7 Best Car Vacuums On the Market of 2020 – Top Vacuum Cleaner for Your Car

For many, their car is a source of great pride, and keeping it looking great, both inside and out, is a labor of love. For others, vacuuming the auto is a dreaded chore, but in either case, it’s something that needs to be done.

Cleaning the interior of your car can be so much easier with the right tools – and that means a suitable vacuum cleaner. If you’ve decided that’s what you need but don’t know which one to go for, here are our top picks for best car vacuum on the market to help you make up your mind.

At a Glance: Our Top 7 Picks for Car Vacuum On the Market

 Best Overall Armor AA255 Car Vacuum

This is a shop-vac style vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for cleaning cars.”

Best Budget: Hotor Corded Car Vacuum

It is small enough to leave in your car and plugs into the cigarette lighter.”

Best With Accessories: Dyson V6 Car + Boat Handheld Car Vacuum

“One of this unit’s biggest positives is the suction it generates.”

Best Wet Dry Car Vacuum: DEWALT DCV581H Car Vacuum

The biggest selling point of this vacuum is that it’s both corded and cordless.”

Best For Pet Hair: Bissell 47R51 Car Vacuum

It incorporates HEPA filters that trap microscopic particles and allergens inside.”

Best Handheld: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Car Vacuum

The most striking feature is the innovative pivoting head. This can pivot through a full 200°.”

Best for Pickup Truck: Dirt Devil Scorpion SD20005RED Car Vacuum

The 2.5ft hose and 16-foot cord is perfect for large vehicles.”

The Best Car Vacuum On the Market of 2020

1. Best Overall : Armor AA255 Car Vacuum

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image: ArmorAll

This is a shop-vac style vacuum cleaner from Armor All that is specifically designed for cleaning cars. It includes a 10ft cord and an onboard cord wrap to help keep it tidy and out of the way when in storage.

It comes with a set of accessories to help with all the car-related vacuuming tasks you might need to take care of, including a versatile 2-in-1 utility nozzle and a crevice tool for cleaning in hard-to-reach gaps. There’s also a deluxe car nozzle and a special detail nozzle for finishing.

One useful feature is the blower mode. By changing the direction of the airflow, you can use this vacuum as a useful tool to help dry motorcycles, car grilles or wheels after washing. There’s even a special nozzle attachment for using in blower mode.

We also like the way that it includes onboard storage for all the accessories, so you have somewhere to keep them all and won’t end up losing the add-ons when you’re not using them.

One of the first things you’ll notice when using this vacuum is the strong suction it can deliver, provided by the 2Hp motor. It gives you plenty of power to pick up all dust, dirt and even stubborn pet hair from inside your vehicle.

Another big plus is that it is a wet/dry vacuum, meaning you can also use it to clear up liquid spills.

It includes a 2.5gal polypropylene tank, making it big enough to handle just about any job. However, if you exceed this limit, it incorporates an auto-shutoff capability to ensure you don’t end up damaging the motor.

On the downside, this is a loud unit to work with – and this is despite the air and noise diffuser that is built in to help reduce excessive noise. If you prefer a quieter vacuum, you might prefer to look elsewhere.

Also, the reusable cloth filter can be awkward to clean, especially if it becomes clogged with pet hair.

Despite these minor issues, this is an excellent option if you are looking for a shop vac-style vacuum for your car. It is powerful, versatile and also sells at a very reasonable price point on the market. If these are qualities you value, this unit should be high on your list of possibilities.

What We Like

  • Wet/dry cleaning capability – can be used to clean up liquid spills
  • Includes several useful accessories – specifically for use in cars
  • Very strong suction – delivers impressive levels of power
  • Includes blower mode – ideal for drying motorcycles or cars
  • Onboard hose and tool storage – helps keep your garage or workshop tidy

What We Don’t Like

  • Loud vacuum – despite air and noise diffuser to reduce sound volume
  • Filter can be tricky to clean – especially if clogged with pet hair

2. Best Budget: Hotor Corded Car Vacuum

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This is a handy portable car vacuum on the market It is small enough to leave in your car and plugs into the cigarette lighter, making it practical and convenient to use anywhere. The cord is 16.4ft long, giving you plenty of reach to vacuum in even the largest cars.

It comes with three different nozzles that are all designed to make cleaning your car interior easier.

There’s a hose attachment for reaching into the more inaccessible corners of your vehicle, there’s a crevice tool for sucking up dirt and grime from between gaps and there’s a brush tool that’s ideal for picking up animal hair if you share your car with pets.

It also incorporates a HEPA filter system that picks up almost all dust, microparticles and allergens and traps them away inside. The filter is washable, meaning you don’t need to discard it and buy replacements when it becomes clogged.

One particularly useful feature is the built-in LED light that illuminates what you are working on. This is ideal for when you are cleaning dark corners in your car or if you need to work at night.

It’s also an extremely lightweight option – it weighs in at just under 2.5lbs, making it easy for anybody to use. We also like the way it comes with a dedicated bag so you can keep the vacuum and all the accessories safely stored together.

One drawback is that this vacuum is probably not designed for extended use. If you use it for long periods, the vacuum – and the plug – can start to get quite hot. For this reason, it’s better used for only shorter lengths of time.

Another issue is that, while the power is more than acceptable, it can’t match the suction provided but larger vacuums. This is another reason why this vac is probably more suited to small-scale vacuuming rather than giving your vehicle a deep clean.

If you are looking for a convenient car vacuum that will help keep your vehicle in good condition, this could be an excellent option on the market. It sells for an exceptionally low price, meaning it’s great value for money – and with such a low price tag, you can hardly go wrong.

What We Like

  • Powered from the car cigarette lighter – includes a 16.4ft cord
  • LED light – helps you see what you are cleaning, even at night
  • HEPA filter – traps almost all dust, microparticles and allergens
  • Comes with 3 different nozzles – specially made for cleaning in cars
  • Exceptional value – sells for a very reasonable price

What We Don’t Like

  • May suffer if used for too long – starts to get hot
  • Moderate suction power only – not enough for a deep clean

3. Best Wet Dry Car Vacuum: DEWALT DCV581H Car Vacuum

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image: DEWALT

This is a portable vacuum from DeWalt that is designed for the demands of the Jobsite but that would also be suitable for use in a home workshop or garage – and would make an excellent vacuum cleaner when it comes to cleaning the interior of cars.

The biggest selling point of this vacuum is that it’s both corded and cordless, giving you the best of both worlds. If you need to work for longer periods and you have access to a power outlet, you can just plug it in and use it for as long as you need.

However, for those jobs that are out of range of a power outlet, you can switch to battery power and take care of business.

The fact that you have the option of running it off the mains using a battery gives you a huge amount of flexibility and gives it a big advantage over many other models.

It is a wet/dry vacuum, so you can use it to pick up liquid spills as well as solid dirt and debris. The tank holds up to 2gal, plenty for most jobs you are likely to need it for.

It also incorporates a HEPA filter to ensure that all microparticles, dust, and allergens are trapped inside.

The filter is washable, which means you won’t need to worry about buying new ones each time the old one becomes clogged. You just rinse it, let it dry, put it back in and you’re ready to go.

We like how it is small, light and convenient to transport – it’s ideal to take to any Jobsite where you need a vacuum, and it’s also easy to use for cleaning inside vehicles.

We also like the ergonomic design and the way the hose can be fixed into place for storage, helping to keep the Jobsite or your garage clutter-free.

Since it’s designed for the rigors of the Jobsite, it’s also made to take a beating. This is a tough, rugged vacuum, and it features a crush-resistant hose to ensure you don’t lose any power from blockages.

On the downside, it isn’t the most powerful vacuum available on the market. While it can still provide a reasonable about of suction, if raw power is what you value most, there are other options that will probably suit you better.

Also, the hose is a little short, and a longer one would have made this vacuum even more versatile, especially when working inside a car.

In sum, if you want a tough, rugged Jobsite-style unit that also makes an excellent car vacuum, this model from DeWalt should be well worth a look.

What We Like

  • Corded or cordless – the best of both worlds
  • HEPA filters – keeps dust and microparticles trapped inside
  • Small, light and convenient – ideal for cleaning cars or Jobsite use
  • Tough and durable – another reason why you can take it to the Jobsite
  • Washable filter – no need to buy replacements

What We Don’t Like

  • Suction slightly lacking – reasonable power but not extreme
  • Short hose – slightly longer would have been welcome

4. Best With Accessories: Dyson V6 Car + Boat Handheld Car Vacuum

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image: Dyson

When it comes to high-end, high-performance vacuum cleaners on the market, Dyson is invariably one of the first names to be mentioned. The company has built a reputation for top-quality, innovative machines, and this car and boat handheld model is no different.

As you would expect from a Dyson vacuum, one of this unit’s biggest positives is the suction it generates. With this machine, you will have enough power in your hands to deal with even the most stubborn dust, dirt and animal hair.

Furthermore, it benefits from a two-tier radial cyclone system that helps generate extra power to suck in and trap dust, microparticles, and allergens. This helps improve the quality of the air and reduces potential allergic reactions.

As the name suggests, this vac is intended for car and boat owners, and one of the things that makes it suitable for these applications is the range of tools that comes bundled with it.

These include a standard crevice tool for cleaning between gaps, a mini soft brush for dusting and cleaning delicate surfaces and an extension hose for extra reach.

Others include a stubborn dirt brush, a mini motorized tool that is ideal for pet hair and a versatile combination tool.

This vacuum is small, light and easy to use, making it a convenient option for working in enclosed spaces, and it also features a hygienic empty system that allows you to empty it without getting your hands dirty.

This vacuum is powered by a fade-free battery that allows you to keep working until it’s empty. However, on the downside, the maximum amount of time you will get from one charge is only twenty minutes – and in reality, probably a little bit less.

It is also a relatively loud unit, so if you are sensitive to noise, you might prefer to choose something else.

This is the kind of vacuum that will appeal to people who like to own the best equipment and who don’t mind paying extra for it. If you want power and convenience in a lightweight handheld package, this model from Dyson might be just what you are looking for.

What We Like

  • Extremely powerful – as you would expect from a Dyson
  • Small, light and easy to use – highly practical for cleaning inside a car
  • 2-tier radial cyclones – helps trap microparticles and allergens inside
  • Fade-free battery – keeps going until it’s empty
  • Comes with several useful car accessories – including crevice tool and more

What We Don’t Like

  • Battery life is not long – maximum of only 20 minutes
  • Noisy unit – louder than some people will enjoy using

5. Best For Pet Hair: Bissell 47R51 Car Vacuum

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image: Bissell

If you are looking for a compact and lightweight corded handheld vacuum for use in your car or for a variety of other small-scale cleaning jobs, this inexpensive option from Bissell should be of interest.

It is very similar to Bissell’s dedicated pet hair vacuum and includes the same rubber pet hair attachment. This makes it an especially good pick if you are looking for something to deal with stubborn pet hairs in your vehicle.

It also incorporates HEPA filters that trap microscopic particles and allergens inside, another essential feature for anyone with animals and also for anyone who suffers from dust-related allergies.

Other than the pet hair attachment, it also includes several other accessories. These include a 2ft extension hose for extra reach, a wide mouth tool for clearing up larger messes and a crevice tool for clearing out hard-to-reach gaps – among others.

We like the clear dirt container that lets you see easily when the vacuum is full and needs emptying. We also like how easy it is to empty – simply flip open the lid, tip away the waste, close it up again, and you’re ready to keep working.

On the downside, this vacuum has a design flaw in that the exhaust vents are located on the sides, pointing down. This can cause dirt to be spread around if you aren’t careful about how you clean.

Also, although it’s easy to empty when you need to remove the filter, it can be quite a challenge to put everything back again – this can take a bit of getting used to.

All in all, we’re big fans of Bissell products. This is a company that has made a habit of producing inexpensive vacuums that punch above their weight when it comes to performance compared to price.

If you are looking for an effective tool for cleaning your car – and you like to get great bang for your buck – this unit could be an obvious choice.

What We Like

  • Works well with pet hair – a good option if you drive with animals in your car
  • HEPA filter – traps dust, microparticles and allergens inside
  • Comes with several useful add-ons – handy when cleaning inside a vehicle
  • Very respectable power – especially for such a compact unit
  • Budget-friendly option – sells at a very reasonable price point

What We Don’t Like

  • Air vents blow out of side – can end up spreading dirt around
  • Tricky to put back together after cleaning – takes some getting used to

6. Best Handheld: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Car Vacuum

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image: Black+Decker

If you are on the lookout for a reasonably-priced handheld vacuum to help keep the interior of your vehicle clean – and that will also be useful for a range of jobs around the house – this Black+Decker could be ideal.

The most striking feature is the innovative pivoting head. This can pivot through a full 200°, giving you extra reach for cleaning. It’s perfect for reaching under seats as well as cleaning dust from overhead shelves.

It features a cyclonic suction system that helps keep the filter clear of debris, enabling the vacuum to maintain its suction power, even as the dust cup begins to fill up. It also boasts a wide mouth that can pick up large swathes of dirt with each pass.

We like the fact that several of the included tools are integrated into the main body of the vacuum. There is a built-in extendable crevice device for cleaning between gaps and a flip-up brush – this means there’s no risk of losing the accessories in between uses. It’s also the lightest car vacuum on the market

It incorporates a three-stage filter system to trap fine dust and debris inside, and the filter is also washable, so you don’t need to worry about buying replacements when it starts to get clogged.

The main complaint some people might have will be that the suction power it delivers is slightly lacking. However, while it can’t match some of the more powerful top-end vacuums in this department, it still has enough power for keeping the inside of your car dirt-free.

Also, the battery life is a little disappointing. On a full charge, you will only get around 15 minutes of use – and it takes a while to charge, too. Some people may feel this is not long enough.

To summarize, this is a handy tool to own if you want something affordable for occasional jobs in your car or in the home. However, if you are looking for something offering extra power for more thorough vacuuming, there are probably better options available.

What We Like

  • Innovative pivoting nozzle – can pivot through 200°
  • Cyclonic suction system – keeps power even as it fills up
  • Lightweight and easy to manage – comfortable for anyone to use
  • Onboard tools – don’t need to worry about losing accessories
  • Great price – an affordable budget-friendly car vacuum

What We Don’t Like

  • Suction power slightly lacking – although reasonable for something in this class
  • Battery life a little disappointing – a full charge will only give you around 15 minutes

7. Best for Pickup Truck: Dirt Devil Scorpion SD20005RED Car Vacuum

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image: Dirt Devil

The Scorpion from Dirt Devil is a corded handheld vacuum that would be ideal for cleaning the interior of cars as well as for a range of other applications.

It is lightweight and comfortable to hold, and with a 16ft cord, it’s mobile too. Even if the cord isn’t long enough, you can always use and extension, allowing you to vacuum for as long as you need without worrying about the battery failing.

This is a very affordable unit on the market– in fact, one of the least expensive available – and this makes the fact that it is so powerful all the more impressive. This vacuum will easily be able to suck up all kinds of mess, dirt, pet hairs and the like, leaving nothing behind.

One feature we appreciate is the quick-flip crevice tool. When you’re cleaning inside your car, if you need to clean in between tight spaces, you just flip it out and keep going. There’s no need to stop to fit on extra attachments.

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That said, it also has a detachable 2.5ft hose that you can attach when you need even more reach.

Another plus is the rinseable filter. When it becomes clogged, you just pull it out and rinse it. There’s no need to worry about buying replacements – or suddenly realizing you can’t use it because you don’t have any spares at hand.

The major drawback with this machine is the noise it makes – because it’s another loud one. However, this is something many people will be willing to accept in return for getting their hands on such a powerful handheld vac for such a low price.

Another issue is that it has awkwardly-positioned exhaust vents that direct hot air back toward the user – but it’s not difficult to alter your hand position slightly to minimize this effect.

All in all, we like this unit a lot for its combination of low price, high power, and convenient compact size. If that’s a mix you think you’d appreciate, then this is a model that should be on your list of options.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and mobile – weighs under 4lbs and comes with a 16ft cord
  • Lightweight and mobile – weighs under 4lbs and comes with a 16ft cord
  • Quick-flip crevice tool – always available when you need it
  • Rinseable filter – no need to buy replacements
  • Impressive power – more than you might expect at this price point

What We Don’t Like

  • Loud unit – makes plenty of noise
  • Side exhausts – blow hot air towards the user

Best Car Vacuum Cleaner On The Market Buying Guide

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If you are thinking about investing in a vacuum cleaner to help clean the interior of your car, you are probably wondering which features you should pay attention to when choosing. Let’s have a look at some of the most important ones now.

Power

While power is never the be-all and end-all when it comes to vacuum cleaners – and you shouldn’t make your decision based on power alone – it is still one of the most important aspects.

When buying a vacuum in the market, you should think about the kind of work you will need it for.

If you want something to give your car the occasional light clean – to pick up food crumbs and other debris, for example – you probably won’t need anything with excesses of power.

However, if you are looking for something that will be able to give your car a deep clean, picking up every last grain of dirt and leaving your car looking like new, you will probably need something with a bit more strength.

As a rule, if you want a more powerful vacuum, you will have to pay more, but there are still some less expensive options that produce impressive levels of suction.

The key is to decide how much suction power you need and then choose a vacuum that is up to the task.

However, all vacuum cleaners need a minimum level of suction to be useful – so you should avoid anything that is too weak.

Lightweight and maneuverable

Choosing a model that is lightweight and maneuverable is another important consideration when it comes to vacuums for cars.

When you clean inside a car, you will need to reach into some more inaccessible areas than you might if you were just vacuuming a house, and choosing something that gives you enough mobility to reach will be a big benefit.

On the other hand, if you choose something too big and bulky, you will quickly become tired – as well as possibly frustrated – because you can’t reach the areas you need to clean.

Car accessories

One thing that makes a vacuum cleaner suitable for car use is the range of accessories it comes with. Just as you want a vacuum that is light and mobile because you need to clean in tight spots, having the right tools and add-ons will also make your job easier.

Look for vacuums that have extendable hoses that allow you to reach into all the places where dirt accumulates.

Another invaluable tool that most vacuums have is a crevice tool. These are perfect for cleaning in gaps where dirt and grime have fallen and that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach.

Other than these basic tools, there is a whole range of others that will facilitate cleaning inside your car. Make sure any vacuum you are looking at comes with the accessories you need.

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Corded or battery-powered

A big decision when choosing a vacuum cleaner concerns the corded vs battery-powered debate, and when picking one for your car, this is an even more important consideration.

The main advantage of a corded vacuum is that you can work for as long as you like without worrying about the battery running out. Corded vacuums are also usually more powerful and are more suitable for more intensive cleaning jobs.

The downside is the cord itself since you are limited to only being able to work within range of a power outlet – and the cord can also become an encumbrance.

Battery-powered vacuums can be used anywhere, but the problem is that battery life is limited. When the battery is empty, you need to stop to recharge it before you can carry on working.

Battery vacs are more suitable for light, occasional cleaning jobs and also for cleaning cars when you have no access to a power outlet. If you choose a battery-powered model, make sure you check the battery life to see if it is sufficient for your needs.

An alternative is to choose a corded vacuum that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter. In some ways, this gives you the best of both worlds and is another option that’s worth considering.

Pet-friendly

Some vacuums are particularly good at picking up pet hair, so if you regularly have animals in your car, make sure any vacuum you buy is up to the task of removing their fur from your vehicle.

HEPA filter

HEPA filters trap microscopic particles, dust, and allergens inside, helping to improve the air quality and reduce allergic reactions. If you are an allergy sufferer or often drive with pets, choosing a vac from the market with a HEPA filter could be a smart move.

LED

Vacuums with build-in LEDs are useful for car vacs since you can’t always see where you are vacuuming in a car, even in broad daylight. They also allow you to work at night, which could be useful for some people.

Wet/dry capability

Vacuums with wet/dry capacity can clear up liquid spills as well as solid mess. Choosing one with this capability could be a good idea if you want a vacuum for your garage but not necessarily one just for working on the interior of your vehicle.

Many great options to choose from

A good vacuum cleaner is vital if you want to keep your car interior clean and free of dirt, and as we have seen, there are plenty of solid options to pick from.

If you are looking for the best car vacuum on the market for your needs but you are still having trouble making up your mind which is the right one to go for, any of our top picks would be a great place to start your search.

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