How to charge a laptop in your car? Check 5 easy ways and steps

Team AckodriveJun 6, 2022

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Working on the go has become a new normal these days. Professionals in every industry rely on their laptops to work and attend meetings while travelling. So, you can’t afford the laptop battery to drain out. 

The problem with a drained laptop battery in a car is that you can’t use a regular charger to power it back up. You need to have supporting devices to use the vehicle’s electrical system in order to connect the laptop charger.

In this article, we will guide you on how to charge a laptop in a car using different methods.

How to charge laptop in car

Charging laptop in car: 5 easy ways and steps

Let’s look at five of the simplest ways of charging a laptop in a car. This way, you will have multiple options to charge your laptop as per the availability of equipment.

  • You can use a car inverter along with your laptop charger to power up your laptop.

  • A Type-C laptop charging USB cord can also help to recharge your laptop.

  • A power bank is also effective in charging your laptop in a car.

  • You can even use an adaptor to charge your laptop.

  • A car laptop charger is also an easy way to charge your laptop in a car.

Let’s discuss all methods of how to charge a laptop from a car battery in detail.

Method 1: Charge a laptop using an inverter

Usually, you use an Alternating Current (AC) source to charge your laptop. But the battery in a car provides Direct Current (DC) energy. You can’t use DC current directly for a device that needs AC power. 

Hence, you can use a car inverter and your laptop’s standard charger to power up your laptop. You can insert the AC charger into the car inverter and let the device charge.

Below are the instructions you can follow to charge a laptop in your car.

Step 1: Buy a vehicle inverter charger to convert the DC power of your car into AC power.

Step 2: Connect the inverter’s power cable to the mobile charging slot available in your car.

Step 3: Plug in the laptop charging cable to the inverter charger.

Step 4: Put the other end of the laptop charger to the laptop’s charging slot.

It should begin the charging process. If not, please ensure that you have connected all the cables properly and try once again.

Method 2: Charge a laptop using a USB charger

Another simple way to charge a laptop in your car is through a USB laptop charger. A laptop charger with a Type-C USB port will ensure an accurate supply of voltage from the vehicle’s battery to the laptop’s battery. However, this method is suitable only if your laptop has a Type-C USB port.

Below are the steps you can follow to charge a laptop using a USB charger.

Step 1: Make sure that you carry a Type-C USB laptop car charger and a Type-C cable while travelling.

Step 2: Connect the Type-C USB car laptop charger to the charging port in your vehicle.

Step 3: Once you have connected the charger to the vehicle port, use the Type-C USB cable to connect the charger and the laptop.

That’s it. It should begin charging the laptop. If not, you can check all the connections once again. 

Method 3: Charge a laptop using a power bank

Just as you use a power bank as a backup charger for a smartphone, you can utilise a power bank to charge a laptop as well. However, you will need a power bank of higher capacity for a laptop than what you use for a smartphone. The capacity of a power bank is measured in mAh (milliampere-hour) and W (Watts).

The battery of a laptop requires a minimum of 40W to charge up. Hence, you must buy a laptop power bank accordingly. 

Here are the steps you need to follow to charge your laptop using a power bank.

Step 1: Purchase a power bank having at least 40W capacity.

Step 2: Make sure that your power bank is completely charged before going out on a car journey.

Step 3: Plug in the USB cable to the port on your laptop when you want to charge it.

Step 4: Connect the other end of the USB cable to the power bank’s port.

Step 5: If done correctly, this should begin the charging process immediately. If not, then check the cable connections one more time. 

Method 4: Charge a laptop using an adaptor

An adaptor also works as a converter of current like an inverter charger. However, an adaptor removes the requirement for additional cable than your laptop’s regular charger. 

The following easy steps will help you use an adaptor for laptop charging in a car.

Step 1: Buy an adaptor for laptop charging in a vehicle.

Step 2: Attach the adaptor to the power source in your car.

Step 3: Then, you can simply plug in your laptop charger to the adaptor’s port and the laptop’s charging port. 

It is one of the easiest ways of charging a laptop in a car. All you need is an adaptor, which you can carry every time you are out there travelling with your laptop. 

Method 5: Charge a laptop using a car laptop charger

You can use a car laptop charger to directly plug it in and charge your laptop whenever in a vehicle. A vehicle laptop charger looks and works pretty similar to a regular laptop charger except for the power jack. It allows you to connect your laptop to the cigarette lighter socket power outlet available in your car. 

A vehicle laptop charger isn’t usually too expensive and easily available at both offline and online electronics stores.

Below are the steps to follow when you want to charge your laptop via a car laptop charger.

Step 1: Purchase a car laptop charger that perfectly fits your laptop’s power port. Otherwise, you will end up damaging your device.

Step 2: When you want to charge your laptop, connect the charger to your laptop from one end and to the power port available in your car from the other end.

Step 3: Let the laptop charge for as long as you want, then remove the charger from both ends. 

Is it safe to charge a laptop in your car?

It is safe to charge a laptop in a car as long as you use the right kind of connectors and inverters. The risk lies in not checking the quality or compatibility of the charging cables, inverters, power banks, etc., for the charging purpose. Wrong devices can damage your laptop or your car’s power ports. Hence, you must be careful while purchasing a car laptop charger, inverter charger, USB cables, etc. 

Does the car battery get depleted by charging a laptop?

Yes, it is possible. Your car battery will drain if you charge a laptop while the car is stationed. However, charging a laptop when the car is in motion doesn’t drain the vehicle battery. The depletion of the car battery will be significant if you leave a laptop plugged in to charge overnight in a stationed car. 

Whenever the engine isn’t running, all electrical systems in a car receive power from the battery. Hence, the car battery drains if you leave the headlights on or charge a laptop overnight.

In case you want to charge your laptop in a stationed car, then your vehicle must have a deep-cycle battery. Unlike a regular car battery, a deep-cycle battery charges back up quickly after getting drained. 

How long can you charge a laptop before the battery drains?

It will depend on the wattage of your laptop and the capacity of the battery. Usually, a laptop can be charged for 3 hours before the car battery drains out. However, you should remove it from the charging port after 2 hours to be on a safer side. 

How to charge a car battery from another car?

In case you leave your laptop charging overnight in a car, it will drain the battery. This can be a big problem while on the road. However, you can use the jump start technique to charge car battery from another car

Now you know everything necessary about charging a laptop from a car battery. Make sure you purchase the correct charger, inverter and USB cables to avoid any risks of damaging the laptop.

Frequently asked questions

Here are a few more questions answered about charging a laptop in a car.

Can I charge my Macbook Pro in a car?

Yes. As a Macbook Pro comes with a Type-C USB charging cable, you can use a vehicle laptop charger that has a Type-C port to charge the laptop.

Is it possible to jump-start a car battery with a laptop charger?

No, it is not possible. The voltage of a car battery is much higher than what you can obtain from a laptop charger. 

How can I use a car cigarette socket to charge my laptop?

You can use a car laptop charger that comes with a jack compatible with the car cigarette socket. Then, connect the laptop’s charging cable to the Type-C or Type-A (based on the type of cable you are using) port of the car laptop charger.

What are the recommended car laptop chargers in India?

Experts recommend car laptop chargers having the fast charging feature and multi-port compatibility. Also, you must check the maximum power a charger can provide. For your laptop, the charger should be able to deliver at least 30W of voltage.

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