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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 the battery of their smartphone. 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. If you use your phone as a sat nav too, 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 and older cars, problems starting off again may occur after just half an hour.

  • Make sure that the charging cables that you use to plug into the USB port, for instance, are in good condition. That way, you can be certain that the current that your phone can cope with is respected and your smartphone won’t be overloaded.

  • As we’ve already said, USB ports don’t carry enough current to charge your smartphone sufficiently. That may mean that the battery can’t be properly charged and may be damaged as a result.

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully, because every battery operates slightly differently. In addition, only use the original charger.

If your smartphone battery finally gives 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 Recupel and they will arrange for the battery to be taken to Bebat.