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Charging your smartphone in the car: do’s and don’ts

Many people may not dare to admit it, but ‘low on battery’ or ‘1%’ are warnings that cause instant stress for a lot of smartphone users. So they take every opportunity to charge their smartphone’s battery. The car is just the place to stock up on a little extra power. So what exactly are the possibilities and what do you have to watch out for to keep your battery in good condition?

How can you charge a smartphone in the car?

Depending on the year it was made, the make and the options of your car, there are one or more ways of charging your smartphone. We list the most frequent options below.

charging smartphone in car

Via the cigarette lighter:

  • If you buy a car charger with a USB port that you can plug into the cigarette lighter, charging is a breeze.

  • You do, however, need a current of at least 2 amperes to charge your smartphone easily. The cigarette lighter can do this without a problem, but it’s a point to watch when you buy a car charger. So check the packaging.

Via a USB port:

  • A car may also have one or more built-in USB ports where you can plug in your smartphone charger.

  • A great many tests indicate that the current that comes from these ports is too limited to charge your smartphone quickly. Some ‘heavy’ apps use quite a bit of energy. If you use your phone as a sat nav too, for example, there is a good chance that this power-guzzling app will empty your smartphone and the power supplied via the USB port can’t cope with this.


Via wireless charging:

  • The latest car models increasingly include wireless charging technology. Sometimes as a tray or a drawer, in the central console or under the armrest. So you no longer have to bother with cables. You just place your smartphone in the tray (provided it is suitable for wireless charging).

  • Every car manufacture may market their own variant, but they all meet the Qi standard. If your smartphone is compatible, then you can charge it without any problem.

What are the do’s and don’ts?

There are all sorts of general tips going around to prolong the lifespan of (smartphone) batteries. For instance, fully charging and emptying is not recommended and you have to keep an eye on the ambient temperature. 

There are also a number of specific points worth noting when charging your smartphone in the car.

  • Have you plugged your smartphone charger into the cigarette lighter? Don’t forget to unplug it promptly if you are in a traffic jam and you have switched off your engine. In small cars and/or with old batteries, you may have problems starting off again after just half an hour – especially in the winter.

  • Make sure that the charging cables that you use to plug into the USB port, for instance, are in good condition and of good quality. An option that is always safe: use charging cables of the same brand as your smartphone, rather than a cheaper alternative from a generic manufacturer. That way, you can be certain that the current that your phone can cope with is respected and your smartphone won’t be overloaded.

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully, because every battery operates slightly differently. In addition, only use the original charger. After all, it was developed specifically for your device, so you can be sure that you are charging your device in the best possible way.

Does your smartphone battery finally give up the ghost after a long life? Take it to a Bebat collection point, we will be pleased to recycle it! You can take the smartphone itself to a Recupel collection point.

If you can’t remove the battery from your smartphone, take the smartphone to a Recupel collection point. They will arrange for the battery to be taken to Bebat

In search of a collection point?

Look here to find one in your neighbourhood.

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