Owning a car is one of the best experiences in life as it allows you to explore the world outside, whist at the same time being very practical if you need to pop down to the shops. The key problem especially if you live the UK in the winter, is that they get dirty very quickly. For this reason many car owners have bought car vacuums that allow them to easily clean up their car when it’s dirty.
The idea that is that using your car vacuum, you can easily spend 10 minutes, once a week having a quick clean up of your car and keep it looking at it’s best.
The difficulty comes when you want to buy the best car vacuum for your needs and starts to look around. There are hundreds of different models on the market right now from mainstream manufactures such as Black&Decker or Bissell and smaller imported manufactures such as Connex and Mixas.
How Can A Car Vacuum Help You
Using a car vacuum can really help you in your day-to-day life and make the whole process much more comfortable. Below are the top three reasons that we think you should always have a car vacuum in your car.
Allergies – If you’re sensitive to allergies such as pollen or dust then a car vacuum is a must as it will allow you to quickly and easily clean your car without just spreading the dust around. The great thing about a car vacuum is that it sucks the pollen and dust into a holding container that can be disposed of at a later date.
Satisfy Your ADD – if you’re anything like us, you will hate to have a dirty car, however especially in the winter with muddy boots or in the summer if you around the beach, it’s virtually impossible to keep your car clean especially if you have young children. A car vacuum will at the very least be able to remove the worst of the sand or mud keeping your car clean.
Aesthetic Appeal – Chances are that at some point during your car’s life cycle, you’re going to want to the sell the car and buy something else. It’s much easier to sell a car that has been well looked after than one than comes with stains and discoloration to it’s materials. A car vacuum will help you to keep your car clean and therefore it’s aesthetic appeal over the years and thus keep it’s appeal to the second-hand car buyers’ market.
The Best Car Vacuum
Best Car Vacuum
If you don't want to read the whole review and simply want to know what we thought was the best car vacuum on the market then take a look at the either the Dyson V6, the Vax Slim or the Black&Decker Flexi Automotive vacuum.
Hang on one second I can hear you saying, that's three models, not one. How are all three the best car vacuum's on the market? The honest problem is that I could not decide which I thought was the best. All three have their pro's and con's. If money is no object, then buy yourself the Dyson V6 Motorhead as it really is a fantastic car vacuum however it is rather expensive and not something that you will want to leave in your car.
That leaves that the Vax Slim which is nearly as good as the Dyson, but more importantly, a quarter of the price, and the Black&Decker Flexi which does not have the performance but is small and flexible to stay in your car.
So what's the best car vacuum? I would take the Dyson every day of the week and thus it's the best car vacuum on the market.
Corded Vs. Cordless
Before we start to look at specific models and decide which is the Best Car Vacuum, firstly we need to look at what makes the Best Car Vacuum. Generally, car vacuum’s come in a range of different sizes, vacuum powers and prices, however the first choice you need to make is whether you want to go Corded or Cordless.
If you’re sure that you’re only going to use your car vacuum at home, then you can look at a corded vacuum, however in our opinion, you should be looking at a cordless vacuum cleaner for your car as they offer far more flexibility to your cleaning needs.
Over the years, we have tested a number of corded vacuum cleaners that have been designed specifically for the car. The number one criticism that we had from all these test’s was that the corded vacuum cleaner kept getting stuck or the cord just did not allow the flexibility that is needed to get into the cracks and difficult places in their car. The cord just kept getting stuck and in the end you spent more time worrying about where the cord was rather than cleaning your car.
The Number One Criteria Of The Best Cordless Vacuum
We have looked at a couple of corded vacuum below in the review section, however we would generally avoid them and head directly to the cordless section. If you’re going to buy yourself a Cordless Vacuum cleaner for your car, you need to make sure that you check, re-check, review and re-review the batteries and what they are actually like before you buy.
The batteries of your cordless vacuum control everything and are the difference between a cordless vacuum that works and one that does not. The batteries control the power that you can achieve from you vacuum, the length of use, the length of product use and the safety of the vacuum. All these are key factors when considering what is the Best Car Vacuum to use at home.
When you’re looking at a good set of batteries Vs. a bad set of batteries, look for the suction power, the Voltage and the type of battery (You should be looking for an ION Battery)
Branded Vs. Imported
We talk a lot about branded Vs. Imported on this website and whilst branded are likely to be substantially more expensive, it’s well worth it especially when you start to take into account batteries. Imported vacuums are typically cheaper and often less tested over time. As a result of being tested less, they often go wrong or do not work as expected.
We have tried fantastic imported vacuums in the past, however what usually happens is they start of working well for the first few charges and gradually stop working to the point whereby 20 charges in, they are basically useless meaning that you need to buy a new hover.
Branded vacuum cleaners come from companies that have spent money on research and development of both the vacuum and batteries. As a result, they may cost more, but you’re buying a product that has been tried and tested in many different situations, over a long period of time. We have got black&decker vacuums that we have been using for five years with not a single problem to report.
Other Factors To Consider
Once you have decided on corded Vs. Cordless, there are a few other factors that you need to take into account before you can choose the Best Car Vacuum for you to buy.
Design – is important, however remember, it’s not about how pretty the unit looks, but more about how easily you can control the unit in order to push it around your car. The design is a personal choice however it’s likely that what is great design for me, will also be a great design for you as well.
Power – is important as it controls what your vacuum will be able to pick up. As discussed above, you need to make sure that you aim for a suction of around…. And a voltage of around….. as this will give you plenty of power to keep your unit moving in the right direction.
Attachments – Look out for attachments that can help to either spread the usability of your vacuum to other surfaces, or make it easier to reach difficult parts within your car. Common attachments include, crevice tools, extended nozzles, nozzles and suctions brushes.
Tank Capacity – This is not such a big deal when you’re looking at the best car vacuum given that you can easily dispose of the contents back to nature, however do watch out for buying a vacuum with a large tank capacity. Yes the large tank capacity does make it store more, however it also makes the whole unit much larger and much heavier, especially when it’s full.
Weight – which is important especially when you consider waving around a 1kilo above your head for a minute is actually very difficult.
Warranty – Look out for a warranty for a minimum of one year, but pay specific attention to where the warranty comes from as the last thing you need is to claim on your warranty only to find out that the company holding your warranty does not exist.
Car Vacuum Reviews
Our Rating -
If you’re looking for the best car vacuum then you need to take a look at the latest Dyson V8 Hand-held Vacuum which whilst is expensive, it’s easily the best portable vacuum on the market and one that can be used for both your car and your home.
The Dyson V8 comes with Dimensions of 25 x 126.8 x 20.8 cm and weighs in at around 2.7 KG whilst is powered from a 100 Watt electric motor and lithium battery that gives it 20 minutes of fade-free suction. The Dyson uses a powerful two tier radial cyclones arranged across two tiers that work in parallel to increase airflow and capture fine dust meaning that the Dyson has nearly twice the suction power (AW-100) of it’s nearest competitor and therefore leads to exceptional performance.
The filtration system uses a sealed system to ensure that air leaving the vacuum is cleaner and more dust free than the air that you breath. The filtration system has been designed to capture not only dust particles but also allergens and therefore can is particularly useful for those that are allergic to dust or pollen.
Extra’s include a max power mode that provides six minutes of super high suction for difficult tasks, conversation to hand-held or stand up hover, docking station to store and charge the unit, direct drive cleaner head and hard floor cleaner head. It’s also possible to add four extra head if you buy the Dyson Tool Kit For Dyson Handheld Vacuum Cleaners which for £20 is worth it given that it adds a Soft Dusting Brush, Stubborn dirt brush, Wide nozzle tool and an Extension hose.
Overall we love the Dyson. Yes it’s expensive but the extra power means that you get a complete carpet and hard floor cleaning solution that has been designed to remove dirt and dust from around you. We love the fact that the direct-drive cleaner head has been specifically designed to drive bristles deeper into the carpet to remove even more dirt, whilst the electric engine only provides 20 minutes of power, it 20 minutes of actual suction use given that it’s been designed with a trigger that releases instantly meaning that the battery power is only used for vacuuming and therefore this combined with the 150 Percent more brush bar power than any of its competitors means that the Dyson if firmly the best car vacuum on the market. As far as we’re concerned, there is really only one problem – the price.
Our Rating -
If you really cannot justify the Dyson above but at the same time want a similar styled model then take a look at the Vax version of the Dyson above which nearly offers the same performance, but at half the price. The Vax comes with dimension of 23 x 23 x 112 CM whilst weighing in at around 2KG and comes with a 22.2v lithium battery that allows for around 24minutes of powerful cleaning performance.
As standard the vacuum comes with a 3-in-1 tool that is both steerable meaning that you can easily guide it around your room, effortlessly switch between carpets and hard floors with a simple flick of a switch or reduce it down in size to a handheld mode that is perfect for cleaning cars.
The box contains as standard a powered floor-head that is great for picking up dried dirt from the floor given that the brushes are powered and therefore forced into the ground, a Hard floor tool, a Pet/Stair Tool and an Up-Top Tool.
Overall performance and value for money is great with the Vax and particularly like the powered floor head which works wonders at picking up trodden in dirt from the floor well in our car or anything else in it’s path given that it will twist, turn and tilt to reach right into every corner and makes cleaning very easy.
Check out the below which is again not our video review, however another great video for you to review. One point, when you're reading reviews or thinking to buy the Vax, remember it's a Vax and therefore it's half the price of the Dyson above, but also comes with less performance of the Dyson above. It's much more nosey, and whilst it provides lot's of suction, it does not use cyclone technology and this means that as the dust chamber fills up, the suction is decreased.
We also like the fact that the Vax comes with a two 2 year guarantee which means that if you have problems, you can easily contact Vax directly.
Our Rating -
The Black + Decker PD1200AV-XJ Flexi Auto Dustbuster is a fantastic vacuum that has been designed specifically to use it your car. Rather than being the traditional fixed dustbuster, the PD12 has been designed as a vacuum cleaner with a hose similar to what you have in your home, with the only difference being that it much smaller and has been designed to be powered with a 5 meter cord plugged into your car’s 12 Volt socket rather than the plug in your wall.
The PD12 comes with dimensions of 15 x 27 x 30 cm and a weight of around 1.5 KG and is powered by a 12.5 Watt Electric motor. The vacuum does not have a battery and therefore there is no option to use it without it being plugged in to your car, however this does not matter given that it comes with a long power cord to stretch from front to back and a long suction hose to make sure that you can easily reach those hard to reach places.
The Black & Decker is powered by a 12 Volt electric engine that is very powerful and features a cyclonic action that helps to spin the dirt away from the filter and therefore in a similar way to the Dyson below, really helps to keep the vacuum at it’s optimum suction power.
Overall we really enjoy the Black and Decker PD12 and specifically the wrap around hose that helps to ensure the vacuum operates like a traditional vacuum whilst the small size helps to keep it portable. We also think the two extra nozzles work well and provide options.
The first is a chisel-style attachment that is great for any nooks-n-crannies or for tough spots that warrant a smaller nozzle and higher suctions, (Smaller Nozzle - More Suction), whilst the second attachment is a wider nozzle which might have less suction power, but is great for mats and boots or when extended with a snap-out brush that converts it into a nozzle that is great for leather seats, plastics, door finishers and dashboards.
Whilst it is not as powerful as the dyson, it offers value for money as well as performance – something that our reader appreciate. If you want to make this completely portable, try out the Black + Decker Pd1800el-GB Flexi Vac, it’s a fantastic model, however twice the price.
Our Rating -
The ArmorAll AA255 utility wet/dry car vacuum cleaner is a fantastic cleaner that has been specifically designed for car enthusiasts to use with their car. The cleaner is not a cordless vacuum and instead comes with a 10 foot cord that plugs into the socket. Whilst we hate the fact it’s not completely cordless, we love the fact that it’s been designed with car owners in mind and therefore comes with a lightweight design meaning that it’s a breeze to carry it around, a great powerful 2HP engine that gives it plenty of power, a six foot hose at the front meaning that you have plenty of movement space with your cleaner and most importantly, a value for money price tag that make this car vacuum a great option for our best car vacuum cleaner award.
The ArmorAll AA255 utility wet/dry car vacuum comes with dimensions of 14.2 x 10.6 x 14.4 inches, a weight of 4KG and comes as standard with a 10 liter holding tank that means you can do some serious cleaning before the cleaner runs out of space.
Extra features we really enjoy include the 2HP engine being capable of suction and blowing meaning that it can work to blow away dirt from areas that you cannot reach with your hoover, it’s designed for wet and dry meaning that it will pick up both wet and dry debris which is really helpful in the UK winters and whilst it comes as standard with an automatic shut off to prevent overflow, it also has a built-in air and noise diffuser for efficient and quiet operation.
Overall we really enjoy the The ArmorAll AA255 utility wet/dry car vacuum due to it’s range of features, great performance and value for money. We’re slightly concerned that it is not a cordless vacuum and does not have that many reviews in the UK, however it is very popular in the USA with over 2,000 positive reviews.
Don’t get me wrong, it does have some problem areas, the filter which sadly are not HEPA filters are fantastic at catching dust, however we have heard reports of the filter screws coming loose over time, so this is something that you need to check over time and whilst it’s light weight design is fantastic for movability, it seems to be quite top heavy meaning that it easily falls over if you man-handle it around your car.
Our Rating -
If you’re not looking for a corded car vacuum cleaner then we have two great cordless vacuum cleaner to show you. Both of these models have not been designed specifically for your car, but both will easily clean your car or your home given the dual use functions.
The VAX H85, is a fantastic powerful cordless vacuum cleaner that was originally designed for use at home where you have pets, however is fantastic and works brilliantly in our situation where we trying to pick up grind and mess picked up inside our car. If you have pet’s, it’s also great at picking up pet hair that usually gets stuck on your car seats.
The vacuum has been designed to be light weight and therefore comes with dimensions of 9.5 x 32 x 14 cm, weighs in at around 1KG and comes with a 0.3 Liter storage capacity and a lightweight battery that allows power for up to the 20 minutes at a time. Emptying once full is very easy and simply requires a press of the release button to empty all dirt into the bin.
Extra Tools include a crevice tool that will help you to get into those tight difficult to clean areas, a motorised TurboTool which has been designed specifically to effectively removes pet hair from upholstery, pet beds and car seats.
Overall, really like the Vax a Cordless Dustbuster style cleaner to have at home and use in the car when needed. Given its cordless and has a battery that requires mainline power, it’s unlikely that you would keep this vacuum in your car and instead would most likely keep it at home and use when needed.
We like the Vax and think it offers value for money, but it’s not perfect. We hate the fact that you have to clean the filter by hand and there is no vortex in the design meaning that during use, the dust will often fly out of the unit. That all said, performance is great especially using the added pet hair add-on which really performs well at removing pet hair.
Our Rating -
The Black & Decker PAV1205W Vacuum Cleaner is another brilliant corded vacuum cleaner that works fantastically well to have in your car and use on a daily basis. Black & Decker is a Brand Name company with the vacuum space and has been making power tools and accessories since 1910. When you buy the Black & Decker PAV1205W 12-Volt Pivoting-Nose Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, you know that this model has been tried and tested to last over time.
The PAV1205W comes with Product dimensions of 7.3 X 6.6 X 14.3 inches, whilst weighting in at around 1 pound. The 12 Volt electric engine provide huge amounts of power whilst at the same time the flexibility to use in your car from anywhere given that it comes as standard with a 12V DC outlet meaning that you can power it from your car cigarette lighter or use the in-built battery for 30 minutes of usage.
The 5 meter cord length means that you easily have cord length to get around your car whilst it’s advanced cleaning technology and slim pivoting nozzle comes with a suction pressure of 340 mm of water with airflow of 800 liters per minute. This means it has ample power to suck up stubborn pieces of dirt or fabric in your car, whilst it’s double-action filtration system helps to completely remove any dust particles.
We specifically enjoy the attachments that the Black&Decker comes with that really help to add value to the vacuum. As standard the PAV1205 comes with attachments to include a brush attachment, a rectangle-to-circle attachment for attaching the brush and a tube attachment for reaching to the inaccessible spaces of your car, flexible hose, dishwater Safe Filter (PVF100), plastic pre-filter, a right-handed brush tool and a handy storage bag. This is on top of the pivoting action of the main nozzle that really helps to access areas under the seats or in other hard to access places.
Overall we really like the Black & Decker PAV1205 and would rate it right at the top of our scale if were not for a few problem areas. The suction is good, but it’s not perfect and could probably do with a little more power to really put away those hard to move messes and whilst 30 minutes is okay for battery life, it’s nothing special and after a few years of use, we have heard reports of battery life being much less. We do like the design and practicality of using the Black and Decker and can really see the uses. We also love the fact that it offers a value for money product that also comes with a two year warranty as standard from a reputable company.
Check Out Our Other Reviews Here