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 with a budget car battery charger. This will improve your battery life and avoid replacements that could be costly. 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.
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.
Best budget car battery charger under £50 at a glance:
Editor's choice: Ring Automotive RSC808 - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best budget charger: Sakura Car Battery Charger - Buy now from Amazon UK
Best compact charger: Draper battery charger - Buy now from Amazon UK
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 solar chargers here.
The best budget car battery charger
The RSC808 from Ring Automotive is a great all-rounder, delivering 12 or 24 volts, making it
- Reliable and trusted brand
- Compact size
- Easy to use
- The instructions could be clearer
Best value charger
This small but mighty battery charger could be precisely what you need if you have a flat battery;
- Compact size
- Not that robust
Best compact charger
This smart battery charger from Draper delivers a charging rate of 4A for 6V and 12V batteries.
- Charges and maintains
- Big engine capacity
- Standard wet/lead acid batteries only
Again, if you're leaving your car for a period of time and you want to make sure it's in perfect
- Easy to use
- Low price
- respected brand
- Will take overnight to charge a battery from dead
The Streetwize Automatic Battery Charger is something a bit more robust that'll charge your car's
- Easy to use
- Standard and trickle charge
- Suitable for cars, vans, caravans/motorhomes, motorcycles & lawnmowers.
- Standard LEad-acid batteries only
What should I look for in a budget car battery charger?
When looking for a budget car battery charger, you should consider several factors to make sure that you get a reliable and effective charger without breaking the bank. Here are some key features and factors to consider:
Amperage Rating: The amperage rating of a charger determines how quickly it can charge your battery. For most car batteries, a charger with a 2-10 amp range should suffice. Higher amperage chargers can charge your battery faster.
Voltage Compatibility: Ensure that the charger is compatible with your vehicle's battery voltage, which is typically 12 volts for most cars. Some larger vehicles may have 24-volt systems, so make sure the charger matches your needs.
Battery Type: Consider the type of batteries the charger can handle. Many chargers can work with various battery types, including lead-acid, AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat), gel cell, and deep-cycle batteries. Make sure it's suitable for your specific battery type.
Charging Modes: Look for chargers with multiple charging modes, such as maintenance, trickle, and fast charge. These modes provide flexibility for different charging needs, from maintaining a battery to quickly charging it. If your car has stop/start technology, it's worth considering this in your choice of charger.
Safety Features: Safety should be a top priority. Look for features like overcharge protection, short-circuit protection, and reverse polarity protection. These features help prevent accidents and damage to your vehicle and the charger.
Remember that the best charger for you depends on your specific needs and the type of vehicle you have. It's important to read the charger's manual and follow safety instructions to ensure proper and safe use.
Myles Warwood is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, Parkers and CAR. His areas of expertise include cycling, fitness tech and hot hatches.