The Best USB Car Charger

The Best USB Car Charger

Our pick

Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger

Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger

The best car charger

This model can charge phones, tablets, and computers from its USB-C port, plus it has a second port for charging USB-A devices. It adheres to USB-C fast-charging standards and includes a quality cable.

Buying Options

$20 from Amazon

Compared with the familiar USB-A port, the smaller USB-C port can charge most modern phones faster (if you’re using the right cable) and can even charge tablets and laptops. And the Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger provides the best of both worlds. When you’re using a USB-C–to–Lightning cable, the charger’s USB-C port can charge an iPhone about three times faster (at 18 watts) than the USB-A wall charger that comes in the box from Apple; your phone can charge from empty to roughly 50 percent in just half an hour while you’re sitting in traffic, say, or running errands around town. This Nekteck charger’s 45-watt output and included USB-C–to–C cable also support the maximum charge rate on Android phones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S10), the 2018 iPad Pro, and even many laptops. And you can use the 12-watt USB-A port at the same time to charge a second phone or other device with any USB cable you already have.

Port one: 45 W USB-C
Port two: 12 W USB-A

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Upgrade pick

Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery Dual 18W USB-C Car Charger (CPDC8C8)

Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery Dual 18W USB-C Car Charger (CPDC8C8)

The best car charger with two USB-C ports

If you want to get the fastest charge possible to two modern devices—such as an iPhone 8 or later, or a Samsung Galaxy S8 or later—this is your best bet. But you’ll need to bring your own USB-C cables.

Buying Options

$20* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

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 fast-charge two modern devices at the same time. Each of the PowerVolt’s USB-C ports supports full 18-watt charging, so you can charge two modern phones at top speed; that means an iPhone’s battery will go from 0 to around 50 percent charged in half an hour, compared with about 35 percent on a standard 12-watt USB-A charger. A dual–USB-C setup is rare—this is the only such model we’ve found from a company we trust. You can still use this charger with older phones, such as an iPhone 7 or earlier—they just won’t charge any faster than on a USB-A charger.

Port one: 18 W USB-C
Port two: 18 W USB-C

Budget pick

ZMI PowerCruise C2 36-Watt Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0

ZMI PowerCruise C2 36-Watt Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0

A great, inexpensive charger

Though it doesn’t charge as fast as USB-C chargers, ZMI’s dual-port charger does provide the fastest USB-A power possible, in a nice metal package and at a low price.

Buying Options

$10* from ZMI
$12 from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $0.

We think getting a faster USB-C charger is worth spending a little more, but if you simply want a good, inexpensive power source in the car, go with ZMI’s PowerCruise C2 36-Watt Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0. All two-port, 24-watt chargers from reputable companies in this price range work just as well as any other, but unlike similar models we 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’s also made of metal instead of the cheaper-feeling plastic of almost every other charger.

Port one: Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A
Port two: Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A

Also great

RAVPower Quick Charge 3.0 54W 4-Port Car Adapter (RP-VC003)

RAVPower Quick Charge 3.0 54W 4-Port Car Adapter (RP-VC003)

Four ports for more gadgets

If you need to charge more than two devices at once, this is the car charger to get.

Buying Options

$16 from Amazon

The RAVPower Quick Charge 3.0 54W 4-Port Car Adapter (RP-VC003) is especially useful when you’re traveling with a car full of passengers, as it can charge up to four devices simultaneously without taking up much more space than competing two-port models. Each of its ports can put out 12 watts, and one supports Quick Charge 3.0, so you’re not sacrificing charging speed for more devices.

Port one: Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A
Port two: 12 W USB-A
Port three: 12 W USB-A
Port four: 12 W USB-A

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger

Nekteck PD 45W Type-C Car Charger

The best car charger

This model can charge phones, tablets, and computers from its USB-C port, plus it has a second port for charging USB-A devices. It adheres to USB-C fast-charging standards and includes a quality cable.

Buying Options

$20 from Amazon

Upgrade pick

Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery Dual 18W USB-C Car Charger (CPDC8C8)

Scosche PowerVolt Power Delivery Dual 18W USB-C Car Charger (CPDC8C8)

The best car charger with two USB-C ports

If you want to get the fastest charge possible to two modern devices—such as an iPhone 8 or later, or a Samsung Galaxy S8 or later—this is your best bet. But you’ll need to bring your own USB-C cables.

Buying Options

$20* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $30.

Budget pick

ZMI PowerCruise C2 36-Watt Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0

ZMI PowerCruise C2 36-Watt Dual USB Car Charger with QC 3.0

A great, inexpensive charger

Though it doesn’t charge as fast as USB-C chargers, ZMI’s dual-port charger does provide the fastest USB-A power possible, in a nice metal package and at a low price.

Buying Options

$10* from ZMI
$12 from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $0.

Also great

RAVPower Quick Charge 3.0 54W 4-Port Car Adapter (RP-VC003)

RAVPower Quick Charge 3.0 54W 4-Port Car Adapter (RP-VC003)

Four ports for more gadgets

If you need to charge more than two devices at once, this is the car charger to get.

Buying Options

$16 from Amazon

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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