Looking for a vacuum cleaner that makes cleaning your car quicker and less stressful? After many hours of research, here’s our list of the 7 best UK car vacuum cleaners of 2023.
Top Pick: Karcher WD 3
Our top pick for a car vacuum cleaner is the excellent Karcher WD3. It’s a corded wet and dry vac that provides strong suction power and a huge dirt capacity.
It also has a flexible hose and is cheaper than most cordless vacuums. Most importantly, it’s effective at removing stubborn dirt and great for car cleaning.
Cleaning a car interior will never be fun, but a poor-quality vacuum can make the process unbearable. If you’ve ever struggled getting a heavy upright to your car, cursed as you ran out of cord, or given up getting dirt out of footwells due to poor suction…you know exactly what we mean.
Fortunately, there are some excellent vacuums for cars on the market at the moment. The best car vacuum cleaners provide strong suction, are convenient to use, and can get into the tightest cracks in your vehicle.
Most importantly, they make it quick and easy to get rid of mud, dirt and hair from your car – with minimum stress.
In this article, we’ll take you through our list of the best car vacuums of 2023. We’ve found each of these models to be great for cleaning cars and also provide excellent value for money.
- Our Selection Process
- Which Are The Best Car Vacuums of 2023?
- What to Look for in a Car Vacuum Cleaner
- Our Picks for Specific Tasks
- Page Update History
Our Selection Process
As a general guide, we look for a car vacuum cleaner that provides strong suction, a manoeuvrable design suited for small spaces, and value for money. If it’s a cordless, it needs to have at least 25 minutes run-time on normal power mode or 10 minutes run-time for handheld models (preferably longer). Other non-essential but desirable features include a range of tools and accessories, extension hose, and lightweight design.
We don’t equate “handheld” with “good for cars.” Not all handheld models are suitable for the tough car environment. A good example is the Black + Decker Dustbuster, which made our list of the best handhelds but doesn’t have the suction power for cleaning cars.
For this reason, the list contains a mixture of handheld, cordless and cylinder vacuums. We haven’t included any uprights, as they are often awkward to use in a car.
Which Are The Best Car Vacuums of 2023?
We’ve included models for a range of budgets, features and strengths, so whether you need a cheap handheld for quick cleans or a powerful cordless for getting rid of pet hair, we’ve got you covered!
Karcher WD 3
Black+Decker DustBuster PD1420LP
Miele Complete C3 Comfort
Black+Decker Pivot PV1820LGB
Dyson V10 Absolute
Worx WX030 Cube Vac
Gtech Multi Mk2
|Type||Wet & Dry||Handheld||Cylinder||Handheld||Cordless||Handheld||Handheld|
|Dust Capacity (L)||17||0.56||4.5||0.44||0.77||0.2||0.4|
|Overall Rating |
View Rating Breakdown
|Ease of Use|
Type: Wet & Dry | Bag Type: Bagged | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 17 litres | Weight: 4.5kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: No
- Powerful suction that can handle almost any job
- Large capacity
- Great when you need to deep clean your car interior
- Relatively bulky
- Short power cord (so you'll need an extension lead)
- Need to pay more for the suction brush set
The Karcher WD 3 is a powerful wet and dry vacuum that we think is brilliant for cleaning car interiors. It’s not as convenient as a handheld car vacuum, but the 1000W motor and ability to tackle wet and dry spills make it far more effective for a deep clean.
Let’s start with the main drawbacks of this corded car vacuum though. The WD3 is a bulky vacuum cleaner compared to slim cordless models. It also has a relatively short 4m power cord, so you’ll need a long extension lead to clean your car.
As you’ve probably guessed by its place on this list, we still think it’s the best car vacuum on the market though.
We found the WD3’s corded design can generate enough power to deep clean everything from your car boot to floor mats. While handheld vacuums are great for quick cleans, they can’t match the WD3 for vacuuming your car. As it’s a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, the Karcher is also not limited by the EU’s rules on motor power, which is why it has such a powerful 1000W motor.
A useful bonus is the Karcher’s blower function. This makes it easy to blow out spilt food or other debris that’s fallen under car seats. The Karcher also has a large 17 litre dirt capacity, so you won’t need to empty it during your cleaning session.
The result is a versatile wet and dry vacuum that can handle almost anything you need to clean in your car. We found it performed well when cleaning dirt and dust inside the car, plus the wet function is useful if there’s been a spillage. The crevice tool is also perfect for getting into tight spaces within the car, while the hose makes it more convenient for awkward locations than cordless vacuums with a rigid stick.
One downside is that the basic WD3 only comes with a floorhead and crevice tool. We recommend spending a bit more to get the additional suction brush set, which includes dusting brushes that are suitable for cleaning dashboards and other delicate areas. It’s also worth keeping in mind that it’s a bagged vacuum cleaner, so you’ll need to spend some money on replacement bags.
With that said, if you’re looking for a corded car vacuum cleaner that’s powerful enough to deep clean your car, then the Karcher WD 3 is our top pick. We think it’s a versatile model with a flexible hose, crevice tool, huge capacity, and excellent suction power, making it perfect for car interiors. It’s not the most convenient choice for quick spot cleaning, but for removing stubborn dirt from floor mats or car boots, it’s hard to beat in this price range.
2. Black + Decker PD1420LP Flexi Vac
Type: Handheld | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £ | Dust Capacity: 0.56 litres | Weight: 1.42kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No
- Flexible integrated hose for hard to reach areas
- Non-motorised pet hair attachment
- Variety of accessories
- Suction isn't strong enough for the most stubborn dirt
- No motorised pet hair tool
The Black + Decker Flexi Vac is a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner that’s designed for awkward jobs – including cleaning car interiors. Unlike many other handheld models, the Flex Vac comes with a 1.5 metre integrated hose. We found this makes it much more convenient for reaching tricky areas in your car and is one of the main reasons it’s made this list.
During our testing, the Black+Decker performed well on hard floors and when picking up loose debris. This makes it a great choice for giving car seats a quick clean (or the dashboard with the soft brush tool), but it doesn’t have enough suction power for removing stubborn dirt or hair ground into footwell mats. For that, you’ll need a full-size vacuum rather than a handheld.
Inside, the vacuum cleaner has a 14.4V lithium-ion battery. This charges quickly and is able to provide full performance for the entire run-time of 12.5 minutes. While this run-time is relatively short, we found it enough for a quick interior clean – and you wouldn’t be using this handheld vacuum for a deep clean anyway.
Accessories are important for a car vacuum cleaner, which is why the model comes with a combination tool (brush and hard tool), crevice tool, and a non-motorised pet attachment. These can all be attached to the hose, which is useful for cleaning inside a car. Accessories can also be stored on the docking station to make sure they don’t get lost. We wish it had a motorised pet tool though!
Other features of the Flexi Vac include a transparent dust container that’s easy to empty, triple filtration system, docking station and charging light. However, we did find the vacuum difficult to empty without spilling dirt and dust, so we recommend emptying it into an outdoor bin.
The Black + Decker PD1420LP Flexi Vax is a convenient vacuum cleaner for cars. It’s not as powerful as the now discontinued Dyson V7 Trigger, but the attachments, hose and design make it easy to get into crevices, clean glove compartments, and vacuum up loose dirt. Just don’t expect it to generate enough suction to give your car a deep clean.
Full Review: Black + Decker Flexi Vac
Type: Cylinder | Bag Type: Bagged | Price Range: £££ | Dust Capacity: 4.5 litres | Weight: 7.3kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: No
- Excellent suction power and dirt pick up
- On-board tools
- Large capacity
- Not as convenient as a cordless for car interiors
- No pet tool
The Miele Complete C3 Comfort PowerLine (and the previous Miele Complete C3 Pure Red PowerLine) is one of the best vacuums we’ve ever reviewed. While it’s clearly not as manoeuvrable as a cordless model, it’s powerful and highly versatile. This makes it a great option if you want a corded and bagged cleaner for your car.
In terms of suction power, we found that it’s hard to beat the Complete C3 series. The 890W motor generates plenty of suction, making it a powerful car vacuum that’s capable of tackling almost any task.
The Miele has a 12-metre cleaning radius, which should be enough for cleaning most cars (although this depends on how close to your house the car is kept). It also has a large 4.5 litre capacity, which is significantly bigger than most of the other models on this list. If you have a large car that’s often filled with dirt, hair and mud, then we think the C3 Comfort could be one of the best options.
Other features include an impressive filtration system, a universal floorhead and an adjustable working height. The machine also comes with several on-board tools – a dusting brush, upholstery nozzle and crevice nozzle. We found that these are great for getting into all the tricky areas of your car, such as down the sides of seats, around the gear stick and in glove compartments. It also has a button for fast cable rewind once you’re finished.
In summary, we think the Miele Complete C3 Comfort PowerLine is a fantastic vacuum cleaner. It’s powerful, packed with useful features and available for a very reasonable price. If you’re looking for a plug-in vacuum for both your home and car, it’s an excellent option – although it’s probably not as convenient as some of the cordless or handheld models on this list.
4. Black + Decker PV1820LGB Lithium Pivot
Type: Handheld | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £ | Dust Capacity: 0.44 litres | Weight: 1.38kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: No
- Innovative pivot design
- Strong suction power for a handheld
- Extendable nose
- Bulky for a handheld
- Pivoting design isn't as convenient as a flexible hose
- Not great for pet hair
The Black + Decker PV1820LGB Compact Pivot is one of our top recommendations for a handheld vacuum. It’s not the most convenient vacuum for cars, as it doesn’t come with a flexible hose and is too bulky for getting deep under car seats, but its pivot design and powerful suction mean we feel it still deserves a place on this list.
Let’s start with the design, as this is what really makes this vacuum stand out. Black + Decker has fitted the PV1820LGB with a pivoting nozzle. This can move through 200 degrees, making it much easier to get into awkward crevices. The nose is also extendable for when you need extra length. While we found the design isn’t great for cleaning under seats or in glove compartments, it’s a big improvement on a fixed handheld design.
There are several versions of the Lithium Pivot, but the most powerful comes with an 18V battery. When testing this vacuum, we were impressed by its suction strength and all-round cleaning performance. It’s great for picking up dirt and larger debris, while the flip-down brush is useful for more delicate surfaces. The only task that makes this vacuum really struggle is pet hair, so we don’t recommend it if you have a dog or cat.
The biggest downside to this model is that it’s quite bulky. It’s perfect for giving the visible parts of your car interior a quick clean, but it’s too big to fit into tight spots. The run-time may also be an issue for some people, as 10-minutes is too short for giving a car a thorough clean.
Even so, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap handheld vacuum cleaner that’s great for cleaning both homes and cars, we think the PV1820L is a good option. For pure car cleaning there are better handheld options on this list, but this is an excellent all-rounder that’s available for a much lower price than many alternatives.
Full Review: Black + Decker Compact Pivot
5. Dyson V10 Absolute
Type: Cordless | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££££ | Dust Capacity: 0.77 litres | Weight: 2.6kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No
- One of the best cordless vacuums on the market
- Pet tool for removing more hair and dirt
- Up to 60 minutes battery life
- Rigid design makes it hard to clean under seats
The first full-size Dyson car vacuum on this list is the excellent V10 Absolute. The V10 series is one of our top-rated cordless vacuums – mainly because it’s such a powerful and versatile machine. It’s no surprise that it’s also an excellent car vacuum. The only real downside is the price!
During our testing, we found that the V10 provides excellent suction power and cleaning performance for a handheld. It can remove all loose pet hair, dirt, and other debris in the car, while being lightweight and simple to use.
The V10 can last up to 60 minutes on a single battery charge. However, this is only on the lowest power mode and without using a motorised tool. We found that the battery life is reduced significantly as you increase the power and add motorised tools, although it can still clean most car interiors without being recharged.
One of the best features of Dyson cordless vacuums is they can switch between handheld and stick modes, due to the removable stick. The handheld mode is just as powerful and is fantastic for footwells or car seats. We did find that the rigid design of the V10 series makes it less suitable for cleaning under seats though.
There’s no doubt in our minds that the Dyson V10 Absolute is one of the best cordless vacuums for cleaning your car in 2023. It’s powerful, lightweight, and the handheld mode allows you to go from a dirty car interior to spotless in quick time. The biggest drawback is the price – although it’s still much cheaper than the V11 and V15.
Type: Handheld | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 0.2 litres | Weight: 1.8kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: No
- Strong suction for the size
- Extendable hose that's great for cars
- Two suction speeds
- Small dust capacity so you'll need to empty it regularly
Worx isn’t the first company you think of for handheld vacuums – but we think the WX030 Cube Vac is one of the best for cleaning cars. It’s a unique model that we’ve found provides great value and excellent cleaning performance.
The vacuum comes with a 20V lithium-ion battery. This allows for up to 25 minutes of cleaning time on the lower power setting, which should be enough for all but the dirtiest vehicles. Like the other handheld and cordless models on this list, it has a small 0.2 litre capacity, so you’ll need to empty it after every use to maintain suction power.
Cleaning in cars can be a frustrating job as there are plenty of nooks and crannies, which is why we found it so useful that the WX030 comes with both an extendable hose and crevice tool. It also features an easy-to-empty design.
But we think the stand-out feature of this model is the strong suction power when on the full power setting. This reduces run-time by around 50%, but provides extra cleaning power for removing dog hair and stubborn dirt from car seats. The vac can’t match full-sized cylinder or uprights, but we think it’s one of the best handheld models in this regard.
In summary, the Worx WX030 is a great car vacuum that’s available for a very reasonable price. It has a 25-minute run-time and great suction, so you can go from a hairy and dirty car to a clean vehicle in rapid time. It’s also very reasonably priced considering the 20V battery and extendable hose.
Note: This model replaces the now unavailable Vax H85-GA-P18 Gator Pet, which was our previous pick for a car vacuum for pet hair. If you don’t need the extra power or pet tool, the cheaper Vax H85-GA-B10 also deserves an honourable mention.
7. Gtech Multi Mk2
Type: Handheld | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 0.4 litres | Weight: 1.6kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No
- Great performance when cleaning cars
- Lightweight and cordless
- Up to 20 minutes run-time
- Expensive for a handheld vacuum
If you want the convenience of a handheld and don’t mind a 20-minute run-time, then we think the Gtech Multi Mk2 is one of the best car vacuums available at the moment. It’s relatively expensive for a handheld, but has a powerful motor, bagless design, and a range of attachments for cleaning car interiors.
During our review, we found that the Gtech provides strong suction for a handheld. We also liked the powered brush, which is great for cleaning car seats and mats. The crevice tool and dusting brush also make it a versatile vac.
Another advantage is the lightweight design. If you’re going to be cleaning cars, caravans or vans regularly, the 1.5kg weight makes it a convenient choice. Other features include a LED headlight to light up dirt and a lithium-ion battery to prevent suction loss as the battery gets low.
There are some drawbacks though. The 22V battery can’t match the 30-minute run-time of the Dyson V7 Trigger – although 20-minutes should be enough for most cars. It also doesn’t have a flexible hose (although Gtech sells a separate car accessory kit with a flexible crevice tool), which we think is a shame considering it’s quite a pricey handheld. The long extension wand is great for indoor cleaning, but impractical in a car, so you need to rely on the short crevice tool for tight spaces.
We also don’t think it provides the same suction power as some of the other car vacuums on this list. It does a decent job for most car cleaning tasks, but may struggle with the most stubborn dirt. The shape can also be awkward to use in small cars – particularly if you’re using the powered brush.
So, while the Gtech Multi Mk2 isn’t the most powerful vacuum on this list, it’s a versatile choice that’s great for car interiors. The accessories help tackle crevices, dashboards, and under seats, while the lightweight design makes it a joy to use.
Note: This car vacuum replaces the Dyson V6 Car & Boat, which is no longer in production.
Full Review: Gtech Multi Mk2
What to Look for in a Car Vacuum Cleaner
Cars can get very dirty, which is why many vacuums aren’t up to the job. The best car vacuums should be versatile enough to clean every crack and crevice, while providing enough suction power to get rid of dirt, pet hair, or spilt food.
All the models in the above list excel at cleaning cars, but if you want more information about choosing here’s a breakdown of what to look for:
- Cordless or Corded Vacuum. Cordless vacuums can be very convenient for cleaning car interiors, as you don’t need to worry about extension leads or long cords. However, they often lack the suction of corded models and have small dust capacities. A lower-powered but convenient alternative is a 12V vacuum, which uses your car’s cigarette lighter.
- Suction Power. Cars quickly become full of dirt, grime, mud, hair and who-knows-what-else – so strong suction power is essential. Full-size vacuums nearly always have better cleaning power than a handheld vacuum, at the expense of convenience. Corded models have traditionally been more powerful than cordless, although the best modern cord-free vacuums now provide excellent suction.
- Battery Life. If you’ve decided to buy a cordless vacuum cleaner, it’s vital that it has enough battery life to clean your car without needing to be reconnected to a charger. Fortunately, this probably won’t be an issue for modern cordless vacuums, as they tend to have at least 25 minute run-time. Handheld vacuums are a different matter though, as some have very short run-times. While 10 minutes is the bare minimum, for larger cars you’ll probably want a run-time of 15 minutes or more. Lithium-ion batteries are also great, as they allow full suction for the duration of the run-time (read more about them here). For corded models, a long power cord can be handy.
- Pet Tool. A turbo tool makes removing pet hair from car seats much easier. If you have a dog, in particular, then look for a vacuum with a motorised pet tool. It’ll save you a lot of time!
- Tools and Attachments. Attachments are an important part of buying any vacuum, but they are especially important when buying a vacuum for a car. The best car cleaners have a range of accessories for getting around the gear stick, in footwells, under car seats, around the edge of your boot, and in glove compartments. You should at least have a crevice tool and dusting brush, but extension hoses and powered attachments are even better. Basic handhelds without tools, like the Black and Decker Dustbuster, often aren’t great options.
- Handheld or Full Size. This mainly comes down to budget and personal preference. A handheld cleaner is usually cheaper (although not always) and easier to get into tight spaces due to the compact size, while full-size vacuums are more expensive and less manoeuvrable. The main downsides to handhelds are that they can have a short battery life and may not be as powerful.
- Price. Car vacuums can range in price from £50 right up to £400+ for the most expensive consumer models. Spending more doesn’t always equal better performance, but in general you’ll get more features and stronger suction with models that cost more. You’ll also pay more for cordless vacuums than simple handhelds.
These are the most important factors when choosing the best car vacuum cleaner for your vehicle. Some non-car specific factors include the brand, warranty and how easy the machine is to empty. You should also take into account the capacity of a car vac, as a small capacity may mean you’ll need to empty the model several times during a single cleaning session. Smaller vacuums can be easier to store though.
Tip: If you’ve got your heart set on an upright vacuum, look for a long extension hose and a turbo tool. The Vax Air Stretch Pet range could be a good option, as it has a long hose that stretches to over 5 metres. The Shark Lift-Away NZ801UKT could be another good option (despite the shorter hose), as it has a lift-out canister. You’ll need to purchase Shark’s car cleaning kit separately though.
Our Picks for Specific Tasks
Best Car Cleaner for Pet Hair: Miele Complete C3 Comfort PowerLine
Pet hair can be particularly difficult to get out of car seats and footwells. If your dog loves to spread himself across your seats, or just sheds a lot in his car crate, it’s important to choose a vacuum with the suction power and tools to handle this.
While most of the models on our list cope well with hair, if you’re looking for a corded model for pet hair then the Miele Complete C3 Comfort is our #1 pick. This model has excellent suction and strong pet hair performance.
Best Cordless Car Vacuum Cleaner: Dyson V10 Absolute
If you’re looking for the best cordless vacuum for cleaning cars, then the V10 Absolute is our top recommendation. It’s powerful, lightweight and has a long 60-minute run-time. As we mentioned earlier in this article, the only downside is the price, although it’s still a lot cheaper than the Dyson V11 and V15 vacuum cleaners.
This model isn’t just for cars though. It’s one of the few cordless models that can reasonably claim to replace a full corded vacuum for home use. The cleaner head is also excellent for digging deep into carpets and removing as much dirt as possible.
Best Corded Car Vacuum: Miele Complete C3 Comfort PowerLine
If you’re happy to have a corded car vacuum, then the Miele Complete C3 Comfort PowerLine is probably the best choice. It’s one of our highest rated models so far, due to its excellent suction power and strong all-round performance. It also has a 12-metre cleaning radius.
When it comes to a corded handheld vacuum for cars, the obvious choice is the AEG AG71a – although unfortunately this is now a difficult model to find. It’s a lightweight handheld vacuum that provides unlimited run-time and strong suction. It’s also great for stairs.
Best Vacuum for Large Cars: Karcher WD 3 Wet & Dry
If you have a large car, or need to clean multiple cars at the same time, a cordless model might not be the best option. Handheld vacuums are also likely to fill up quickly. For these reasons, we recommend the Karcher WD 3 for this situation.
This is a corded bagged vacuum cleaner with powerful suction, so you can use it for as long as you need without worrying about battery life. It also has a huge capacity so you won’t need to empty it as frequently as handheld vacs.
We hope this article has helped you choose a new car vacuum cleaner. While a great vacuum won’t make cleaning your car interior enjoyable, it will at least make it a bit more bearable!
To summarise, the most important factors when choosing a vacuum for your car are suction power, ease of use (including size, manoeuvrability and battery life) and value for money. We believe each of the models featured on this list provides ample amounts of each of these factors – often along with plenty of tools, accessories and other features.
If you have any questions about choosing a car vacuum cleaner, or would like to provide feedback on one of the vacuums we’ve mentioned, please use the comment form below. Thanks!