The best car air fresheners to keep your car smelling like new

Avoid the unpleasant smells of wet dog, smoke or old clothes with one of these awesome air fresheners

air freshener on a car air vent

by Ryan Gilmore |

There's nothing worse than sitting in your car one day only to find a deeply horrid smell consuming your senses. Whether it be forgotten gym socks hidden under your seat, the smell left by the dog or, worst of all, spilt dairy it can make you want to abandon the car and walk to work for the rest of time. Easily tackle the worst of smells with our guide to the best ways to get your cars smelling nice again.

Parker's favourite air fresheners:

Meguiar's Scent Bomb Car Air Freshener

A one off blast
Merguiar's scent bomb car air freshener
Amazon

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Perfect for a one time blitz of an awful smelling car, this car air freshener bomb will totally change how your car smells. Simply set your car's air-con to recirculate, set the bomb going and leave it to fill your car with mist (after closing the doors and windows.) Leave it to air out for a couple of minutes afterwards and you'll have an odour-free interior and a nice scent that lasts a couple of weeks.

Pros: Remove stubborn smells

Cons: Expensive, one time use only

Yankee Candle Car Jar Ultimate Air Freshener

A delicious smelling option
Yankee Candle Car Jar Ultimate Air Freshener
Amazon

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Yankee candles are a nice smelling addition to your house and these car jars are the perfect addition to your car. With a range of scents available, they claim to last up to four weeks and will neutralise odours.

Pros: Smells like a posh candle

Cons: Only lasts four weeks

Febreze Air Freshener Spray

Basic but effective
Febreze Air Freshener Spray
Amazon

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A very simple but effective option, all you do is spray your Febreze air freshener when the car starts to whiff. This bulk-buy option will give you enough to make your car and home smell brilliant for months to come.

Pros: Multipurpose, use it in the car and home, smells fresh

Cons: You'll need to keep spraying to get rid of nasty smells

Diptyque Car Diffuser

A touch of class
Diptyque Car Diffuser

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This designer car air freshener is clearly a more luxurious option but does offer a scent of sandalwood, vanilla and pink berries. More of a car perfume than an air freshener, simply attach it to an air vent and enjoy the expensive smell. A very fancy option.

Pros: Adds a touch of class to your car, luxurious scent

Cons: Very expensive, scent disappears rather quickly

Autoglym Odour Eliminator

Top pick for odours
Autoglym Odour Eliminator
Amazon

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Autoglym is renowned for creating quality products and their odour eliminator is no different. Whilst there is no scent, it does eliminate bad odours and is great for persistent bad smells, like nicotine. The 500ml bottle should last a good while to depending on how trigger-happy you are.

Pros: Very effective at removing bad smells

Cons: Not scented

Jelly Belly Air Freshener

Sweet smelling
Jelly Belly Air Freshener
Amazon

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With an array of different scents available, there's sure to be the perfect scent for you with these Jelly Belly air fresheners. Place on your rear mirror and your car will smell brilliant for up to four weeks. We're particularly taken by the lemon-scented air freshener.

Pros: Long lasting

Cons: Some of the scents are an acquired taste

Activated Charcoal Bamboo Air Purifier Bags

The natural option
Activated Charcoal Bamboo Air Purifier Bags
Amazon

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Filled with bamboo charcoal, this purifying bag is designed to remove impurities from the air, including bad odours. Unscented, it is a multi-purpose product that acts as a dehumidifier and deodoriser too. The best part about this product is that it doesn't need replacing. Place it in the sun for an hour and it will regenerate itself.

Pros: Fully reusable, helps remove allergens from the air

Cons: Doesn't emit a scent

The Ritual of Mehr Car Perfume

Most stylish air freshener
The Ritual of Mehr Car Perfume
Amazon

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A car perfume, this air freshener is a touch of luxury at a lower cost. The stylish holder clips onto your car's air vent and provide an energising and mood-enhancing Sweet Orange and Cedar Wood to help boost your mood, energise your soul and support you in the flurry of this modern-day world. Lasting up to eight weeks, this is a long-lasting car air freshener.

Pros: Looks great

Cons: Packaging isn't the best

Little Trees Air Freshener

An old favourite
Little Trees Air Freshener
Amazon

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A favourite or minicab drivers everywhere, Little Trees may not have the nuanced scents of some of the more expensive options but it is effective. Available in a range of scents they're long-lasting and can be recycled after you're done with them. Plus, if it can cover up the scent of dodgy take-away it must be good.

Pros: Good value for money, will remove smells

Cons: Scent emitted isn't very refined

What you need to know before buying an air freshener?

How long do you want it to last?

Most air fresheners are designed to last between three and four weeks before they need replacing but longer-lasting products are available but will cost more. Single-use products like freshener bombs may well last for a couple of weeks but aren't designed to smell good for long periods of time.

What do you want it to smell like?

Scent is totally subjective, and there are plenty of options for all sorts of tastes. The sweeter smells of Jelly Belly may entice some but will remind others of minicabs on the way back from a night out. Others may be interested in no scent at all, if you have a sensitive nose there are options that will simply eliminate bad odours.

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