Autocar product test: What pressure washer is best?


Pressure washers are great for getting a brilliant rinse and wash on your car, but which one should you buy?

Pressure washers are popular for car washing and general home maintenance, and there are masses of options to choose from.

There are many benefits to using a pressure washer, including the fact that they actually use less water than traditional hose cleaning even though they deliver far more pressure and let you blast salt and muck off your car’s bodywork more effectively. You’ll find no shortage of washers out there that are compact, high pressure and available with a host of accessories, so picking the right one can be tricky. Size, power, relevant attachments, cost and quality are all important factors. Here, we reveal which pressure washers are worth your money.

Best buy – Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 

Price: £145

Buy from: Amazon

Autocar says: 5 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 135 bar. Max flow 384 litres/hour. Motor power 1900W

There are a couple of excellent reasons why the Bosch tops our pressure washer test. First, it’s well priced despite delivering really excellent, high-pressure performance and a good selection of accessories. Secondly, it’s a neat design that feels really well made and is also compact, with a hinged and foldable rear handle.

The ‘Trio Nozzle’ allows you to click between a pencil-, fan-, or turbo jet, too, which makes life much easier than having to change attachments, as you do with many alternatives. If it had a reel for the conveniently long but inconveniently loose hose, the Aquatek would be virtually flawless.

Recommended – Nilfisk Core 140 PowerControl Premium with Car Cleaning Kit

Price: £188.23

Buy from: Amazon 

Autocar says: 4/5

Vital stats: Max pressure 140 bar. Max flow 465 litres/hour. Motor power 1800W

This Nilfisk washer is much more expensive one than the one just below – but it is worth the cash if you want the best pressure washer. It offers phenomenal muck-shifting power, and Nilfisk also provides a guide for which of the three pressure outputs you should be using for any particular chore. The hose reels freely and is set low down so it’s not easy to pull the unit over when you’re trundling around with it. Meanwhile, the fan nozzle, turbo nozzle, angled sill nozzle, foamer and car brush mean that you’ve got every possible car-cleaning accessory that you could want. You even get a microfibre mitt and drying cloth so that you can finish the job properly.

Best budget buy – Nilfisk Core 125 Home Kit

Price: £70.00

Buy from: Amazon 

Autocar says: 4 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 125 bar. Max flow 440 litres/hour. Motor power 1400W

Yes, another Nilfisk, but a cheaper one. It’s a small, smart-looking pressure washer that’s lightweight and effective. It’s got strong pressure to blast away all the muck, and it feels solidly built so should last for a long time. It’d be a great price even for the machine on its own, but with a fan nozzle, turbo nozzle, car brush, and even a patio cleaner, it really is extraordinarily good value. The ultra-flexible 5m hose is more manageable than the stiffer hoses on some others here, too.

Titan 140 Bar Pressure Washer

Price: £89.99

Buy from: Screwfix

Autocar says: 4 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 140 bar. Max flow 330 litres/hour. Motor power 1800W

Don’t worry if you’ve not heard of this make of pressure washer: it’s Screwfix’s own brand, and the unit itself is really good. It seems well put together and is a sensible design, with a hook to keep the 6m hose coiled up when it’s not being used. It delivers decent pressure levels and you get a fan nozzle, turbo nozzle and a patio cleaner. It’s a straightforward, good-value, no-nonsense option.

Karcher K4 Power Control

Price: £186.99

Buy from: Amazon

Autocar says: 3 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 130 bar. Max flow 420 litres/hour. Motor power 1800W

Karcher is still the household name of pressure washers, and although the K4 has been on sale for a long time, it’s still one of the best that you can get. You can see what the current pressure levels are on the lance’s readout, and it even tells you what jobs the relevant pressure is suitable for. It’s such impressive pressure that it’s actually hard to believe that there’s only a 1.8kW motor making it all happen. However, we’d like more attachments (lots are available but you get only a fan and turbo nozzle as standard), and it’s annoying that the hose isn’t on a reel.

Wolf Blaster 4×4

Price: £199.99

Buy from: Amazon

Autocar says: 3 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 165 bar. Max flow 300 litres/hour. Motor power 2000W

The Blaster 4×4 has stonking cleaning performance thanks to its very high-pressure output, and it comes with a kaleidoscope of accessories, including a fan nozzle, turbo nozzle, car brush, angled sill jet, foamer, patio cleaner and even a drain cleaner. The four-wheel dolly also allows the Blaster to spin 360deg, so it’s super-easy to drag around while you wash. It’s not cheap, though, and others offer much the same package for a lot less.

Silverline 2100 Watt Pressure Washer

Price: £85.40

Buy from: Amazon

Autocar says: 3 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 165 bar. Max flow 360 litres/hour. Motor power 2100W

The Silverline is almost as powerful as some professional pressure washers, and it’s also complete with a built-in detergent reservoir. The 5m hose gets a reel, too, but there’s no turbo nozzle attachment, which would transform this washer into something that’d even restore your brickwork and paving slabs. The hose reel is quite stiff, too, making it too easy to topple the Silverline when you’re trying to free up more hose.

Halfords PW10

Price: £59.99

Buy from: Halfords

Autocar says: 3 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 105 bar. Max flow 300 litres/hour. Motor power 1400W

Halfords’ pressure washer delivers strong, washing performance and also has a huge, 90cm lance that you’d normally expect to see on a professional pressure washer. There are some compromises for the budget price, though. You get only one fan nozzle, you can’t attach a detergent bottle to the lance and there’s no internal reservoir and no hook or reel to help keep your hose tidy. But we’ll forgive it most of that, given the low price.

Sealey PW2000PA

Price: £133

Buy from: Amazon 

Autocar says: 2 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 140 bar. Max flow 400 litres/hour. Motor power 1800W

The Sealey pressure washer has a low centre of gravity and can sit uprigiht on two bigger wheels or go down onto its other two smaller wheels, so it’s really easy to pull it around behind you. It doesn’t have as high a power output as some of the others here, but the cleaning performance is still perfectly good. There’s nowhere to rest the lance mid-wash, though, and then it has to be split up to be stored. Fan-, turbo- and angled nozzles are included, but we’d expect more attachments at this price.

Draper 98678

Price: £214.86

Buy from: Amazon 

Autocar says: 2 stars

Vital stats: Max pressure 165 bar. Max flow 432 litres/hour. Motor Power 2100W

This may well be bottom of the pack in our test, but it still has delivers shoulder-wilting pressure and, ultimately, we have no complaints about the Draper’s spray abilities. However, it’s a cumbersome machine, and the hose reel is set high, which makes it easy to accidentally topple the machine when you’re towing it around the car. Draper supplies a patio cleaner and car brush, but there’s no turbo nozzle, which is a huge omission because that’s really the point of a pressure washer, in our books

Source: Autocar

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