Don't Waste Your Money is supported by our readers. When you purchase an item through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Car Battery Charger

Last updated on March 7, 2024

Check out the best-selling automotive products on

Best Car Battery Charger

Our Review Process

Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in a category.

Our Picks For The Top Car Battery Chargers

View All Recommendations
Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

NOCO Lightweight Passenger Car Battery Charger

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval


Lightweight Passenger Car Battery Charger

Ultra-portable, this lightweight device lets you jump start everything from a car or tractor to a laptop or phone. When not in use, plug it into any 12V cigarette lighter to make sure it's ready next time you need it. In addition, it features an integrated LED flashlight with seven modes, including emergency strobe and SOS.

Overall Take

Easy to Store and UseYou can charge this lightweight car battery charger on a vehicle's cigarette lighter.

 Runner Up

ABLY Intelligent CPU Car Battery Charger


Intelligent CPU Car Battery Charger

The LCD display on this car battery charger keeps you updated on the status of your charge, as well as the current voltage being used. It's able to power both 12 and 24-volt batteries, making it extremely versatile. Users will also appreciate that the charger is optimized for all seasons and that it comes with many built-in safety features.

Overall Take

Affordable PickYou won't have any trouble sticking to your budget when you opt for this economical car battery charger.

 Strong Contender

NEXPEAK High Efficiency LCD Screen Car Battery Charger


High Efficiency LCD Screen Car Battery Charger

In addition to providing a charge when needed, this car battery charger can also be used to maintain and extend a vehicle's battery life. It's optimized to account for summer and winter temperatures and comes with eight smart protections, such as overcurrent and reverse protection.

Overall Take

Quick ChargeThis car battery charger is designed to power your vehicle 30 percent faster than other models on the market.

 We Also Like

YONHAN Backlit LCD Car Battery Charger


Backlit LCD Car Battery Charger

Low voltage, aged batteries and engines that have been left idle are no match for this car battery charger. It's designed using low-frequency pulse repair technology, so you can count on it getting the job done when you need it most. The touch button interface also makes the charger a breeze to use.

Overall Take

Easy-to-Use InterfaceAn extended battery life is what you can expect from this fast-charging car battery charger.

Buying Guide

A car battery charger is one of those things you might not think about buying until you need it, but then you will wish you had the foresight to purchase one in advance. Choosing the right vehicle battery jumper or charger device depends on several factors unique to your situation.

MORE: 7 items teen drivers need for their cars

The primary consideration to determine is what type of car battery charger will best suit your needs.

Vicki Liston is the writer, producer and narrator of “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

“There are two basic types of car battery chargers: trickle and smart (also called multi-step) chargers,” shares Liston. “I don’t consider the float chargers to be actual ‘chargers,’ as they won’t resurrect a dead battery and are only used to maintain the charge.”

Learning the pros, cons and capabilities of a car battery charger type is helpful in the decision-making process.

“Trickle chargers are the most inexpensive,” Liston says, “but they are also the slowest.”

While this might seem like a downfall, it can be an advantage in certain situations.

“If you aren’t in a major rush to recharge, a trickle unit will serve you well,” explains Liston. “It’s actually better for the battery to charge slower than faster as a fast charge can generate a lot of heat and damage the battery.”

If safety is top of mind, a smart charger might be a better choice.

“Smart or multi-step chargers employ the use of a microprocessor to assess the battery and make automatic decisions about how to charge. The standard versions have the automatic stop feature to avoid overcharging, damage, and explosions,” Liston points out. “They can also detect if you’ve accidentally connected the cables to the wrong terminals, called ‘reverse polarity protection.’ A trickle charger will ruin a battery if connected incorrectly while a smart charger just won’t begin to charge at all. Understandably, these are the more expensive option, but they are also the safest.”

Be sure to check the amp rating on a potential car battery charger, as this will let you know how quickly it will charge your battery.

“Trickle chargers are rated at below one amp so it may take a few days to fully charge a battery,”  Liston says. “Again, slower is better for the battery, but you might not have the luxury of waiting around that long and need it up and running in a hurry.

“Higher rated chargers can run around 20 amps and the emergency ‘get this thing started NOW’ type chargers can crank out 40 amps to get you on the road in a hot minute,” continues Liston. “Some smart chargers allow you to choose a recharge setting based on your circumstances. You can set it lower when you have the time to wait and it won’t expend unnecessary, damaging heat. Set it higher only when the occasion calls for speed. You’ll have the best of both worlds in one charger.”

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations.

What to Look For

  • If you decide on a trickle car battery charger, Liston highly recommends an advanced model to ensure the safest operation possible. “The lower end models should not be ‘attached and forgotten’ as they will not stop charging when the battery has reached maximum capacity,” advises Liston. “Because of this, they run the risk of overcharging and even causing an explosion. The higher-end models, usually referred to as advanced trickle chargers, can detect when a battery is fully charged and either stop or automatically switch over to ‘float’ mode to maintain the charge. “
  • Since you should always put safety first, the right clamps are essential. “Whether you go with a trickle or a smart charger, I highly recommend looking for a model with spark-proof clamps,” Liston notes. “Sparks can not only damage both the charger and the battery but they can cause fires so this safety feature should be a must.”
  • “If you are only looking to keep a car battery charged, opt for a 12-volt only model,” suggests Liston. “However, if you’ve got other types of battery-operated vehicles, such as an ATV, boat, jet ski, riding lawn mower, or golf cart, you might want to consider a 6/12 or a 12/24 volt charger. This will allow you to use your charger in multiple applications instead of having a different charger for each volt size. 6/12/24 chargers are commercially available however they are extremely expensive and it’s cheaper to own both a 6/12 and a 12/24 than one 6/12/24 version.”

More to Explore

The materials used to make vehicle batteries are recycled more than any other material used in consumer products in the world. A whopping 99% of battery lead is recycled, compared with 55% of aluminum cans, 45% of newspaper and 26% of tires and glass bottles.

Used lead grids, components and ingots as well as used plastic cases and pellets from an old car battery can be recycled into lead grids, cases and components for new automotive batteries.

Unfortunately, people do not always recycle responsibly. An estimated 1.8 million used batteries end up in landfills and other dangerous places. An improperly dumped lead-acid battery can leak lead, acid and mercury into the ground, lakes and streams.

The good news is that recycling used vehicle batteries is hassle-free. Most automotive parts retailers or dealership service departments will handle it for you. Just drop it off at a participating retailer. You might even receive a credit toward your need battery or even a general store credit when you do, making it a win-win for everyone.

The cycle for recycling automotive batteries is indefinite. The components of each vehicle’s battery are largely comprised of recycled lead and plastic, which can, in turn, be recycled over and over again.

From our partners