If you require a quick answer, the best car tyre inflator is the Ring Automotive RTC1000, which is built to a high standard by a reputable brand, is easy to use thanks to its large display and buttons and provides great performance. However, if you are on a tight budget and require a high-quality yet affordable tyre inflator, the AstroAl alternative is a great option to consider. Alternatively, if you require a cordless car tyre inflator, the AstroAI 160 is the best option.
To rate the car tyre inflators within our roundup, we based our recommendations on testing, our experience using multiple machines, the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the inflator’s build quality, performance, ease of operation, supplied accessories, digital display, maximum pressure, warranty and value.
Best Car Tyre Inflator Overview
- Best Overall: Ring Automotive RTC1000
- Best Value: AstroAI 12V
- Best Cordless: AstroAI 160
- Best Compact: AZUNO 7800
- Most Versatile: Ring Automotive RTC6000
- Best Budget: FORTEM Digital
Although you can visit a petrol station or even use an air compressor in your garage, the simplicity of the latest car tyre inflators is far more convenient. Whether you opt for a 12V or battery-powered tyre inflator, they take a matter of seconds to setup and the latest machines perform far better than they did a few years back.
Below is a list of the best car tyre inflators that are easy to use and packed full of clever features.
The Best Car Tyre Inflators
1. Best Overall: Ring Automotive RTC1000
The Ring Automotive brand has an excellent reputation for its high-quality car tyre inflators and by far the brand’s most-rated machine is the RTC1000 model. This is because it’s designed with usability in mind thanks to its large backlit digital display, large push buttons and LED torch that make using the machine very simple.
In terms of what’s included with the RTC1000, in the box is the machine, 3 adapters, 4 spare valve caps, instructions and protective gloves. It really is the complete kit and better still, it’s relatively affordable too.
We’ve been testing and using the RTC1000 model for a long time now and there are multiple features that make it one of the best on the market. We personally love the large buttons and digital display that shows a progress bar and the pressure values but other standout features include the high-quality construction and wind-up cable design.
To conclude, the new and improved RTC1000 by Ring Automotive ticks all the boxes and provides everything you need in a car tyre inflator. There isn’t much to dislike about this machine and it certainly won’t disappoint.
2. Best Value: AstroAI 12V Tyre Inflator
By far the most popular car tyre inflator on the market is the AstroAl and for good reason too. Not only does it offer outstanding value for money but it’s also built to a much higher standard than many of the premium alternatives. Although relatively cheap, included with the inflator are multiple attachments as well as the addition of an extension hose too.
A worry that many people have when using a cheap tyre inflator is that it may be inaccurate. However, to provide you with peace of mind, AstroAl state that the machine is professionally calibrated to always be within 1.5% of the tyre pressure.
To conclude, the AstroAl inflator offers the best value and it’s a machine that really impressed us during testing. No other machine at a similar price comes close to its performance and features and its popularity is a clear indication of its quality. Apart from the fact that you can’t neatly wind up the power cable (not a major issue), there isn’t much to dislike.
With regards to the machine getting hot, this was after inflating multiple flat tyres for several minutes and we let it cool down afterwards. However, it’s worth pointing out that for “normal” inflation, the machine doesn’t get hot at all.
3. Best Cordless: AstroAI Cordless Tyre Inflator
Another car tyre inflator by the AstroAl brand is their cordless option, which yet again is very popular. However, unlike their standard machine, this isn’t primarily designed to be budget-friendly but instead, it has been built to last. Elements that display its robust nature include a metal cylinder and gears that the brand states will continuously run for 20 minutes.
To ensure that you can always use this cordless tyre inflator with or without the battery charged up, this model also features a 12V power supply. This means that if you run out of battery but need to inflate your tyres, you can simply connect the 12V socket to your car’s 12V port and you can begin inflating once more.
Although many reputable brands produce cordless tyre inflators, during our testing, the AstroAl machine was far superior. It’s an excellent piece of kit that’s well-made and packed full of functionality. When compared to the cheaper predecessor by the brand, the upgraded design is certainly worth paying the extra for as it feels far more high-quality.
To conclude, if you don’t want the hassle of passing wires through your car (unless you run out of battery), the AstroAl cordless tyre inflator is by far the best option. There are cheaper cordless machines available but we’ve seen first-hand how much better this model is compared to the alternatives and it certainly won’t disappoint.
4. Best Compact: AZUNO Car Tyre Inflator
Storing a tyre inflator in your car is a dilemma for many car owners but this is where the AZUNO brand has the answer with their machine. At just 20 x 14.5 cm in size, it’ll easily fit in the glove box or near your spare wheel and the complete kit includes the inflator, carry case, battery charger, 12V cable and 5 adapters.
Although small in size, the 7,800 mAh battery is able to output an impressive 32 litres of air per minute.
If you are in the market for a compact tyre inflator as well as a power bank, the AZUNO machine is the perfect solution. It isn’t the cheapest but the fact that it comes with a lifetime guarantee provides you with complete peace of mind.
5. Most Versatile: Ring Automotive RTC6000
Another car tyre inflator by the reputable Ring Automotive brand is their flagship RTC6000 model, which is a “4-in-1” machine that promises to be the complete package. Compared to the RTC1000 that we rated as the best, this model also acts as a power bank with a USB socket for recharging devices such as smartphones or tablets on the go. It’s also cordless and can be powered by a 12V cable or mains-powered plug in case you run out of battery.
To conclude, the RTC6000 by Ring Automotive is a versatile piece of kit and considering all of its features, it’s reasonably priced too. However, since the RTC1000 model is half the price and provides the same performance and build quality, we feel that it doesn’t provide the best bang for your buck. With that being said, if the additional features such as acting as a power bank and inflating leisure accessories (i.e. air beds) are features you require, the RTC600 won’t disappoint.
6. Best Budget: FORTEM Digital Tyre Air Compressor
If you want a budget-friendly tyre inflator for your car, the FORTEM brand has the answer with their machine. It’s fairly basic in terms of its design and functionality but it does a great job at being “basic”. From having a long power cable (14 feet) to a digital display, it’s an easy-to-use portable car tyre inflator that won’t disappoint.
Overall, the FORTEM car tyre inflator is an excellent all-round option that offers great value for money. Although it’s basic and not backed by a reputable brand, for the money there is very little to dislike about this machine.
How We Rated
As we own several cars, we have to regularly monitor and maintain a lot of tyres, which has meant that we’ve had the pleasure of testing several tyre inflators. From budget to premium and corded to cordless, as you can see in the images below, we’ve tested multiple machines to base our recommendations on and our testing is still ongoing.
During our testing, we analyse the tyre inflator’s performance, ease of use, build quality, noise levels, additional features and all of the supplied accessories that come with the machine.
To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest car tyre inflators (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice a brand has released a new and improved machine, we will attempt to buy it and put it to the test (where applicable).
Below is a video that we posted on our YouTube channel that shows us testing one of our top recommendations (AstroAI machine). As you can see in the video, the machine is very stable whilst inflating the tyre and it provides us with a digital display as well as automatic switching off once it has reached the pre-set tyre pressure value.
As well as our testing and experience using multiple tyre inflators, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the tyre inflator’s performance, build quality, ease of operation, supplied accessories, digital display, maximum pressure, warranty and value.
Compared to early car tyre inflators, the latest machines have improved massively with more intuitive features and far better performance. They have also come down a lot in price and we highly recommend keeping one in your car at all times. Failing to maintain the pressure in your tyres can not only lead to uneven tyre wear but also poor handling. Therefore, by having a portable inflator in your car, you can easily inflate the tyres at your convenience.
All of our recommendations within our roundup cater for every budget and include a variety of clever features such as lights, automatic switch-off, digital displays and much more. Although there are plenty of budget options available, we advise spending slightly more for a high-quality machine that will reliably inflate your tyres and be more long-lasting.
If you require further information regarding our car tyre inflator recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.