Select Page

Article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

car battery chargersWhat’s the best car battery charger?

Well, it’s the one that charges your batteries the fastest!

But, how do they work?

A car battery charger is designed to restore a completely dead battery over several hours. One end of the charger plugs into a normal electrical outlet and the other end connects to the battery terminals.

It’s not quite magic, but it might seem like it when they give your batteries new life!

The best part is that you can charge more than just car batteries.

You can use our top pick for the best car battery charger to restore batteries in your truck, SUV, RV, racecar, boat, trailer, motorcycle, ATV, golf cart, Power Wheels toys, or lawn mower – just to name a few.

We selected the NOCO Genius G7200 as the best car battery charger for most people.

This is a great choice if you want to restore dead batteries after they’ve been sitting for months or years. You can also use it to maintain a wide range of batteries so you don’t have to replace them every year.

Please note, these chargers are NOT designed to jump start your car when it won’t start. Instead, you’ll want a portable battery charger or jump starter. You can see our top picks here.

Editor’s Choice Cheapest Option Honorable Mention
noco genius g7200 battery charger schumacher sc1200aca battery charger optima digital 1200 battery charger
NOCO Genius G7200 Schumacher SC-1200A/CA Optima Digital 1200
7.2A 12A 12A
See Price See Price See Price

What Size Battery Charger Do You Need?

battery charger size

While writing this guide, it became clear to me that you practically need an electrical engineering degree to understand car battery charger specs.

When trying to figure out what size battery charger you need, you would think to would be listed right on your battery – but it rarely is.

Instead, battery manufacturers describe their batteries in terms of “Groups,” “Cold Cranking Amps,” and “Cranking Amps.”

In contrast, battery charger manufacturers describe their products using “Amps” and “Amp Hours.”

Each of these specs describe a different performance indicator of the battery and are unfortunately not related.

This leaves most people in a tricky spot trying to figure out which car battery charger is the best for their battery size. To help you quickly figure out which size battery charger is right for you, please review our chart below.

Vehicle Battery Capacity Charging Time
@ 1.1A
Charging Time
@ 3.5A
Charging Time
@ 5A
Charging Time
@ 7.2A
Charging Time
@ 12A
Charging Time
@ 15A
Charging Time
@ 26A
Motorcycle 18Ah 8hr 3hr 2hr 1hr 1hr NA NA
Snowmobile 20Ah 9hr 3hr 2hr 1hr 1hr NA NA
ATV 30Ah 14hr 4hr 3hr 2hr 2hr NA NA
PWC 30Ah 14hr 4hr 3hr 2hr 2hr NA NA
Lawn Mower 40Ah 18hr 6hr 4hr 3hr 3hr NA NA
Compact Car 50Ah 23hr 7hr 5hr 4hr 3hr 1.7hr 1hr
Mid-Size Car 60Ah 27hr 9hr 6hr 4hr 3hr 2hr 1.2hr
Full-Size Car 80Ah 36hr 11hr 8hr 6hr 4hr 2.7hr 1.5hr
Marine 80Ah 36hr 11hr 8hr 6hr 4hr 2.7hr 1.5hr
SUV 90Ah 41hr 13hr 9hr 6hr 4hr 3hr 1.7hr
Truck 100Ah 46hr 14hr 10hr 7hr 5hr 3.3hr 1.9hr
RV 100Ah 46hr 14hr 10hr 7hr 5hr 3.3hr 1.9hr
Diesel Truck 120Ah 55hr 17hr 12hr 8hr 6hr 4hr 2.3hr

In our battery charger reviews below we focused on the chargers that would work with both small and large batteries. For most people that need to charge and maintain car, truck or RV batteries, you’ll want to pick a 7.2A, 12A or 15A charger. The battery chargers below are designed to charge 12V automotive batteries while plugged into a wall outlet.

However, if you only need to charge motorcycle, ATV or lawn mower batteries, you could save almost $40 by selecting a 3.5A charger.

Our Top 3 Picks for the Best Car Battery Chargers

We reviewed dozens of battery chargers from the top brands including NOCO, Schumacher Electric, Black and Decker, Deltron Battery Tender, Optima, CAT, Century, DieHard, Duralast and Associated Equipment Corp. See which brands earned a spot on our list below.

#1: NOCO Genius G7200

noco genius g7200 battery charger

The NOCO Genius G7200 took the top spot in our comparison of the best battery chargers for several reasons.

We love that this charger is versatile, yet still fast.

You can charge and maintain a wide range of battery sizes from 40Ah to 230Ah. That range should satisfy just about everyone.

It is one of the only chargers we reviewed that can work with both 12V and 24V batteries. However, most batteries are 12V batteries, so this feature will only apply to a small percentage of you that drive semi-trucks, tractors or large RVs.

Plus, this charger is capable of working with a wide variety of battery types including lead-acid, AGM and lithium-ion batteries.

If you are worried about ruining your battery by overcharging it or somehow shocking yourself, this charger will be your new best friend. It features spark-proof technology, as well as reverse polarity and overcharge protection.

Click here to check price.

Editor’s Note: If you are looking for additional charging power and don’t plan on charging smaller motorcycle or lawnmower batteries, we recommend upgrading to the 15 Amp version. It offers the same features but will charge your batteries in about half the time.

#2: Schumacher SC-1200A/CA SpeedCharge

schumacher sc1200aca battery chargerThe name Schumacher is synonymous with battery chargers. If you are a motorsports fan, you have probably heard of NHRA Top Fuel Dragster Driver Tony Schumacher or his dad, Don Schumacher – CEO of Schumacher Electric.

Schumacher Electric has been in business since 1947 and employs over 2,000 people. They produce a wide range of consumer-grade chargers as well as industrial-grade products.

So, it might be a surprise that the Schumacher SC-1200A SpeedCharge did not top our list of the best car battery chargers.

We think this charger is a all around good charger for the price. If you are brand loyal, you won’t be disappointed with your Schumacher 12A SpeedCharge.

Like, the NOCO Genius G7200, this charger is also very versatile. It has the ability to charge at 2, 8 and 12 Amps, giving you the option to charge both large and small batteries with ease.

On the 12 Amp setting you can charge a mid-size car battery in about 3 hours or a motorcycle battery in only 1 hour. In addition, the 2 Amp setting gives you the ability to maintain your batteries when not in use and help extend their lifespan.

For about half the price of the NOCO G7200, the Schumacher SC-1200A/CA is a close runner up for the best car battery charger on the market today.

Click here to find the best price

#3: Optima Digital 1200 12V Performance Battery Charger

optima digital 1200 battery chargerThe Optima Digital 1200 Performance battery charger rounds out our list of the top 3 products we reviewed. This 12 Amp charger will give you similar charging times as the Schumacher 12A SpeedCharge, but with a few extra features.

The first notable difference that sets this charger apart from others is the digital display. You won’t have to fetch your owner’s manual to decode flashing lights to figure out what’s wrong. Instead, the display will tell you what’s happening and when your battery will be completely charged.

Next, the Optima performance charger works with most automotive battery brands, but it has special settings for Optima batteries. If you have a red top or yellow top battery in your car or truck, this charger could be a great option for you.

Finally, this 12 Amp charger will automatically adjust the charging capacity to match your battery type and capacity. You no longer need to worry about overcharging your battery or boiling the cells.

While the Optima Digital 1200 battery charger did impress us, we did not think it was the best battery charger due to its sheer size. This charger is larger than the other options we reviewed, but only because it features a compartment to store your cables.

Our cabinet and bench space is limited in our garage, so this was a deciding factor for us when reviewing the Optima Digital 1200.

Click here to see the current price on Amazon


When shopping for a car battery charger, be careful to choose a charger that is large enough to charge your battery quickly and safely. It may be tempting to buy the cheapest option on Amazon, but you will be better off spending a few more dollars to get the right charger for your battery.

We recommend selecting a charger that has 7.2 to 15 Amps. These will charge a mid-size car battery (60Ah) in 2 to 4 hours. If you make the mistake of buying only a 1.1A charger to restore your car battery you will have to wait over 27 hours to get the same results!

The good news is that no matter which charger you choose, all of our picks come with fool-proof protection including spark-proof technology, reverse polarity and overcharge protection. And in case something goes wrong, the major brands offer 3-5 year warranties to cover manufacturer defects.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t need an electrical engineering degree just to charge your car battery. But unfortunately, both battery and battery charger manufacturers don’t make it easy for the average person to find what they are looking for. That’s why we picked the NOCO Genius G7200 as the best car battery charger due to it’s ease of use and reasonable price.

Editor’s Choice Cheapest Option Honorable Mention
noco genius g7200 battery charger schumacher sc1200aca battery charger optima digital 1200 battery charger
NOCO Genius G7200 Schumacher SC-1200A/CA Optima Digital 1200
7.2A 12A 12A
See Price See Price See Price