Best cordless car vacuum cleaners – CarBuyer
You might be an expert at putting it off, but once every so often, you’ll have to give your car interior a thorough spring clean. When that time comes, most of us will grab a handheld vacuum first, ready to suck up the worst of the debris before polishing can begin.
British wet weather and our fondness for pets, travel snacks and gravel driveways means we Brits probably end up cleaning our car interiors more than most, and in winter it can seem like a never ending job. But stick with it, because keeping on top of tidying will keep the interior spic and span and could even boost your car’s value in the long run.
While some motorists can park close to a power supply, we think a cordless vacuum makes much more sense for cleaning cars, even if their battery packs can add a bit of unwanted bulk. As technology has improved, car vacuum cleaners with lithium-ion batteries now last for longer and suck up far more stubborn dirt.
How we tested them
To ensure we created the ultimate test for dirt removal, we first ground sea salt, rice and grit into our test carpet and tried to clean it as briskly as possible with each cordless vacuum.
After this we spent 10 minutes using each handheld to clean the inside of our test car. This was a crucial part of the experiment, because it subjected each model to all the tricky aspects of cleaning a car which separate it from hoovering your living room. Small gaps – like those between seats – require special crevice tools to reach and you can only get into every nook and cranny if the hoover is compact and light enough to handle easily. We awarded more points if useful tools are supplied and we took the best online prices into account.
1. Gtech Multi Mk2 – Best buy
The Gtech can fully charge in four hours and its 22v battery provides ample power. We found its motorised head was able to clean our soiled carpet with ease, and it was compact enough to reach into hidden corners. Two LED lights are a handy selling point, illuminating dark footwells and car boots in a similar way to many DIY drills. The Gtech also has a clever design allowing its flexible nozzle to pull-out, making it very easy to use the crevice tool in tight places. Unlike many rivals, the Gtech also has a locking trigger, reducing fatigue and allowing you to hold it in different ways, or even put it down, saving you from holding the 1.6kg chassis all the time. A soft brush allows you to hoover the air vents and trim, dislodging dust and preventing scratches. There’s an optional car accessories kit for £24.95, but we happily cleaned our car interior without using it.
2. Vax Cordless SlimVac Total Home Vacuum Cleaner/Pro Kit
It might not be specific to car cleaning, but the Vax handheld impressed in our tests thanks to its reasonable five-hour charging time and 22.2v battery. Only the crevice nozzle seemed to be designed specifically for using in a car though, so while the domestic brush was fine for shifting dirt from car mats and carpet, a smaller motorised brush would have been even more useful. We added the Pro Kit with four extra tools for small gaps and tight corners, but it increased the price by around £20.
3. Hoover Jovis Plus Cordless Handheld SM18DL4
The Hoover Jovis might look familiar if you own a Halfords, Sealey or Dirt Devil handheld, with a similar design, but its 18v battery power and five-hour recharging time made it our preferred choice. A crevice tool is supplied in the box, along with a flexible hose and two brush accessories. Smaller dirt particles were harder to pick up, requiring a few passes with the Hoover, and some particles fell out having got past the rubber seal designed to keep dirt in the bin. The Jovis has a traditional design, but it’s undeniably compact.
4. Dyson V8 Absolute
As you may expect from the Dyson, performance is fantastic, but you pay a lot of money for it. To justify the cost you’ll need to use the Dyson heavily around the home as well as the car to get the most benefit from your investment. Suction power is as good as Dyson claims and the V8 Absolute’s 22.2v battery allowed it to run for 40 minutes using a traditional nozzle, or 25 minutes with a motorised brush attached. The latter cleaned our carpet easily, and we found the Dyson’s power meant a surprising amount could be tackled due to its speed of operation. A lockable trigger and LED light would have been handy, and the Dyson is also relatively bulky at 1.6kg.
5. Sealey CPV72 Cordless Wet & Dry Rechargeable
The Sealey was the only car vacuum cleaner in our test able to suck up liquid, although this proved quite tricky when tackling a spill on uneven carpet. The Sealey also struggled with our ground-in dirt test, taking a few attempts to get the job done. A small brush was handy for cleaning air vents and fragile parts of the dashboard, while an LED light provided some extra illumination to help spot hidden dirt. Weighing half as much as the Gtech and Dyson, the Sealey was easy to handle but its short crevice tool failed to reach into every gap and its 7.2v battery holds less juice than most models in our test.