The best budget car battery chargers under £50

Keep your cars battery properly maintained when storing or overwintering.


by Myles Warwood |

If you’ve got your car in storage or sitting idle on the drive, you’ll want to keep the battery drip-fed pulses of electricity to be as they should. This will improve your battery life and avoid replacements that could be costly.

What can a battery charger do?

A lot of battery chargers will have the ability to diagnose any suspected problem. Some can even solve issues in your battery to help you extend its life.

What to consider when buying a battery charger?

When purchasing a battery charger, your engine size and your battery size are things to consider. What is your battery made of, and how does it work? They’re not all the same, so do some research into whether the battery charger you’re purchasing is compatible with your car.

If your car is an automatic start/stop, the battery will differ from a car that isn’t a stop/start. You will need a charger specific to your battery.

You can read about the best car batteries in our expert guide here.

Can you charge your car battery for free?

If you're looking to really maximise your budget, you could always harness the power of the sun. Solar car chargers are increasingly popular - read about the best here.

The best car battery chargers

The GENIUS1 is small and powerful, and it's simple to use. It's designed for six-volt and 12-volt lead-acid automotive, marine, and deep-cycle batteries, including flooded, gel, AGM, and maintenance-free, plus lithium-ion batteries.

It can charge dead batteries that sit as low as one volt. There's also a Force Mode that allows you to take control and manually begin charging dead batteries down to zero volts. An integrated thermal sensor detects the ambient temperature and alters the charge to eliminate over-charging in hot climates and under-charging in cold climates.

Pros:

• Reliable and trusted brand
• Small and easy to use

Cons:

• More expensive units offer more features - read about them here

This small but mighty battery charger could be precisely what you need if you have a flat battery; sometimes, we all get caught short if we have left lights, radios, or other in-car electrical equipment on or if the alternator is failing to charge the battery.


The Sakura 8 Amp 12 V Car Battery Charger is for vehicles up to 2.5L / 2500CC with lead-acid batteries with 15 Ah To 120 Ah.

Pros:

• Small and affordable

Cons:

• Not that robust

Charge, maintain and repair your vehicle’s battery with this 6A smart charger with a multi-stage charging cycle and one-touch button functionality.

Halfords 6A Smart Charger and battery maintainer for 12-volt vehicles, including motorbikes and smaller cars. A one-touch button operation provides seven-stage charging cycle for Lithium batteries and a nine-stage process for Lead Acid/AGM batteries. Connect and be sure that the car battery will be fully charged and automatically adjusts to long-term maintenance mode when the battery is full.

Pros:

• Simple and intelligent
• Affordable

Cons:

• May struggle with flat and very low batteries

The Halfords Automatic Battery Charger recharges and protects batteries in 12-volt vehicles up to 2.0L. Suitable for lead-acid and gel batteries.

This unit charges a battery in around 15 hours (based on a 60Ah battery). It is ideal for medium cars, lawnmowers and leisure batteries and comes complete with fully-insulated battery clamps. The LED indicators show when the unit is still charging when the charge cycle is entire and alerts you if the clamps are attached to the incorrect poles on the battery.

The charger automatically switches to a lower charge rate once it detects that the vehicle or leisure battery is full. This protects the battery from overcharging, leading to damage, and keeps the battery full.

Not suitable for vehicles with START/STOP technology or long-term connection.

Pros:

• Automatic
• Good for medium cars

Cons:

• Feature set is more reliable and robust on more expensive units

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