Car fridges are not your everyday purchase from casual drivers, we get it. You may be wondering why you should consider one of these special car coolers for your food and drink when you could just purchase a standard, portable cool box? Well, these fridges for your motor typically plug in your 12v electrical socket and will run continuously on your car battery.
They are ideal for people who are going on long road trips or camping vacations in warm weather, where food and drink need to be kept cool consistently. Our reviews of the 5 top fridges for cars will help you find one that’s reliable, fits the space you have available in your car and is actually effective at keeping stuff cool.
Best Car Fridges in the UK Reviews
#1. Mobicool W40 Coolbox 12V/230V
Considering this coolbox for your next family trip? It would be a smart investment and a fantastic choice. The Mobicool W40 comes with some impressive features that add to its usability and convenience.
This unit has incredibly easy mobility, aided by the multi-functional pull and carry handles and two rear wheels. This means you can carry or roll this fridge across whatever terrain you find yourself traversing. It also features two separate lid sections, which help to minimize cold loss when you’re reaching for a cool drink or a pre-made sandwich. It’s also equipped for organizational convenience, featuring two removable grids, side handles that fold out of sight, and a power cable compartment tucked away into the lid.
With a dual voltage system and double fans, this coolbox will keep your food and drinks safe and ready for consumption.
- Cooling up to 18 degrees Celsius below ambient temperature
- Runs on 12v DC or 230V AC
- Easy mobility, this coolbox has wheels
- Thermoelectric cooling technology
- Foldable multi-function handle and side carrying handles
- May seem a bit noisy to some
- Draws a decent amount of power
#2. Tibek Electric Cool Box
This unit doesn’t just keep your food cold, it also can keep your food warm when that’s what you’re looking for. This portable fridge has both cooling and warming functions for every occasion. Despite this, it maintains the classic cooler aesthetic that we all grew up with.
This portable fridge was built and designed especially with an energy-efficient thermoelectric cooling system. With no compressor, it minimizes the vibration effect and noise that you might expect with a cool box.
Additionally, one thing that sets this unit apart is its locking handle feature. This keeps the door from bouncing loose on even the bumpiest and most unforgiving roads. Keep in mind that once in place, this handle won’t unlock until it’s unplugged.
- Has effective warming and cooling functions
- Compact size still offers an impressive amount of storage
- Locking handle
- Works with any 12V outlet
- When not plugged into a power source, the internal temperature may rise more quickly than expected
- Large size takes up a lot of space
#3. Oypla 24L Portable Electric Cool Box
The Oypla Portable Cool Box is moderately sized with a 24L capacity, which is ideal for groups of up to four to use. It has a comfortable, convenient weight and is easily moved for your convenience thanks to a folding carry hand-grip.
With hot and cold indicator lights and a removable divider, you’re sure to be able to customize your use with this unit for any of your travel needs. It easily plugs into any standard 12V cigarette lighter in your vehicle and will fall to internal temperatures of as low as 15 degrees Celsius and climb as high as 65 degrees Celsius. It also comes with an included 240V AC adapter.
- 24L Capacity
- Hot and Cold/Red and Green indicator lights
- Removable divider
- 15-18 degree Celsius cooling capacity, 60-65 degree Celsius heating capacity
- 12V DC, 240V AC
- The internal fan reportedly makes a lot of condensation within the box
- Handle lock keeps the lid shut unless the box is unplugged from the power source
#4. Dometic CDF-11 10.5L Portable Fridge
This is definitely the most compact of the car fridges on this list, but don’t let that fool you. It packs some serious cooling power and has some impressive, useful features that made it stand out from its competition.
Available in a variety of sizes, this compressor-powered fridge will reach freezing temperatures within an hour of being plugged in, and that’s just accounting for the basic available mode of allowing the unit to power up and adjust to the ambient temperature of the surrounding temperature. It can be a little noisier than the other models on this list, but it’s barely a noticeable problem.
The display of this unit is very intuitive and user-friendly and makes temperature control a simple task. All the power of this unit is focused on blowing away the heat created by the motor and on cooling the inside of the unit, so your food and drinks are guaranteed to be cold and refreshing.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Intuitive, user-friendly display
- 12V and 24V DC
- Available in 10.5L, 15L, 18L, 21L, 31L, and 39L sizes
- Compressor cooling technology
- Integrated drink holders
- Lid hinges away from the front and controls
#5. Auto Companion Portable
Available in both 32L and 40L capacities, the Auto Companion Portable Electric Cool Box is perfect for large groups on the move.
This unit is the perfect solution for everything from picnics to camping trips. It will keep everything inside at any temperature you choose from 10 to 60 degrees Celsius. You can accomplish these temperature variants, and any in between, by using the convenient switch temperature control.
The heavy-duty thermal lining in this model guarantees that your food, drinks, and other supplies will be kept at the optimal set temperature. With over thirty years of experience, you can be sure that this product from Auto Companion will fit your lifestyle and travel needs.
- Available in 32L and 40L sizes
- Heavy-duty thermal lining
- Powered by mains or 12V; connectors are supplied
- Switch temperature control
- Keeps cool to 10 degrees Celsius, keeps warm to 60 degrees Celsius
- It is a cooler type of container rather than an actual fridge, so keep that in mind
Portable Car Refrigerator Buying Considerations
A large portable fridge means a greater capacity. But on the same note, a larger unit also means it will draw a lot more power, as well as take up more space in your vehicle. Keep in mind that while travelling with your friends or family, that you’ll also need to account for their gear, toiletries, clothing items, and possibly more, and that all of these factors combined with a fully-loaded portable fridge might result in pushing your vehicle over its gross vehicle mass.
Getting a cooler or car fridge with no insulation or insulating properties is pretty pointless. You want a unit with thick walls and durable insulation, and this will ensure that the internal temperature stays as cool or warm as you want it to be. When unplugged, these units should not lose their internal temperature at an accelerated rate.
The outer casing material is also incredibly important. There are also optional thermal covers that you can purchase separately to provide even more insulation to your car fridge.
Most of your portable car fridges will use a 12V connection to cool your items. They should be easy to hook up in any vehicle or vessel, and some can even utilize adapters to connect to solar panels. With all of this in mind, you want to select a unit that has a low overall current draw. That will factor indirectly to how long your battery will last and how long your fridge will run at a campsite or within a parked vehicle.
You should also take the portable fridge’s in-built battery protection into account. This is especially true if you’re running the unit off of your starting battery.
The Final Word
There are undoubtedly a plethora of options for cooling your food, insulin, and drinks while travelling, and quite simply, many of them aren't up to the job. We've tried to provide a list of the absolute best car fridges on the market that won't let you down and have a track record of keeping things cool. So why not be one step ahead for your next car adventure in warm weather by investing in a fridge that easily fits into your motor today.
Last Updated On: April 10, 2021.