It’s fairly common to see USB ports in modern cars, but if you want to charge more than a cell phone or tablet, you’ll need a power inverter. The best power inverters for your car will hinge on the devices you want to use and how much electricity you need. Regardless of your intended usage, a power inverter can always come in handy if you’re on a road trip or need an emergency power source.

This review will spotlight some of the best power inverters for cars as determined by our research team. We scored each product based on design, installation process, and overall value to consumers.

#1 Best Overall: Bestek 300W Car Power Inverter

Bestek 300W Car Power Inverter

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Our review team’s top pick for the best power inverter for cars is the Bestek 300W Car Power Inverter. This unit comes out of the box ready to use with a 12.0-volt adapter wired into the inverter’s metal housing. At 300.0 watts, this is more of a charger than a heavy-duty generator, but it can support everything from a few smartphones to a laptop.

Key Features

  • Two USB charging ports
  • Two AC power outlets
  • High-quality construction
  • Produces 110.0-V AC

Our Experience

The Bestek 300W Car Inverter is a simple, plug-and-play product. After connecting it to the cigarette lighter, the adapter cable has plenty of length. By the way, we found the inverter could handle multiple devices easily.

One feature we didn’t like, which our team discovered with multiple types of power inverters, is that installing several cables on the outlet cluster makes things relatively tight. This didn’t impact performance, but it just means you have limited real estate depending on the design.

The other issue is the absence of any rubber feet or other ways to secure the Bestek to the vehicle. So make sure you have a space set aside where the inverter can’t freely roll about the car. Otherwise, the Bestek gets high marks for its compact design and power specifications.

Overall Rating4.8 out of 5
Design4.5 out of 5
Installation5 out of 5
Value5 out of 5

Bestek 300W Car Power Inverter

What Customers Are Saying

With over 24,700 ratings on Amazon, the Bestek 300W Power Inverter is one of the most often reviewed items on our list. It maintains an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, and customers enjoy the amount of power it produces. On the negative end, several consumers report longevity issues and spotty customer service.

What Is It Good For?

The Bestek is a great product if you want a simple, no-frills inverter that can charge more than a few phones at once. It’s a terrific option if you often work from the car or need items such as camera batteries at a moment’s notice.

#2 Best Modified Sine Wave Inverter: Maxpart 1000W Power Inverter

Maxpart 1000W Power Inverter

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If you have a need for more power, the Maxpart 1000W Power Inverter is worth considering. The manufacturer gives users the option of powering the inverter through the cigarette lighter or connecting directly to the vehicle’s battery via alligator clips.

Key Features

  • Dual USB ports
  • Dual 12.0-V DC ports
  • Dual AC power outlets
  • LCD display

Our Experience

Connecting the battery cables to the inverter unit was incredibly easy thanks to the color-coded ports on the back of the device. Even though the Maxpart was the largest inverter we tested, we found it mostly quiet, and it had plenty of room for our devices to plug into.

Our team liked the inclusion of two additional cigarette lighters and the added flexibility of being able to connect directly to the car battery. The only thing we docked the Maxpart for is the assembly required out of the box. Conversely, several other brands are ready to go as soon as you open the package.

Overall Rating4.7 out of 5
Design5 out of 5
Installation4 out of 5
Value5 out of 5

Maxpart 1000W Power Inverter

What Customers Are Saying

The Maxpart has an average customer rating of 4.4 stars from around 2,000 Amazon reviews. Customers liked it for charging simple devices. Some users mention issues with the battery cables being of poor quality and the device shutting down when powering larger devices.

What Is It Good For?

The Maxpart is a solid choice if you want to do more than charge a cell phone or laptop. It has enough juice to run a gaming console and a small TV. Plus, being able to connect directly to the vehicle’s battery means you’re not tethered to the car’s interior.

#3 Potek 750W Power Inverter

Potek 750W Power Inverter

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The Potek 750W Power Inverter is a contender for drivers who want an above-average amount of power. Like our runner-up pick, the Potek comes with the option of connecting directly to the car battery or going through the cigarette lighter. It also has a litany of safety features to prevent overheating and short circuits.

Potek goes the extra mile by providing you with two extra sets of fuses in the event of over-voltage.

Key Features

  • Single USB port
  • Extra fuses
  • Two AC power outlets
  • Auto-shutoff features

Our Experience

The Potek can power most devices with a strong output. One issue is the limited real estate up front because it has only one USB port and the AC outlets are right next to each other. We encountered the same problem we did with the Bestek in terms of limited space, as one battery charger took up the whole area. Otherwise, it had the same assembly issues as the Maxpart.

Overall Rating4 out of 5
Design4 out of 5
Installation4 out of 5
Value4 out of 5

Potek 750W Power Inverter

What Customers Are Saying

The Potek 750W Power Inverter has an average score of 4.4 on Amazon based on more than 1,800 reviews. Fans of the inverter say it has tremendous power output, while critics claim the Potek’s quality control is lacking.

What Is It Good For?

Need to power a drill or vacuum off your car battery? The Potek 750W car inverter will give you that option. If you’re looking to charge a tablet or something else, you should consider a more basic device.

#4 Bestek 200W Car Power Inverter

Bestek 200W Car Power Inverter

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If your vehicle has cup holders, you have a spot for the Bestek 200W Car Power Inverter. This version has a design similar to our top pick in terms of outlets with the added bonus of a 12.0-volt socket, albeit at a lower wattage.

Key Features

  • Two AC outlets
  • Two USB ports
  • Automatic shutoff safety design
  • 12.0-volt cigarette lighter socket
  • 18-month warranty

Our Experience

Bestek’s 200.0-watt offering was the most compact and form-fitting power inverter we profiled. While customers don’t necessarily have to place the device in a cup holder, the cylindrical design makes the Bestek prone to rolling about the car cabin if you choose any other installation point.

Besides running into a similar outlet real estate issue, the plastic design has a cheaper feel than Bestek’s 300.0-watt counterpart. From a value standpoint, this product is difficult to recommend because, for a few pennies more, you can get a more powerful inverter from the same manufacturer. It also happened to be the loudest power inverter we tested.

Overall Rating4 out of 5
Design4 out of 5
Installation4.5 out of 5
Value3.5 out of 5

Bestek 200W Car Power Inverter

What Customers Are Saying

After around 2,600 customer ratings on Amazon, the Bestek 200W Car Inverter has an average score of 4.5 stars. Customers seem to really like the straightforward design and portability of the product.

Those who reported issues mentioned a lack of power and the device failing after about a year of service.

What Is It Good For?

As our most compact option, the Bestek is terrific if you’re OK with giving up a cupholder and like having your power station close by at all times. This product is probably better at charging multiple smartphones at once than items requiring AC outlets. But if you don’t mind a squished version of our best pick, it’s hard to argue with the form factor.

#5 Foval 200W Car Power Inverter

Foval 200W Car Power Inverter

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The Foval 200W Car Power Inverter places function over design. Whereas the other brand brands we featured use a hotrod red, Foval went with a simple gray for its 200.0-W model. Color choices aside, we chose this product simply for its portability and smart design.

Key Features

  • Four USB ports
  • Two AC outlets
  • Smart cooling fan
  • Built-in protection from short-circuits and overcharging

Our Experience

Like the rest of the power inverters, installation was incredibly simple with a quick connection to the cigarette lighter. We love the design by placing the USB ports on the side, since some of the other contenders felt crowded when using both a USP power and AC power outlet.

What we don’t love about the Foval is the cheap construction. The plastic housing just feels lower quality compared to the other devices we profiled. Plus, for about $10 more, you can get a higher-wattage rating.

Overall Rating4 out of 5
Design3.5 out of 5
Installation5 out of 5
Value3.5 out of 5

Foval 200W Car Power Inverter

What Customers Are Saying

The Foval has an average Amazon score of 4.6 stars after more than 11,500 reviews from customers. The product is designated as Amazon’s Choice for “car power inverter.”

Customers love the small format and multiple USB ports. However, we’ve seen some gripes about the device overheating and blowing fuses.

What Is It Good For?

This product is ideal if you covet a small format at under 300.0 watts of power. If charging more than two smartphones at once is also a priority, we’d recommend the Foval on design alone.

Power Inverter Buyers Guide

The best power inverter for your car depends on wattage ratings, how power transfer works, and matching your preferences for size and outlet. Below are some of the benchmarks we believe you should consider.

What Wattage Works For Me?

The appliances you plan on using should dictate the wattage of your power inverter. If you’re looking to charge your phone, laptop, or multiple small electronic devices, a 250.0-watt to 300.0-watt inverter should pack enough power.

If you’re planning on a road trip and want to use more heavy-duty appliances such as power tools or a coffee maker, you’ll want to pick something in the 1,000.0-watt range or above to avoid a short circuit of your car or overheating the device.

Understanding Sine Waves 

The best power inverters for cars work by turning direct current into alternating current. Some power inverters advertise the tech as utilizing pure sine waves or using modified sine waves. This is more of a standard for energy efficiency instead of energy quality.

Modified sine waves refer to deviations in the amount of energy in the power source, creating sometimes what’s called a square wave. Modified weaves can run devices efficiently but negatively impact performance over time.

Pure sine waves are uninterrupted power from the car battery, meaning the voltage going into the electronic device stays constant. Because of the stable power flow, pure sine wave power inverters are better options for devices that require higher wattage.

Storage

Bigger isn’t always better, but it usually means more power from power inverters. Some smaller inverters, such as the Bestek, are designed to fit into your car’s cup holder. Larger inverters we tested even had screw mounts for a hard install into the car.

Power Inverter Vs. Power Converter

You may be familiar with the term “power converter,” which is a different device than a power inverter. A power inverter converts direct current into alternating current. A power converter does the opposite, meaning it turns alternating current to DC power.

This is important because home appliances such as drills, toasters, and printers work best on AC power.

Our Review Standards

The automotive power inverters in this article underwent two rounds of reviews. We started by searching Amazon for top products, looking at factors such as Prime shipping eligibility, customer ratings, Amazon superlatives, and prices.

For testing purposes, our team ordered the five power inverters that performed best in these areas. A team member tested each product on a car, noting the inverter’s design, ease of installation, and value. We gave each power inverter a rating out of 5 stars based on these criteria.

Power Inverters Testing Process

In testing each product, we used an appropriate number of devices for its power level. Items we charged included a smartphone, camera batteries, and laptops. Each of the inverters could handle more than charging the various devices, but we wanted to test the function for which most consumers would use each product.

FAQ: Best Power Inverters For Cars

*Data accurate at time of publication.