Top 6 Best Shop Vacs For Cars & Buying Guide In Details – 2020

It’s so comfortable to get in a clean and fragrant car. Don’t you want your car to be a mobile lounge whenever you go out?

Keeping a car clean brings so many benefits. You will have a new car all the time. Not only that, the environment inside the car is always fresh, keeping you off allergies. It’s especially good if you usually drive with kids.

But cleaning a car’s interior involves many tasks that a regular vacuum can’t handle.

Technically, you need the best shop vac for cars. Here we have 6 best items we have used and reviewed.

Best corded electric shop vacs for cars

  • Best overall – Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • Most compact – Shop-Vac 5895200 EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • Most maneuverable – DeWALT 6 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

Best cordless electric shop vacs for cars

  • Most versatile – DEWALT DCV581H Wet-Dry Vacuum
  • Budget friendly option – PORTER-CABLE PCC795B 20V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum
  • Long runtime – Makita XCV11Z Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum

Best corded electric shop vacs for cars

Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum – Best overall

Stanley Wet/Dry Vacuum
Stanley 5 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum, 4 Peak HP Stainless Steel 3 in 1 Shop Vac Blower with Powerful Suction, Multifunctional Shop Vacuum W/ 4 Horsepower Motor for Job Site,Garage,Basement,Van,Workshop

  • Easy to move around
  • Double filtration system
  • Cord storage
  • Reasonable suction


  • Short cord
  • A bit heavy

Taking care of automotive messes with this Stanley Stainless Steel tank vac is effortless.

We did enjoy the 360 degree caster wheels that can swivel flexible for easy movement when you’re cleaning the vehicle. Also, the stainless tank looks sleeks and shiny.

It comes with a reusable dry filter which you can lock into the onboard foam filter for cleaning dust and debris. This double filtration system traps particles quite effectively when we tested it on sucking dirt on the car carpet.

Not only that, you’ll get a machine that works as a blower with a rear blower port. We do appreciate the 10-foot power cord with built-in cord wrap. It stores the wire snugly so that you can store the whole unit nice and neat.

Capacity3 gallon
Peak HP4 HP
Power Cord Length10 ft
Max Airflow85 CFM
Electrical Ratings120V AC/60Hz
Hose Length5 ft
Accessory Diameter1-1/4″
Weight11 lbs.
Warranty1 year limited
Highlight featuresHigh peak HP for a compact shop vac with dual function. Durable and nice-looking unit that can clean car chair and floor mat fast

This unit has all you need for a shop vac to keep your car new every day.

Shop-Vac 5895200 EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum – Most compact

Shop-Vac 5895200 EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum
Shop-Vac 5895200 2.5-Peak Horsepower All-around EZ Series Wet/Dry Vacuum 2.5-Gallon With Extension Wands Tool Storage & Wall Bracket Uses Type B Filter Bag & Type R Foam Sleeve, Magenta/Gray

  • Nice design
  • Versatile nozzle
  • Convenient on-board accessory store
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Long cord


  • Small filter capacity
  • Foam filter is thin

This adorable pink vac adds style to your cleaning task.

Among the vacs we brought to evaluation, this 5895200 model from Shop-Vac has the most compact footprint but the lengthiest cord.

For car use, it includes a dual floor nozzle that can sweep messes and tidy up junk to ensure no dirt left after cleaning.

You will all the tool stored on board. So, no worries about losing pieces. Besides, you will like this shop vac for it can instantly convert your vacuum to a powerful blower. So, get ready to do some blowouts for the interior.

Capacity2.5 gallon
Peak HP2.5 HP
Power Cord Length18 ft
Max Airflow130 CFM
Electrical Ratings120V, 60 Hz, 8.0 Amps
Hose Length7 ft
Accessory Diameter1.25″
Weight12 lbs
Warranty3 year in Home
Highlight featuresLong cord allows you to move the object distant from the outlet. The compact vacuum has powerful suction and blow

It’s great to have a functional yet compact vac to handle vehicle cleaning without taking a sweat.

DeWALT 6 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac – Most maneuverable

DeWALT 6 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac
DeWALT DXV06P 6 gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac, Yellow

  • Powerful HP engine
  • Easily maneuverable wheels
  • Convenient cord wrap
  • Ideal for small cleanups


  • Pricey
  • Bags tend to rip at the inlet

DeWALT always surprises us with their second to none products coming in a unique design and distinctive yellow and black.

This DeWALT car vac has a powerful 4 peak horsepower motor that is just the right match for your vehicle.

The best part is about its easy swiveling wheels that allow omnidirectional maneuvering. Those ultra-durable rubberized casters can roll smoothly carrying the 6-gallon tank to pick up all dirt in the car with one-time cleaning.

It yet can work as a blower when you’re in a mood to tidy up leaves in your garden. This vac comes with a 10′ power cord with cord wrap enable neat cord storing.

Capacity6 gallon
Peak HP4 HP
Power Cord Length10 ft
Max AirflowN/A
Electrical Ratings120V, 135.5 watts
Hose Length7 ft
Accessory Diameter1-7/8”
Weight18.3 lbs
Warranty3 year limited and 1 year free service
Highlight featuresUltra-durable rubberized casters are made for easy movement around the car. Sufficient engine for enough suction

Moving the vacuum has never so enjoyable with this DeWALT car vac model.

Best cordless electric shop vacs for cars

DEWALT DCV581H Wet-Dry Vacuum – Most versatile

DEWALT DCV581H Wet-Dry Vacuum
DEWALT 18/20V Max Vacuum, Wet/Dry (DCV581H)

  • Convenient to transport
  • Very lightweight
  • Can perform multiple functions
  • Ergonomically design
  • HEPA filter


  • Short runtime

We like the idea of operating the vac without connecting it to any outlet. With a cordless shop vac, it’s totally possible.

The DeWALT DCV581H can run on both battery and electricity source. Without an AC outlet, the machine can run on an 18V or 20v MAX battery.

What we liked the most on this vacuum is the HEPA filter that is perfect to use around allergic individuals. It can trap up to 99.97% efficiency and keep the air in the car that is free of allergens.

It’s easy to turn this vac from a dry one to a wet one using different filters provided in the box.

Capacity2 gallon
Peak HPN/A
Battery18V , 20V Max
Runtime10 minutes
Max Airflow31 CFM
Hose Length5 ft
Accessory Diameter1-1/4”
Weight11 lbs
Warranty3 year limited and 1 year free service
Highlight featuresCan perform as a dry and wet vac with HEPA filter on battery power source

With those versatile features in one machine, you have all the power to get your cleaning into a hobby.

Budget friendly option – PORTER-CABLE PCC795B 20V MAX Wet/Dry Vacuum

PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Shop Vacuum, Wet/Dry, 2-Gallon, Tool Only (PCC795B)

  • Wet/dry versatility
  • Long hose
  • Easy storing
  • Clean up fast


  • Weak latches
  • Battery drains fast

The PORTER CABLE PCC795B is a rare car vac that works our expectation without costing too much.

This vac comes with a powerful suction at 34 CFM will help you to clean fast and thorough. The best point is the 7ft.8in hose to reach to corners of the car with no obstruction on the way. The wraparound storage solution will help you keep the hose in place for good.

Along with that is the on-board storage which keeps all the accessories for you. You just need to gather everything to its place and pull them out to use the next time. No losing fear here.

Using this vac with its full feature of a wet/dry vac is a bang for the buck. You can use it as a wet and dry vac for more cleaning purposes.

Capacity2 gallon
Peak HPN/A
Battery20V Max
Max Airflow34 CFM
Hose Length7.67 ft
Accessory Diameter1 1/4”
Weight9.2 lbs
Warranty3 year limited and 1 year free service
Highlight featuresLong hose can weave to distant spots and convenient accessory storage on the machine

Without spending too much, you can give your car a clean coat every time it came to use.

Makita XCV11Z Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum – Long runtime

Makita XCV11Z Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum
Makita XCV11Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 2 Gallon HEPA Filter Portable Wet/Dry Dust Extractor/Vacuum, Tool Only

  • Run long per charge
  • HEPA filter
  • Powerful suction
  • Cooler motor elongates its lifespan


  • Battery not included

The Makita XCV11Z is an exceptional shop vac that uses the powerful BL Brushless motor running on an 18V LXT Lithium Ion battery. It gives a strong suction to suffice the need for car cleaning just fine.

The filter cleaning system gives efficiency to the suction. Meanwhile, the HEPA filter, as you know, captures 99.97% of dust and debris, giving you the freshest environment inside the car.

Better than all, Makita gives this vac the power to operate up to 60 minutes of continuously on battery. That is an impressive runtime of a vac in a compact and portable design.

Capacity2 gallon
Peak HPN/A
Battery18V LXT Lithium Ion battery
Runtime60 minutes
Max Airflow57 CFM
Hose LengthFlexible
Accessory DiameterFlexible
Weight10. 1 lbs
Warranty3-year limited warranty.
Highlight features18V LXT Lithium Ion battery gives the machine the longest runtime whiel HEPA filter collect almost 100% of dust

It’s perfect to finish the cleaning up without having to recharge the Makita XCV11Z vac in up to 60 minutes.

How to choose the best shop vacs for cars (buying guide)

Best Shop Vacs For Cars & Buying Guide In Details

It’s not just simply about buying one of the vacs in this list. There are a few things to consider so that you can buy the best-matched vacuum for your car.

Corded vs. cordless

If you want to ignore the tangled wiring and reap the benefits of portability, cordless vacuums are your right choice. In exchange for that convenience, would you want to sacrifice the suction power?

Corded vacuums have to rely on an AC outlet, but that guarantee stable and robust suction. Connecting to an electrical source will ensure no interruption to your cleaning.

Weight and size

It’s important to consider the size of the vac because many times you will have to pick up the vacuum to clean some areas in the car.

When that happens, you need the vac to be lightweight and compact so that it won’t strain your arm.

It also matters in case you want to bring the machine to a trip. It’d be a huge plus for the vacuum to be small in size.


Most vacs nowadays can work as both dry and wet machines. Some are even equipped with blower feature. Of course, more advantages will charge more money. It’s best to look at the job you need to get done, not what you want.


Vacuums with a functional filter help a lot in getting your cleaning done faster. A quality filter allows you to clean more without having to replace it so frequently.

It’s even better if you can go for a HEPA filter as it is quite useful if you have allergic riders.

Who makes the best shop vacs for cars?

Who makes the best shop vac for cars


The brand with years of experience and dedication to the industry of power tool. They know exactly what users in the field need. They are willing to learn, test, and improve to deliver the best quality vacuums.


It’s hard to doubt quality from ShopVac. With collections of vacuums on the market, ShopVac is confident to declare their top standard. Using vacuums from this brand, you are taken care from top to toe with great customer service and responsive repair/replacement policy.

Porter Cable

This American company, with a hundred years of performance, never stops in improving from the beginning. The brand is known for pioneering lines of power tools manufactured by passion and innovation.

With a proud history in the heart, Porter Cable’s products have from rare to nothing to complain.


shop vacs for cars - buying guide

Is a shop vac better than a regular vacuum?

A: A shop vac can suck almost anything you throw to it (not the too obtrusive ones). While a regular commercial vacuum may look fancier and cost more dollar, it’s cheaper to invest in a shop vac.

So, we can conclude that a shop is better if you don’t mind its industrial appearance.

Are all shop vacs Wet Dry?

A: Not necessarily, but in fact, we rarely see single-function shop vacuum today as the versatile ones are getting cheaper. If you research the market, probably you will find some old models.

Is it safe to vacuum water?

A: With a wet/dry shop vac, it is totally safe to suck water. For such a chore, you should look for a vac that has foam filter for liquid and drain hole at the bottom. That vac will make your cleaning a lot easier and faster.

What happens if you vacuum without a filter?

A: Nothing wrong if you use the vac to clean up the puddle, liquid spill, or water leak. But when tidying up dust, a vac with no filter will exhaust dirt back to the air because it has nothing to trap those junks.

So, make sure you have a filter on when cleaning solid messes.

Final thoughts

We hope you are well equipped now with the knowledge to shop for the best shop vac for cars.

When you have the machine in hand, make cleaning the car a routine. It helps to keep your vehicle a fresh coat every once in a while. Driving a clean and new car is always better, isn’t it?

If you enjoy this review post, please share to those who need it; it’ll be very thankful.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our coming posts with everything you need for home. See ya!

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