How To Charge a Laptop in a Car

Chris Campbell23 Apr 2022

Going on a road trip but need your laptop with you? Or maybe you need to get some work done while you're away on a vacation? Anyhow, let's look at how you can charge your laptop on the go. Laptops have traditionally been charged using an AC wall charger. There are a lot of ways to charge current laptops, however, one of which is charging your laptop on your car.

Can You Charge Your Laptop in Your Car?

It is doable to recharge your laptop in your car or truck, but you will need specialized equipment to do it. Your automobile must also have a functioning cigarette lighter, which would be normally located near the car audio. Recharging your laptop with your running car is a relatively easy process if you have the proper adapter for your laptop. Bear in mind that if your car isn't running, it won't be possible to charge your laptop.

Cigarette Lighter

Here’s how to charge your laptop using your car’s cigarette lighter:

  • Check that you have the correct adaptor. The power cable section of your existing AC adapter is generally removed and replaced with a DC cable that fits into the car cigarette lighter socket. If you don't already have one, you may get one at a local electronics store or online.  You could also buy a universal laptop vehicle charger. If you purchase a model-specific adapter, make sure your laptop is compatible.
  • Connect the adapter's computer end to your laptop as normal.
  • To avoid damaging your laptop, keep the laptop in a safe place. You can put it in an empty front passenger seat.
  • Connect the charger's DC end to your car's cigarette lighter, exactly like you would a car cellular phone adaptor. This replaces the previous step of connecting the laptop into a standard power socket for charging. Depending on the kind of adapter you have, you may see a light indicating that the laptop is being charged after starting the engine.

If you don’t have a cigarette lighter, there is another way to charge your car.

Power Inverter

In general, a power inverter is a global solution that will function in an automobile and with any laptop. As an added plus, most power inverters are reasonably priced.  A device like the Betek 300 watt power inverter fits into the car's outlet and has two standard three-prong plugs as well as a pair of USB ports for immediately plugging in your laptop's power adapter. There will also be a few USB ports for your other portable devices.  However, power inverters have several drawbacks. They can be big, for example, and low-cost ones do not produce pure sine waves which might harm sensitive electronics.

Charge a Laptop in a Car Without an Inverter

When you're on the road, having the ability to charge your laptop in your car is a convenient option if work can't be delayed due to the laptop's low battery. An inverter is one of the simplest methods to charge a laptop in a car. An inverter is a piece of electrical equipment that converts 12V DC to 120V AC. This allows electronic devices such as laptops to be charged and provides a limited amount of power to operate AC equipment. But what if an inverter isn't available? How would you power your laptop while on the go?

USB Car Charger

A USB car charger is one option to charge your laptop in a car. This is the most convenient way to charge your laptop while driving. The important thing to remember here is to hook the USB cord before you begin driving. The USB charger must be compatible with your vehicle. You can get it at any electronics store or buy it online. The main draw is that it is completely risk-free to use it while driving.  You can use your car batteries if you don't have access to a cigarette lighter. This is, however, quite risky, particularly if you're driving on a rough road. Charging your laptop will not take long if you use a USB charger so to err on the safe side, don't use your battery and instead only charge when your car is running.

Power Bank

You may have charged your smartphone with a power bank. As a backup, a power bank is often used to charge a gadget that does not have access to electricity. It is determined by the mAh and watt. Because smartphones have low mAh batteries, a power bank with a lower mAh capacity is required. However, because a laptop has a higher mAh capacity than a mobile phone, a power bank with a large mAh capacity is required to charge a laptop. Your laptop's battery will need at least 40,000 mAh of electricity from a power bank. 

Here are the steps to charging your laptop in your car using a power bank:

  • Check that your power bank is completely charged and has a minimum of 40,000 watts.
  • Plug the USB Type C into the Type C connector on the laptop. Attach to the type c port if you have a dual USB Type C. You may also connect it to the Type-A port if you have one side with USB Type-C and the other with Type-A.

USB Universal Charger

Another option for charging your laptop in the car is to utilize a universal USB charger. You can quickly charge your laptop using the universal charger by inserting the USB cord into a power outlet and automobile cigarette lighter. However, you must first ensure that your laptop supports charging via its USB ports since certain laptops may not accept charging via their USB Type-C connections.

While it's a no-brainer that laptops need to be charged using a charger plugged into a power outlet, you won't always have that option, especially when you're driving on the road. With today's technology, it is now feasible to charge your laptop in your automobile. It's also safe, as there will be no heating or electrical problems with the laptop or car. All you need is the proper cord or equipment, and you're good to go.

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

Thanks for reading! I'm Chris, an avid tech fanatic that enjoys keeping up with the latest laptop models. Hopefully my tips & tricks can help you out!

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