteman Wireless Handheld Portable Vacuum

Coen Houteman Wireless Handheld Portable Vacuum

This cordless car vacuum boasts a powerful motor to provide excellent suction. One charge provides up to 30 minutes of continuous usage.

Key Features: 

  • Noise reducing technology
  • Includes a brush head and long flat head
  • Bagless design

Cost: $35

Ele King Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Ele King Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

This cordless car vacuum boasts a handheld design that can be used for both wet and dry messes. The stainless steel filter can be washed and reused for an eco- and budget-friendly option.

Key Features: 

  • Lightweight at just 1.32 pounds
  • Provides up to 30 minutes run time on a single charge
  • Integrated LED light

Cost: $45

BISSELL Cordless Car Hand Vacuum

BISSELL Cordless Car Hand Vacuum

This cordless car vacuum boasts a powerful motor and suction that has been specially designed for use with the included car detailing tools.

Key Features: 

  • Bagless design
  • Two-foot long extension hose
  • Integrated lights

Cost: $160

CICMOD Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

CICMOD Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

This cordless car vacuum boasts a lightweight, handheld design that is ideal for cleaning both wet and dry messes. It charges in about four hours.

Key Features: 

  • Provides up to 15-minutes run time
  • Includes cleaning attachments
  • Washable filter

Cost: $18

Handheld Vacuum for Cars

LOZAYI High Power Car Vacuum

LOZAYI High Power Car Vacuum

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts a lightweight design, and comes with a HEPA filter for better cleaning results. The power cord reaches up to 16.4 feet.

Key Features: 

  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments
  • Quiet, 75 dB operation

Cost: $29

AINOPE Car Vacuum Cleaner

AINOPE Car Vacuum Cleaner

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts extra powerful suction, and comes complete with a scroll nozzle for good cleaning results. It includes a washable filter.

Key Features: 

  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $35

Banaton Car Vacuum Cleaner

Banaton Car Vacuum Cleaner

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts a lightweight design and strong suction that is suitable for use on both wet and dry messes. The ergonomic design helps promote operator comfort.

Key Features: 

  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $26

GOOLOO Car Vacuum Cleaner

GOOLOO Car Vacuum Cleaner

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts a stainless steel HEPA filter that is washable for added longevity, and features a 14.8-foot power cord.

Key Features: 

  • Quiet, 75 dB operation
  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments

Cost: $30

Helteko Car Vacuum Cleaner

Helteko Car Vacuum Cleaner

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts powerful suction in a bagless design, and is suitable for use on both wet and dry messes. The 16.5-foot long power cord lets you tackle hard-to-reach spots with ease.

Key Features: 

  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments
  • Integrated LED light

Cost: $26

JINPUS Car Vacuum Cleaner

JINPUS Car Vacuum Cleaner

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts a powerful 120w motor, and comes complete with a washable HEPA filter for better cleaning performance. The 16.4-foot long power cord makes light work of hard-to-reach places.

Key Features: 

  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments

Cost: $23

Sutor Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner

Sutor Corded Car Vacuum Cleaner

This handheld vacuum for cars boasts a 150w motor, and provides a stable 6KPA strong cyclonic suction for excellent cleaning results. The bagless design makes cleanup a breeze.

Key Features: 

  • Includes a 2-year warranty
  • Suitable for wet and dry use
  • Quiet, 70 dB operation

Cost: $34

Bagless Car Vacuums

MOICO High Power Portable Vacuum

MOICO High Power Portable Vacuum 

This bagless car vacuum boasts powerful suction and integrated LED lighting, to help you easily clean all those hard-to-reach places in your vehicle.

Key Features: 

  • Includes a 2-year warranty
  • Storage bag included
  • Quiet, 65 dB operation

Cost: $24

FORTEM Car Vacuum Cleaner

FORTEM Car Vacuum Cleaner

This bagless car vacuum boasts a powerful 120w motor, and comes complete with a 16-ft long power cord. It easily plugs into any 12v car cigarette lighter.

Key Features: 

  • Storage bag included
  • Includes cleaning attachments
  • Washable steel filter

Cost: $25

LB LECHEBANG 4 in 1 Air Pump Car Cleaner

LB LECHEBANG 4 in 1 Air Pump Car Cleaner 

This bagless car vacuum offers four different functions for added value. Not only does it clean, it lets you check tire pressure, inflate items, and can be used as a light.

Key Features: 

  • Suitable for wet or dry use
  • Reusable HEPA filter
  • Storage bag and accessories included

Cost: $18

CLY Car Vacuum Cleaner

CLY Car Vacuum Cleaner

This bagless car vacuum boasts a 106w upgraded motor and strong metal turbine for excellent suction, and comes complete with cleaning accessories and a storage bag.

Key Features: 

  • Quiet, 75 dB operation
  • Washable stainless steel HEPA filter
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $50

Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner

Onshowy Car Vacuum Cleaner

This bagless car vacuum boasts a 75w motor, and features a compact design that fits easily in your hand. The pivoting nozzle makes it easy to clean all your vehicle’s nooks and crannies.

Key Features: 

  • Power cord is 14.76 feet long
  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • HEPA filter

Cost: $14

Nulaxy Car Vacuum Cleaner

Nulaxy Car Vacuum Cleaner

This bagless car vacuum boasts a lightweight and compact design, and comes complete with an extension hose and various cleaning nozzles for added value.

Key Features: 

  • Quiet, 75 dB operation
  • Detachable and washable HEPA filter
  • Power cord is 16.4 feet long

Cost: $24

ThisWorx for TWC-02 Car Vacuum Cleaner

ThisWorx for TWC-02 Car Vacuum Cleaner

This bagless car vacuum boasts a compact and ergonomic design for ease of use, and comes complete with an extension hose and various cleaning nozzles.

Key Features: 

  • Integrated LED light
  • Suitable for wet or dry use
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $30

Baronage Corded Portable Auto Car Vac

Baronage Corded Portable Auto Car Vac

This bagless car vacuum offers high powered suction for improved cleaning performance, and comes complete with a detachable and washable stainless steel HEPA filter.

Key Features: 

  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • Power cord is 16 feet long
  • Suitable for wet or dry use

Cost: $17

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