Best Cordless Car Vacuums: Keep Your Ride Clean

Clean your car in a snap with these super sucky cordless car vacuums.

byLisa Conant| UPDATED Dec 9, 2022 11:51 AM
Best Cordless Car Vacuums: Keep Your Ride Clean

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BYLisa Conant/ LAST UPDATED ON December 9, 2022

There’s something so satisfying about getting into a pristinely clean, showroom-ready car. However, if you’re like most motorists, you may not have the time or money to have your car fully detailed on the regular. Maybe you’re a die-hard DIY detailer who takes pride in doing all your own car cleaning and detailing. Cleaning your car on a sunny Saturday is your happy place.


Whatever your reason for wanting to clean your ride yourself, one of the most important pieces of equipment you can invest in is a durable and strong car vacuum. Let’s take it one step further, though, and go for the versatility of a cordless car vacuum. If you’re in the market for a new cordless car vac, I’ve done the tough part for you and selected from the vast array of options my top picks. I’ve even thrown in a handy guide to help you figure out exactly which cordless car vacuum will best suit your wants and needs.

Best Overall
Bissell Auto-Mate Lithium Ion Car Vacuum

Bissell Auto-Mate Lithium Ion Car Vacuum

Summary
This compact unit offers excellent suction power and long battery life along with several useful tools that are ideal for cleaning inside your ride.
Pros
  • Great auto-specific tools
  • Strong suction power
  • Good for home and RV use also
Cons
  • Battery takes a long time to recharge
  • No backup plug-in function
Best Value

Bissell AeroSlim Lithium-Ion Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Summary
It’s a super compact and lightweight option that’s great for quick clean-ups and small messes and that you can easily store in your car or home.
Pros
  • Sleek, space-saving design
  • Affordable
  • Multiple charging options
Cons
  • Very short battery life
  • Small dust cup capacity
Honorable Mention

Shark Cordless UltraCyclone ProPlus Handheld Vacuum

Summary
This is a highly powerful, yet lightweight handheld cordless vacuum that’s ideal for your vehicle and features a powerful 80-watt brushless motor.
Pros
  • Super suction power
  • Motorized rotating brush head is great for pet hair
  • Plenty of attachments for a variety of jobs
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Docking station not included

Summary List 

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Our Methodology

When it comes to choosing the best cordless car vacuums, I wanted to provide you with a well-rounded list that features a good variety of reputable manufacturers with solid track records of providing high-quality, reliable products. I included a wide range of price points to suit any budget. I focused on cordless vacuums that use the latest technology and that feature innovative, compact designs suitable for a wide variety of vehicles and uses.  For more information on the selection criteria, click this link to The Drive’s Gear About page, which explains our methodology further.

Best Cordless Car Vacuum Reviews & Recommendations

Specs

  • Model: 2284W
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.7 liters

Pros

  • Great auto-specific tools
  • Strong suction power
  • Good for home and RV use also

Cons

  • Battery takes a long time to recharge
  • No backup plug-in function

When it comes to the best overall combination between reliability, functionality, long-lasting battery power, and user-friendliness, my top overall pick has to be the Bissell Auto-Mate Lithium Ion Car Vacuum. This compact unit offers excellent suction power and long battery life thanks to its 14-volt lithium-ion battery. It also features several useful tools that are ideal for cleaning inside your ride, including an LED-lit crevice tool, a motorized brush tool, and a flexible crevice tool for those tight, hard-to-reach spots.

This model also comes equipped with a decently sized dir cup with 0.7 liters of capacity, as well as a triple-level filtration system. Weighing in at only three pounds, it’s a sleek, lightweight option that does a great job at removing pet hair, food debris, sand, dirt, and much more. One drawback to this unit is that it doesn’t offer a 12-volt backup plug for your car’s cigarette lighter, so if the battery runs out before you’re finished, you’ll have to wait a while for it to recharge. It’s also missing a handy storage case or wall mount.

Specs

  • Model: Aeroslim
  • Weight: 1.37 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.1 liter

Pros

  • Sleek, space-saving design
  • Affordable
  • Multiple charging options

Cons

  • Very short battery life
  • Small dust cup capacity

If you’re looking for a great budget-friendly pick that’s ideal for small, quick clean-ups, check out the Bissell AeroSlim Lithium Ion Cordless Handheld Vacuum. It’s a super compact and lightweight option that you can easily store in your car or home. This unit features a 7.2-volt lithium-ion battery that recharges quickly. It has a cleverly designed 2-in-1 crevice tool/dust brush that reaches those tight spots in the car with ease.

A handy battery indicator light lets you know when it’s time to recharge. Recharging can be conveniently done via the included USB cable. Just plug it into your car charger, wall, or even your computer. This unit is also super lightweight. At only 1.37 pounds, you can use it without fatigue. The drawback is that the dust cup is quite small and needs to be emptied frequently. The battery life on this vacuum is also pretty short. You won’t be able to do a full detailing with this choice without needing to recharge.

Specs

  • Model: UltraCyclone Pet Pro+
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.43 liters

Pros

  • Super suction power
  • Motorized rotating brush head is great for pet hair
  • Plenty of attachments for a variety of jobs

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Docking station not included

The Shark Cordless UltraCyclone ProPlus Handheld Vacuum gets a nod for being a highly powerful, yet lightweight handheld cordless vacuum that’s ideal for your vehicle. It features a powerful 80-watt brushless motor and a rugged self-cleaning brush roll that efficiently removes pet hair and fluff from your car’s upholstery. It also comes with two other attachments that are great for your car’s floors and leather.

I like the larger 0.43-liter dust cup that empties with just the push of a button. No need to get your hands dirty. This model weighs less than three pounds and is easy to use. The drawback? Again, it comes down to battery life. With roughly 10 minutes of operating time, this vacuum won’t clean your whole car in one go. It’s also pricey compared to many other options, and that price tag doesn’t even include the docking station, which you have to purchase separately. It does come with a two-year warranty, though.

Specs

  • Model: Cordless
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.4 liters

Pros

  • Two suction powers
  • Longer run-time than some
  • Multiple attachments

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Docking station not included

For getting into those really tight and hard-to-reach spaces that almost all vehicles seem to have, the ThiEye Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is my pick to click. It’s a reasonably priced option that comes equipped with extra long attachments that make getting those chip crumbs down beside your car seat and underneath it a breeze. In fact, you get three different nozzles: a crevice tool, a short rubber nozzle, and a retractable brush nozzle, making this one of the most versatile choices on the list.

The 0.4-liter dust cup is pretty standard on this size of vacuum and it also comes with a handy brush that lets you easily remove stubborn dust or debris from the cup. I like that this unit offers two different levels of suction power: 8,000 PA for regular jobs or 13,000 PA for those times you need serious suction. You also get a decent 25-minute run-time with this rechargeable vacuum. Of course, using it at 13,000 PA will run the battery down more quickly. It does take around 5.5 hours to fully recharge the battery, which is long compared to some other choices. It also operates at a noisy 80dB.

Specs

  • Model: 1782
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.7 liters

Pros

  • Large dust cup capacity
  • Dual filtration system for dust and dander
  • Includes telescoping wand tool for cracks and crevices

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Not as clean to empty as some other models

If you love taking Fido along as your frequent co-pilot, you should consider getting the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand and Car Vacuum. It features a powerful motorized upholstery tool that makes short work of stubborn and prolific pet hair. The telescopic crevice tool is also great for getting into tight cushions and corners. This model was actually developed by pet owners specifically to handle the tough cleaning needs that a pet vacuum goes up against.

The dual-action filtration system helps to really filter dirt, pet hair, and dander from your car and leave your sinuses calm. This unit also comes with a generously sized 0.7-liter dust cup. Although, emptying it is not as neat and clean as with some other touchless emptying models. The other drawback to this vacuum is the ongoing theme of short battery life. You get about 14 minutes before needing a recharge.

Specs

  • Model: Cordless Pivot Vac
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Capacity: 0.44 liters

Pros

  • Pivoting nozzle for hard-to-reach areas
  • Three-stage filtration
  • Quick recharging time

Cons

  • No extra accessory tools
  • Not the best option for rugs and floor mats

The Black + Decker 20V Max Handheld Vacuum deserves some attention for being a uniquely designed option that lets you really get into some of the most frustrating and hard-to-reach spaces, whether they’re in your car, home, or office. This unit features a nozzle that is capable of pivoting up to 200 degrees, which is perfect for reaching under and behind seats and in larger cargo spaces. It also comes equipped with a compact wall-mounted or tabletop charging base and accessory storage.

This 20-volt cordless vacuum has some serious suction power, so it can take some getting used to when trying to clean your floor mats or rugs. The angle of the nozzle keeps sucking the mat up altogether. The rechargeable battery gives you about 14 minutes of continuous operation, but the big bonus is that it fully recharges in as little as six minutes, making it the fastest recharging time on the list. One drawback is that this vacuum doesn’t come with additional cleaning attachments for varied jobs.

Specs

  • Model: Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Capacity: 7.6 liters

Pros

  • Can be used for wet or dry messes
  • Long run-time
  • Large 7.6 liter tank capacity

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Battery and charger sold separately

For serious messes and working vehicles that require major cleaning power, I like the DeWalt 20V Max Wet/Dry Cordless Vacuum. This rugged and heavy-duty option makes short work of wet or dry messes and packs a punch when it comes to suction power. It comes equipped with a fully integrated, crush-resistant, durable 5-foot hose that you can attach a variety of accessory tools to. It comes with a single tool, but you can purchase extras separately.

This large vacuum weighs a cumbersome eight pounds, but gives you 7.6 liters of tank capacity, which is perfect for large watery messes or large quantities of sawdust, sand, dirt, and more. With this model, you get an impressive 39 minutes of uninterrupted run-time, making it the longest-lasting choice on the list. The drawback being that this unit is also the most expensive on the list, and it doesn’t even include the battery or charger in your purchase. However, if you want a rugged cordless vacuum that can clean up almost any mess you can imagine, this unit is tough to beat.

Our Verdict on Cordless Car Vacuums

The Bissell Auto-Mate Lithium Ion Car Vacuum gets the nod for the best overall cordless car vacuum. This compact unit offers excellent suction power and decently long battery life, along with several useful tools that are ideal for cleaning inside your ride. For a top-quality, budget-friendly option, check out the Bissell AeroSlim Lithium Ion Cordless Handheld Vacuum. It’s a super compact and lightweight option that’s great for quick clean-ups and small messes and that you can easily store in your car or home.

Cordless Car Vacuum Pricing 

You can get a decently functioning and reasonably powerful handheld cordless car vacuum for between $35 and $65. If you want more suction power, longer battery life, and lots of accessories, expect to spend between $65 and $99. If you want wet/dry function, a large holding tank, or industrial strength suction power, you’re likely to spend upwards of $100.

FAQs 

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q: How powerful should a cordless car vacuum be?

A: When you buy a car vacuum, you want it to be powerful enough to suck up some serious dirt, dust, and debris. You should look for a car vacuum that offers a minimum of 14 volts or higher in order to offer you enough suction to get the job done thoroughly.

Q: Should I leave my cordless car vacuum on the charger all the time?

A: To ensure that your cordless car vac is always ready to go, it’s a good idea to leave it on the charger whenever you’re not using it. If you have a model that will allow you to charge a second backup battery simultaneously, that’s also a good way to make sure that you don’t run out of battery power in the middle of a job and have to wait hours for the unit to recharge so you can finish it.

Q: How often should you vacuum your car?

A: While this answer can vary greatly based on personal standards and preferences, it’s ideal to vacuum your car at least once per month. Your shoes track in a lot of germs, dirt, and grime that can shorten the lifespan of your rugs and upholstery. If you have pets that frequently travel with you, I recommend vacuuming every couple of weeks. Pet hair isn’t only hard on your upholstery, but it can also clog up your car’s air filters quickly and can leave behind stale, embarrassing odors.

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