What is the Best Car Battery Charger: A Comparison Price Guide

May 17, 2013

A car battery charger ensures you can recharge your battery no matter where you are or what you're doing. Most are compact for easy storage in your car, and these are some of the best.

Deltran Battery Tender Plus

This battery charger is designed to work with sealed lead acid batteries. It has the advanced technology of a microprocessor that maintains a charge without overcharging the battery, which can cause damage. This means the charger can be safely connected for a long time.

Though a 1.24 amp charger, it charges batteries just as quickly as a 3 amp, and uses red and green lights to show when the battery is completely charged. The price is around $70.

CTEK Multi Smart Battery Charger

This charges 12 volt batteries and can be used for your car, jet ski, motorcycle, lawnmower and more. It can provide maintenance charging to extend the life of your battery in addition to charging a car that won't start. The compact design means you can keep it connected for months without damaging anything. There are two types of leads: one with eyelets and one with clamps. It comes with a five-year warranty and retails for about $75.

Schumacher Manual Starter/Charger

Both a battery charger and a jump starter, the Schumacher has a 50 amp engine start and a 10 amp fast charge. There is also a trickle charge that takes between two and 12 hours to charge a small battery. It will not be able to jump start a battery that is completely dead, but it can charge a dead battery.

It normally costs about $100, but you might be able to find it on sale for about half that price.

Vector Power On Board

The 25 amp Vector will charge your battery twice as quickly as other chargers and comes with reverse hook up protection. It will jump start a car with a 75 amp engine start. Because it can get through lead sulfate build-up, the Vector can also be used on reconditioned batteries.

There is a cooling fan to keep the charger cool, and once a battery is full it switches automatically to float mode. This battery charger is quite inexpensive at about $40.

Schumacher Speedcharge Battery Charger

This is a high-frequency charger that has several different modes. A 4 amp medium charge performs maintenance charging; a 2 amp slow charge is for smaller batteries or maintaining large batteries; there are also a 50 amp clamps that attach to the side of top-mounted batteries. This automatically turns off once a battery is full, and you don't have to worry about overcharging the battery should you be doing something else. The price is around $50.