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USB car chargers cost very little these days. But that doesn’t mean you should buy just any charger. Whether you’re looking for a USB-C or micro-USB charger, our curated guide will help you find the best.
Buying a USB-C car charger is tricky. Not only will many USB-C chargers fail to charge your device at its maximum speed, but some may not charge your device at all. Also, a large number of poorly designed USB-C chargers will destroy your devices. If you aren’t sure whether a charger is worth buying, you can check to see which USB-C chargers are safe and which are dangerous.
Fortunately, micro-USB cables and USB-A chargers aren’t as complex, or potentially dangerous, as USB-C chargers. This means that you can safely buy one of the cheapest dual-port models. However, USB-A ports are incompatible with USB-C Power Delivery. That means you can’t fast charge devices that lack Quick Charge.
The Best USB-C Car Charger: Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2
The Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 includes two ports: a USB-C and a USB-A. The USB-C port is compatible with Power Delivery (PD), meaning it can fast charge PD-compatible phones. The USB-A port is Quick Charge 3.0 compatible, so it will work with most Android devices and iPhones or iPads.
All the news about the PowerDrive Speed+ 2 is good. It comes with a USB-IF certification. Its Amazon rating of 4.5-stars out of five and an A-grade rating on FakeSpot give it strong credentials. It also shows up on many top-ten lists.
You should be able to use a USB-A-to-C cable in the USB-A port. Just make sure to buy one that includes a 56k resistor, like the Anker Powerline USB C cable.
The Best Value USB Car Charger: Amazon Basics Dual-Port USB Car Charger
The AmazonBasics Dual-Port USB Car Charger can simultaneously charge a dash cam and your phone or GPS device. It doesn’t matter whether you have an iPhone or Android device. However, this charger does not possess Quick Charge of any sort. While it offers fairly fast charging, at 2.4-amps per port, it won’t charge your device at its maximum speed as would a Quick Charge charger.
On a technical level, this charger can’t modulate the voltage output. However, if you combine it with a 2.4-amp USB-A to Micro-USB cable, like the Anker Powerline+, it will charge devices fairly quickly.
The Best for In-Car Entertainment: Roav SmartCharge F0 Car Charger
If you own an older car that lacks Bluetooth, check out Anker’s Roav SmartCharge F0 car charger. It includes an FM transmitter for turning your phone into a radio transmitter. It also sports dual Quick Charge 3.0-compatible, USB-A charging ports. Its Fakespot rating is an average C, though, on account of a lot of very short reviews.
A common complaint about the unit is audio static, but all Bluetooth radio transmitters have this problem. If you demand perfect sound quality, I don’t recommend it. That said, if you are looking for a low-cost Bluetooth transmitter and dual-USB port car charger, it ticks all the right boxes for very little money.
The Best for Wireless Charging: RAVPower Wireless Car Charger
The RAVPower Wireless Car Charger is very well received. It scores 4.2/5-stars on Amazon with a FakeSpot A grade. And in general, it’s one of the highest-rated wireless car chargers around. It even comes with a dual USB-A Quick Charge 3.0 car charger, too.
Some phones have wireless Qi charging, which is often referred to as wireless charging. A small number of these phones can do fast wireless charging. This charger caters to both groups since it is both a wireless and fast charger. Although wireless chargers are slower, the convenience outweighs the charging speed.
Personally, I would have preferred a magnetic holder. In hot climates, like California, mechanical clasps tend to break down rapidly. But for those of you unconcerned about heat, this is easily the best device on Amazon in its class.
Which USB Car Charger Should You Buy?
Before heading out on your next road trip, you’ll want the best USB car charger for your needs. However, unless you need one right this minute, you may want to hold off buying a car charger. If you absolutely must buy a charger, I recommend a [car power inverter](https://www.amazon.com/Foval-Power-Inverter-Converter-Charger/dp/B01H2XD2DY) instead of a car charger. An inverter adds a wall socket and USB charging ports (non-fast charge) to the lighter receptacle.
Revolutionary and evolutionary technologies, like GaNFast charging and Quick Charge 4.0, will arrive soon. While we wait for those technologies to come to the market, you may still want to stock up on the smartphone accessories to have in your car at all times.