The Best Car Battery Testers

A car battery tester makes quick work of checking your battery for trouble before hitting the road, as well as diagnosing any problems. This small little device should be in every vehicle owner’s toolkit.

Finding the best car battery tester for your vehicle means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available styles and configurations. With the right car battery tester, this loathsome chore can become a quick, over-and-done-with task.

We reviewed dozens of car battery testers to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated car battery tester vehicle owners can purchase to ensure a smooth and safe journey.

Best Car Battery Tester Overall
MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester
Connect and go for a quick reading of power and alternator status.

We’ve identified MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester as the best car battery tester out there. With the ability to connect for a quick reading of power and alternator status, this car battery tester is one that will give you peace of mind that your vehicle is running in tip-top shape.

The 5 Top-Rated Car Battery Testers

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Car Battery Tester OverallMOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester4.5
Best Car Battery Load TesterCARTMAN Loading Battery Tester4.7
Best Budget Car Battery TesterCARTMAN 12V Car Battery & Alternator Tester4.3
Best Car Battery and Alternator TesterTN TONNY Plug in Car Battery and Charging System Tester4.4
Best 6 Volt Car Battery TesterLEICESTERCN Automotive Battery Tester4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Car Battery Tester Overall: MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester

The MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester took the top spot on our list of the best car battery testers, and offers the ability to connect and go for a quick reading of both battery power and alternator status. the colored LEDs on the front of the unit quickly indicate the status of the battery or the alternator. It features reverse hookup and over-voltage protection for added safety while in use. It comes complete with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car battery tester appreciated that it was “so easy to use” and said they were “very pleased” with this “great little device.” Some people were disappointed there wasn’t an instruction sheet included with this tester, but most found it very intuitive to use.

With a price tag of about $15, it’s a pretty affordable tool as far as automotive accessories go, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use more than justifies that price. It has excellent ratings with hundreds of people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester Key Features: 

  • Available in a choice of colors
  • Voltmeter testing range of 4-20V DC
  • Testing accuracy within 0.01V

Best Car Battery Load Tester: CARTMAN Loading Battery Tester

Best Car Battery Load Tester
CARTMAN Loading Battery Tester
Offers complete charging system diagnosis.

The CARTMAN Loading Battery Tester took the runner-up spot on our list of the best car battery testers and offers a complete diagnosis of your vehicle’s charging system. It can be used to determine the load, battery condition, and starter motor draw, and is suitable for use in all types of vehicles, including recreational or seasonal vehicles. The copper clip connectors feature insulated super grip handles for added safety and security. It is suitable for use with 100 Amp 6V/12V batteries.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car battery tester appreciated that it “appears to work well” although there were some complaints that “the leads are way too short.” Many people found this tester very simple to use, with one particular reviewer saying, “this is exactly the same model my local NAPA garage uses every day. When I decided I needed a tester in my home garage, I picked it for all the same reasons. It has already been used several times and has not failed me.”

At a cost of around $20, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has very good ratings with hundreds of people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

CARTMAN Loading Battery Tester Key Features: 

  • Color-coded analog voltage display
  • Integrated top carrying handle
  • Heavy-duty coated cables

Best Budget Car Battery Tester: CARTMAN 12V Car Battery & Alternator Tester

Best Budget Car Battery Tester
CARTMAN 12V Car Battery & Alternator Tester
A budget-friendly option with a sleek and simple design.

The CARTMAN 12V Car Battery & Alternator Tester is an excellent choice for those looking for a car battery tester that won’t break the bank. It is suitable for use with vehicles with 12V batteries, and features easy-to-read LED display indicator lights. It offers the ability to perform alternator state checks, battery state checks, checks before the charge, as well as overload display.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car battery tester appreciated that it was functional for a fraction of the cost of other testers, and was lightweight and comfortable to use. There were some comments that the leads were short and the clamps were small, but they can easily be upgraded. People also liked the compact design, saying, “This device is small but it does exactly what it needs to do!”

With a cost of approximately $7, this car battery tester is a solid choice for those looking for a car battery tester option on a budget. It has great ratings from thousands of people who’ve reviewed it, which we think goes a long way in convincing drivers that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at checking their car battery levels as its more expensive counterparts.

CARTMAN 12V Car Battery & Alternator Tester Key Features: 

  • Lightweight design
  • Measures approximately 8 x 2 x 1 inches
  • Rubber coated clamp handles

Best Car Battery and Alternator Tester: TN TONNY Plug in Car Battery and Charging System Tester

Best Car Battery and Alternator Tester
TN TONNY Plug in Car Battery and Charging System Tester
Easily plugs into any cigarette lighter plug.

The TN TONNY Plug in Car Battery and Charging System Tester is an excellent option for those looking for a battery and alternator tester in one unit and easily plugs into any cigarette lighter plug for quick readings. The LCD display is backlit for ease of reading and shows the measured voltage with a bar graph to indicate the charge level of your battery. LED indicator lights display test results as good, problematic, or bad.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car battery tester said it was “a perfectly adequate tester, with voltage readings that compare favorably” to other, more expensive models. Many people liked its “handy glove-box” size, and found it “a good buy and easy to use.”

With a price tag of about $15, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has very good ratings with hundreds of people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

TN TONNY Plug in Car Battery and Charging System Tester Key Features: 

  • Pivoting head for ease of reading
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Best 6 Volt Car Battery Tester: LEICESTERCN Automotive Battery Tester

Best 6 Volt Car Battery Tester
LEICESTERCN Automotive Battery Tester
Includes 3 adapter cable sets for various connection types.

The LEICESTERCN Automotive Battery Tester is a solid choice for those wanting a car battery tester for 6V batteries. It is suitable for use with all regular flooded, AGM, gel, and deep cycle batteries ranging from 6V-24V. It comes complete with three sets of adapter cables, which allows you to test using various methods of battery connection. It boasts reverse polarity and over voltage protection for added safety and peace of mind.

Those who purchased and reviewed this car battery tester appreciated that it was “easy to use and understand” and felt that “the cost was very reasonable and the value was well worth the expense.” Most users found it to be a “very handy tool” and said it offered “an inexpensive alternative to the costly fancy models out there.”

At a cost of around $20, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of setup and use more than justifies that price. It has really good ratings from hundreds of people who’ve reviewed it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

LEICESTERCN Automotive Battery Tester Key Features:

  • Ultra-compact design
  • Easy-to-read backlit LCD display
  • Weighs just 5.6 ounces

Who Should Buy a Car Battery Tester

A car battery tester is an ideal choice for anyone who owns a vehicle, as it allows you to quickly and easily test your car’s battery to ensure that it is operating at optimum levels. The most basic models will only test your battery level, while more complicated car battery testers can test the battery’s capacity for charge accumulation, as well as potential issues that might affect its abilities. Some battery load testers can also check alternator status.

Additionally, a car battery tester is also a good choice for those who are concerned about their car battery levels, especially if their car has been displaying any signs of a dying battery. This inexpensive tool can give peace of mind ahead of any outings that you aren’t likely to be stranded by a dead battery.

Best Car Battery Tester Overall
MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester
Connect and go for a quick reading of power and alternator status.

Important Features to Consider

Not all car battery testers are created equal. A car battery tester should be accurate and easy to use. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best car battery tester for your vehicle:

  • Complexity. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to choosing the best car battery tester is its complexity, or how many functions it can test. The most basic models will only test your battery level, while more complicated car battery testers can test the battery’s capacity for charge accumulation, CCA, as well as potential issues that might affect its abilities. Some battery load testers can also check alternator status. The more things your battery tester can test, the more expensive it will be.
  • Battery type. Some battery testers are only compatible with certain types and voltages of batteries, but there are other units that can be used to test various battery voltages as well as types, including AGM, gel, marine, and flood.
  • Clamp length and connection. While some less expensive battery testers feature shorter cables on the clamps, there are those with longer cables that allow you to easily test your battery from within the vehicle, rather than standing over the engine. There are also some battery testers that include more than one connector type, for use with different types of battery terminal posts.
  • Size. Another important consideration when buying a battery tester is the size of the unit. You want a battery tester that is lightweight and comfortable to hold and maneuver when testing, especially in inclement weather. Some will have top carrying handles integrated to their design.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a car battery tester. Car battery testers vary in price from $6-$200 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a car battery tester and how does it work?

A car battery tester is an auto accessory or tool that in its most basic format allows you to test your car’s battery to ensure that it is operating at optimum levels. The most basic models will only test your battery level, while more complicated car battery testers can test the battery’s capacity for charge accumulation, as well as potential issues that might affect its abilities. Some battery load testers can also check alternator status. A battery tester works by testing the current that comes from a battery, via a conducive lead connected to the battery and the tester device. One cable is connected to each battery terminal in order to complete the circuit and test the levels.

How do you know if your car needs a new battery?

Some signs you may need a new car battery include:

  • Your engine is slow to, or won’t, start
  • Lights are dim
  • You experience electrical issues
  • A bad smell
  • The check engine light is on
  • Corroded connectors
  • Misshapen battery case
  • Your car starts fine one day, but not the next
  • You find yourself needing to regularly jump start your battery

How do I test my car battery?

In order to test your car battery, you want to start with the car turned off. Remove the battery’s positive terminal cover, before connecting the positive lead from the tester to the positive terminal, and the negative lead from the tester to the negative terminal. Read the display screen, indicator lights, or analog display to determine whether your car simply needs a boost, or a new battery.

Can a battery test good but still be bad?

Yes, a battery may test as good but still be bad. Your battery may show as fully charged when you test it, but if the voltage is 12.4 or less, the battery is sulfated, which is a process that occurs naturally as the battery discharges. You can try charging the battery fully and retesting it to see if this improves the voltage, which should be approximately 12.7 – 13.2.

Other Car Battery Testers We Reviewed

Best Car Battery Tester Overall
MOTOPOWER MP0514A Digital Car Battery Tester
Connect and go for a quick reading of power and alternator status.

We looked at 20 other car battery testers. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best car battery testers list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your vehicle. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Car Battery and Alternator Tester

ONLINE LED STORE Automotive Battery Tester

ONLINE LED STORE Automotive Battery Tester

This car battery and alternator tester boasts a lightweight and compact design that is compatible with both 12 and 24V batteries.

Key Features: 

  • Extra-large clamps
  • LED display
  • Also checks external charge

Cost: $11

OBDMONSTER 12V Car Battery Tester

OBDMONSTER 12V Car Battery Tester

This car battery and alternator tester boasts an easy-to-use design and is compatible with all types of 12V batteries. The non-slip design is ergonomic and easy to hold.

Key Features: 

  • LED display
  • Industrial grade ABS construction
  • Multi-language user manual

Cost: $6

EDIAG 12V Car Battery Tester

EDIAG 12V Car Battery Tester

This car battery and alternator tester boasts a compact and lightweight design that is compatible with all 12V batteries. It comes complete with two copper clips.

Key Features: 

  • LED display
  • Multi-language user manual
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

Cost: $6

AUTDER Car Battery Tester

AUTDER Car Battery Tester

This car battery and alternator tester boasts a compact and lightweight design and comes complete with two copper clips. It features an easy-to-read LCD display.

Key Features: 

  • Compatible with all 12V batteries
  • Accuracy within 0.1V
  • LED indicators

Cost: $15

KONNWEI KW600 Car Battery Load Tester 

KONNWEI KW600 Car Battery Load Tester 

This car battery and alternator tester boasts 99% accuracy and comes complete with an intelligent and easy-to-read 2.4-inch LCD screen. Lifetime software updates are included.

Key Features: 

  • Widely compatible
  • Print and update results
  • Supports 10 languages

Cost: $48

Car Battery Tester and Analyzer

TT TOPDON Car Battery Tester 

TT TOPDON Car Battery Tester 

This car battery tester and analyzer boasts wide compatibility with the ability to test and diagnose multiple issues. It is suitable for use with 12V lead-acid batteries.

Key Features: 

  • Results in seconds
  • LED indicators
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cost: $60

KZYEE KS21 Auto Battery Tester

KZYEE KS21 Auto Battery Tester

This car battery tester and analyzer boasts a lightweight and compact design, with advanced conductance testing technology for faster, more accurate results.

Key Features: 

  • Suitable for 9-12V batteries
  • User-friendly interface
  • Includes a 2-year warranty

Cost: $37

SUNER POWER Digital 12V Car Battery Tester 

SUNER POWER Digital 12V Car Battery Tester 

This car battery tester and analyzer boasts the ability to help pinpoint the reason for any unexpected shutdowns and comes complete with reverse polarity and over-voltage protection for added safety.

Key Features: 

  • Large LED screen
  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • Lifetime technical support

Cost: $36

VIDENT iBT100 Car Battery Tester

VIDENT iBT100 Car Battery Tester

This car battery tester and analyzer provides accurate battery health status checks and is suitable for use with both 6V and 12V batteries for added convenience.

Key Features: 

  • Results in just 3 seconds
  • Large, backlit LCD display
  • Multi-language support

Cost: $30

FOXWELL Car Battery Tester Analyzer

FOXWELL Car Battery Tester Analyzer

This car battery tester and analyzer boasts the ability to analyze the health status of any 12V battery cell, offering quick results in just 3 seconds.

Key Features: 

  • Large, backlit LCD display
  • Intuitive keypad
  • Reverse polarity and over-voltage protection

Cost: $45

6-Volt Car Battery Tester

allsun Automotive Battery Load Tester

allsun Automotive Battery Load Tester

This 6-volt car battery tester boasts a lightweight and compact design, with integrated side grips for a more secure hold.

Key Features: 

  • Suitable for batteries from 300-1000 CCA
  • Bright, digit LED display
  • No batteries required

Cost: $33

ULTRAPOWER 6V/12V/24V Automotive Car Battery Tester

ULTRAPOWER 6V/12V/24V Automotive Car Battery Tester

This 6-volt car battery tester is suitable for use with all lead-acid batteries and comes complete with three adapters for various applications.

Key Features: 

  • Backlit LCD display
  • Results in seconds
  • Lightweight, compact design

Cost: $18

AUTOOL BT-760 Battery Load Tester

AUTOOL BT-760 Battery Load Tester

This 6-volt car battery tester boasts a large colorful screen for ease of reading results, as well as a print function. It is suitable for use with a variety of battery types.

Key Features: 

  • Insulated ABS shell
  • Multi-language support
  • Storage/carrying case included

Cost: $109

Q-TECH Battery Load Tester

Q-TECH Battery Load Tester

This 6-volt car battery tester boasts a lightweight and compact design that is suitable for use with a wide variety of vehicle battery types.

Key Features: 

  • Color-coded analog display
  • Durable steel case
  • Vinyl dipped steel clamps

Cost: $28

Car Battery Tester with Analog Display

Associated Equipment 6029 Analog Battery Tester

Associated Equipment 6029 Analog Battery Tester

This car battery tester with an analog display is suitable for use with various types of 6V and 12V batteries and comes complete with heavy-duty insulated safety clamps.

Key Features: 

  • Full 125 amp load tests
  • One-hand operation
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $92

Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Load Tester

Clore Automotive 1876 Carbon Pile Battery Load Tester

This car battery tester with analog display boasts variable load capability to 1,000 amps, and can safely test batteries up to 2,000 CCA.

Key Features: 

  • Large, easy-to-read gauges
  • Operating voltage of 6-24V
  • Heavy-duty clamps

Cost: $183

Schumacher BT-100 100A Battery Load Tester and Voltmeter

Schumacher BT-100 100A Battery Load Tester and Voltmeter

This car battery tester with analog display boasts a compact and lightweight design that is suitable for use with both 6V and 12V batteries.

Key Features: 

  • Complete charging system diagnosis
  • Top-mounted rocker switch
  • Super-grip, color-coded battery clamps

Cost: $37

Actron CP7614 Heavy-Duty Battery Load Tester

Actron CP7614 Heavy-Duty Battery Load Tester

This car battery tester with an analog display helps to determine a battery’s state of charge, as well as cranking and charging volts. Its 130-amp load delivers more accurate results.

Key Features: 

  • Suitable for side and top post batteries
  • Multi-mount bracket
  • Side clamp mount for cable storage

Cost: $69

Neiko 40510A 100 AMP 6 and 12 Volt Car Battery Load Tester Kit

Neiko 40510A 100 AMP 6 and 12 Volt Car Battery Load Tester Kit

This car battery tester with analog display boasts a compact and lightweight design that is suitable for use with both 6V and 12V batteries. It comes complete with copper clamp connectors.

Key Features: 

  • Protection-encased analog display
  • Anti-sparking internal switchgear
  • External top handle grip

Cost: $25

Associated Equipment 6024 Analog Battery Tester

Associated Equipment 6024 Analog Battery Tester

This car battery tester with analog display boasts the ability to perform full 125 amp load tests and is suitable for use with both 12V and 24V batteries on all types of vehicles.

Key Features: 

  • Heavy-duty insulated safety clamps
  • Patented design
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $135

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