A dedicated USB charger will charge your devices faster than the built-in USB port of your car.
For a few dollars, a good USB car charger can charge your mobile and other devices faster than the port that came in your car. After testing more than 60 models, it can be said that the best car charger is the Nekteck PD 45W Type-C dual-port car charger.
You can quickly charge mobiles, tablets and laptops from its USB-C port. And simultaneously charge a second mobile in its USB-A port. No other charger offers so much power at a better price.
Compared to the well-known USB-A port, the smaller USB-C port can charge most modern phones faster if you are using the correct cable. And you can even charge tablets and laptops. And the Nekteck PD 45W Type-C car charger offers the best of both worlds.
When you use a USB-C to Lightning cable, the charger’s USB-C port can charge an iPhone approximately three times faster. At 18 watts more than the USB-A wall charger that comes in the Apple box. Your mobile can be charged from 0% to approximately 50% in just half an hour while sitting in traffic. For example, or doing errands around the city.
The 45-watt output of this Nekteck charger and the included USB-C to C cable also support the maximum charge rate on Android phones; like the Samsung Galaxy S10. The iPad Pro 2018 and even many laptops. And you can use the 12-watt USB-A port at the same time to charge a second mobile or other device with any USB cable you already have.
The Scosche PowerVolt USB charger can charge two modern devices
With two USB-C ports, the Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery Dual 18W USB-C car charger (CPDC8C8) is what you should get if you want to quickly charge two modern devices at the same time. Each of the PowerVolt’s USB-C ports supports a full 18-watt charge, so you can charge two modern mobiles at maximum speed.
That means that an iPhone’s battery will charge from 0% to about 50% in half an hour, compared to approximately 35% on a standard 12-watt USB-A charger. A dual-USB-C configuration is rare: this is the only model of this type that we have found in a company that can be trusted.
You can still use this charger with older phones, such as an iPhone 7 or earlier, they just won’t charge faster than a USB-A charger.
We believe that getting a faster USB-C charger is worth spending a little more. But if you simply want a good and economical power supply in the car, go with the ZMI PowerCruise C2 36-watt dual USB car charger with QC 3.0.
Best Rated USB Car Chargers in 2019
- Maxboost USB Smart Port Charger.
- Anker 24W Dual USB Car Charger.
- Ainope Car Charger.
- Aukey Flush Fit Car Charger.
- RAVPower Mini Dual USB Car Charger.
- JSAUX Dual Car Charger.
- Ainope Fast Car Charger With LED Display.
- Anker 50W 5 Port USB Car Charger.
24 watt chargers are the best
All 24-watt chargers and two ports of renowned companies in this price range work as well as any other. But unlike similar models that have been tested, this ZMI charger stands out because it supports Quick Charge 3.0 on both ports.
Offering slightly faster speeds to devices that support that standard. It is also made of metal instead of cheaper plastic than almost any other charger.
The fast charging RAVPower 3.0 54W 4-port car adapter (RP-VC003) is especially useful when traveling full of passengers, as it can charge up to four devices at once without taking up much more space than other chargers with 2 ports only.
Why should you trust this article?
Wirecutter car chargers have been revised since 2014, monitoring each new notable charger. In addition, hundreds of other charging accessories have been tested, researching and writing guides to USB wall chargers, portable USB-C chargers, and USB-C accessories, among others.
Because USB-C can be a dangerous business (substandard chargers and cables can fry innocent phones and laptops), specialized test hardware has also been used to ensure the safety and reliability of each charger that has been considered for this guide.
This step allows us to definitely say that these selections work exactly as advertised, emitting the correct power levels and complying with safety standards.
Should you get a car charger or upgrade one you already have?
Even if your car has a USB port to integrate music playback and phone calls with your car stereo, and even if that port can charge your phone. We tell you it may be worth spending 20 USD or so on a dedicated two-port charger.
This is because the USB ports built into most cars produce only 5 watts, which is not enough to charge a tablet or even newer smartphones at full speed. If you are running an application like Waze or Google Maps, your car’s USB port may not charge your phone faster than your phone uses power.
So you can end up in your destination with the same battery level on your device as when you entered the car. Good USB-A chargers can charge more than twice as fast with 12 watts. And the latest USB-C chargers can charge modern smart phones up to 18 watts.
Whenever you use a cable that connects to the smaller port instead of the USB-A cable that probably comes with your device. This is the favorite cable for iPhone.
A modern USB charger allows you to charge more than two devices
Even if your car’s USB port offers a faster charging, most cars have only one port. All these selections allow you to charge two or more devices from a single accessory socket, something that your family and friends will appreciate.
However, if you recently purchased a multiport USB charger that provides at least 2 amps of each of its ports; (Look for the “output” list in the small print on the charger body. You have less reason to update.
Although you could charge some devices a little faster with these better options. The difference would not be large enough to spend more money on a new model at this time.
If you have an older car charger, check where it says “DC 5V output” (or similar). If it is less than 2.0 A, you will get a noticeably faster charge by buying a new charger.
How to choose and test a USB charger
You can find hundreds of USB car chargers that connect to your car’s accessory power. In recent years, these models have become significantly smaller, more powerful and less expensive. Like the USB wall chargers.
But it is not worth considering most of the available car chargers because they do not have enough power to simultaneously charge two devices at higher speeds. Something that even the cheapest models can do now. These days, a good USB car charger should offer the following:
At least two USB ports
The cost and space savings of a single port charger is not significant enough to justify limited output. It is almost always a better value to choose a charger with two or more ports. Either USB-A, USB-C or a combination of both.
USB-C ports with 18 to 45 watt output
A USB-C port will charge most modern mobile phones faster than a USB-A port if you are using the correct cable. You can even charge tablets and laptops. Smartphones that support USB Power Delivery (USB PD), the standard that allows fast charging via USB-C.
They generally consume up to 18 watts, while larger devices can take 45 watts or more. But your device will only consume as much power as it is rated, so there are no safety concerns about whether your phone is damaged or overheated when using a more powerful charger.
USB-A ports with 12-watt or QuickCharge 3.0 output on a USB charger
There is no reason to choose a charger with USB-A ports slower than 12 watts (5 volts, 2.4 amps). Because they are not much less expensive and offer a slower charge to Apple and Android devices.
A detachable USB cable
A permanently connected USB cable is limiting because the cable cannot be changed. To use, for example, a Micro-USB, Lightning to USB, or USB-C to USB-C cable. To charge different types of devices, connect a longer cable or have any other control over what type of connections you use. Just as important, if a built-in cable fails, you must replace the entire package, the charger and everything.
Good value of power to the dollar with a USB charger
You have to add the total power through the ports of each charger and divide it by the price to determine the value. This step allows you to discard unnecessarily expensive models. The ranges vary from 1.2 watts per USD in the most expensive. At about 4 watts per USD as the best value.
Although this was not a requirement, chargers that have been certified by the USB Implementers Forum are given more credibility, which means they have approved the USB-IF Compliance Program and have been tested for safety.
For a last update, another 20 chargers have been tested, including some with only USB-A ports, some with only USB-C ports and others with both. To find the best options in each category, the finalists are subjected to a series of tests.
Chargers with USB-C ports
USB-C uses digital communication between devices to verify charging speeds in a way that USB-A does not; With the right tools, you can interpret exactly what is happening in the communication between the charger and the device you have plugged in.
The Total Phase USB Power Delivery Analyzer and its Data Center Software are used to measure and record this data, including the announced power profile, the steady state output and if there was an error in the charging.
We do not recommend the Amazon Basics 4-port USB car charger because it requires you to disconnect and reconnect your test iPads several times to get the proper 2.4 amp power consumption of each port. Eventually, the four were providing the right amount of energy, but it could be seen that the RAVPower RP-VC003 is more reliable.