car vacuum
Give your car a weekly rundown with a handy vacuum cleaner to save up on car wash trips. Pick from excellent options by Bissell, Black and Decker, and Makita. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Car vacuum cleaners are small, powerful machines with high suction power that helps them target food crumbs and dust wedged in seat crevices. Options in the market are aplenty – so which vacuum cleaner is the best for your vehicle? We reached out to Islam Sibai, the managing director of Evo Car Wash in Dubai, for some advice.

“We use wired vacuums here in the car workshop because they have a higher suction pressure. The handheld battery-operated ones are for quick vacuuming, which people like you and I can use, but the car will need a high suction cleaning at least once a month," our expert told us. "For personal use, go for a vacuum that at least has a suction power of 4,000 Pa (Pascal), which is the ideal strength for stubborn dirt. However, do note that even a good handheld vacuum will not target tiny dust particles.”

For Sibai, two brands stand out in the competitive car vacuum market. He said: “Makita is a personal recommendation because it's a reliable brand among many car wash companies, and it will perform longer than other vacuum cleaners - but it can get heavy and expensive. Black+Decker is another brand that is better than many on the market since it’s cost-effective and has decent suction. We’ve tried both here; Makita worked better for us.”

We handpicked a few car vacuums, including an option for wet suction, from Amazon with the best reviews to narrow down the list for you. If you still prefer a pro’s touch, hire experts to fetch your vehicle from your doorstep for a deep cleaning service. Don’t forget to become a Prime member for speedy, same-day delivery.

1. Best Overall: Makita DCL180RF Cordless Vacuum Cleaner


  • Runs for 20 minutes on the highest setting and 40 minutes on low
  • Washable filters
  • 650ml capacity
  • Comes with charger and battery pack


  • Not enough for a deep clean

Makita has several heavy-duty vacuums on Amazon; though our pick is not wired, it offers the convenience of a handheld vacuum cleaner for the car. The model is an 18V cordless cleaner in turquoise with a sufficient suction power of 3,600 Pascal and 650ml of dust capacity, ideal for removing dust from a job site, vehicle or garage. It comes with a set of attachments like a nozzle, straight pipe or extension wand and a corner nozzle. On a single charge, you can hoover for 20 minutes straight on the highest setting. Often Makita tools come without batteries, but this selection includes a battery pack and a charger, so you don't have to shop for them separately. If you already own Makita batteries, you can find the vacuum on its own here. Though the suction power falls just below Sibai's recommended threshold, several reviews say that it's a brilliant kit for the car and love how lightweight it is at 1.2kg.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh40 and two years for Dh57.

Bonus: Buy with 0% instalments and pay Dh52.88 for 12 months with select banks.

2. Best Value for Portable Vacuum: Black + Decker Pivot Dustbuster


  • Pivot nozzle for crevices
  • Can be used under sofas and on carpet
  • Translucent dust bowl empties out easily
  • Includes charging base
  • Marked for fewer returns - popular tool among Amazon buyers


  • 10 minutes of use, after four hours of charge

An affordable alternative to the cordless Makita is the Black+Decker Pivot Dustbuster. Operating on a 14.4V battery, this tool has a nozzle that pivots up to 200 degrees, picking up dirt and debris from difficult spaces. The portable vacuum folds in half when not in use, so you can store it away in the car trunk for easy access. Like Makita, this appliance comes with its own charging base, but do note that it only operates for 10 minutes on a single charge with a capacity of 440ml. The good news is that Amazon marks the Dustbuster for low returns, meaning it's popular among buyers for its reliable performance. Five-star reviews note that they've put it to good use in the car for nearly 10 years - it's just the right size for dusting the many tight nooks and crannies for a quick weekly clean-up. Some do wish that the charge lasted longer than 10 to 15 minutes.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty. Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh18 and two years for Dh25.

3. Best for Quick Cleaning: Baseus A3 Lite Car Vacuum Cleaner


  • Multi-purpose gadget for air dusting, vacuuming and air pumping
  • Dual filter including Hepa filter
  • USB-C charging
  • Brush attachments
  • Compact design


  • Small dustbin capacity at 70ml

If you’re looking for a mini versatile tool for gadgets in general, try this air duster, inflator and vacuum cleaner in one. It blows congealed dust from tight spaces and sucks loose dirt with a suction pressure of 12,000 Pa. However, Sibai says an air blower might be counterproductive when cleaning the car, "only moving dust from point A to point B", so if it's ever a choice, just vacuuming is far more effective. To charge it, all you have to do is use a Type-C USB cable to power up the built-in battery; a full charge delivers an operation time of at least 25 minutes. Reviewers say the tool does a decent job of all functions, especially in the car and for blowing away dirt stuck in keyboards and other electronics.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two years for Dh17.

4. Best for Wet Stains: Bissell SpotClean


  • Wet vacuums carpet and upholstery stains
  • Ideal for car rides with children and pets
  • Includes special shampoo formula
  • Automatic shutoff when tank limit is reached


  • Wired
  • Heavy to move around

Have you been seeing Bissell's Little Green machine all over the internet? Meet its UK version, compatible here in the UAE. The SpotClean machine treats tough stains on car seats and carpets using heat, water and chemicals. According to Sibai, wet vacuuming can be used to deep clean when a car has tea and coffee spills or is even soiled from vomit. If you commute with little children or pets often, then you might find this Bissell vacuum helpful, but Sibai says if stains aren't a common occurrence then a paid service would be cheaper. Though it’s not as compact as other models on the list for personal use, weighing nearly 4kgs, the corded machine has two canisters for dirt and water and a hose to immediately lift stains. Your order even comes with two sample bottles of Bissell’s special shampoo. Reviewers with kids and pets who use this on their car stains say that they've saved a fortune on professional cleanups, with even car detailers investing in this tool as well.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

5. Best Portable Vacuum: Bissell Multiclean Cordless Handvac 


  • Motorised brush head
  • LED crevice tool and flexible brush head attachments
  • Runs for 20 minutes
  • 700ml capacity
  • Great for picking up pet hair


  • Takes a long time to recharge

If you still prefer a Bissell tool, snap up its handheld dry vacuum for thorough vehicle cleaning. With its built-in 14.4V battery, the Multiclean Cordless Handvac works deep into the surface using a rotating motorised brush, dislodging food crumbs and debris. The LED crevice tool sheds light on hard-to-see corners to help you target hidden corners, while the flexible tool gets in between seat seams. As dust collects in the 700ml bin, it passes through a three-stage filteration system, which will eventually extend the life of the filter. Some buyers have had their unit for over 15 years, so it's sure to last you and your car for a lifetime. The motorised brush is especially useful for picking up embedded pet hair from the seats and the floor, as people with long-haired dogs and cats report. Reviewers do wish it lasted longer than 20 minutes per cycle as it takes around eight hours to recharge.

Warranty: The manufacturer offers a two-year warranty. Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh29 and two years for Dh41.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.