Best 12-volt multi-socket adapters 2021

If you need to charge multiple devices on the go, a multi-socket adapter can be a real lifesaver. These are the best ones currently on sale...

12 V Adapters Header

Every day, countless family arguments arise on the subject of who gets to charge their device on the move. Sometimes a car just doesn’t have enough power sockets to go round, and that’s why multi-socket adaptors are handy things to have.

These adaptors plug into your car’s 12-volt ‘lighter’ accessory socket and convert it into an array of power outlets. Some simply provide additional 12V sockets for car accessories such as tyre inflators and coolboxes; others offer USB sockets that allow you to charge tablets, mobile phones and games consoles in the same manner that you might at home.

Cigarette Lighter Socket RING

There’s a multitude of designs of adaptor available, offering different combinations of power outputs, socket types and mounting options, and some are more versatile than others. To help you choose, we’ve tested some of the best on sale. We’ve split this test in two and we’ll kick off with multi-sockets, which can split a single 12v “lighter” socket into several, and often provide one or more USB outlets as well.

Lighter socket to USB

Our criteria checks these devices for user-friendliness, such as cable length, portability, ease of fixing in place, whether you can safely use a cigarette lighter should you want to, and whether the power plug can be securely used in sockets of varying widths. Illuminated sockets obviously come into their own at night, and we feel that onboard battery voltage indicators are useful when using power-thirsty accessories such as tyre inflators (although we advise that you play it safe by keeping the engine running when you use such devices).

For the second half of our test, we’ll focus on 12v to USB adapters.

Top 5: 12-volt Multi Socket Adapters

5. Carpoint 2-Way Socket

Carpoint 2-Way Socket

Price: £4.72
Buy from: www.amazon.co.uk 
Contact: 03001 240240
Web: www.born-brands.co.uk
Overall score: 2/5
Max total current: 8 Amps

Carpoint’s adapter is literally a power plug that leads to two individual 12-volt sockets at the end of 20cm wires. That’s quite a practical design, making it possible to place devices on either side of the centre console while they’re charging. However, at its sub-fiver price, Carpoint's 2-Way Socket isn't bristling with extras. The sockets aren’t illuminated, they don’t seem particularly robust, and there’s no 22mm adapter for the power plug.

4. Ring RMS13

Ring RMS13


Price: £17.00
Buy from: www.amazon.co.uk
Contact: 0113 213 2000
Web: www.ringautomotive.co.uk
Overall score: 3/5
Max total current: 10 Amps

Ring's RMS13 sits snugly in most cup holders, meaning it stays put, in a convenient location, without having to be permanently secured in place. We like the self-coiling 1m power lead, too, which prevents the cable from becoming untidy. As well as two 12v sockets, the RMS13 boasts two USB outputs: a Type A socket and a neat Micro-USB plug on a 60cm retractable lead. Other plus points include a battery voltage monitor, and a power plug that works with various diameters of socket. We're less keen on the price and the disappointing max USB current of 1 Amp shared between both outputs.

3. Ring RMS10

Ring RMS10


Price: £17.95
Buy from: www.amazon.co.uk
Contact: 0113 213 2000
Web: www.ringautomotive.co.uk
Overall score: 3/5
Max total current: 10 Amps

Closely related to Ring’s RMS13, the only real difference is that the RMS10 has two USB Type A sockets, rather than the other model’s retractable Micro-USB plug. Arguably the two-socket approach is more useful these days, with Micro-USB becoming increasingly obsolete. As with the RMS 13, a thumbs-up goes to the cup-mount design, 1m coiled lead, illuminated sockets, the battery charge indicator, and a power plug that works with various diameters of socket. Again, though, the paltry 1 Amp total USB output limits its appeal.

2. Ring RMS4 – RECOMMENDED 

RING RMS4 Recommended


Price: £9.99
Buy from: www.amazon.co.uk
Contact: 0113 213 2000
Web: www.ringautomotive.co.uk
Overall score: 4/5
Max total current: 8 Amps

With four sockets, Ring's RMS4 is a great piece of kit for accessory addicts – and smokers. Why smokers? Well, one of the four sockets is heat shielded, making it safe to use with a cigarette lighter. And in all other ways, this Ring is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from the others: nicely finished, illuminated sockets, a battery level indicator, and a collar that ensures the power plug will fit no matter how wide or narrow the socket. Ring also supplies mounting screws, but this highlights a problem: if you don’t want to mark your dash by screwing the unit down, the pull from the 1m self-coiling lead becomes a nuisance. 

1. Carpoint 4 Way Socket – BEST BUY

Recommended Carpoint


Price: £14.85
Buy from: www.arrowgeneralsupply.co.uk
Contact: 03001 240240
Web: www.born-brands.co.uk
Overall score: 5/5
Quantity: 10 Amps

Slightly dearer than Ring's four-pot RMS4 but, we feel, worth the money, even if minor RMS4 niceties, such as the voltage monitor and socket illumination, are missing. The main advantage of this model is its slide-on/off mounting plate. You can permanently mount it using the screws supplied, you can use the less scarring – but nonetheless effective – adhesive pad, or you can leave the plate off and stash the adapter in a shelf or in a cubby hole. Its 1.3m long conventional lead doesn’t exert the same irritating pull as the RMS4’s coiled one. Tidy socket covers and a light that shows when the power is connected are welcome features.

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