LAST UPDATED: March 4, 2019
Best Car Trash Cans: Our Picks for a Tidy Car
Keep your vehicle neat and tidy with these top car trash cans
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON March 4, 2019
If you like a clean vehicle, you may want to invest in a trash bin specifically designed for cars. Whenever you travel with a passenger, including children, they can simply toss their garbage into the auto trash bag instead of throwing it on the seat or floor. The best car trash can enables you to keep your vehicle tidy and clutter-free.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy a Car Trash Can?
- Keep your carpet and floor mats clean. It can be very frustrating to have stains on your carpets from spilled liquids or food waste. An auto garbage bag keeps the refuse off the floor, an area that can easily become a trash magnet.
- Put trash out of sight. No one likes to drive around with a bunch of garbage in their vehicle. A car trash organizer hides all the debris you've accumulated and secures it in one spot.
- Convenience on long trips. If you eat a meal on the go or take snacks along with you on a ride, it's inevitable that you'll have some leftover trash. You can easily empty the car trash bag on the next stop.
- Keep things organized. If you're one who likes clean spaces, an automobile wastebasket is essential. They're convenient and easy to use. They're one of the best ways to keep your vehicle clutter-free and organized.
- Drive safely. Avoid getting a piece of trash from getting stuck under your brake or gas pedals by tossing it inside a trash bin instead. The less garbage in your car equals fewer distractions on the road.
- Go environmentally friendly. Instead of tossing your litter and garbage outside the car window, invest in a car trash bin. It will make you feel better about protecting Mother Earth.
Types of Car Trash Cans
Floor Trash Can
This type of trash bin rests on the floor of your vehicle next to a passenger’s feet. They commonly attach to the center console with some sort of strap or mount. There are also some freestanding trash bins, but they are more likely to tip over during a vehicle's operation.
Hanging Trash Can
Most people opt for this type of car trash holder. Typically, they hang from the back of a passenger seat by a hook or from the headrest. They may also be attached to the center console. Occasionally, people hang auto garbage bags from their gear shifts or other spots in the vehicle.
Cup Holder Trash Can
This type of car trash organizer is usually plastic and is intended to fit into your cup holder or the pocket of your door. They are generally very small and cannot hold larger items, such as discarded cans or bottles. However, they are multifunctional and can be used in other places around the home or garage.
Top Brands of Car Trash Cans
Drive Auto Products
Drive Auto Products is based in Byron Center, Michigan. The company's mission is to provide solutions to common problems inside vehicles and to provide the best interior accessories. Using science and engineering, Drive Auto Products looks for ways to improve car products with superior designs and unique features. Their highly rated product is The Drive Bin.
Roy Richter started Bell Automotive in his garage in Bell, California in the late 1940s. He transformed his love of racing into making automotive products such as the Bell racing helmet. Bell also makes seat/steering wheel covers and tire inflators. Bell's motto is "To live, ride, drive and thrive." Their auto garbage bag is the Bell Automotive 22-1-38996-8 Small Pop-Up Trash Can.
The small business, Lusso Gear, was established in Memphis, Tennessee in 2016 with the aim of making cars safer for parents/their children and to avoid distractions as much as possible. The company’s products are great for organizing toys, food, trash, and other items. Lusso Gear also makes seat protectors, kick mats, and seat organizers. One of their top-rated products is the Lusso Gear Car Trash Can.
Car Trash Can Prices
- Under $10: You can purchase several brands of car trash cans for under $10, but they often have fewer features. They tend to be collapsible, come without lids, and are easy to store.
- $10-$20: Most car trash cans fall into this price range. They tend to be higher-quality and more durable than their less-expensive counterparts. They usually include more attachment options and feature side pockets for storing liner bags, sunglasses, tissues, or other items.
It should be quite simple to install a car trash organizer in your vehicle, depending on what type it is. Models that sit on the floor may not require installation at all. Simply set it on the floor mat. Those that attach to the headrest or center console usually have straps that may require some adjustment. Sometimes you need to remove the headrest to secure a car trash can in a vehicle.
One of the most important features of an automobile wastebasket is its size. If it's too large, it may inhibit leg and headroom. However, you’ll want one that's big enough for the amount of trash you expect to put inside of it. Just make sure it doesn't take up too much room, or it can become a distraction.
Waterproof and Leakproof
One thing you need to know is whether the trash bin can contain liquids, particularly before you throw a half-empty cup of soda inside of it. If the trash can isn't waterproof, leakproof, or oil proof, then the liquid you toss will naturally leak, possibly damaging the interior of your vehicle.
- Easy clean up. The purpose of a car garbage can is to get rid of trash and keep disposable items organized. Make sure you choose a car trash holder that can hold enough trash, that is easy to access while driving or riding as a passenger, and enables you to dispose of waste seamlessly.
- Easy to secure. The last thing you want is your car trash can to flip over during a trip. Make sure you choose a product that can hold its position. The auto garbage bag should not move and must maintain its position if you drive on uneven surfaces or brake suddenly. If it moves around a lot, the trash inside may spill out.
- Collapsible. Some car trash cans collapse when they're not in use, making them easy to store. You may need, however, to work harder to stuff trash inside of them. You may prefer a product that retains its shape so it can hold the maximum amount of waste.
- Washable. Some car trash cans are easy to clean and can be tossed into the washing machine. Other products require spot cleaning but include liners that prevent food and liquids from damaging the surface.
Best Car Trash Can Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The Drive Bin is a versatile, waterproof, two-gallon trash receptacle intended to hold discarded papers, fast food, cups, candy wrappers, and more. It features a pack of 20 plastic liners that are disposable, which can be stored in the mesh pouch on the side of the product. The bin has an adjustable quick-clip strap that allows you to hang it anywhere, such as behind the seat or on the floor. It comes with a hook and loop to place it on the side of the console. It also features a seat headrest attachment. When you run out of liners, you can substitute grocery bags as well. Built-in clips on the sides ensure the bags are held securely and don't fall into the bin. The bin may be too bulky for passengers in the rear seat. If it is not attached to the console or headrest with the straps, it can fall over easily. The straps may not be long enough for some vehicles' center consoles and may break over time. The bin doesn't close when the bags are in place.
The Zone Tech trash can is great for wrappers, tissues, and other unwanted trash items. It's leakproof and made of strong, durable material. The elastic strap can be looped over the seat belt anchor or gear shift. The bin can also fit inside a large console or hang on the hook of the passenger seat headrest. The liner is easy to clean and is washable. In addition to being used as a trash bin, it can store toys, sunglasses, snacks, and other items. It has the capacity to hold up to two and three cans or a couple of soda bottles. The trash bag is durable and collapsible, so it can be easily stored when not in use. It doesn't take up much space even when filled to capacity, allowing passengers to have enough legroom. One downside is the trash bin is small and only has a short, elastic ring to attach it to something in the vehicle. It may not fit around a headrest if there is no hook, or you may need to remove the headrest to install it.
The polyester High Road StashAway features a StuffTop lid that keeps odors from filling the cabin space and covers the one-and-a-half-gallon garbage can. The vinyl lining is durable, preventing spills from leaking out. A front panel and side braces keep it structured and stable. The adjustable cord fits over a hinged center console, making the reach easy for front- or back-seat passengers. Three outside pockets can hold a variety of items, including tissues, hand sanitizer, an ice scraper, and charging cables. It retains its shape and is small enough to be out of the way, even with a passenger sitting in the middle seat. The inner bag is quite heavy-duty, waterproof, and cleans up easily so liner bags aren’t absolutely necessary. The slotted deposit hole may be slightly awkward if you reach back for it from the driver's seat. The cord's clamp may not stay securely in place and may loosen, causing the can to swing around even with the center console lid shut. The cinch used to hold the bag may get in the way of closing the lid on the center console. The bin may also collapse when it's not full of trash.
This waterproof trash bin has a capacity of two gallons. It has three side pockets to carry items such as tissues, sanitizer, and cleaning rags. It easily attaches to the center console, back seat, glove box, and more. It also features side handles that help you when you insert disposable bags. It is 10.5 by 8.25 by 6.75 inches. The best thing about this trash can is that it's very sturdy and holds its shape. The lid keeps trash out of sight, while the fasteners keep it from moving around when you're driving. It's easy to line with a grocery bag, and it has an adjustable strap that you can put through the center console so it hangs between and behind the two front seats, which makes it easily accessible to both the front and back seat passengers. However, some people complain that it's a little too big. Also, the adjustable strap may not be large enough for some vehicles. In addition, it's not designed for storage purposes, such as holding bottles of water.
This plastic, the universal-fit waste container is 7.2 inches wide by 7 inches high and has a 1-gallon capacity. It features anti-slip, heavy-duty arms that are 14 inches long and spikes on the bottom, so it doesn't slide around on the floor. It's easy to clean: Simply rinse it in water, and let it dry. You can put both wet and dry waste in the bin without any issues. It is very stable and is perfect on the floor in front of the passenger seat or on the floor in the back seat. It's not too big or too small and doesn't take up a lot of space. It's easy to drop trash into it from either the driver's side or passenger side. It also holds a good amount of trash and stays put. One problem is that this trash can will not stay in place if it's not on a carpeted surface area. Also, the base may be folded for shipping purposes and can take a few days to relax enough to contact the floor. Some people have also complained that it's smaller than they expected, so make sure to pay attention to its dimensions before making a purchase.
OxGord's trash bin is made of leak-resistant nylon and is designed to hang from the back seat. You can also use the adjustable strap to hang it from the armrest, center console, gear shift, or glove box. The trash bin can stand on its own and is foldable for storage. It has built-in snaps should you need to close it and is 11 by 9 by 7 inches. This trash can is versatile and can also be used to store snacks, beverages, CDs, small toys, and more. The material is of good quality. The bin stays open, and since there's no top flap, it's simple to drop trash into it. You can also easily turn it inside out to clean it. One complaint about this trash can is its size: Some say it's not big enough, while others believe it's too large for a compact car. Also, it's not really structured or stiff and has a tendency to lose its shape and collapse. The bag may also fade if exposed to a lot of sunlight.
This tip-resistant trash can has a weighted base, so it stays put and doesn't topple over if you hit the brakes really hard. The bin has a cover to hide trash and a large front pocket to store small items. It has a two-gallon capacity and can be used in the front, back, or trunk of your vehicle. The company, High Road, is based in Maine. The trash can comes with a removable leak-proof liner, so you don't need to use any bags in it. The weighted bean bag on the bottom of the bin makes it feel very substantial. It has great, grippy traction on the bottom, and the lid is semi-rigid, which makes it easy to open and close. It's neither too big nor too small and doesn't take up very much legroom. Unfortunately, the Velcro on the bottom doesn't stick to a vehicle's carpet very well. Also, the can is not particularly structured, and the sides have a tendency to collapse. When it's empty, it falls flat.
This trash bin has a large, three-gallon capacity and three mesh exterior pockets. It comes with an adjustable hanging strap, a 100 percent waterproof liner, and a lid to conceal your garbage. It's made of 600 denier cloth for durability and can also be used as a storage bag, travel bag, or lunch box. It's easy to install: Simply put it around the back of the seat and tighten the strap. You can also put it in the center armrest. It's discreet enough so it doesn't necessarily look like a trash bin in your car, which is a plus. It's also easy to clean up any messes, like spilled yogurt, and it holds a lot of garbage. The biggest complaint about this product is that the strap is a little flimsy and may break over a short period of time. Also, it may not stay closed, and trash can spill out. Another problem is it may not keep its shape when opened.
Tips & Advice for Car Trash Cans
- Choose a trash can that blends with the interior of your vehicle. Pick a color and size that complements your vehicle and doesn't clash with the fit and finish of your ride.
- Select a trash can that can comfortably hold the amount of garbage you plan on disposing of each day/week. If you choose one that's too small, the trash will overflow. One that’s too big may inhibit legroom.
- Decide where you want to put the trash bag before you purchase one. Some are better suited to hang behind the front seats, while others are easier to suspend from the gear shift or center console.
- If you travel frequently with children or eat a lot in your vehicle, you may want to select a trash bag that has a lid so it contains the odors from discarded food and drinks.
Q: Do they stay upright on their own without tipping over?
A: Most car trash bins include loops or attachments that secure them to various spots in your vehicle. Those that are freestanding may feature anti-slip nubbies on the bottom that stabilize the product to prevent it from moving.
Q: How much trash do they hold?
A: Auto trash cans come in a variety of sizes. Some are meant for just paper and tissue waste, while others are up to two gallons in size and can contain several cans or plastic bottles.
Q: Are they leakproof?
A: Many auto garbage bags are made of materials that are leakproof and/or waterproof. Others require plastic liners, which can make clean up easier and less messy.
Q: What is the best way to clean a trash bin?
A: A few car trash bins can be thrown into the washing machine. Others can be spot cleaned with Lysol, Clorox wipes, or other cleaning products. Still, more trash cans suggest using liners, which make clean up even easier.
Q: Can it double as a cooler?
A: Many auto trash cans can serve multiple purposes. Larger ones can be used as coolers if you include an ice brick or bag alongside your food and drinks. They can also be used for storing toys, winter accessories, and other items.
Our pick for the best car trash can is the Drive Auto Products Car Bin. It’s a good size, is waterproof, and includes liners for easy cleanup. It holds its shape and can double as a cooler.
If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, consider the Zone Tech Universal Traveling Portable Car Trash Can.