Giving the car a good clean can be brutal. No matter if you drive on your own or if you have kids and pets making a mess, a car can very quickly become filthy.
I used to drag our old vacuum cleaner out of the house, plug it into an extension and use the wand attachment to clean the car!
It was a major hassle, but thankfully the improvement of hand vacs has made it easier than ever to clean a car. Not only that, hand vacs can be used to clean the house too.
Today, I will be reviewing five of the most highly regarded car vacuums on the market right now. I am going to put them through their paces and see which one is the best car vacuum cleaner.
Best Car Vacuum Cleaner Reviews and Recommendations For 2020
Dyson V6 Car + Boat – Best Car Vacuum Overall
The Dyson V6 Car + Boat is the handheld version of the V6 from Dyson that is designed for cars, and I guess boats too. As I write this, it is currently the most powerful handheld vacuum cleaner on the market.
While it does have the Dyson name on it, currently the asking price of this is considerably less than what you would expect to pay for a Dyson which I think is a fantastic deal.
Inside the vacuum cleaner is the latest and greatest in Dyson technology. I will not sit here and pretend to understand all of the science that is behind what Dyson has done here.
However, I can tell you that inside this vacuum is a very special set of cyclones that work in tandem to capture more dust than ever before, which is great for a car as it is always the little bits of mess that get stuck in the seats and on the mats!
Fully Cordless And Lots Of Attachments
This is a fully cordless vacuum which makes it ideal as a car vacuum cleaner. You get 20 minutes of cleaning time with this which is not bad at all. I know you may be saying “20 mins???” but this is actually a fair time and considering the power that is in this vacuum, 20 minutes is more time that you will ever need.
One of the things that I really like about the Dyson V6 Car + Boat is the attachments. I was not actually expecting this to have as many attachments as it did! Let’s start with the extension hose. With this plugged in you can reach right under the seat over the back of the car and all the way from one side to the other.
The crevice tool is one that I used a ton. The reason for this is that when you attach this you can get right in the corners. I have two kids and I swear that they crush Mini Cheddars up and shove them down the sides of the seats on purpose! Well, crevice tools are designed to get into hard to reach areas like that.
Soft Dusting Brush And Stubborn Dirt Tool
I never thought I would use the soft dusting brush, but I found this was pretty handy for doing the dashboard and even things like the windows and so on.
The stubborn dirt tool is great if you have dogs who get mud in the car or kids who like to go skipping in the mud before they get in the car. This can be used to scrub dirt, but as well as scrubbing it sucks at the same time.
The last tool I want to talk about is the mini motorized tool. Dyson has used this tool on some of their other vacuums and it is just as good here. The vacuum cleaner is already very powerful, but this tool is actually powered as well so it gives you even more power!
This is what you use for things like pet hair and three-week-old mud. The raw power that this has makes it an attachment that I used a whole lot. It does use a bit more battery power, but if you want to get in there quick and easy, you need to use this attachment.
While all the tools are great and make cleaning the car very easy, you do not have to worry about dust getting kicked up into your face or the car. You also will find that it is very easy to dump out all of the rubbish that you pick up.
The Dyson V6 Car + Boat is truly a fantastic car vacuum cleaner. Not only that I have been using this to clean parts of the house as well! If you want one of the best cordless cleaners, you need to look no further than this one here.
For many people, Black + Decker are the best when it comes to things like home improvements. I actually had no clue that they even made hand vacs so I was very happy to get the chance to check out the Black+Decker 10.8 V.
At a little bit over £50, this is by far the lowest priced car vacuum cleaner on this list so if you are looking for a bargain, you want to pay attention here.
The first thing I loved about this when I took it out of the box was how compact it was. It has a nice feel to it, which considering the price surprised me.
I gave it a full charge and was ready to test this on the car after I had taken the kids and one of their friends to McDonald’s! The battery time is 15 minutes which is not the longest, but I think it is enough.
Excellent Suction At A Budget Price
Let me start by stating the obvious, this is not the most powerful vacuum cleaner in the world. However, I was able to give the car a thorough cleaning with this.
They have used, for the price, a very decent motor inside here and larger items that are on the seats or on the floor, get sucked up with ease. I did find that more fine pieces required a couple of goings over, but everything I tried to hoover up, got hoovered up.
To make up for the lack of power, Black + Decker has made some smart design choices. To start with the mouth is nice and wide, which picks up more mess. Also, there is a power boost mode, which does kick in if you need that extra bit of power for some stubborn pet hair or a big caked in bit of mud.
Wand Attachment And Large Dust Bowl
Even at this budget price the Black+Decker 10.8 V still comes with an extra attachment. It comes with a wand that allows you to reach down the side of the seats, under the front seats and those awkward corners that are in the boot.
It is a pretty rigid piece, but I found that it did help get into those tricky and annoying areas that most of the time we all ignore.
I was a little unsure of the filters that were in this, but I did not find myself sneezing up a storm while using it so I can tell you it does not just spit out a load of dust while you are using it.
The canister or as the folks at Black + Decker call it, Dust Bowl can hold quite a lot of mess before you ever need to worry about emptying it. Which by the way is easy to do, they have also made it so that you can easily remove it and the filters if they need a good cleaning.
You can of course also use this to give things in the house a clean like the kid’s beds, the sofas and places that are hard for your standard vacuum to reach. So while it is good for vacuuming the car, it can come in handy for the whole house.
I know that the Black+Decker 10.8 V is one of the more “basic” car vacuums on this list, but if you want something quick, easy and affordable, I think you will be happy with this.
Gtech Multi MK2
Now here is a vacuum cleaner that really took me by surprise. The Gtech Multi MK2 is one of the more high-end handheld vacuum cleaners out there and while I am looking at it for the purpose of cleaning the car, Gtech has designed this to clean the whole house.
At around 150 pounds it is one of the more expensive models on this list.
I really like the performance of this, it has a lot of power to it and the folks at Gtech have really made sure that it is able to pick up even the most stubborn pet hair or crushed up cookies that are on the back seat!
The combination of the motor and the design allows it to have a nice amount of air flow. What this does is trap all the dust and mess and not spit it back out in your face which is something I am very thankful for as I have bad dust allergies.
20 Minute Run Time And Battery Indicator
You are getting 20 minutes of run time with this off a full charge and I think that is more than enough. The Gtech Multi MK2 has a pretty handy Led light that lets you know how much juice you have left. One thing that I love about this is the attachments. Like the Dyson, this comes with more accessories than a fancy handbag!
The default power brush head is awesome and I did not come across a single bit of mess on the seats, under the seats or even in the back that it could not pick up! It has a wide mouth which makes vacuuming the car even quicker and easier. For me personally, the power brush head is able to do my whole car.
However, I am the kind of person that loves to play with gadgets and I did test out all of the attachments. The wand that this has can be set to two different sizes.
One is shorter and the other longer, the shooter one is great for the car, but that longer one comes in real handy around the home. If the kids have put stuff down the side of the seats, this wand is going to be a real lifesaver for you. It also has a flexible hose which is pretty handy and gives you even more freedom.
Lots Of Attachments For A Deep Clean
While I like to get in and out of the car when I am vacuuming it as quickly as possible. All of the attachments that come with the Gtech Multi MK2 do allow you to give it a really, really deep clean. Which is great if you have been on a long road trip with the family or if you need to get it nice and clean before you sell it.
I have already talked about how it does not kick up dust while you are using it. Another great thing for those of you who hate dust like I do is the large canister that contains all of the mess and muck you are cleaning up.
Not only does this hold a lot of rubbish, Gtech has made it so you can unload it all in your bin and not have to touch it.
If you want the best cordless car vacuum and do not mind paying close to Dyson prices for it, you need to seriously consider the Gtech Multi MK2. I was very impressed with this vacuum and even used it to give the stairs a good going over!
Dyson V6 Trigger
At first glance, you may think that the Dyson V6 Trigger Handheld is the exact same hand vacuum that we looked at before, except in a snazzy yellow design! Well while it is similar, this is, in fact, its own vacuum and you better believe I gave this thing a good workout!
The asking price is a little over £150 which is in line with what you would expect from a Dyson.
From a full charge, you are getting around 20 minutes of runtime with this. I think that for those who are looking for the best cordless car vacuum cleaner and want it mainly for cleaning the car, 20 minutes is more than enough.
As this is a Dyson, the power is very, very impressive. The V6 motor that they have in this is not just all about raw power. Do not get me wrong, the suction this thing has is incredible.
Powerful Suction For A Thorough Clean
However, it is this along with the large chamber which lets the airflow more freely that makes it such an impressive vacuum cleaner. The standard head that is on here is going to be more than enough to clan your car.
I found that the power the Dyson V6 Trigger Handheld offers made cleaning the car very quick and easy. I was able to do the seats, under the seat and the boot.
I am not just talking about a half-hearted little clean either. I really blasted the whole car and never had to go over the same area twice very often. The brush head, while firm, was gentle enough that I could also do the dashboard and the more delicate areas of the car without worrying about damage.
Unlike the other Dyson car vacuum that I looked at, this one here was not jam-packed with a whole bunch of extras. Which considering this is only a few pounds cheaper was quite surprising if I am honest. It did though, come with a crevice tool.
If you have kids then you know how much of a mess they make in the car. You tell them no snacks in the car, but they drive you crazy so you let them have a packet of crisps and more of them end up mushed into the seats and down the sides than in their mouths!
Crevice Tool And Compatible With Other Dyson Tools
This is where the crevice tool comes in. I found that this was very handy for finer bits of mess like crumbs and such. Mess that is in awkward spots where the regular head of the vacuum cannot reach, that is when you add on this!
Speaking of add-ons, I know I said that this only came with one. But it is compatible with the other Dyson “tools” so you could purchase them separately at a later date or if you already have a Dyson vacuum in the house chances are the tools will be compatible, but it is best to check on the official Dyson site first.
Like every other Dyson I have ever used, the filtration system in here is top of the line. No sneezing or coughing because of the air it pumps out. The canister is large enough to handle a few cleanings of the car and it is very simple to empty and clean out.
I think that the Dyson V6 Trigger Handheld is a very good car vacuum cleaner. However, the fact that I also tested out the Dyson V6 Car + Boat goes against this as that one came with so much more. But it was also a little bit more expensive, so chances are this one will more likely end up on special offer.
Black+Decker 18 V
When I took the Black+Decker 18 V out of the box I thought that it was some kind of device from one of the Alien movies!
It has a very unique design to it and I think that is pretty cool. Another thing that is cool about this is that the people at Black + Decker have managed to release this for under £100 so it is a great budget option for those looking for a car vacuum cleaner.
There are three versions of this vacuum available right now, the 18 V that we are looking at just now is the most powerful. Let’s start with the most obvious design of the Black+Decker 18 V and that is the hose. All other hand vacs on this list are an all in one unit, some do have a hose that can be attached.
This one though has the hose as an actual part of the design. It works very well and gives you a lot of reach when you are cleaning those annoying areas like under the front seat and at the back of the boot.
Different Design From Other Car Vacuums
One of the coolest features of the design is the fat bottom of it. Now, this is where the battery is of course held. However, it actually works as a kind of base. So when you have the hose out and if you are vacuuming the boot for example. You can just set it down instead of holding it in your other hand.
The level of suction is very impressive and it has a lot of power to it. What I really like was how the head has a little brush that can be flipped up or down depending on what you are vacuuming.
You may think this is an unnecessary feature, but I actually found it useful for breaking up bits of mud or any long left food that the kids have left in the back. It works very well and it is a feature I am surprised more manufacturers have not adopted.
Crevice Tool And Replaceable Filters
It does also come with a crevice tool and as you know by now, crevice tools are great for those tight to reach spots. I have said it before, but kids love to make a mess in the car, so I can assure you that this is going to get a ton of use if you have kids.
Even if you do not, it is handy for areas that collect dust like the drink holders, the door handle grooves and so on. It makes it so that you can get into every crevice that your car has and give it a really good deep clean.
The way you empty the canister is kind of interesting. You literally just hold it over the bin, crack it open and all the mess falls out. There is never a need to touch it. The filters this use (which are cheap to buy if you ever need more) are great and keep that dust in the vacuum, where it should be!
I will admit that when I was looking into a vacuum for my car, this was not on my radar. Yet I will say that if you want a good value vacuum cleaner that can do the car and many awkward parts of the house like the stairs and sofas, for example, you really cannot go wrong with the Black+Decker 18 V.
What To Look For When Buying A Car Vacuum Cleaner
I wanted to share with you the main things that I feel you need to look for when looking at car vacuums.
Attachments: Cleaning the car can be a major pain in the backside, especially when there is an area that the nozzle just won’t get into! That is why I feel that extra attachments that let you do the whole car should be something that you look for when buying a car vacuum cleaner.
Do Not Focus On Battery Life: I know that 15 to 20 minutes does not sound like a lot of time, but I would advise not getting hung up on the battery life a car vacuum has. With the right amount of power and attachments, you should be able to vacuum the whole car properly in under 20 minutes.
A Good Filtration System: Thankfully all of the vacuum cleaners that I was sent to test had good filtration systems. Some will require that you replace the filter others let you clean them yourself. No matter what though, you want to make sure that the vacuum you are interested in is not going to be spitting out dust filled and dirty air. This is especially true for a car as it is a confined space.
Getting Rid Of The Mess: If you have kids that are like mine, you know how gross the stuff you can find in the back of the car is. From half-eaten pieces of Star Mix to Pringles that look like they were attacked by a wild animal, you do not want to be touching any of that! The best car vacuums, in my opinion, have a canister that you can empty without having to actually touch any of the mess.
How A Car Vacuum Can Make Your Life Easier
As I said in the intro, I used to clean the car with our standard old house vacuum cleaner. It was a nightmare and required an extension cable, plus Hulk-like strength. A car or hand vac can make your life so much easier and here are a few reasons why.
They Are Light: I know I did not talk about the weight of these vacuums, but that was on purpose. You see each one of these is light, so light that you can hold it with one hand while drinking a Pepsi with the other.
No Wires: A hand vac has no power cord which along with the lightweight makes it very easy to use. No cable tripping you up, getting unplugged or just generally getting in the way. You do not realize how restrictive a corded vacuum cleaner is until you have used a cordless vacuum.
You Get To Actually Clean The Car: When you use a car vacuum cleaner, you are able to get under the seats, deep clean the seats and if you have the right attachments, you can actually do every nook and cranny. If you want to make sure your car is spotlessly clean or if it is really ripe and disgusting after a family road trip, a car vacuum is what you need. A household vacuum will never and I mean never get your car as clean as one that is actually designed to do that. The fact that car vacuums are designed smaller and more compact means your car will get a really good clean.
Good Filtration: I talked about this before, but it is worth mentioning here too. If you use a standard old vacuum to clean your car and it does not have a good filtration system, you are just filling your car with dust! Hand vacs are designed to trap as much as 99 percent of any dust that they pick up. This makes breathing in your car a million times better and of course, it also makes it much cleaner as there is less dust floating around.
You Can Use It In The House: Very few car vacuums are marketed as just that. They are designed to clean all kinds of things from beds, sofas, stairs, curtains and of course your car. So do not just think of your purchase as something that is only for the car. You can use it to properly clean the stairs or the kid’s beds. You can use it to clean up your spilled morning cereal and you can use it just like you would a regular vacuum cleaner. You will be amazed at how many things you use a car vacuum cleaner for. Some of the vacuums on this page are also featured in our best vacuum for stairs guide.
What Is The Best Car Vacuum Cleaner?
I am very happy to tell you that not one of these vacuums let me down. In one way or another, I was impressed by them all, even the budget-priced Black+Decker 10.8 V.
However, two really stand out for me and those are the Dyson V6 Car + Boat and the Gtech Multi MK-2-ATF006. These both have a lot of power (although the Dyson is the most powerful) more than enough power for any car or any kind of mess that may be in your car.
What really sets these two apart from the rest for me is that they each come with multiple attachments. These make it so you can clean every part of your car and do it in a proper way too.
It makes cleaning the car so much easier, plus it makes these two vacuums great for general house cleaning as well. So if you want the best car vacuum, I would certainly say you need to pick between these two. I would base my pick on if you feel the Dysons extra power is worth the extra £20 to 30.