The best corded vacuums for car cleaning

Corded vacuum cleaners are still the best type of vacuum. We recommend those best suited for car cleaning.

Karcher and Draper corded vacuum cleaners in front of brick wall

by Chris Williams |

In a recent corded versus cordless car vac experiment, we found that corded vacuums were superior in terms of price, robustness, power, and performance. It was a one-sided affair, like the Lancia Delta Group A rally car in WRC during the late eighties and early nineties.

In pursuing this line of champions, we’ve focused solely on corded vacuums and recommended our top five for car cleaning. This isn’t to say that these are vacuum cleaners that are only any good for car cleaning. Most of our favourites are wet and dry units that can be used in the garage, garden shed, and patio too.

How to properly vacuum your car

The best corded vacuum cleaners for car cleaning

Karcher WD 2 Plus

Editoru2019s pick
Karcher WD 2 Plus
Amazon

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The Karcher WD2 Plus was our corded-against-cordless test winner. While the power cord was a bit short, it made car vacuuming a cinch irrespective of how neglected that interior might be, thanks to 1000 Watts and a long 1.8-metre suction hose.

What we really liked about the WD 2 Plus is the single-piece cartridge filter. You don’t have to change it for wet or dry vacuuming. It's worth getting over the standard WD 2 because the Plus has a blower function, that one-piece cartridge filter, a rotary knob rather than switch, a carry handle, and accessory storage. The regular WD 2 does not have these features.

Despite being quite small, the WD 2 Plus still has 12 litres of capacity, so it stores away without taking up much room, yet can tackle all domestic tasks.

Pros Cons
• Uses single filter • Short power cord
• Powerful and robust • Hook for power cord isn’t great
• Long suction hose
• Compact yet decent capacity
• Has blower function
Specs
Weight 4.4kg
Dimensions 349 x 328 x 378mm
Bin capacity 12L
Power 1000W
Hose length 1.8m
Cord length 4m
Warranty 24 months
Attachments Floor tool, crevice tool

Draper 15L Wet And Dry Vacuum Cleaner

Best value
Draper 15L Wet And Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Amazon

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Draper offers lots of power and capacity with its wet and dry vacuum. When we tested it against the Karcher WD 2 Plus, it performed just as well but had a couple of niggles that let the Karcher edge ahead. It does require a cartridge filter change for wet vacuuming and the suction hose is a bit short (1.5 metres). Also, the build quality, though sound, isnu2019t quite on par with the Karcher.

But these are niggles and overall the Draper is an excellent vacuum, capable of dealing with car cleaning and other demanding domestic tasks.

Pros Cons
• Great value • Filter change needed for wet
• Powerful motor • Karcher and Charles more robust
• Compact
• Large capacity
• Has blower function
Specs
Weight 4.8kg
Dimensions 384 x 316 x 315mm
Bin capacity 15L
Power 1250W
Hose length 1.5m
Cord length 5m
Warranty 12 months
Attachments Floor brush, crevice tool, dual action floor brush

Henry CVC370-2 Charles

Best Henry for car cleaning
Henry CVC370-2 Charles
Amazon

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Charles is larger and heavier than the Karcher and Draper. Itu2019s also got much more reach, thanks to a 10-metre power cord and longer suction hose. We know Henry and family are very durable and robust machines and this domestic wet and dry Charles is in for the long haul.

Charles offers 15 litres of dry capacity but only nine of wet. It will be enough for most tasks but it’s something to bear in mind. In terms of power, you won’t be wanting. Charles has 1060W.

The push into triple figures for the asking price is noticeable and naturally begs the question of what you get for it. In addition to great performance and reliability, you also get a comprehensive accessory kit with a brace of floor tools for any flooring, crevice tool for tricky car interiors, and aluminium tubes rather than the plastic ones supplied with the Karcher and Draper models.

Pros Cons
• Long reach • Large and relatively heavy
• Powerful • 9-litre wet capacity
• Full accessory kit • No blower function
• Seriously robust
Specs
Weight 9kg
Dimensions 360 x 370 x 510mm
Bin capacity 15L dry/9L wet
Power 1060W
Hose length 2.4m
Cord length 10m
Warranty 24 months
Attachments 2 x floor tools, crevice tool, soft dusting brush, upholstery nozzle, slide-on brush for upholstery tool

Einhell TC-VC 1820 S

Best for large jobs
Einhell TC-VC 1820 S
Amazon

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If you are likely to need a vacuum for larger, more demanding tasks in addition to car cleaning, then the wet and dry Einhell TH-VC 1820 S is your best bet. Itu2019s a similar size to Charles but itu2019s even more powerful and with a 20-litre stainless steel container.

While its included accessories aren’t as comprehensive as those you get with Charles, you do get the basics. However, the suction hose is only 1.5 metres. This is somewhat offset by the 2.5-metre power cord but a longer suction hose would make car cleaning easier.

Like the Karcher and Draper, the Einhell has a blower function so you can remove debris from weird places that way.

Pros Cons
• Stainless steel container • Filter change needed for wet
• Powerful motor • Suction hose only 1.5m
• Blower function
• Large capacity
Specs
Weight 4.7kg
Dimensions 325 x 320 x 460 mm
Bin capacity 20L
Power 1250W
Hose length 1.5m
Cord length 3m
Warranty 24 months
Attachments Floor tool, crevice tool

Miele Complete C3 PowerLine

Best for home and car
Miele Complete C3 PowerLine
Amazon

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A chunky wet and dry vacuum may not be necessary for you and you desire a vacuum cleaner that is primarily for around the house and can tackle the car on demand. Mieleu2019s Complete C3 PowerLine is an impressive classic vacuum cleaner that is suited to this type of scenario perfectly.

The C3 is of course for dry vacuuming only and while it’s certainly powerful enough, it’s not as tough as the vacuums above. Thus, you’ll want to remove any larger pebbles and debris before diving in with the C3.

We like how quiet and effortless the C3 is compared to the rough and ready nature of the others. It includes a crevice tool, dust brush, and upholstery brush too, so you really can give your car a deep clean if you want to.

Pros Cons
• Quiet and powerful • Dry vacuuming only
• Long power cord • Smaller bag capacity
• Energy efficient
• Miele build quality
• Variable power control
Specs
Weight 4.7kg
Dimensions 496 x 496 x 227 mm
Bag capacity 4.5L
Power 890W
Hose length 1.8m
Cord length 8.5m
Warranty 24 months
Attachments Floor tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool

Read next:

The best wet and dry vacuum cleaners for your garage

Vax SpotWash Spot Cleaner review: Better than a vacuum cleaner?

The best way to clean and organise your garage

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