Best Car Batteries
The Rolls Royce of car batteries. You pay a lot, but you get what you pay for.
A powerhouse battery that is suitable for race cars, luxury vehicles, and everything in between.
On the higher end of the pricing spectrum.
The best of both worlds: a quality battery at a budget price.
A reputable, low-cost, deep-cycle battery w/exceptional power. Works well in electric vehicles. Withstands extreme temps.
Does not come with terminals or terminal hardware.
Price is high, quality is high, and frequent recharge is needed.
A powerful battery of lightweight construction that is suitable for all types of vehicles.
An expensive AGM battery that needs to be routinely charged for optimal performance.
A reasonably priced model with occasional quality and longevity issues.
Starts regardless of temperature/weather thanks to exceptional starting burst when engine is cranked.
A few reports of failed battery life after about a year. Some consumers received batteries that wouldn’t hold a charge.
Customer reviews are mostly positive w/a few exceptions that point to shorter battery life. Superior recharge rate.
Superior starting power and long-term energy. Fast recharge rate of 4 to 6 hrs.
Sporadic, anecdotal evidence of battery life that lasts less than one year.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Note: The above product recommendations were updated August 2017. The products below were our original choices and have yet to be updated.
Shopping Guide for Best Car Batteries
Products we Considered
Dale brings over 40 years of automotive industry experience to the BestReviews table. An avid DIY guy, he has worked with, rebuilt, and led maintenance on a variety of vehicles. He’s also well-versed in fleet management and vehicle operations. Dale’s past experiences include distinguished service as an officer in the US Army.
The most common type of battery among car owners is the wet/flooded battery. In addition to its generally low price, which ranges from $50 to several hundred dollars, the wet/flooded battery appeals to buyers because it is maintenance-free and sealed. Calcium/calcium batteries help minimize the amount of fluid loss. VRLA (Valve-Regulated Lead Acid) batteries consist of gel batteries which are decent for starting cars. AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are excellent for starting cars. Other options include the deep-cycle battery, which is suitable for electric vehicles, and the lithium ion battery, designed primarily for electric vehicles and some high-performance and limited-edition cars.
Understanding common car battery terminology makes it easier to determine how well a specific battery may perform. Terms to watch out for when researching batteries include “cold cranking amps,” “reserve capacity,” and “group size.” Cold cranking amps (CCA) is a measure of how well the battery will start in cold weather. The size of the battery you’re considering should be at least equal the original equipment manufacturer (OEM)’s cranking rate. Reserve capacity refers to the amount of time the car can run on just the battery if the alternator fails. Group size refers to the dimensions of the battery and the location of its power terminals. A car’s specific group size depends on its make and model.
Many consumers appreciate the maintenace-free aspect of the sealed battery, which requires no checking or refilling of electrolytes. Warranty is an important feature, and it’s always a smart idea to ask about a free replacement period. If you plan on installing the battery yourself, a carrying handle is another useful feature.
Battery prices range from under $100 to over $300. The majority of car owners can expect to pay somewhere between $100 to $200 for a quality battery. Batteries designed for luxury cars and electric vehicles tend to cost more their traditional counterparts. When considering how much a battery will cost, don’t forget to factor in installation fees and recycling costs.