If you want to keep your car battery ticking over during long periods of inactivity, cold weather or because it’s a little frail and old, the use of a trickle charger is great for keeping it topped up and ready to start. This constant topping up reduces the chance of you ending up with a drained battery and does so in a safe and controlled way because they’re low-amp. They can be hooked up to an idle battery and will slowly charge the battery up, preventing depletion and automatically stopping once the battery is full.
You can check your car battery with a tester ahead of time, but there’s no guarantee that your battery will work after waking up in the morning in a rush for work. A trickle charger can be relied on to keep your battery in a good enough state to start when required, providing your battery has not completely died on you. Our top 5 trickle charger picks will not only keep your car battery in a working condition but should also be beneficial to the long term health of your battery.
Best Trickle Chargers in the UK Reviewed
6V and 12V
6V and 12V
12V, 5 Amp
6V and 12V
4 Amp, 6V, 12V
#1. AA Battery Charger and Maintainer
The AA Battery Charger and Maintainer is used and approved for use by AA Patrols. It’s an intelligent battery maintainer and charger that is a fantastic solution for most car batteries. The built-in microprocessor will sense the condition of our car’s battery and will control its own regulator, providing just the right current and voltage to suit the correct level of charging.
It features four stages of battery charging. The soft-start stage is where the maintainer will perform an initial battery test to determine the battery’s condition. In the bulk stage, the battery will receive the majority of its charge. Then, in the absorption stage, the charger will drop to its minimum output and slowly charges the battery up the rest of the way to 100 percent. In the final stage, referred to as float mode, the battery will be kept steady at a 100 percent charge. This will keep your battery optimally charged without overcharging and damaging it.
- Has an intelligent, built-in microprocessor
- Reverse polarity protection
- Suitable for all types of 6V and 12V lead-acid and gel batteries
- Provides the best kind of charge to prolong battery life
- Has an easy-to-read LED display
- This charger will not work on batteries that are fully drained, and will only read that the battery is faulty since it will not receive a test signal response
#2. NOCO Genius G1100UK Battery Charger and Maintainer
Most trickle chargers are labeled as being “smart” and able to do impressive things with innovative features. But, the NOCO charger and maintainer is nothing short of a genius. It’s no exaggeration, and there’s a lot of features and inclusions that help this unit live up to such a title.
It has an onboard mini-computer that monitors the battery condition, allowing it to alternate between a full and trickle charge where necessary. It can also detect and repair certain types of battery damage by altering the power flow. This means that this particular trickle charger is capable of not only charging your battery but can also extend its lifespan.
Along with those unique additions, this unit features an array of safety features to protect it as well as your vehicle. It has lead connectors, reverse polarity protection, and overcharge prevention. Additionally, this unit has a rubberized outer housing that prevents it from slipping off of surfaces, prevents scratches on our vehicle’s paint, and makes the unit more durable overall.
- Completely recharges batteries on motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, cars, and more up to 40 amp-hours
- Works with all kinds of 6- and 12-volt lead-acid batteries, including wet, gel, and AGM
- The onboard mini-computer makes it impossible to overcharge your battery
- Comes with a 5-year warranty and accessories
- Has many protective measures including spark-proof technology and reverse polarity protection
#3. CTEK MXS 5.0 Fully Automatic
The CTEK MXS 5.0 is a smart battery charger and maintainer in a convenient, shockproof unit. It’s a fully-automatic unit that is incredibly simple to use. It requires no previous experience or special knowledge to accurately use this unit. It comes with crocodile clamps and ring terminals for a more permanent, firm connection.
Using this charger and maintenance unit can prolong your battery’s life up to three times. The CTEK MXS 5.0 comes with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, covering any kind of manufacturer defect or shipping problem. CTEK is known for making quality, innovative battery management systems, and with their experience and standards, they’re more than willing to back up their products, which is good news for you as a consumer.
- This is the fastest CTEK charger available
- Has temperature sensors that help to prevent overheating
- Suitable for all battery types
- Portable and easy to use
- Restores battery life and reconditions flat batteries
- There are some issues with the mode button, where it will stick or not respond after some use
#4. AUTOXEL Car Battery Charger and Maintainer
The AUTOXEL Car Battery Charger and Maintainer is an amazing piece of technology that works incredibly hard for its small size and low price point. It has eight charge modes and two different voltage options. It will provide consistent charge adaptation while simultaneously protecting the battery and charging unit from hook-up errors or overcharging.
This charger and maintainer features energy-saving measures, alternative charging processes based on the battery feedback, load tracking, thermal monitoring and more. It can adapt to any job and will recharge everything from your car to your lawn equipment or your children’s rechargeable battery-powered vehicles. It also features a 100 percent money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
- 8 charge modes and two voltage choices
- Wide variety of uses
- Has multiple safety features including spark-proof technology, reverse polarity protection, and overcharge protection
- UV and IP65 water resistance
- Charges LiFePO4 and lead-acid, wet, MF, VRLA, AGM, and GEL batteries for your cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more
- Quality control issues here and there
#5. Maypole 7423A
This car battery trickle charger is great no matter the reason for the lack of charge in your battery, whether it be from cold weather, lack of use, or even just leaving your lights on by accident. This charger has several protective features to keep the charger and your car battery safe during recharging, including overcharge protection which will keep your battery from being overcharged or damaged.
It is also MCU, microcontroller unit, operated, which lets you easily interact with the charger comfortably while still protecting the battery against user errors. It also features overheat protection, short circuit protection, and is totally spark proof.
- 4A 6 – 12V electronic smart charger
- Fully-automatic dual voltage charger recommended for vehicles up to 2.5L
- LCD display indicators show reverse polarity, 12V winter charge, 6/12V slow and fast charges, and more
- Well-established, quality brand
- Overcharge protection
- Sometimes trouble using the product on flat batteries or for repeated use on the same battery types
Car Battery Trickle Charger Buying Considerations
When searching for the best trickle charger for your battery, you should consider several factors. Some of these factors include your battery type, wall-socket connectors, and whether you need a slow maintenance charger or a fast-charging device. But for trickle chargers, your primary concerns should be the following.
When you’re looking for a trickle charger, it’s a good idea to know the capacity of the battery you intend to charge. Both the batteries and chargers are marked in amp-hours. You should make sure that your trickle charger has a higher amp-hour value than the battery you’re trying to charge. Most of the high-quality chargers have adjustable ampere rates, however, maintenance chargers should ideally be under 5 amps while a faster charger should be at least 10 amps.
While not entirely a necessity, charge indicators are incredibly handy features. A charge indicator will tell you when the battery is fully charged, which will help to prevent any overcharging that could damage or break your battery. The most advanced charging units will sometimes even have digital displays that will show the progress of the battery’s charge, estimated time until a charge is fully achieved.
The safety features of a trickle charger may be the most important thing to consider when searching for the best kind of trickle charger for your needs. You should look for units that include features such as reverse polarity connection protection, which help to make sure that you don’t accidentally damage your vehicle’s electrical system if you connect the charger to the wrong terminals. You should also look for features such as short-circuit protection, spark-proof technology, overheating protection, and overload protection.
The Final Word
Trickle chargers not only maintain a working car battery, but they can also benefit the long term battery health also. If you have an older motor or it’s been sitting off the road unused for a while, give the battery a quick check first, then if you’re concerned about any further issues or the battery deteriorating, connect up a trickle charger to avoid a flat battery being sprung upon you when you go to start it. Our best trickle charger picks are all recognised, excellent choices, but the AA Battery Charger model is our top choice.