In this guide we’ll look at the best pressure washers for your car.
We’ve compared water pressure, manoeuvrability, car attachments and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best Pressure Washer For Your Car?
More Detailed Car Pressure Washer Reviews
Karcher K4 Compact Pressure Washer Review
The Karcher K4 compact pressure washer is the best pressure washer for car cleaning as it has plenty of power but a delicate touch that doesn’t damage paintwork or glass.
The powerful but delicate Karcher K4 compact thoroughly cleans the paintwork of your car and blasts away any muck or any salt that’s encrusted on the undercarriage.
This top-rated pressure washer has a water-cooled engine that pumps out 440 litres of water per hour and 130 bar of pressure.
Karcher says this equates to 30 square metres of cleaning per hour which is more than enough to wash a standard-sized car and hose down the driveway before lunch.
The K4 Compact has plenty of accessories to help make car washing a breeze.
There’s a trigger gun, a vario power lance that alters the ferocity of its water pressure with a simple twist, and a dirt blaster lance for stuck-on stains. The dirt blaster is great for salt-encrusted wheel arches.
This compact little pressure washer is small enough to be stored in the boot, but it still has a telescopic handle and detergent suction feature for easy application of car washing detergent – no more gritty sponge required.
The high-pressure hose measures six metres and there’s plenty of power cable length too, so you can get all the way around your car without stopping.
The hose is reeled back onto the reel when not in use and the accessories store away neatly too.
All this is backed with a three-year warranty so you can buy with peace of mind.
The K4 compact pressure washer is the best pressure washer for car valeting because it’s gently powerful and has plenty of accessories to make the job fun.
It’s my top pick.
Bosch EasyAquatak 120 High Pressure Washer Review
The Bosch EasyAquatak is a top-of-the-range pressure washer that can draw water from any source. No outside tap? No problem – use your water butt or a bucket.
With 1500 watts powering 350 litres and 120 bar of pressure this compact machine gives more than enough oomph to clean your car quickly and easily.
I love the ‘big bottom’ design with its low centre of gravity. It looks funky and it’s also extremely practical as it doesn’t tip over. The last thing you want is your new pressure washer tipping and smashing bits off as you tug it around the car
The accessories are durable and quickly click into place
You get a fixed fan jet nozzle to give the car a quick once over, a rotary nozzle for tough stains, and detergent nozzle to get a good soaping worked up with no sponge required.
A quick spraying detergent nozzle is great as it stops soap drying on as you try to work around the car. To apply detergent just pull the trigger and voila.
All the accessories fit on-board this machine along with its five-metre hose.
The EasyAquatak has a built-in handle and its a super simple machine to use. Just remember to buy a suction hose if you need to use an unpressured source of water such as a bucket.
WORX Cordless HYDROSHOT Portable Pressure Cleaner Review
The Worx WG629E Hydroshot is a fully portable handheld pressure washer you can take anywhere.
It’s the best pressure washer for cleaning your car away from home or when you arrive back plastered in filth and just want to get the worst off before it cakes dry.
This nifty piece of kit runs on a 20 volt rechargeable lithium battery that reviewers say lasts a good hour with ‘variable’ use. This is great for those of us that don’t have an outside power source.
It takes around 5 hours to fully charge so if you need more running time buy a spare battery – or if you have other 20 volt Worx tools the batteries are interchangeable,
You don’t need an outside tap to pressure wash with the Hydroshot. Just draw water from any source such as a watering can, bucket or even an Evian bottle if you have a large dried-on bird poo obscuring your view!
The pressure is 22 bar which sounds low compared to the big mains-powered machines, but it’s still 10 times the power of a standard garden hose AND fully portable.
The price includes a 5 in 1 adjustable pressure nozzle so you can choose from fine mists to a pulse sprayer. The head rotates to get into spaces behind door handles and around the wing mirrors. Great news for perfectionists!
This fully portable handheld pressure washer has a six-metre hose and a three-year warranty.
This is such a handy piece of kit for the whole house everyone should own it.
Kärcher K2 Full Control Pressure Washer Review
The Karcher’s K2 Full control pressure washer is one of the best pressure washers for car valeting because it’s powerful but mobile and compact too.
The K2 has 110 bar of pressure and 360 litre water flow per hour all powered by 1400 watts. Its a tough little machine with enough power and water flow to quickly wash your car.
I really like the ‘full control’ aspect which refers to the pressure settings. This ensures you don’t remove any paintwork or rubber seals with an accidental full blast.
Chose between mix, soft, medium, and hard settings. Choose soft for your glass, ‘mix’ to add the detergent, or pick ‘hard’ for wheel arches and undercarriage muck.
There are great accessories included in this pack.
A power spray gun for ‘no time just hose it down’ days, a dirt blaster lance with a rotary nozzle and pencil jet for stubborn dirt, and a vario lance so you can go from low pressure to high pressure with the twist of the lance – just listen for the ‘click’.
The price also includes a detergent suction tube that makes cleaning a car so much easier.
There’s an automatic stop-start motor, onboard storage for the accessories, and a four-metre hose too.
This is a great piece of kit and one of the best pressure washers for car cleaning.
Makita HW101 Compact Pressure Washer Review
The Makita HW101 Compact Pressure Washer is a small machine with enough oomph to clean your car without a hefty price tag.
It has a 1300 watt motor, 100 bar of pressure and 360 litre water flow. Reviewers say it cleans 24 square metres in an hour which is plenty enough to clean your car even with a tea break.
I like the Makita’s ‘total stop system’ which switches the motor on and off as you use the lance trigger. This saves water and power – all eco-friendly good stuff.
This pressure washer uses the old school style of detergent application which many prefer as pressure washers with bells and whistles can be confusing. Effective detergent is supplied as standard with a simple spray bottle included for proper application.
Also old school is the adjustable spray hose that you twist to turn the pressure up or down – that’s it. There’s no expensive paintwork destroying mistakes here.
The high-pressure hose measures three metres and it’s a neat and tidy machine you can easily store in the shed.
Best for occasional use and smaller budgets this is less powerful than my other mains operated recommendations but it’s still one of the best pressure washers for car cleaning due to its simplicity. I like things simple.
Car Pressure Washer Buyer’s Guide
Ease of manoeuvrability
A compact, light machine is the best pressure washer for car valeting because you have to move around a lot. Good aspects to look out for include long hoses, sturdy wheels, integral handles, and telescopic handles.
Some pressure washers have extra stability which is handy so you don’t yank the whole machine over rounding the car. The Bosch’s EasyAquatek has a low centre of gravity that’s perfectly designed for car washing.
If you find the hose is a little short, don’t be tempted to use a standard hose for extra length. High-pressure hosepipes can deal with the bar pressure whereas a plain old garden hose is likely to explode.
Not Too Powerful!
My brother has a powerful pressure washer. He used it on a patio that hadn’t seen the light of day for years and was so impressed he tried it out on his pride and joy Nissan Skyline. Goodbye dirt, goodbye windscreen wipers, and goodbye most of the bonnet’s paintwork.
The moral is – be careful of high pressure on your car. 100-130 bar with a fan spray is more than enough to clean your car’s paintwork.
The best bet is to choose a pressure washer with variable pressure settings as this means you can dial it down for glass and paint but turn it up for wheel arches. One of the Karcher Full Control machines does the job nicely.
- A vario lance is an attachment that turns the water pressure up and down so you can tackle all the car without damaging delicate areas
- Soft brushes clean glass, seals, and paintwork
- Detergent suction tubes add detergent without the need to sponge it on. Many of the best pressure washers for car cleaning have an integral detergent suction tube that sprays out the foam when you need it.
- Wheel brushes are tough and scratchier – they scrub off salt, mud and car fume stains from the undercarriage areas.
Whilst these are all very useful attachments to have the best bet is to keep an eye on the water pressure and make sure it’s low enough.
Do I Need Car Shampoo?
Do I need specialist expensive car shampoo?
Not necessarily because pressure washers take off the majority of muck, but car shampoo will help remove encrusted dirt and make your car all shiny.
Car shampoo is formulated for cars and its best to stick with it. Why not use washing up liquid you ask? Well, it’s too foamy.
If you’ve ever squirted Fairy Liquid into the dishwasher (never again!) you’ll know that washing up liquid bubbles up and then some. It’ll take an age to remove it from the car because adding water will just keep the foam coming.
Washing up liquid is generally designed to remove grease, and grease isn’t the main problem on your car. It’s salt, mud, car exhaust filth, pollen, grass clippings and bird poo.
Car shampoo will take care of those issues without needing to turn up the pressure and potentially smash off your number plate. They have surface active ingredients and are usually pH neutral so won’t remove the polish or wax that was previously applied.
The best jet washers for car valeting will include a bottle of car shampoo, try it out and you’ll notice the difference.