The best trickle chargers for your car

Maintaining your battery couldn't be easier with one of these chargers.

A charger connected to a car battery

by Ryan Gilmore |
Updated on

If your car battery is beginning to drain, or you don't drive your car very often then the best battery charger for your needs will be a trickle charger. Also called a battery maintainer, these simple tools will prevent it from discharging over a long period of time.

Anything with a battery will lose charge over time, from a car to your mobile phone. This is especially true during winter as batteries (like me), don't cope so well in the cold weather. A trickle charger works by drawing a tiny current of electricity to keep the battery topped up but will work to ensure the battery isn't overcharged.

Available as either plug-in or solar-powered, some even work as slow jump starters. We've examined the best trickle chargers on the market, examining price, size, purpose and extra features to select the best. We've chosen our favourites at a range of prices so you can find one that suits your needs.

The best trickle chargers

The best trickle charger

Price: £129.95


The big daddy of car battery maintenance, there's not much a good NOCO can't do to revive, charge


  • Last name in battery protection
  • Top-notch quality
  • Improved battery health


  • Overkill for city cars

The best budget solar trickle charger

AA 12V Car Solar Battery Charger
Price: £41.74


Solar charging is a clever option for keeping a car charged up anywhere outside. So long as the


  • Harnesses the sun
  • Good quality
  • Very well made


  • No good on dead batteries

The best trickle charger on a tight budget


A very simple way to keep your charge up - plug it into a standard three-pin socket and connect


  • Good value
  • Simple to use


  • No good on dead batteries

The best trickle charger for style

CTEK Portable Battery Charger Maintainer

Rrp: £319.99

Price: £193.57
Alternative retailers
Halfords£221.00View offer


The simple-to-use and good-looking option from CTEK, this portable battery maintainer will hold


  • Clever design
  • Helps keep the battery safe
  • Very well made


  • The solar panel attachment is additional

What you need to know about trickle chargers

Why is my battery going flat?

There are a lot of factors in why batteries go flat. the most obvious is that as batteries get older, they lose efficiency and, as such, will discharge quicker. Modern cars also feature a lot of electronics (think computers, alarms. central locking and even the clock) which will eat up a battery charge if you leave the car alone for long enough.

Most cars use old-fashioned lead-acid batteries that love to discharge themselves over time. Leaving an interior light on or a dashcam hardwired can also speed up the discharging process.

Cold weather can also be a factor in flat batteries. Batteries need a comfortable temperature to work effectively, and when it gets frosty, you may notice they lose charge quicker.

Do I need a new battery?

If your battery is going flat in an unacceptably short amount of time and even a trickle charge isn't keeping it working properly, then it's probably time to invest in a new car battery. Our guide to car batteries will probably be your best bet here.

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