Best Car Tyre Pump - How to choose yours [Review]

Which car tyre pump?

A car tyre pump does not cost a lot but saves time and money while keeping you safer. But, which car tyre pump should you purchase?

George from recommends you stay clear of the petrol station forecourt seasonal offers and go straight to a Ring Tyre Inflator such as the Ring RTC100 or the Ring RTC300. The Ring RTC range is the test winner in the Auto Express Car Tyre Pump test and you may as well start there.

Ring Car Tyre Pump Review

How to use a car tyre pump?

Only use car tyre pumps with pressure gauges. They can be digital pressure gauges or analogue pressure gauges. Before you start, check your vehicle logbook for the target tyre pressure front and rear. Usually, you can search for the tyre pressure information online as well. Make a mental note. Connect the 12-volt plug to your car's 12-volt outlet or cigarette lighter. Some cars require your car keys to be part turned in the steering column lock before the 12-volt outlet is powered. If so, do that.

Then remove the valve cap from the tyre you want to inflate and keep it safe. Carefully attach the pump air hose by screwing it onto the tyre valve. Some pump hoses have a quick connector, in which case use that. Make a note of the tyre pressure before you turn on the pump.

Then turn on the pump and wait for the gauge to show the target tyre pressure. When reached, turn off the car tyre pump. Remove the pump air hose from the tyre valve. Some air will escape and that's nothing to worry about. Replace the valve cap. For illustration, the video shows these actions in the second half.

Which is the best car tyre pump?

Your main criteria are:

  • Will the car tyre pump put out enough pressure: Not all tyre pumps are robust enough to raise the tyre pressure to the required amount. Of course, that matters. However, it really matters when you have used tyre repair foam after a 'flat': Then the tyre needs to be fully inflated to the right pressure for the foam repair to work. This is why we recommend you stay clear of cheap car tyre air compressors, produced for impulse purchases on a petrol forecourt, and go for car tyre pumps like the Ring tyre inflators.
  • Will the car tyre pump be easy to use at night: Our vehicles rarely break down at convenient times. Working in and around the car in darkness and/or rain is the most difficult time. The Ring tyre inflators have extra-large buttons to operate them easily in darkness and rain.
  • Is the pressure gauge easy to read in darkness or strong sunlight: On the whole, larger digital displays with a backlight win out here. This is one aspect where the Ring RTC tyre inflators win out over many alternative models.


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