Cleaning out the car is never a fun task, it is something that we all want to put off , but there are some great car vacuums out there that can make the job a lot easier. You don’t have to put up with tiny handhelds with no capacity or suction just to be able to get under seats or struggle with a heavy, cumbersome machine just to get enough power. The following five models from our 2018 vacuum list can be found in top rated handheld vacuums for cars, all have some interesting features that add to the power of the suction on wet and dry spills, their portability – which is crucial for getting in and around a vehicle – and the different attachments for a more thorough clean.
Five of the Best Portable Car Vacuums for you to Consider
1. Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac
Portability is clearly a crucial selling point with any handheld car vacuum but there is no point putting too much effort into a minimal, user-friendly design if the product struggles to the clean the car to a high standard. The Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac HV292 is a product that tries to cover all the bases here because it has a very small, “ultra lightweight” handheld design that is easy to carry around, a long flexible hose that can get around the seats and tricky corners of a car, plenty of power from Shark’s “never loses suction” technology and a range of accessories to make the task even easier.
This hand vac may not be sold as an automotive model but it is definitely up to the job because of this shape, power and the purpose of those attachments – the precise crevice tool, strong brush and motorized TruePet brush for hair and dirt on upholstery, like car seats.
2. ArmorAll AA255 Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum
The ArmorAll AA255 Utility Wet/Dry Vacuum has to be given a mention in this list because it is a bestseller in its class and well loved by users. It has a good suction and some great attachments to pick up dirt in tricky places, and a great reach with that 6ft hose, but it also has a blower for a different approach to cleaning and drying the car. The other interesting aspect of this handheld car vacuum is of course the ability to handle both wet and dry messes.
Both elements seem to be handled with ease, with the powerful suction of the 2hp motor picking up reasonable sized liquid spills and tackling built-up dirt in work vehicles and the only complaint here is the fact that the 2.5 gallon capacity tank can fill up a bit fast. Users may have to empty it out more often, but it works.
3. Carrand 94005AS AutoSpa Bagless Auto-Vac Hand-Held Vacuum
There is a definite theme with handheld vacuums for a small, portable body and a good range of attachments for a versatile, all-over clean of the vehicle. The Carrand 94005AS AutoSpa Hand-Held Vacuum is no different because the compact body is shaped so that there is the bare minimum to deal with around the canister and motor, just the helpful carry handle on the top and the controls.
From there is is all about the flexible 40 inch hose and the three attachments – the dash brush, crevice tool and upholstery tool. There is the clear sense that this 550w product has been designed with the car in mind as it is so small, light and versatile and there are only two areas where buyers wish that the manufacturers had gone a little further – greater durability of the materials and hose and a power supply via the car battery not the wall.
4. WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Vacs WS0301VA
The idea of having a wet/dry vacuum is appealing to many car owners but while the ArmorAll AA255 is able to cover both aspects equally, others like the WORKSHOP Wet/Dry Vacs WS0301VA lean a little in one direction. This model is much better at collecting dust than water within its 4 gallon capacity and there are may others praising this machine for the way that it handles the dirt, hair and fine particles.
A lot of this comes down to the use of attachments, because the brush and crevice tool really can get deep into grills and carpets, but there is also praise for the portability and overall design. The product is easy to carry to the car, is easily balanced on one of the seats and no matter where it is placed, the “ultra-flexible, strong hose is able to reach into all the necessary places for a full clean.
6. Black & Decker PADFVAV1200 Flex Auto Vacuum
When looking for a portable handheld vehicle vacuum, the Black & Decker Flex Auto Vacuum definitely stands out from the crowd because of its odd shape and the compact way that everything is stored and held together. This portability and lightweight means that it is the ideal model to use in a confined space, like the family car, and this is enhanced by the use of the 16ft cord that can be plugged into the car’s cigarette lighter. The 4 feet hose provides you the distance to go and attack the dirt in the hard to get to areas. It is all neat, tidy and small and this can sometimes mean reduced abilities, power and capacity.
There are some concerns about the suction offered but this reduction is seen as a good compromise for the capabilities of the parts, attachments and the full clean provided. That hose may look small at first but it is deceptively long and, when paired with the flip nozzle and crevice tool, offers a good clean throughout the car. This is light duty vacuum that is meant for touch up cleaning. Not meant for a car that needs some serious cleaning.
5. Metro Vacuum VM6BS500T MetroProfessionals
Size can often be very important when choosing the right handheld vacuum for cleaning a car and this is seen with the Metro Vacuum VM6BS500T MetroProfessionals. This product is also quite small in stature, although its steel canister makes it look much tougher and more professional, and there have been compliments on the way that it handles dirt, pet hair and other debris with ease due to the high powered suction from the 500w motor.
The specialized “automotive attachments” help here too and the overall performance is pretty impressive, even if the attachments do tend to fall off and the cord is a bit short. This cord length does detract from the portability to an extent but it is still light and manageable with a great design that most users should get along with.