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Top 8 Best Car Battery Chargers 2022

Top 8 Best Car Battery Chargers 2022

Finding your car won’t start because the battery is dead can be frustrating and extremely inconvenient, so you should consider investing in a car battery charger. In addition to keeping your car running when the battery is dead, they can also keep them charged and in good working order if your car is in a garage for an extended period of time.

Some cars are regularly left unused for weeks or months, and in these cases it is vital to use a battery charger or maintainer to ensure they start the next time you use them. The latest battery chargers are capable of charging even the most modern car battery types, from lithium-based cells to high-performance batteries that support stop-start systems.

Testing a car battery

How we tested them

We used each charger to charge a depleted battery until it was charged to 80 percent, calculating a charge rate from the test and noting the minimum voltages the chargers could operate at. Their efficiency and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) were also looked at.

We tested ease of use by reviewing the instructions and display for each charger, and tested the build quality by checking all included cables and accessories. To test safety, we also deliberately misused the chargers to check for sparks. Read on to see how each charger fared, taking all this into account, along with their prices.

verdict

1. CTEK CS One review

CTEK is a pioneer in multi-mode charging, which has also been adopted by many of its competitors. However, the modes of the new 8-Amp CS One cannot be selected manually, but rather adjust to automatically deliver what the battery needs. The CS One is a smart tool that detects not only the condition, size and type of battery it’s charging, but even the polarity, meaning both cables are black, because it doesn’t matter which way you connect it. There is also an app that gives access to exploration and delivery modes. It was perhaps the third fastest to 80 percent in testing, taking just under 10 hours to charge, but it passed our other tests quickly and performs excellently all round.

Buy now from Amazon…

2. Draper 12V Intelligent Battery Charger 53491 review

  • Price: About £65
  • Rating: 4.5/5

Draper’s new range of smart chargers is a major improvement and solves many of the problems we previously had when testing the 33851. It has the same dust and moisture protection as many of its competitors and has passed EMC testing without a hitch.

During load tests, the Draper reached 80% in just under nine hours. It sparked in our abuse test, but it’s also easy to use and has a clear display with intuitive controls, making it a top contender.

Buy now from Amazon…

3. Ring 8A Smart Battery Charger & Maintenance Rating

  • Price: About £35
  • Rating: 4.5/5

The Ring 8A is a much more convincing proposition than the 4A version we tested in early 2020. Of all the chargers we tested, this one was the fourth fastest, taking just over 12 hours to get to 80 percent. It passed our EMC rating without any problems and passed the abuse tests. It is a versatile unit suitable for most modern battery types and started charging at just under 2V. Both the included instructions and the display were somewhat confusing, but it remains a cost-effective alternative to our more expensive winner.

Buy now at Ring Automotive…

4. Clarke IBC7 Intelligent 7A Battery Charger Review

  • Price: About £60
  • Rating: 4/5

The Clarke IBC7 comes with a handy set of long cables and has an average power supply of four amps, which is quite a long way from the aforementioned seven amps. It took about 16 hours to charge to 80 percent and failed the EMC test by some margin. It also only had IP54 moisture protection, where many rivals now boast of IP65.

Buy now directly from Power Tools…

5. Halfords Advanced Smart Battery Charger Plus review

  • Price: £59
  • Rating: 3.5/5

There was a Ring version of this charger in 2020 and a 4A Halfords version of the same unit. Now it has 6A, but during testing it took nearly 20 hours to charge, which puts it well behind most rivals. However, it is capable of handling lithium batteries unlike some rivals, and it also has a start-stop unit mode. That said, the design isn’t the best, plus the dull indicator and warning lights and the less intuitive controls let it down.

Buy now at Halfords…

6. Sealey SPBC12 12A Fully Automatic Battery Charger Review

  • Price: About £100
  • Rating: 3/5

The SPBC12 is from Sealey’s latest range and was one of the fastest to 80 percent of the chargers tested, taking just under nine hours, but being a long way from the claimed 12A rating. It is able to detect battery type and 6V, 12V and 24V systems and starts pulsing at zero voltage. The short DC cables let it down due to the storage on the back coil, as well as the low IP33 protection rating and no option for a permanent connection or extension cable.

Buy now from Sealey…

7. Review RAC-HP026 12A Battery Charger

  • Price: £56.99
  • Rating: 3/5

This metal-body RAC charger is quite a hefty thing, and the analog meter makes it feel quite old-fashioned. The instructions are not the best and when plugged in it gave off a hot electric smell and a vibration. The claim of 12A was wildly inaccurate – the instructions and meter claimed a maximum output of 8A, but we only saw 4A, taking 16 hours to reach an 80 percent charge. On the plus side, it had no issues in the EMC testing, but there are much better, more modern chargers out there on this list.

Buy now from Amazon…

8. Topdon Tornado4000 Review

  • Price: £49.99
  • Rating: 2/5

The Topdon charged painfully slow and it took 34 long hours to hit 80 percent. It’s only rated at 4A, so we weren’t expecting it to be particularly fast, but a day and a half of charging was disappointing. The main reason for the delay was the seven-hour break required after half a day of charging. Although it eventually rebooted, it would be totally inconvenient if you had a car with a dead battery. It was also not particularly intuitive to use, requiring the user to press the home button twice to start charging.

Buy now from Amazon…

Want to give your car a little TLC? Here’s our list of the top 10 alloy wheel cleaners 2021