Buying Guide: Best Car Vacuum (2017 – 2018)

car vacuums

Car vacuums are a handy thing to have in your car but picking out one that is right for you and your needs can be difficult. There are lot of options on the market, and some work a lot better than others.

#1 Top Rated Car Vacuum (Editor Selection) — Click Here!

There are a few different factors to keep in mind when shopping and knowing what they are may mean the difference between finding a vacuum that works for you and one that is a dud. Keep reading to get our help on finding the best car vacuum for the money.

Our Car Vacuum Ratings At-A-Glance

car vacuum ratings

Top 10 Car Vacuums Reviewed 2017 - 2018

Here you'll find our list of the best car vacuums for the money based on our team's ratings of the products. If you want to read reviews or get more product information, just scroll down the page or click on the links.
PRODUCTOUR RATING
Car and Driver VA001-CHRD Canister Vacuum
Car and Driver VA001-CHRD Canister Vacuum
(9.9 / 10)
Onshowy 12 Volt 45 W Portable Handheld Auto Vacuum
Onshowy 12 Volt 45 W Portable Handheld Auto Vacuum
(9 / 10)
Black & Decker PAD1200 Flex Auto Vacuum
Black & Decker PAD1200 Flex Auto Vacuum
(8 / 10)
Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200
Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200
(9.7 / 10)
Metro Vac N Blo Full Size Car Vacuum Pro Series PRO-83BA
Metro Vac N Blo Full Size Car Vacuum Pro Series PRO-83BA
(9.9 / 10)
Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum
(9.1 / 10)
Metrovac Vac N' Blo 4.0 Peak HP Automotive Car Detailing Vacuum
Metrovac Vac N' Blo 4.0 Peak HP Automotive Car Detailing Vacuum
(10 / 10)
Shop-Vac 3942100 4.5 HP Bulldog Hang-Up Wet - 5 Gallon Capacity
Shop-Vac 3942100 4.5 HP Bulldog Hang-Up Wet - 5 Gallon Capacity
(8.5 / 10)
Royal RY4001 Backpack Vacuum Cleaner
Royal RY4001 Backpack Vacuum Cleaner
(10 / 10)
BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
(9 / 10)

Our Top Car Vacuum Reviews

Still trying to decide between some of the models listed in the chart above? Let our editors help you out with the reviews below. You’ll learn a bit more about each one and what our editors like and dislike about them.

Car and Driver VA001-CHRD Canister Vacuum Review

Car and Driver VA001-CHRD Canister Vacuum
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The Car and Driver VA001-CHRD Canister Vacuum is portable and easy to use. It acts as a shop-vac in a sense, as it will clean up water and other liquid messes in a car without any problem. it is also good for general cleaning. It has a 1.3 gallon capacity a weighs less than two pounds. It has a cord that hooks into your car’s electric system easily on operates on your car’s 12 volt power system. It comes with three attachments for cleaning different types of surfaces in your car. It features a three-foot hose, and has a washable filter.

Pros: Fairly low price and effective for small cleanup

Cons: The cord can limit accessibility to some parts of an automobile.

Black & Decker PAD1200 Flex Auto Vacuum Review

Black & Decker PAD1200 Flex Auto Vacuum - Corded
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Keep your car showroom clean with this compact flex auto vacuum.  The 4’ flexible hose reaches hard to get spots with the included flip nozzle with brush and narrow crevice tool accessories.  This is perfect for keeping your car detailed.  Motor features high performance cyclonic action.  Product uses a 12-Volt DC plug for convenient use.  Dimensions:  12.5 x 7 x 9.8 inches.  Weighs 5 pounds.  Uses an extra long cord for accessibility to the entire car.

Pros:  Convenient, easy to use, portable, perfect to car detailing, suitable to light and normal cleaning projects

Cons:  Limited suction so not suitable for heavy duty cleaning, not suitable for home cleaning

Onshowy 12 Volt 45 W Portable Handheld Auto Vacuum Review

Car Vacuum Cleaner,Onshowy 12 Volt 45 W Portable Handheld Auto Vacuum Cleaner Auto Lightweight Cleaner Dustbuster Hand Vac
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Perfect for dirt, sand, debris and those lost crumbs, the Onshowy 12-Volt Portable Handheld Auto Vacuum allows you to reach every part of your car with its 3 meter power cord. The versatile vacuum comes with with a long, narrow nozzle attachment that allows you to clean the hard to reach spaces in your car with ease. Powered just from your car’s 12v power supply, the Onshowy Portable Handheld Auto Vacuum will surprise you with its power. A fine-weave filter-net protects the unit inside and while a low-noise motor protects your hearing.

Pros: Extra long cord, crevice attachment 

Cons: Requires Universal AC-DC power adapter for home use, not suitable for extreme dust amounts

Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200 Review

Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200 (Velocity Vac)
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For cleaning even the dirtiest upholstered surfaces, the Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200 attachment combines a liquid cleaning solution with a vacuum and a blast of pressurized air to dry it afterwards. Made to attach to the Tornador Black, the Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200’s air heavy-duty air hose fits inside the vacuum tip, allowing it to apply the liquid that breaks free trapped debris and immediately extract it. Dirt, cat hair, sand and food are all easily washed free and vacuumed out by the dual-action design of the Tornador Velocity Vac ZV-200. Now you can effortlessly erase the toughest stains.

Pros: High pressure design built to last, dual-action cleaning

Cons: Works only with Tornador Black, not with Tornador Z010

Metro Vac N Blo Full Size Car Vacuum Pro Series PRO-83BA Review

Metro Vac N Blo Full Size Car Vacuum Pro Series PRO-83BA - Auto Detailing
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Get ready for power with the Metro Vac-N-Blo Car Vacuum. Equipped with a 24-foot hose, there is no place that this suction device cannot reach. The Metro vacuum comes with wall mounting brackets for easy storage and a shoulder strap with attachments for smooth using. Some experts deem this vacuum as the strongest ever tested. You will have to try it to determine if they are right. 

Pros: hose length, attachments, extensions, bracket for power cord, powerful

Cons: canister edges are thin and sharp

Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum Review

black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum, 20-volt
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Lightweight Yet Powerful – The Black+Decker MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum is easy to carry with the lightweight design, but also very powerful. The robust suction is a result of the 20V MAX lithium ion battery, which can be powered by the standing charging base. It is compact and easy to use.

Pros: Easy to Clean – The vacuum comes with an onboard crevice tool and brush that can deal with any larger mess, while the vacuum itself can remove dirt from areas that are harder to reach.

Cons: It is powerful and easy to use for the owner, but the clean-out access door has been said to not connect very well to the rest of the machine. It makes it harder to take apart when emptying out dirt.

Metrovac Vac N’ Blo 4.0 Peak HP Automotive Car Detailing Vacuum Review

Metrovac Vac N' Blo 4.0 Peak HP Automotive Car Detailing Vacuum / Blower , Model VNB94BD
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If you have trouble cleaning out your car with the vacuums provided at local gas stations or at the car wash, then you need the Metrovac Vac N’ Blo 4.0 Peak HP Car Detailing Vacuum. It is an extremely powerful vacuum and it can fit in even the hardest to reach places. It comes with a lot of attachments and even a 6 foot hose.  It is lightweight and made of all steel. The Metrovac Vac N’ Blo 4.0 Peak HP Car Detailing Vacuum is ideal for use in your car, your home, your yard, and any other place where you made need a small vacuum for some powerful cleaning. 

Pros:  Powerful, easy to use, lightweight.

Cons: Lacks a retractable cord.

Shop-Vac 3942100 4.5 HP Bulldog Hang-Up Wet – 5 Gallon Capacity Review

Shop-Vac 3942100 4.5 HP Bulldog Hang-Up Wet - 5 Gallon Capacity
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The Shop-Vac 4.5 HP Bulldog Hang-Up Wet Car Vacuum lightweight system brings professional level cleaning to your automobile, camper or RV. It has a five-gallon capacity, and a strong motor that is powerful. Removes dirt of all kinds, and even liquid messes. The greater thing, perhaps, is that it can also be a gentle cleaner, and can help clean computers and other electronics with various attachments.  The entire package weighs 16 pounds, but it has wheels and is portable in most cases. It has long hoses, so you don’t have to move it around a lot. It has a 1 1/4 inch hose, which is good for most applications.

Pros: Economic powerful cleaner. Durable construction.

Cons: It is loud, and replacement bags can be hard to find.

Royal RY4001 Backpack Vacuum Cleaner Review

Royal RY4001 Backpack Vacuum Cleaner
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Are you lugging the ol’ vacuum from the house to the garage, squeezing it through the hall and lugging it up and down the steps? Do you wrestle with the beast as it gets caught on the edge of the carpet when heading to the garage? Struggle no more! This vacuum straps on your back, so you can maneuver the obstacle course of life like an Olympian.

Pros: Feels great on the back and is very easy to use.

Cons: Requires bags made for this type of vacuum, made by several manufacturers.

BLACK+DECKER 16-volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac Review

BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
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This cordless Dust Buster makes clean up around the home or office a snap!  Equipped with lithium technology, the strong suction makes it perfect for tacking any task.  The translucent, bagless system makes it easy to see when it needs to be emptied.  The hand vac automatically shuts off when the battery is charged and will hold a charge for 18 months.  Lightweight for ease of use.  Cyclonic action ensures strong suction when it is needed.  Accessories help your reach crevices, clean upholstery and pick up debris quickly and efficiently.  Easily cleaned.  Dimensions:  17.2 x 5.5 x 7.8 inches; Weight:  3.8 lbs.

Pros:  Long battery life, energy efficient, powerful suction

Cons:  Wall hanging charging dock unavailable

Types of Car Vacuums

There are three types to consider and each has its own benefits. The first are those that are built into the car. Now you cannot have one added to your car without a great deal of expense but if there is one in your car they are very useful. These are vacuums that work off the battery in your car and that are generally stowed in the trunk space of the car.

The next type are those that use the AC adapter in your car to run. These are generally very small and are not all that useful for big messes but are great for spot clean up. These often plug into cigarette lighters in your car and are great for cleaning up messes quickly while you are on the go.

The last type are those that are designed for cars but require an outside power source. These are going to limit where you use them but are going to provide the most power as they do not draw on the power of the car. These are not dissimilar to home vacuums save for the fact that they are more compact and do offer more attachments for cleaning in smaller spaces.

Factors for Shopping

There are three factors to keep in mind that greatly affect the type of vacuum that you are going to end up buying. They are as follows:

  1. Power- if you have large messes and need something with a great deal of suction choosing a vacuum that has an external power source is going to be the best bet. This is going to provide you with the most suction and the least loss of power. These vacuums also often have the most attachments. If you just have a few messes every now and again you can use a unit that draws off the car itself and be safe. If you have a car that has a vacuum built in you are going to be able to use it anywhere and they generally have a good amount of power.
  2. Frequency of Messes- if you have kids for instance you may be needed to vacuum at the grocery, when you stop, when you are virtually anywhere so a portable is going to be the best option. You may also want to seek out a car that has a built in vacuum.
  3. Price Range- the last thing to consider is your price range. Those machines that are built into the car are not going to be sold separately so you are going to need to be in the market for a new vehicle, typically vans. Those that have a little to spend may want a portable unit and those that have more to spend can get a great unit that uses external power.

No matter what you choose, a vacuum is a great way to keep your car clean and mess free wherever you are.

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