Best smart battery chargers to top up your car’s power
Keep your car in tip-top condition with the help of one of these smart battery chargers.
A car battery charger is one of those items it’s worth keeping in the cupboard. You may not need it now, but being prepared will help you avoid those frustrating situations when your car suddenly decides not to start - usually when you’re in a frantic rush.
Battery chargers also come in handy for topping up petrol or diesel vehicles you don’t use very often. Connect a ‘trickle charger’ to keep your convertible at full power and you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice when the Sun comes out.
Just attach your charger to the car battery and connect it to a mains socket to get the power flowing.
Which battery charger is best?
Before you can start topping up your car’s power, you’ll need to decide which type of charger to buy. Choose between:
- Standard battery chargers: The traditional and affordable option with limited features and simple styling.
- Smart battery chargers: The more sophisticated option, which can switch from fast top-ups to long-term ‘trickle’ charging to avoid overpowering the battery and prolong its lifespan. You’ll need one of these if you have a car with a ‘start/stop’ button.
Best smart battery chargers for your car
Ring Automotive RSC808 smart battery charger
4/6/8A for 6/12/24V batteries
This 8A smart battery charger is one of the more powerful devices on our list. Able to deliver 12V and 24V, it’s perfect for cars and lorries. But if you’re after something a little lower on the Amp spectrum, you can buy the 4A or 6A version through the same Amazon page.
Another useful feature of this smart charger is its backlit LCD screen, clearly displaying the charge progress, battery voltage and selected mode. It also has a seven-stage charging process, which includes testing and reconditioning the battery.
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Noco Genius 1UK smart charger
1A for 6/12V batteries
With a power rating of 1A, this smart charger can top up 6V and 12V batteries. It’s slightly less powerful than some other options available online, so while it can top up cars and large vehicles, it’s ideal for smaller ones like motorbikes and lawnmowers.
This model is an upgrade on the brand’s previous model, G750UK, which is 22 per cent larger and 30 per cent less powerful.
In this design, you’ll get an integrated thermal sensor, which recognises the ambient temperature and changes its power settings to avoid over- or under-charging.
Hyundai smart battery charger
4A for 6/12V batteries
Hyundai is a trusted name when it comes to cars and accessories, so this smart charger should be a reliable option. It can offer compatibility with 6V and 12V batteries, and remembers the settings you last used when you turn it on.
Plus, there are lots of important safety features, as the charger protects against short circuiting, overheating and overcharging. It’s also ‘spark-proof’, and displays the charging status with the indicator light.
Hilka RAC smart battery charger
4A for 6/12V batteries
A product from the RAC, this smart charger helps you keep your car in great condition. It can tell when your battery is faulty, and has a five-stage smart charging system with protection against short circuiting and overloading.
Whether your car battery is completely flat or just needs topping up over a long period, this smart charger can do the job. It comes with a useful diagnosis and rescue feature designed to recharge empty batteries, as well as a winter maintenance mode, ideal for engines you use seasonally.
Halfords Advanced Plus smart battery charger
6A for 12V batteries
- Buy now from Halfords (£40.00)
For sleek design, look no further than this smart charger from Halfords. As a handy added extra, it comes with a hook, so you can hang it from your car bonnet to keep it out of the way.
This model is also simple to use, as it automatically chooses the fastest charging setting and changes to a lower rate when the battery is full. There’s even a winter mode for cold-weather charging.
Also included in the design is an eight-stage charging process, which helps to keep the battery working efficiently, even in cool temperatures.
AA smart trickle battery charger
1.5A for 6/12V batteries
This model comes from the AA, so it’s another great option by a trusted brand name. Like all the best smart chargers, it has a clear digital display and an in-built memory, so it’ll return to your most recently used settings when you switch it on.
Thanks to the device’s microprocessor, it alters the current and voltage to match the battery’s requirements as it charges. Plus, it protects against short-circuiting for extra safety.
GYS ARTIC 4000 smart battery charger
4A for 6/12V batteries
- Buy now from Toolstation (£49.98)
A few clever features set this smart charger apart from others on the market. After a power cut, it’ll automatically start charging again with the most recently used settings. It also comes with a quick connector for convenience.
You’ll be able to choose between four different charging modes when you use this device. There’s slow (for small batteries), fast (for 12V batteries), cold (for times when the temperature is below 5°C) and 6V (for 6V batteries and vintage vehicles).
This charger is also a durable option and should last a long time, as it’s resistant to dust and liquids, and comes with protective housing. You’ll also get all the safety features you’d expect from a smart battery charger, such as a spark prevention system.
Noco G1100 1.1A smart charger
4A for 6/12V batteries
- Buy now from Halfords (£30.00)
Another popular option is this smart charger from Halfords. With 4A of power, it’s perfect for topping up motorbikes, lawnmowers and small vehicles like quad bikes.
This model comes with an integrated desulfator to improve the battery’s charging capacity if it has reduced over time. It also alters its settings to avoid overcharging once it’s fully topped up.
Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.
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