The best car dryers for quickly drying paintwork

Drying a car has now gone high-tech.

The best car dryers

by Ryan Gilmore |
Updated on

The hardest (and most irritating) part of washing a car has long been the drying process. From the dark ages of chamois that left swirl marks galore on paintwork came the improved microfibre drying towels that work far better but were susceptible to leaving water spots and still needed to be washed after each clean. The latest and best option available is the car dryer, a big hair dryer for blowing the water safely and cleanly off your car.

As water spots are a visual blemish on otherwise clean paintwork, it makes sense to try and avoid them at all costs. Full-size specialist car dryers will use warm, filtered air but are rather specialist tools and probably best left to professional detailers as they also cost a decent wedge of cash. Instead, we’ve found some genuinely useful gadgets that can double as car dryers to save you drying time while washing your car.

The best car dryers

Best budget car dryer

Boasting a 1600W motor and two air speed and heat settings, this more affordable car dryer would make an excellent addition thanks to its small size and very generous five-metre hose. Made from ABS plastic with heat-proof grips, it won't have the quality feel of the other metal-bodied examples here, but it will prove to be tough.

The kit includes two nozzles; one wide and a crevice tool for smaller areas including door jambs. It also sports a wheeled mount to aid portability, and a washable air filter.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Powerful enough to dry a car

Cons

  • Nozzle design could be improved

Best car dryer for small areas

MetroVac is an American company that specialises in both car dryers and beefy vacuum cleaners. The Blaster Sidekick is a small, purpose-built car dryer designed for drying grilles, door seams and other smaller, awkward locations. Being American it's made of steel, has a name more suited to a jet fighter and boasts a 1.3 hp motor capable of blowing 14,460 litres of warm, filtered air per minute.

The two nozzles are made from rubber so there’s no chance of scratching the paintwork while the three-and-a-half metre power cord will ensure that it reaches all corners of a car. Most importantly from a US product, it’s designed to fit a UK power socket. It’s a real time saver and perfect for those areas a traditional drying towel struggles to fit even if it's not big enough for drying an entire car.

Pros

  • Great for small nooks
  • Solid construction

Cons

  • Not powerful enough for a whole car

Best car dryer for quality

The BigBoi is a big unit of a car dryer and is priced accordingly, but can quite easily be used in a professional environment and represents the ultimate way to dry a car. The key feature of the BigBoi is BigBoi Temperature Technology, a feature that locks the air temperature at 20°C above the ambient temperature to get optimal drying.

Beyond that, the BigBoi features a raft of excellent features to get your car dry quickly. It features two low-noise motors with a 4.1 hp output and can blow 59,200 ft/min, exceptional performance. It features a number of nice design touches too, the attachments are neoprene to stop scratches and the nine-metre air hose is very flexible. It is very expensive, but if you're wanting to treat your car, it's the best car dryer you can get.

Pros

  • The ultimate way to dry a car
  • Exceptional build quality

Cons

  • Very expensive

Best car dryer alternative

On sale

Draper 90107 230V 1250W 15L Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Price: £54.18 was £65.99

A good wet and dry vacuum cleaner is essential for properly cleaning a garage, and finding one with a built-in blower function will mean you can use it for drying your car. This makes a vacuum like this Draper such a clever idea for car care, the interior will obviously benefit from the vacuuming function while the exterior can be blown dry with the same compact device.

This entry-level wet and dry vacuum cleaner from Draper features more than just a blower function, making it the perfect choice for a car dryer. For a start, it comes with a power 1250 Watt motor which makes the suction really impressive. It also comes with a 15-litre storage area and a raft of attachments including a crevice tool, floor tool and round brush.

Pros

  • Can be used for drying nooks
  • Also works as a good wet and dry vacuum cleaner

Cons

  • Not the most effective car dryer

Ryan Gilmore is the Deputy Autos and Tools Editor for CAR, specialising in car cleaning and hand tools. With an MA in Automotive Journalism, when he's not testing buckets he can be found looking at old Porsches.

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