The Best Places to Buy a Car Battery in 2021
Get your car back on the road with a new battery from one of these well-known and reputable retailers.
The battery in your vehicle is a key component that acts as the power storage system, providing power to the engine, the ignition, and the auxiliary electronic systems like the lights and the radio. So, when the battery is near the end of its life, it’s important to find a replacement that is suited for your car and the local climate. Keep in mind that batteries operate differently in freezing temperatures than they do in hot temperatures.
Take a look at the list below to find the best place to buy a car battery. Choose from mega-retailers that have a large inventory, or opt for more specialized stores that can help you find the right battery for your vehicle.
Known for: Consumers only need to worry about securing a yearly or a monthly membership to score great deals on car batteries at Costco.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: Ideal for Honda Civics and similar vehicles, this Interstate Batteries car battery (available at Costco) has 600 cranking amps (CA) and long-lasting performance.
Costco was established in 1976 with the new concept of a retail warehouse club that offers large wholesale quantities at low prices since it doesn’t need to invest in shiny floors and attractive shelving. Despite the stark interior, Costco products are typically high-quality options, including car batteries that are marketed and distributed by Interstate Batteries, a Costco partner.
Costco Wholesale Corporation is an American multinational corporation that has a requirement for shopping at its stores: a paid membership. An annual membership fee allows Costco members to shop at the wholesale store and gain the benefit of bargain-price products throughout the brick-and-mortar locations and its website. Online customers can enter the year, make, model, engine, and add-ons of their vehicle to find the appropriate battery.
Known for: Walmart offers a large number of diverse, inexpensive car batteries for a wide range of makes and models.
Price: $ to $$
Editors’ Choice: This affordable EverStart Maxx car battery (available at Walmart) features 850 cold cranking amps (CCA) for reliable starts in freezing weather conditions.
Founded in 1945, Walmart is one of the most well-known companies in America primarily due to the widespread popularity of its discount department stores and grocery stores. However, Walmart didn’t actually open its first official store until 1962 with the goal of finding lower-cost suppliers so it could sell its products at low prices and generate high-volume sales.
Walmart has stuck to this goal over the years and continues to offer products, including car batteries, at a lower price than many competitors. Choosing a new car battery is as simple as heading to the Walmart website and searching for the make and model of the car to get a wide variety of options that will work in the selected vehicle. The broad range of products is ideal for finding the right battery for a less-popular or older model car.
3. Sam’s Club
Known for: Sign up for a yearly membership at Sam’s Club and get great benefits, like low prices on a range of products, including affordable car batteries.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: Designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, this Duracell automotive battery (available at Sam’s Club) is a durable, long-lasting choice for cars, light trucks, and vans.
Sam’s Club has a similar layout and marketing strategy as Costco, requiring customers to purchase yearly memberships for access to the affordable products that are sold in bulk. Owned and operated by Walmart, Sam’s Club was founded in 1983 and named after Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton. The store currently has the second-highest volume of sales among warehouse clubs, falling behind its primary rival, Costco.
The warehouse-style business ensures that prices remain low, so DIYers can select the right car battery to meet the needs of their vehicle. Both the website and the store are able to provide customers with detailed information on the capabilities of each battery to ensure that it’s the correct size and has substantial cranking amps and cold cranking amps for better reliability in hot or cold weather.
Known for: Advance Auto Parts specializes in selling aftermarket parts, which are replacement parts that are not made by the original equipment manufacturer.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: With 730 cold cranking amps and 910 cranking amps, this 12 volt DieHard Gold car battery (available at Advance Auto Parts) is a great choice for reliable starts.
Advance Auto Parts actually got its start about a century ago in 1921 as a part of Pep Boys. In 1932, two stores were purchased from Pep Boys and renamed Advance Auto Parts by the new owner. However, despite being in the car-part retail business for over 80 years, Advance Auto Parts didn’t begin to expand until 1998. The company has grown exponentially and has been featured on the Fortune 500 list of companies since 2003.
This store specializes in the marketing, sale, and distribution of aftermarket automotive parts that are not made by the manufacturer of the original part. Advance Auto Parts stocks a wide variety of aftermarket automotive parts, making it a great choice for professionals and DIYers who need car batteries and other parts for older makes and models of cars, vans, and trucks.
Known for: Popular with professionals and DIYers across the U.S., AutoZone is the largest automotive parts retailer in North America.
Price: $$ to $$$$
Editors’ Choice: Duralast Platinum Enhanced Flooded Batteries (available at AutoZone) are designed with an improved charge acceptance and cycle life for strong starts and consistent power for modern features like cruise control, lane assist, and heated seats.
Founded in 1979 and based in Memphis, Tennessee, AutoZone quickly grew its popularity and reputation as a reliable automotive parts retailer, becoming the largest retailer of automotive parts in North America. The company particularly appeals to consumers who prefer to rely on the expertise of the retailer to select a suitable car battery for their vehicle due to the high level of knowledge and specialized product offering.
The impressive selection of car batteries on the AutoZone website provides consumers with enough variety to make a decision, while the vehicle management menu makes it easy to see which products would work with the consumer’s specific vehicle make and model. AutoZone doesn’t ship car batteries directly due to safety restrictions, but they do have curbside pickup or the option to shop for car batteries in-store.
Known for: A favorite of automotive professionals, NAPA offers a large variety of car, truck, and commercial vehicle batteries and other parts after a quick vehicle make and model check.
Price: $$ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: Better for moderate climates, this NAPA The Legend car battery (available at NAPA) has a 650 cold cranking amperage and convenient, fold-down handles for easy transportation and installation.
Founded in 1925, NAPA is a retailers’ cooperative made up of about 6,000 stores that are primarily owned by independent retailers, though about 1,142 NAPA stores are owned by the Genuine Parts Company. This business model keeps costs low for independent owners as well as their customers by acquiring bulk discounts from manufacturers and sharing the marketing expense across the cooperative.
While NAPA provides an exceptional range of car parts, including batteries, tires, brakes, and more, the main benefit may be the expertise of its staff. NAPA owners and employees specialize in automotive parts, maintenance, and repairs, including 15,000 NAPA AutoCare repair facilities that can sell and install the right car battery according to the make and model of the vehicle.
Known for: Amazon is a marketplace where consumers can find an impressive range of products, including a variety of car and truck batteries that can be checked against the make and model of the vehicle on the site to verify that it’s a suitable choice.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The ACDelco Gold car battery (available on Amazon) has 760 cold cranking amps for reliable starts in winter weather and a high-density negative paste to help increase battery life.
Amazon was originally called Cadabra, Inc., getting its start in 1994, but when the company name was mistaken for the word “cadaver,” the company quickly changed its name to Amazon. Initially, the site focused on selling books online, but as the company rapidly grew in popularity, it also increased its product offerings, transitioning into a multifaceted online publisher, video-streaming service, online marketplace, and shipping company.
Amazon remains one of the most successful online retailers, selling an impressive variety of products ranging from groceries to car parts, including a range of affordable car batteries. The “Your Garage” feature lets customers add more than one vehicle’s information for quick reference while shopping for car parts to be sure that the selected battery, tires, or brakes are suitable for the vehicle in question.
8. Pep Boys
Known for: After a century as an automotive parts retailer, Pep Boys knows cars and can help customers find the right car battery to suit their needs.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: The Champion Premium car battery (available at Pep Boys) is optimized for consistent power over the life of the battery in order to fulfill the energy demands of modern cars.
The Pep Boys company started in the retail automotive parts industry way back in 1921—long before most of its competitors—giving Pep Boys a substantial amount of experience providing detailed information to customers. Pep Boys is famous for the oversize caricatures of the founders, Manny, Moe, and Jack, that are prominently displayed on the company logo.
This retailer offers a variety of automotive parts, accessories, and other products, as well as fleet maintenance service for large companies and local service centers for customers who don’t have the experience or the desire to complete automotive repairs themselves. The reliable experience of Pep Boys has allowed them to remain successful over the years, despite the extraordinary changes in vehicles from 1921 to the modern vehicles of today.
Known for: Quality and reliability are key components of what has made O’Reilly Auto Parts a successful aftermarket automotive parts retailer for over 60 years.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: This Super Start Platinum car battery (available at O’Reilly Auto Parts) is designed for cold mornings and high-energy output with 710 cold cranking amps and a high, 110-minute power reserve capacity.
This popular aftermarket automotive parts retailer serves both professionals and DIYers with more than 5,600 stores across 47 states, as well as 22 stores in Mexico. It was founded by the O’Reilly family in 1957 and experienced immediate growth under the careful supervision of both Charles Francis O’Reilly and his son, Charles H. O’Reilly, who had left management positions with Link Motor Supply due to the company’s plan to force Charles F. into retirement and move Charles H. to Kansas City.
The decision turned out to be the best move the pair could have made, as O’Reilly Auto Parts is still operating as one of the most popular aftermarket automotive parts retailers in America. This company sells car batteries that are suitable for most makes and models. Shoppers can enter their vehicle information on the O’Reilly Auto Parts website to check which products are the right size and power output for their car and then find a local store for pickup.
10. Batteries Plus
Known for: This specialty battery retailer sells and recycles batteries of varying sizes and voltages for a range of vehicles and consumer electronics.
Price: $ to $$$
Editors’ Choice: This Duracell Ultra car battery (available at Batteries Plus) is typically used in GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Buick vehicles with 540 cold cranking amps for reliable starts in moderate climates.
Batteries Plus got its beginning in 1988 as a specialty retail store that sold and recycled batteries. They continue to operate within this specialized niche, offering batteries for a wide range of products, including watches, cell phones, digital cameras, and cars. While Batteries Plus isn’t a good choice for most automotive parts, the company is an ideal option for those looking to find car batteries.
The main benefit of Batteries Plus is that consumers get battery-specific advice that they may not get at a general automotive parts retailer. Due to the focused approach to the market, Batteries Plus has managed to expand to over 700 locations with only minor product expansions that include chargers and light bulbs.