How to Charge Laptop in Car? – 3 Simple Ways

Last Updated on November 6, 2020

Like many people, you may be using your laptop while on the go whether it’s for work purposes or watching videos. Imagine what would you do if you are on a road trip and your laptop’s battery run’s out of power. In that case, you may inquire how to charge laptop in car?

This is possible and it can be done through charging accessories that include a power inverter and a laptop car charger. The former makes use of a three-prong plug while the latter directly plugins into the laptop’s power jack and both connect to the car’s outlet at the other end. You can also utilize a power bank with Power Delivery technology for laptop charging without involving the car’s outlet.

Carrying mobile devices such as laptops while traveling has become a norm today. Thus, it becomes necessary to keep them charged all the time.

In the following text we will look at the steps in detail to charge your laptop in a car.


How to Charge Laptop in Car?

Today modern technologies have advanced to a level where we are seeing a variety of charging equipment today. These are also available for charging your devices in a car. So, the answer to the query many people have is that it is possible to charge your laptop in a car.

Every car comes with a 12V power outlet (also known as a car outlet or cigarette lighter) that’s installed near the car stereo area. Simply you need to obtain and connect the suitable car adaptor or accessory to the power outlet and charge the laptop on a running vehicle.

Keep in mind that it’s not feasible to charge your laptop if the car is stalled. Otherwise, the car’s battery will drain very quickly.

You can charge your laptop with the use of accessories such as a power inverter and a laptop charger. You can also employ a power bank if you don’t want to make use of the car outlet.

Here’s how this can be done:

1. Using a Power Inverter

How to Charge Laptop in Car
A car DC to AC Inverter

A piece of widely used equipment for car charging is known as a power inverter. You may know that for charging the laptop via the charger, it needs 110/220V AC (Alternating Current) while your car’s outlet supplies only 12V of DC (Direct Current). Power inverters convert DC to AC that allows charging your laptop readily.

You will find different models of power inverter that are available. Before buying one, make sure that it has at least a three-prong plug for a laptop. This allows for plugging the laptop’s power adapter into the inverter while the other end plugs into the car’s outlet.

Eventually, you will find that the laptop will charge on the running engine.

Furthermore, power inverters come with different power ratings. However, an inverter with a rating of 150W or 300W would be sufficient. It will charge the laptop at almost the same speed as you do it at home or the office.

We also recommend a pure sine wave inverter as it charges a laptop with less risk of damage.

You will find inverters that also have USB ports for charging your other devices like smartphones. Note that many models are heavy and large and take space in your car.

2. Using a Laptop Car Charger

laptop car charger
A laptop car charger

There’s another piece of equipment for charging your laptop and it’s called a laptop car charger. Instead of having a three-prong outlet, it directly plugins into your laptop’s power jack. This depends on the specific model of the laptop you have.

Simply, you need to connect the car charger to the car’s outlet (the cigarette lighter socket) and plug the other end into your laptop. Your laptop will start charging but do this only when the car’s engine is running.

You can find laptop car chargers for most models at your electronics store or online. These are not expensive, and you can easily afford them. Do note that some car chargers come with multiple or interchangeable connectors for laptop charging.

In simple terms, these chargers convert 12V DC power from a car outlet’s to 19V~20V DC power for charging many laptops.

3. Using a Large Power Bank

large power bank

There’s also a way to charge your laptop without involving the car’s outlet at all. If your laptop comes with a USB-C or a Thunderbolt charging port, then you can use a power bank with Power Delivery (PD) technology. It’s a specification that handles high power and allows quick charging for devices like a laptop.

Most new laptops are equipped with a USB-C or Thunderbolt port and a capable power bank has enough power to charge it.

The advantage this brings is that you can charge in the car irrespective of whether it’s running or not. The downside is that it doesn’t work for old laptops coming with their exclusive charging port.

Also Read: Best External Hard Drives for Travel

Is it Safe to Charge Laptop in Car?

You may also ponder whether it is safe to charge a laptop in the car or not. The simple answer to this question is yes if you properly use the charging equipment as described above.

For instance, in the case of a power inverter or a car charger, it is advisable to remove it from the car’s outlet when done with charging because it will drain your car’s battery. It is also not recommended to leave your laptop overnight in the car for charging.

Opt for a quality accessory from a reputable brand. This is because some cheap power inverters especially draw more power from the car’s outlet which may result in the blowing of the fuse it comes with.

It is always handy to keep a power bank with you so that you can charge your laptop in a car or anywhere.

Also Read: Best Chromebooks for Elementary School


In this article, we looked at equipment that is the solution to the problem as to how to charge laptop in car.

Indeed, we are witnessing a plethora of charging accessories from different manufacturers that are available both offline and online. However, it’s advisable to get a quality accessory whether it’s an inverter, laptop charger, or a power bank.

A safe bet is to also keep a power bank along with an inverter or laptop charger. This will ensure peace of mind in case if one accessory doesn’t work as expected.


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