Car using smartphone for navigation

10 of the Best Car Chargers of 2022

By Dave Dean Vehicle TechNo Comments

At a time when we rely on our mobile devices for pretty much everything, it’s no surprise that they’re getting more in-car use than ever before.

Google Maps, Waze, and several other good navigation apps help get you where you’re going. Spotify or Apple Music let you stream your favorite tunes. A tablet for the kids to watch their favorite games and movies can be the difference between an easy trip and high blood pressure.

With all of that, however, comes a problem: keeping everything charged. On a long trip, even the biggest phone batteries will drain hours before you arrive at your destination.

That’s where car chargers come in. Available in a wide range of wired and wireless versions, with extra features that let you do everything from jump-start your vehicle to charge your laptop, there’s a car charger out there for every need, budget, and trip.

One size doesn’t fit all, however, and it’s worth thinking about the needs of both your devices and passengers before deciding what to spend your money on. Whether you’re driving across the country or just across the city, these are 10 of the best car chargers you can buy right now.

USB Car Chargers

Whether you’re on a budget or traveling with a large group, want the fastest possible charging speeds or want to make sure the kids can power up their iPads in the back seat, there’s a very wide range of USB car chargers out there.

These are what most people think of when it comes to car chargers, but they’re definitely not all the same. Certain types are better for certain uses, and some are just terrible no matter what you want to do with them.

That’s why we’ve put together our picks for the best USB car chargers for all needs, devices, and budgets.

Best on a Budget: Anker PowerDrive 2
  • Dimensions: 2.5 x 1.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Ports: 2x USB-A
  • Maximum output: 12W per port, 24W total
  • Extra features: None

Sale
Best USB-A Car Charger: Anker PowerDrive Speed 2
  • Dimensions:2.6 x 1.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Ports: 2x USB-A
  • Maximum output: 19.5W per port, 39W total
  • Extra features: QC 3.0

Best for Fast Charging: Ugreen USB C PD Car Charger
  • Dimensions: 2.1 x 1.0 x 0.9 inches
  • Ports: 1x USB-A, 1x USB C
  • Maximum output: 30W USB C, 30W USB-A, 48W total
  • Extra features: QC 3.0, Power Delivery

Sale
Best for Big Groups: Aikenuo 6 Port Car Adapter
  • Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.7 x 1.1 inches
  • Ports: 6x USB-A
  • Maximum output: 4x 19.5W and 2x 12W per port, 96W total
  • Extra features: QC 3.0, 40-inch cable

Sale
Best for Backseat Drivers: Joyroom 5-in-1 USB C Car Charger
  • Dimensions: 2.3 x 1.5 x 0.9 inches (main charger)
  • Ports: 2x USB C PD, 3x USB-A QC 3.0
  • Maximum output: 2x 27W and 3x 18W per port, 45W total (front) / 27W total (rear)
  • Extra features: Five-foot cable, separate ports for rear passengers

Best on a Budget: Anker PowerDrive 2

Anker Car Charger, Mini 24W 4.8A Metal Dual USB Car Charger, PowerDrive 2 Alloy Flush Fit Car Adapter with Blue LED, for iPhone XR/Xs/Max/X/8/7/Plus, iPad Pro/Air 2/Mini, Galaxy, LG, HTC and More

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of cheap USB car chargers out there that all do much the same thing for about the same price. In this range, we look for a few different things: at least two ports that can quickly charge phones and tablets, small size, low price, and a known brand with good support.

Anker’s PowerDrive 2 ticks all of the boxes. This compact, inexpensive charger has a pair of USB-A ports that can both put out up to 2.4 amps/12W of power (24W total.) Anker is regularly our top pick for electronic accessories of all kinds, and offers an 18-month warranty even on budget models like this.

This car charger is suitable for iPhones and iPads, most Android devices, and many other USB gadgets. It doesn’t have Power Delivery or QC 3.0 support, so you may not get the absolute fastest charging speeds, but it’ll still charge your smartphone or tablet pretty quickly regardless.

If you’re just after a simple, low-cost car charger from a reliable brand, this is the one to go for.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Inexpensive
  • Able to charge two devices at useful speeds
Cons
  • No support for Power Delivery or QC 3.0
Buy on Amazon

Best USB-A Car Charger: Anker PowerDrive Speed 2

Car Charger, Anker Quick Charge 3.0 39W Dual USB Car Charger Adapter, PowerDrive Speed 2 for Galaxy S10/S9/S8/S7/S6/Plus, Note 9, Poweriq for iPhone 11/XS/Max/XR/X/8/7, Ipad Pro, LG, Nexus, and More

Whether you’re using your phone for navigation or the kids are endlessly watching their favorite shows on the iPad, road trips can drain your devices’ battery surprisingly fast.

If you don’t want to wait several hours for them to get back to 100%, the power output of your car charger is important. There’s a confusing mess of specifications out there, which means the best fast car charger for your needs depends on the devices you own.

Fortunately, a few models (like our pick, the Anker PowerDrive Speed 2) combine different standards to give you a better chance of charging whatever device you’re using at high speed.

The charger can put out up to 39W of power from its two USB-A ports, using either Qualcomm QuickCharge 3.0 or Anker’s own PowerIQ. There are a few devices out there that won’t fast-charge using either standard, but even those will still charge at normal speed.

As with all Anker gear, you’ll get an 18-month warranty and easy replacement if something goes wrong. Note that if you need to charge a USB C device in your vehicle, you may want to look at UGreen’s 30W PD charger (below) instead: if your device supports Power Delivery, you’ll get even faster charging with that model.

Pros
  • Fast charging from both ports simultaneously
  • QC 3.0 support
Cons
  • No Power Delivery support
Buy on Amazon

Best for Fast Charging: UGreen 30W USB C PD Car Charger

UGREEN USB C Car Charger, PD 30W & QC 30W 2-Port Fast Charging C Type Car Charger with 60W USB C to USB C Cable Compatible with iPhone 14/13/12/11, iPad Mini/Air, Samsung Galaxy S22 S21, Google Pixel

While it’s easy enough to charge a USB C phone from any old USB port as long as you've got the right cable, there are definite advantages to having a proper USB C car charger like this UGreen 30W model.

The 30W maximum output of the USB C port is more than you’ll get from most other car chargers, and means you can recharge smartphones, tablets, and even some laptops at full speed. There’s a USB-A port that can also put out up to 30W, ideal for powering older devices.

If you have two things plugged in at once, you’ll get a maximum of 24W from each port. That’s still enough to charge most mobile devices at full speed, at least if they’re not a laptop.

I used this particular car charger for a few weeks, and took the time to confirm the output with an electrical tester. Sure enough, I got close to 30W when charging my laptop from the USB C port, and up to 20W when charging my phone, along with the coveted “charging rapidly” message.

Ugreen includes a high-quality braided USB C to USB C cable in the box, an unusual but welcome move. It’s a sensible length, long enough to get from the charger to a vent or windscreen mount on most vehicles, without having too much excess length flapping around.

The inclusion of that cable helps make this charger a good value option for a wide range of fast-charging needs. For that reason, it’s our top USB C car charger pick right now. Note that if you’re looking to connect your iPhone to this charger, it’s easy to do: just pick up a high-quality USB C to Lightning cable if you don’t already have a spare one lying around.

Pros
  • Supports USB C Power Delivery
  • Both ports can put out up to 30W of power
  • Fast charging for phones, tablets, and even some laptops
Cons
  • Maximum output drops a little when both ports are in use
Buy on Amazon

Best for Big Groups: Aikenuo 6 Port Car Adapter

Multi Ports USB Car Charger, 96W 6 Port QC3.0 Fast Car Charger Adapter Multiple Ports, with Four Quick Charge 3.0 Port, 12V-24V Multi Device Cigarette Lighter for Smart Phone & Tablets Charging

It’s easy to find car chargers with one or two USB ports. With a bit more effort, it’s not hard to find them with three or four ports either. When you’re traveling with a whole bunch of gadgets, however, even four ports won’t be enough to keep everything charging at the same time.

That’s where this Aikenuo charger comes in, with its 96W output and six separate USB sockets. Four of those sockets are QC 3.0-compatible, so if your devices use that standard, you can fast-charge them all at up to 19.5W each. The other two sockets put out up to 2.4 amps (12W) each, which is still enough to quickly charge many phones.

The 40″ cable is long enough to extend the charger into the back seat, making it easier for several people to use it at once. Simple and well-priced, it’s worth picking up one of these before going to pick up your passengers.

Pros
  • Can fast charge several devices at once
  • Long cable extends to the back seat of most vehicles
  • QC 3.0 support
Cons
  • No Power Delivery support
Buy on Amazon

Best for Backseat Drivers: Joyroom 5-in-1 USB C Car Charger

USB C Car Charger, 72W Super Fast Car Charger 5 Multi Port Cigarette Lighter USB Adapter, PD3.0&PPS Double Type C Adapter, QC3.0 Car Cell Phone Charger Fast Charge for iPhone 14/13 Samsung Android

While some new vehicles are starting to come with USB sockets in the back, they’re still relatively rare. If yours doesn’t have them, or you want to guarantee you can keep the backseat drivers quiet in your rental car, take a look at the Joyroom 5-in-1.

There’s a USB C socket and a pair of USB-A sockets for use by the driver and passenger, and a small box with a single USB C and USB-A socket for the back. A five-foot cable runs between them, long enough for most cars, and the box can clip onto a seat pocket to keep it secure and out of the way.

There’s an impressive 72W of charging power available with this unit: 45W in the front, 27W in the back. That’s enough to fast-charge several mobile devices at once, as long as they support either USB C Power Delivery (PD) or QC 3.0. Most phones and tablets support one or the other.

You may even be able to slowly charge your laptop: the max 27W output from either of the USB C ports is enough to (eventually) charge some smaller laptops, at least if they’re turned off at the time. We’d have liked to see the full 45W available from the front USB C port, but alas, not to be.

All in all, it’s a versatile car charger that has a range of uses for everyone in the vehicle, at a very reasonable price. We can’t ask much more than that.

Pros
  • Power for people in both front and back seats
  • USB C and QC 3.0 support
  • Can fast-charge multiple phones and tablets at once
Cons
  • Cable may be a little short for very large vehicles
  • Not enough power to charge most laptops
Buy on Amazon

Multi-Purpose Car Chargers

Who said a car charger was only any good for topping up your phone or tablet?

These two chargers can do that and more, letting you jump-start a flat vehicle or power anything from a laptop to an air compressor.

Sale
Best Portable Jump Starter: HULKMAN Alpha85 Jump Starter
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 4.1 x 1.8 inches
  • Weight: 2.0 pounds
  • Ports: USB-A, USB C, 12v
  • Output: 2000amps, 12v DC, 19.5W USB-A, 18W USB C
  • Other features: Vehicle jump start, flashlight, QC 3.0, Power Delivery

Sale
Best for Charging Everything: BESTEK Car Inverter with Dual 110v and USB
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.1 x 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Ports: 2x 110v AC, 2x USB-A
  • Output: 300W AC total, 24W USB-A total
  • Other features: None

Best for Flat Batteries of All Kinds: HULKMAN Alpha85 Car Jump Starter and Power Bank

HULKMAN Alpha85 Smart Jump Starter 2000 Amp 20000mAh Car Starter for up to 8.5L Gas and 6L Diesel Engines with Boost Function for Totally Dead Battery 12V Lithium Portable Car Battery Booster Pack

Having a flat battery on your phone can be a big problem, but a flat battery in your car is an even bigger one. Even though it’s a different kind of “car charger” to others on this list, the HULKMAN Alpha85 combination power bank deserves a mention simply because it deals with both problems.

The 20000mAh capacity and 2000A max output mean the Alpha85 is rated to start anything with an engine up to 8.5 liters (gasoline) or 6.0 liters (diesel.) That covers all cars and pickup trucks, and it can turn them over up to 60 times on a single charge.

The device hooks onto the vehicle battery via a pair of detachable alligator clips, with a screen showing the battery voltage and alerting of any problems. From there, you simply wait for the “ready” prompt, turn the key or press the ignition switch, and all going well, you’re up and running in a few seconds.

Doubling as a power bank, there’s a USB-A QC 3.0 port, a USB C Power Delivery port (18W), and a 12v DC socket for car accessories like air compressors. An inbuilt 400 lumen flashlight has strobe, SOS, and standard beam modes.

Using the bundled 65W wall charger, you can fast-charge the Alpha85 from flat in 90 minutes, with enough juice for a single jump start in five minutes.

If you’re in the market for something slightly different, we’ve also put together several other recommendations for the best portable jump starters.

Pros
  • Can jump start almost any car or pickup
  • Has several other ports for powering other devices
  • Compact enough to keep in the glovebox
Cons
  • Can be difficult to contact support in the event of a problem
Buy on Amazon

Best for Charging Everything: BESTEK Car Inverter with Dual 110v and USB

BESTEK 300W Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V AC Car Inverter with 4.2A Dual USB Car Adapter (Red)

Being able to charge your phone and tablet is great, but what about all your other gear? If you’re looking for a car charger for your laptop or most other 110v equipment that usually needs a wall outlet, you’ll need an inverter to do it with.

This Bestek model does the job cheaply and well, sporting a pair of earthed 110v North American sockets that can handle anything up to 300W of continuous power, and 700W peak. This makes it the best car outlet adapter for most smaller appliances, including laptops.

There’s also a pair of USB sockets for charging smaller gadgets, each one rated up to 2.4 amps (12w). If your device needs more power than that to fast-charge, you can just plug its wall charger into one of the 110v outlets instead.

Relatively light and compact for what it offers, it’s a useful addition for anyone whose road trip power needs extend well beyond their smartphone.

Pros
  • Lets you run many types of small mains-powered devices in your car
  • Can also power two USB devices at once
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Not enough power to run larger appliances
Buy on Amazon

Wireless Car Chargers

Even though they can’t charge as fast as a good wired version, wireless car chargers are still very popular. A hands-free mount that also charges your phone is much more convenient than having to mess around with cables every time you get in or out of the vehicle.

Not all smartphones support the latest (or any) wireless charging standards, however, and some will struggle to keep up with power-hungry demands like navigation and music streaming.

Check the specifications of both phone and charger before purchase, since anything under 7.5 watts of power could be a problem. All of the chargers below put out at least 10W.

Sale
Best for Vent Mounting: JoyRoom Wireless Dual-Coil Air Vent Mount
  • Type: Vent
  • Max output: 15W
  • Supported standards: Qi
  • USB car charger included? No

Sale
Best for Windscreen or Dashboard Mounting: iOttie Auto Sense Wireless Car Charger
  • Type: Dash or windscreen (other options available)
  • Max output: 10W
  • Supported standards: Qi
  • USB car charger included? No

Sale
Best for Fast Charging: ZeeHoo 15W Wireless Car Charger
  • Type: Vent, dash, or windscreen
  • Max output: 15W
  • Supported standards: Qi
  • USB car charger included? No

Best for Vent Mounting: JoyRoom Wireless Dual-Coil Air Vent Mount

Wireless Car Charger, JOYROOM Dual Coil Wireless Charging Car Mount, Auto-Clamping Air Vent Charger Holder for iPhone 14 Plus/14 Pro Max/13 Pro Max/12 Pro/12 Mini, Galaxy Z Flip4/3 S22 S21+ Note 20

As the name suggests, the JoyRoom dual-coil vent mount has two wireless charging points instead of the single coil found on most other models, making it compatible with a wider range of phone sizes and models.

With any wireless charger, aligning the coils on both phone and charger is important. If they’re too far apart, you’ll get slower or unreliable charging, or none at all. As well as the dual coils, there’s also an adjustable foot on the bottom of the charger that you can slide it down to accommodate larger phones.

This Qi-compatible model lets you charge at up to 15W of power if your phone can handle it, although like most cheaper models, you’ll need to provide your own USB charger that can output at least that amount. The Ugreen model mentioned above is a good example.

The mount attaches firmly to the vent via the use of an innovative hook design, where you turn a knob to lock the rear section of the charger in place inside the vent. The front section then attaches via a swivel nut that can be rotated through 360 degrees.

A handy LED light outlines the charger when you first unlock or turn on the car, letting you easily locate it in the dark. The light shuts off again after a few seconds, a feature that I wish more manufacturers would include!

As with many similar mounts, the sides automatically clamp together when you sit your phone on the charger, and unlock with a single button push even if you’ve turned the car off by then.

The main limitation of the JoyRoom is only being able to mount it on your vehicle’s air vents. Most standard horizontal or vertical vent designs will work fine, but retracted or curved designs may not. If you’d prefer a wireless dashboard or windscreen mount instead, check out the iOttie version below.

Pros
  • Attaches firmly and locks in place
  • Auto-clamping
  • Dual coils
  • Can be rotated through 360 degrees
  • Up to 15W wireless charging
Cons
  • Vent-mounted only
Buy on Amazon

Best for Windscreen or Dashboard Mounting: iOttie Auto Sense Wireless Car Charger

iOttie Wireless Car Charger Auto Sense Qi Charging Automatic Clamping Dashboard Phone Mount for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Huawei, LG, Smartphones

If the vent design or position in your vehicle makes it difficult to mount a wireless charger on them, put it on the windscreen or dashboard instead. This iOttie model attaches easily to a wide range of flat or slightly curved surfaces, thanks to the combination of a dashboard pad and sticky suction cup.

If you’re attaching the mount to your windscreen, it’s easy to attach and detach as needed, with a quick wash of the suction cup restoring the sticky surface if it gets dirty The dashboard pad is a one-time thing, however: once attached, it isn’t designed to be moved around.

The company also makes a vent-mounted version, along with one that sits in your cup holder, if the windscreen/dashboard model doesn’t work for you.

This Qi wireless car charger can output up to 10W of power to Android devices, and 7.5W to iPhones. It comes with an appropriate USB charger to plug into the vehicle accessory port, and a micro-USB cable to connect the two. You can also use the USB charger by itself, if you need to power a device that doesn’t support wireless charging.

As the name suggests, the iOttie Auto Sense detects when you hold your phone close to it, and automatically clamps onto the sides to hold it steady and start charging. When you get to your destination, you can retrieve your phone with a quick tap of one of the release buttons on the side.

The charger’s “foot” helps keep the phone steady, and can be adjusted into one of three positions to suit the size of your device. A telescopic arm pivots through 225 degrees and extends roughly 3.5 inches, so you shouldn’t have any trouble keeping your phone easily viewable no matter what kind of vehicle you drive.

This is a premium wireless car charger that’s made to last, and the price reflects that to some extent. If you’re happy to pay a bit more for quality, though, this is the one to get.

Pros
  • Firm, stable holding
  • Up to 10W wireless charging
  • Closes automatically
  • Comes with USB car charger
Cons
  • Premium model comes at a premium price
  • Dashboard pad can’t be moved after installation
Buy on Amazon

Best for Fast Charging: ZeeHoo 15W Wireless Car Charger

[Upgraded Version] ZeeHoo Wireless Car Charger,15W Qi Fast Charging Auto-Clamping Car Mount,Windshield Dash Air Vent Phone Holder for iPhone 14 13 12 Mini 11 Pro Max,Samsung S22 S21,etc.(Black)

The Qi wireless standard supports up to 15W of power output, but most smartphones don’t try to hit that limit. Qi wireless charging on the latest iPhones maxes out at 7.5W, while earlier models and many other types of phone are limited to 5W or less.

Still, if you have one of the few phones that supports 15W Qi charging, you’ll want a wireless charger that can provide that much power. This ZeeHoo model does exactly that, and can be mounted on the air vent, dash, or windscreen for maximum flexibility.

The stand is highly adjustable, letting you change the length via the telescoping pole or move the bottom section of the mounting tray to accommodate phones of all sizes. The tray also fully rotates, letting you switch quickly between portrait and landscape mode.

The charger will auto-detect how much power the phone can handle, and charge it at the maximum available speed. Like the iOttie above, the clamp automatically closes when a phone is placed inside it, and releases at the tap of a button on the side.

It doesn’t ship with a cigarette lighter to USB adapter, so if you don’t already have one that can output at 15W, you’ll need to pick up something like this as well.

Pros
  • Up to 15W wireless charging
  • Automatic closing
  • Can be mounted on the air vent, windscreen, or dash
Cons
  • No USB car charger included
Buy on Amazon

Title image via Skitterphoto, other images via Amazon

About the Author
Dave Dean

Dave Dean

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Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a traveler for 25 years, and a geek for even longer. When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken-down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.

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