Best cheap car chargers: Belkin vs Anker vs Kmart and more

Looking for a car charger that keeps your gadgets topped up when you're on the go? We've got the goods.

Best USB-C car charger
Belkin BoostCharge 30W Fast Car Charger
Belkin BoostCharge 30W Fast Car Charger
From
$24.95
Max wattage
30W
Number of ports
1
Best cheap car charger
Anko USB Car Charger
Anko USB Car Charger
From
$5
Max wattage
5W
Number of ports
1
Best USB car charger
Anker PowerDrive 2 Car Charger
Anker PowerDrive 2 Car Charger
From
$22.99
Max wattage
24W
Number of ports
2
Best wireless car charger
ESR Fits Magsafe Car Mount Charger
ESR Fits Magsafe Car Mount Charger
From
$43.99
Max wattage
15W
Number of ports
N/A
Fergus Halliday
Jul 22, 2024
Icon Time To Read5 min read

The best charger is usually the one you have on you but if you're on the go or spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, a car-based one is likely to prove a great investment in the interim.

As more and more gadgets have moved towards relying on universal standards like USB C, so too have car chargers. While the raw functionality of this particular tech niche hasn't shifted much over the last ten years, a few of the details have. Besides just offering better compatibility, these advancements have enabled faster vehicular charging.

If all that has you unsure where start, we're here to clear up the confusion and help you take your first steps towards choosing which car charger to go with in 2024.

What kind of car charger do I need for my phone?

If you're looking for an easy and caveat-free recommendation for fast charging in your car, go with our pick for the best USB-C car charger. Prefer to stick with something that uses classic USB instead? We've got a recommendation for that too.

Not every user has the same requirements but our guide has broken the category down to suit a variety of priorities.If price is your priority, be sure to check out our pick for the best cheap car charger. Those who want to make use of their phone's Qi wireless charging capability have options, as do those who want a fancy Made for MagSafe car charger to go with their fancy new iPhone.

Best car chargers compared

Category
Product
Price
Availability
Wattage
Number of ports

Belkin BoostCharge 30W Fast Car Charger

Best car charger (USB-C)

Belkin BoostCharge 30W Fast Car Charger
Belkin BoostCharge 30W Fast Car Charger
From
$24.95
pro Sleek design
pro PPS technology

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

It might not suit those who need the flexibility that comes with additional ports or a form factor that perches itself a little higher to the steering wheel. Nevertheless, Belkin's BoostCharge Fast Car Charger does an excellent job of being simple, affordable and ticking all the boxes.

Even if it doesn't incorporate the latest in GaN charging tech, the 30W charging found here ensures that any smartphones or other devices running out of battery won't stay that way for long. If you're after an easy fix then Belkin's latest is budget-friendly, well-built, easy on the eyes and even easier to recommend at its sub-$30 asking price.

Who are Belkin?

Belkin is one of the biggest names in consumer technology accessories. The company deals with chargers, cases, headphones and more, with an emphasis on build quality and innovative designs rather than the cheapest price possible.

Lighting phone charger shaped like a question mark on a yellow background

Now that Apple has adopted the universally accepted USB-C standard, you might be wondering which charging cable you'll need for your next smartphone. 

Anko USB Car Charger

Best cheap car charger

Anko USB Car Charger
Anko USB Car Charger
From
$5
pro It costs $5
con Only 5W charging
con Only one port

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

While our current champion when it comes to USB C-car chargers is hardly the priciest of products, those who want to go as cheap as possible will likely find what they're looking for with this Anko USB Car Charger. Available through Kmart, this accessory is as thrifty as these things get. It's nothing fancy, but it is $5 and meets all the basic requirements of a good car charger.

Outside of less reputable shopping websites, you're unlikely to find anything online that's cheaper.  Just don't expect any fast charging as this particular peripheral caps out at just 5W.

Who are Anko?

From 2018 onwards, Kmart has been selling a variety of products under the banner of the Anko brand. This includes smaller gadgets and consumer electronics like portable chargers, power banks and car chargers like the one above.

Anker PowerDrive 2 Car Charger

Best USB car charger

Anker PowerDrive 2 Car Charger
Anker PowerDrive 2 Car Charger
From
$22.99
pro 2x charging ports
pro 24W
con No USB-C ports

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Anker is a top performer when it comes to old-school USB chargers so it's little surprise the brand is a standout when it comes to car-based ones as well. Priced at a thrifty $22.99, the design here is plain to look at but a pair of USB ports and 24W of power pick up that slack.

While the Anker PowerDrive 2 Car Charger doesn't support Qualcomm's QuickCharge tech, it does leverage Anker's PowerIQ and VoltageBoost to ensure that you're getting decent results regardless.

That kind of overclocking is always nice to see, as are the usual safety inclusions like surge protection and temperature control. In any case, those seeking a solid car charger that offers additional and traditional USB ports shouldn't look past this one.

Who are Anker?
Anker Innovations is a company that owns five brands: Anker, Eufy, Eufy Security, Soundcore and Nebula. Anker products specifically cover power banks, charging cables, car chargers, wall chargers and USB hubs.

What to consider when buying a car charger

Light Bulb

Safety

When it comes to accessories that deal directly in the transmission of power, like car chargers, it can pay to go with a more expensive and well-known brand since it means you'll get the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they probably aren't cutting corners on safety.

Pin

Ports

If a car charger doesn't have the right ports for your phone, there's no point even considering it. After safety, the next thing you should look for in a car charger is the correct ports.

Heads Up

Speed

While the number of ports on a given charger should be a consideration, the speed at which those ports operate is a much more important thing to keep in mind. Higher is better here, as it means you'll be able to get your Samsung phone or iPhone topped up sooner rather than later.

Price Tag

Price

If all you're after is a basic car charging experience, the cost should be too dear. However, those looking for a car charger capable of handling multiple devices should or expect to pay a premium for that privilege.

ESR Fits Magsafe Car Mount Charger

Best wireless car charger

ESR Fits Magsafe Car Mount Charger
ESR Fits Magsafe Car Mount Charger
From
$43.99
pro 15W charging
pro Flexible support system

Pricing and availability only accurate as of last page update.

Keen on something that dodges the usual pitfalls when it comes to car chargers that double as a dock? This particular car charger incorporates a 3-point support system and a more potent magnetic grip that promises to make it suitable for even larger smartphones like the iPhone 15 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

The ESR Fits MagSafe Car Mount Charger leaves little on the table. If all you're after is faster 15W wireless charging, that's one of the biggest selling points here but it's far from the only one. 

Who are ESR?

Founded in 2009, ESR is an award-winning accessories brand that found its footing with phone cases before expanding into other peripheral categories like car chargers and USB-C hubs.

icon-expertise

How we chose the best car chargers

When it comes to rating and recommending car chargers, our approach isn't quite the scientific method. Still, we try our best to ground our assessment of the above accessories in both our own first-hand experiences and rigorous research we've conducted when it comes to the category in question.

To begin with, we mapped out what the landscape looks like when it comes to buying a car charger in 2024. This process of investigation involved asking questions like how cheap is too cheap, what features people care about and how much wattage most people need to get the most out of a given car charger. We also had to dig into the latest features and technologies powering modern chargers, specifically GaN, and how those breakthroughs are shuffling the deck when it comes to what value for money looks like within the wider charging niche.

Once we had a sense of what the car charger market looks like, we had to suss out how each brand vying for the dollars of Australian consumers fits into it. Then, we had to condense that catalogue of products down into a shortlist of more digestible categories that match the needs of a given consumer.

Lastly, we also had to look beyond the specs and factor in the benefits that are attached to mainstream and established brands. It's maybe a little unreasonable to assume every brand you've never heard of before is a scam but there is peace of mind that comes with knowing the name behind the charger and knowing that you'll have somewhere to turn to in the unfortunate event that anything goes wrong.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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