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5 Best Car Vacuum Cleaners

Do you know what to look for in a car vacuum cleaner? Here's our shortlist of the best car vacuum cleaners — including what makes each a standout.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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vacuuming carYeonjung Kim / EyeEm/Getty Images

What to Know About Car Vacuum Cleaners

The two most important features to compare when shopping for the best car vacuum are suction power, measured in air watts (AW), and tools. Must-haves include a floor/upholstery tool, extension hose for hard-to-reach places and crevice tool for tight spaces and edges. Nice-to-have features include a washable filter and dust bin that empties from the bottom. The following five contain plenty of both.

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Car vacuumvia

Best Cordless Handheld Car Vacuum

Light and quiet at 100AW, the Dyson Car & Boat Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is the most powerful vacuum in its class. With two power settings and a run time of 30 minutes, the lithium ion battery maintains suction even as the battery discharges. It comes with a car charger, mini motorized tool, extension hose and combination tool. And it’s covered by a two-year warranty.

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Car vacuumvia

Best Lightweight Handheld Car Vacuum

Weighing in at just 1-4/10 pounds with a run time of 9-1/2 minutes, the Shark WANDVAC Handheld Vacuum is ideal for quick and frequent cleaning of everyday messes. The lithium ion battery is fast charging and provides constant suction from start to finish. A two-year warranty and all the right tools are included. Bonus: The dust bin is washable.

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Car vacuumvia

Best Corded Handheld Car Vacuum

A corded handheld car vacuum is ideal if you prefer the portability of a handheld with unlimited run time. The Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vacuum features a 15-foot power cord and all the tools you need to clean the interior of your car. Perfect for pet owners, this corded vacuum can also be used indoors to remove pet hair from furniture and pick up cat litter like a boss.

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Shop vacvia

Best Wet/Dry Car Vacuum

Also known as shop vacuums, wet/dry vacuum cleaners offer the most powerful suction of any vacuum cleaner. That makes it the ideal choice for cleaning vehicles that tend to collect heavy, hard-to-remove debris such as sand, pebbles, pine needles and pet hair — and, of course, liquid messes. The Armor All 132500 Utility Vacuum is our top pick for power and versatility.

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Pro vacuumvia

Best Pro-Quality Car Vacuum

With the supreme cleaning power of a shop vacuum, the Metro Vac ‘N Blo Car Vac is a slimline canister vacuum that mounts to the wall. It doesn’t deal with wet messes, but does have the pro-level suction, perfect for deep-down cleaning and detailing of your vehicles. It comes with a 12-ft. power cord, 24 feet of extension hose and full range of automotive cleaning attachments.  And it’s made in the U.S.

Donna Smallin Kuper
Donna Smallin Kuper is an award-winning organizing expert, certified House Cleaning Technician and bestselling author. She's written more than a dozen books, including her latest, Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness. Her tips appear regularly in many popular print and online publications. She also shares her expertise as a blogger at Since 2013, she and her husband have been full-time RVers, living a simple life of abundance on the road.