Best car tyre inflator 2023: Top budget, cordless, and portable picks

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If you're searching for the best car tyre inflator, you're in the right place.

We'd argue owning a tyre inflator is an essential item to have to hand, especially if you're regularly on the road and need a quick and simple way to maintain air pressure in your wheels.


Rather than going to a mechanic or service station, an inflator gives you the option of pumping your tyres from home, thus saving you both time and money in the long run.

With this in mind, we've put together a list of top picks based on price, reviews, and any unique features that make these tyre inflators stand out from the crowd.

These features include additions like pressure gauges and even smart functions like auto-stop capabilities which stop you from overfilling your tyres with air.

So, from cordless devices like some of the best car vacuums, to powerful, wired air compressors, like this portable VacLife Tyre Inflator, we've got everything you need to kick off your search right here.

We've also answered some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding tyre inflators to help you figure out what exactly you need to maintain your wheels. So, without further ado, let's get into it...

Best car tyre inflator

Best all-round car tyre inflator - Makita MP100DZ Cordless Inflator

Best car tyre inflator Makita product image of a blue and black machine with a digital pressure gauge.
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Credit: Makita
Brand: Makita | Voltage: 12V | PSI: 120

This Makita MP100DZ bit of kit looks to be a particularly great and well-rounded inflator to help you keep your tyres filled with air.


Battery-operated, this inflator can pump up to 120 psi of pressure into all types of tyres, including cars, bikes and even tractors.

Perhaps its most impressive feature though is its auto-stop function, which is designed to stop inflating once the pre-set air pressure has been reached, thus helping you avoid over-inflation.

It's relatively compact and lightweight too, meaning this particular inflator should be a great option to consider if you're after something to take with you on your travels.

Best air compressor car tyre inflator - Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor

Best car tyre inflator Viair product image of a silver and black air compressor with orange Viair branding.
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Credit: Viair
Brand: Viair | Voltage: 12V | PSI: 120

If it's an air compressor you're after specifically, then this Viair 00088 88P could be the inflator for you.

The machine has several notable features, including its capacity to fill from zero to 30 psi in under three minutes. You, therefore, shouldn't have to worry about whether you've got enough time to inflate your tyres before travelling.

What we like most though is that it's relatively small, with the machine weighing just 4.3lbs despite its powerful design. You also get a 100 psi pressure gauge so you can keep track of when your tyres are good to go.

With a handy carry bag to match, this Viair 00088 88P Portable Air Compressor looks to be a great bit of kit to add to your car maintenance arsenal.

Best cordless car tyre inflator - Ryobi R18PI-0 High Pressure Inflator

Best car tyre inflator Ryobi product image of a light green and black machine with Ryobi branding on the side.
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Credit: Ryobi
Brand: Ryobi | Voltage: 18V | PSI: 150

The relatively inexpensive and battery-powered Ryobi R18PI-0 High Pressure Inflator stands out to us with its impressive ability to supply up to 150 psi of air to your tyres.


In fact, Ryobi, who also manufactures one of the best car pressure washers around, boasts its high-pressure inflator can deliver 32 psi in under 2 minutes, making it one of the quickest inflators we've come across.

The machine weighs just 2.5lbs as well, and comes with an ergonomic design which should make it easy to use when the time comes to inflate your tyres.

Ultimately, if it's a cordless, battery-powered bit of kit you're after, then this inflator could be the best option for you.

Best portable car tyre inflator - VacLife Tyre Inflator Portable Air Compressor

Best car tyre inflator VacLife product image of a compact black and yellow machine with white VacLife branding.
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Credit: VacLife
Brand: VacLife | Voltage: 12V | PSI: 150

We feel you won't find many inflators better than this VacLife Air Compressor if you're after something portable.


Simply plug this device into the 12V power outlet in your car and press one button and the machine will take care of everything for you thanks to its auto-shut-off function. If you want to keep track of the air pressure though, then the machine's digital display should have you covered.

Also, VacLife boasts its air compressor comes with an 11.9ft power cord, so should be suitable to use to supply air to both front and back tyres, even if you own a large vehicle.

On the whole, this portable air stands out from the crowd thanks to its compact design that's capable of delivering a ton of air pressure fast.

Best budget car tyre inflator - AA Car Essentials Compact Tyre Inflator AA5007

Best car tyre inflator AA product image of a compact black and yellow machine with an analogue air pressure gauge.
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Credit: AA
Brand: AA | Voltage: 12V | PSI: 80

Rounding off our list is this incredibly compact AA Car Essentials Tyre Inflator that's small enough to fit in almost any glove box.


It's relatively inexpensive too, but its lower price tag doesn't mean it's not powerful. This machine can deliver 80 psi when plugged into your car's 12V power output in minutes.

We also like the fact that this machine comes with a convenient LED light which means that, even if it's dark, you can still ensure you're tyres are safe for the road.

Overall, the AA Car Essentials Tyre Inflator looks to be a great purchase to help you maintain and supply air to your wheels wherever you go.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Finding the right tyre inflator can be tricky at times. Don't worry though because we've answered some of the most common queries to help you work out what you need for your vehicle.

What's the difference between a tyre inflator and an air compressor?

There's not really much of a difference between the two as they both essentially do the same job.


Perhaps the biggest difference between a typical air compressor and tyre inflator is that an air compressor is more versatile.

While a tyre inflator tends to only be built for one job, supplying air to tyres, an air compressor usually comes with a few additional nozzles which should mean it can be used for other tasks around the house.

Air compressors tend to be larger in size and, as a result, often weigh more than tyre inflators. As a result, tyre inflators should favour those looking for a more portable bit of kit to carry with them in their vehicle.

How accurate are car tyre inflators?

Most car tyre inflators provide a relatively accurate reading of your tyre pressure to inform you whether your wheels have reached their optimal air capacity.

For instance, this analogue AA Car Essentials bit of kit boasts a +-3 psi accuracy rating. However, digital inflators tend to provide a completely accurate reading providing they're not damaged in any way.

Therefore, if it's the accuracy you're after, we'd recommend a digital tyre inflator.

Is buying a car tyre inflator worth it?

Owning your own tyre inflator can be particularly useful as it means you don't have to travel to a mechanic or gas station every time you need to pump your tyres with air.

Not only does a tyre inflator save time, but it can also save you money in the long run. There's also a safety aspect to owning a tyre inflator because it means you can maintain and keep your tyres inflated to the right psi ahead of long journeys.

They can be relatively inexpensive to buy as well, meaning a tyre inflator is well worth picking up and keeping with you in your vehicle in our opinion.

Does a car tyre inflator drain battery?

In short, yes a car tyre inflator will drain your battery if you leave it on long enough whilst your engine is off.


The easiest way to avoid draining your car's battery is to switch on your engine so that the alternator charges your vehicle whilst you inflate your tyres. This should maintain the electrical energy lost while using your tyre inflator.

Of course, this only applies to a wired inflator as a battery-operated device will only drain its own electrical supply.

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