Best Car Battery Charger / Maintainer

Anytime your car is stored or remains inactive for long periods of time, there’s a good chance the battery will be completely drained when you try to start your vehicle up. Inexpensive trickle chargers can keep the battery alive, but can also damage it if left connected for extended periods of time. Each of the following picks is a good choice.
for drivers who want the convenience of a charger that can stay hooked up all the time.

We've made our selections based on charger/maintainers ability to be hooked up and left alone for a while, thanks to features such as an onboard microprocessor which allows the charge cycle to become automatic, preventing overcharging of the battery. Most of our picks are also compact or portable enough to be used for a wide variety of applications, while being easy to use thanks to their design. While price varies, we've included options to fit a range of budgets, without compromising on safety or performance.

Deltran SuperSmart Battery Tender Plus 12-Volt 1.25 AMP Battery Charger

The Deltran SuperSmart Battery Tender Plus offers peace of mind, with a onboard microprocessor that will automatically switch to float mode when the battery is charged. This prevents overcharging, and allows for hooking up the unit and leaving it until you're ready to use the battery. Read Full Review

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    Why it's best:

    Unlike inexpensive trickle chargers, the Deltra Battery Tender Plus can safely remain hooked up to your car battery for extended periods of time to ensure it’s always fully charged and ready to go. This is because it has an onboard microprocessor that automatically switches it to a float charge mode after fully charging the battery. The LED light stays red while it’s charging and then glows green when it’s fully charged.

    This product does exactly what it’s supposed to and gives you peace of mind. It’s also very lightweight and easy to store. It includes alligator clips as well as a quick disconnect adapter with ring terminals that attach to the battery terminals. The Deltran Battery Tender Plus is the best solution for drivers that store their cars for the winter or have a sports car that is only driven occasionally.

    Deltran SuperSmart Battery Tender Plus 12-Volt 1.25 AMP Battery Charger

    Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge 3/6/12 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Tester

    The Schumacher SC-1200A is an excellent battery charger/maintainer both in performance and price. This unit includes a retractable handle for portability and convenience. Read Full Review

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      Why it's best:

      Despite being quite affordable, the durable and well-built Schumacher SC-1200A is an excellent battery charger/maintainer which can safely stay hooked up to a car or other type of battery thanks to its microprocessor. This allows the unit to monitor the condition of the battery and adjust the charge rate automatically to prevent any damage.

      Safety features include reverse hook-up protection and an LED indicator, while the push button controls are easy to use. The controls let you choose the display mode, charge rate, and battery type, although the SC-1200A has auto voltage detection for six and twelve volt batteries. A retractable handle and overall light weight make this unit very portable.

      Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge 3/6/12 Amp Charger/Maintainer/Tester

      Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger

      This affordable and compact battery charger/maintainer is meant to be used as a long term solution for vehicles that will be left sitting for a while. The Battery Tender Junior 12V won't charge a battery quickly, but its automatic cycles allow for hooking it up and forgetting about it until you need to use your vehicle. Read Full Review

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        Why it's best:

        If you don't need a versatile and fast-charging battery charger/maintainer, but rather something that will maintain the charge of your vehicle's battery over long periods of time, the Battery Tender Junior 12V might be a good option. This compact and lightweight unit is suited for twelve volt batteries only, but is very simple to hook up and use.

        You simply hook it up and that’s it until you're ready to use the battery as it won’t overcharge the battery thanks to the automatic charge cycle which will switch to float mode when charging is complete. There’s also an LED indicator light shows the charging stages and a reverse hook-up protection safety feature. Although the Battery Tender Junior 12V is quite slow to charge, it is primarily meant for long term use.

        Battery Tender 021-0123 Battery Tender Junior 12V Battery Charger

        Schumacher Battery Charger/Maintainer - 1.5 Amp, Model SEM-1562A

        This battery charger/maintainer is a reasonably priced option for those who need to maintain a battery's charge while it’s in storage. Although the Schumacher SEM-1562A might not be capable of quickly charging a large battery, its automatic cycle lets you hook it up and leave it until you're ready to use the battery. Read Full Review

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          Why it's best:

          The Schumacher SEM-1562A is a charger/maintainer suitable for both six and twelve volt batteries, making it ideal for maintaining battery charge while the battery is being stored. This model will not charge up a large battery very quickly, making it a much better choice for long term application.

          The SEM-1562A includes a microprocessor to make the charging cycle fully automatic. When the battery is charged, it will switch off and monitor the battery to prevent overcharging. Several safety enhancing features are included such as reverse hook-up protection and automatic temperature compensation to prevent overheating. This rugged unit comes with everything you need including both clamps and ring connectors.

          Schumacher Battery Charger/Maintainer - 1.5 Amp, Model SEM-1562A

          Black and Decker Bm3b, 6v and 12v Battery Charger/Maintainer

          If you don't need a battery charger/maintainer that needs to stand up to heavy use, the Black & Decker BM3B is a good affordable option to have on hand. This battery charger/maintainer will automatically keep batteries at their optimal charge, switching to float mode as needed, and is easy to use. Read Full Review

          Why it's best:

          The Black & Decker BM3B is a very budget-friendly battery charger and maintainer. Although this unit is not well-suited to heavy-duty use, it’s an affordable and easy to use option to have on hand. The BM3B is a bit flimsier than more expensive models and doesn't have as much versatility, but for basic purposes, most users are perfectly satisfied.

          Connection to your vehicle's battery is easy using the included attachments, while featuring built-in protection against reverse hook-up and short circuiting. This battery charger/maintainer also protects against overcharging and will automatically switch to float mode as needed. Suitable for both six and twelve volt batteries, this is an affordable option for basic charging needs.

          Black and Decker Bm3b, 6v and 12v Battery Charger/Maintainer
          Leave a Question or Comment
          4 comments
          • boboffroad23 boboffroad23

          I have a panasonic car battery that came with the SUV since 2004. I bought the tender battery to juice the battery when I was away for couple of month job relocation and I keep using the charger to extend the life of the battery before I crack the vehicle. The battery is over 7 years old and the dealer tells me " your battery still good". It does help recharge your battery in the regular basic. I also use the Yausa tender for my bike's battery.

          Posted on 4/23/2011 12:51 pm | Reply
          • LindaC LindaC

          I do believe that the most important part in a car is it's battery, without such device it is virtually impossible to start the engine, right? I also believe that it depends on the type of car you use the battery life fluctuates, and some will last 4-5 years, others will go above that, but every once in a while we hear about batteries lasting only a couple of years.

          Posted on 6/24/2009 12:07 am | Reply
          • Jeffymous Jeffymous

          1.25 amps is ONLY going to give a float charge.  If the battery is heavily discharged, like when you left the lights on for hours, this will take a day to charge it back up.  PLUS the battery tender does NOTHING to eliminate sulfation that has already formed.  There are other conditioners on the market that have desulfation technology built into them.So the Deltran stuff has a lot keeping it from being "best".

          Posted on 5/23/2009 2:45 am | Reply
          • ASL0329 ASL0329

          Like what? I'd like to do some research on those with desulfation technology built in.

          Posted on 8/12/2010 5:23 pm. In reply to Jeffymous | Reply