The best budget car vacuum cleaners

Keep your car clean and tidy with a budget vacuum cleaner.

best budget car vacuum cleaners

by Alex Boyd |
Updated on

Budget car vacuum cleaners might not have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive model, but it can still be an effective way to keep your carpets and upholstery tidy and prevent the need for a major clear-out. The great thing about car vacuums is that they are usually small and compact, so they are ideal for storing in the boot for ease of access when needed.

With the best will in the world, it’s nigh on impossible to keep dirt and dust from getting into your car, not to mention the crumbs from that lunchtime snack you grabbed on the go or the dried mud from the kids’ shoes. A quick once-over with the vacuum can keep the need for that deep clean at bay for another few weeks.

Best budget car vacuum cleaners at a glance

Editor's Choice: ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner - Buy now from Amazon UK

Best Budget Vacuum Cleaner for Flexibility: Black & Decker PD1200 - Buy now on Amazon UK

Best Budget Vacuum Cleaner for Wet and Dry: Vax Gator - Buy now from Argos

Best Budget Vacuum Cleaner for Price: Black & Decker NVB12 - Buy now from Amazon UK

We’ve put together a selection of worthy contenders for you to choose from. You might want to consider whether you would prefer a cordless handheld vacuum or if you need accessories to help access those difficult to get to places. Plus, having a secondary vacuum to hand for those smaller tasks around the house is never a bad idea. So, let’s have a look at what’s available.

Best budget car vacuum cleaners

Editor's choice

ThisWorx Car Vacuum Cleaner
Price: $34.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$37.99View offer

With a lightweight and ergonomic design, the ThisWorx car vacuum has a good mix of tools and a 5m cord to get you into all those difficult-to-access areas. It’s compact enough to be easily stored in the boot, and the washable HEPA filter helps reduce the number of allergens thrown back into the air. The handy storage bag keeps everything tidy and ensures you have a place for all the accessories, which include a brush nozzle, a flat head and a nozzle extension.


  • Lightweight
  • Comes with a storage case


  • Not so good with larger pieces of debris

The best budget wet and dry vacuum cleaner

The Vax Gator is ideal for giving your carpets and seats a once over, and it’s not scared to tackle the odd liquid spill as well. The crevice tool is built in, so you don’t need to worry about losing it, and a full charge will give you a run time of around 15 minutes. The Gator has a 0.3-litre capacity bagless dust container, which is easily emptied at the press of a button, and the motor is really quite quiet when in use.


  • Cordless
  • Easy to empty


  • Long charging time

The best budget vacuum for flexibility

This Black & Decker model is probably at the top end of what might be considered a budget buy for a car vacuum, and it’s slightly bulkier than some of the other models, but it’s still worth considering. The five-metre power cable plugs into your car’s 12v supply giving you plenty of manoeuvrability. This model comes with a flexible suction hose and additional tools to give easy access to those difficult-to-reach areas. The contemporary design makes this one stand out from the crowd.


  • Flexible hose
  • Long power cord


  • Slightly bulky

The best budget vacuum for run time

The Tower Handheld will rise to both wet and dry challenges and will give you a whopping 25 minutes runtime from a three-hour full charge. It comes complete with a charger and a charging stand which can be wall or surface mounted to keep things nice and neat. A crevice nozzle and brush attachment are included in the package so that those awkward areas will get attention too.


  • Long run time
  • Suitable for wet and dry cleaning


  • Not so good on ground-in dirt

The best budget vacuum for value

Here’s the second entry on the list from Black and Decker. The NVB 12AV has been specifically designed for car, caravan and motorhome use. It’s powered by the car cigarette lighter and has a 5m long power cord to allow you to get all around your vehicle. The clear dust container has a large capacity meaning fewer trips to empty it and more time spent cleaning your car. It is compact and lightweight and easily stored in the boot, ready for use when needed.


  • Large bin
  • Ergonomic design


  • Can struggle with pet hair

Budget Car Vacuum cleaners FAQs

Why should I bother with a car vacuum?

A good question! Yes, you could just run an extension lead from your house and use the family vacuum cleaner or rock up at your local garage, where most have a vacuuming facility. But that’s a bit of a hassle, isn’t it? The budget car vacuum cleaners we’ve included are compact enough to be stored in the car and ready for use when needed. A quick once-over when you have a spare couple of minutes can prevent a build-up of dirt and debris and keep things looking tidy and smart. And they are so easy to use.

What features should I look for?

You should consider the size of the vacuum and whether it will fit in a suitable space in your vehicle. You might want to think about the accessories that are supplied with it, for example, crevice nozzles and brush attachments. Also, would you prefer it to run from your car’s power source via a cord, or would you prefer the freedom of a rechargeable cordless machine?

Can I use a car vacuum in other areas?

Of course. Just be aware that you will never get the kind of performance from a 12v operated car vacuum that you would from a 240v mains powered machine. But they are great for things like workbenches, desks and cleaning computer keyboards.

Alex Boyd is a Commercial Content Writer at CAR and Parkers and loves travel, gardening, DIY and music.

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