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The Best Snow Shovels for your Car

emergency snow shovel for car

If you live in area that receives even a minimal amount of snow per year, you are likely aware of how important it is to be prepared for this snow. It is so secret that it can accumulate quickly and create a huge mess for people trying to navigate through it. Most people who live in snowy regions probably have been caught off guard at least once or twice in their life to where they wished they were better prepared.

To ready your car for a potential unexpected event or emergency during the winter, you should put together a winter survival kit and store it in your trunk. Ready Wisconsin has created a helpful list of items that you should carry in your survival kit. As you probably guessed, a shovel is one of those items on this list.

We have put together our own list below of the best snow shovels for your car. These portable shovels are much smaller than your typical driveway snow shovels in order to fit comfortably in a car trunk. However, don’t let their size fool you. If you buy a quality car shovel, it will help you immensely if you need to dig your car out from the snow in an emergency.

Additionally, these car shovels are great beyond a snow emergency. They can be used for camping or other outdoor activities when bringing along a traditional shovel just isn’t practical. Some people even opt to keep their snow shovel in their car year-round to use it as needed.

The Best Snow Shovels for a Car

Lifeline AAA 4004 Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel

This is one of the best all-around car snow shovels you can buy. An excellent feature is that it can be taken apart into three pieces to make it even smaller than it already is. The two blue section shown in the above picture detach from the middle black section to allow for easy storage in your trunk, a bag, etc. The shovel is adjustable from 25 inches to 32 inches. It weighs only 1.3 pounds so you won’t be bogged down by its weight if you have to carry it for a long time. The current colors available on Amazon are blue (shown above), red, and gold.

Cartman Portable Aluminium Sport Utility Shovel


Here is another solid aluminum car shovel that is similar to the Lifeline AAA displayed above. Like the Lifeline AAA, it breaks down into 3 pieces, adjusts from 25 inches to 32 inches, and weighs 1.3 pounds. If you find your car buried in snow away from home, this is a great tool to help you get back on the road when traditional snow removal tools are not available.

SOG Entrenching Tool F08-N- Folding Shovel

If you are looking for a super durable but very compact shovel, this is an exceptional option for you. This shovel folds up to about the size of the blade so storage won’t be a problem for most people. The total length is 18.25 inches so it is relative small even when it is ready for use. The edge of the blade has teeth that can be used for cutting things like small branches or sticks. A cool feature is that the blade can rotate 90° to create a pick or a hoe. Unless you are in a desperate situation, you probably aren’t going to use this tool to shovel 8 inches of snow away from your whole car. However, it will be useful for lighter snow removal from around the tires or doors. Overall, this is a versatile survival tool that would be great to take camping and leave it in the car afterwords for potential emergencies. We forgot to mention that the shovel comes with a handy nylon bag for storage.

True Temper AutoBoss Emergency Car Shovel

Here is a shovel designed with snow emergencies in mind. The shovel is able to fold or unfold when the latch on the middle of the shove is pulled. The shovel locks into position once the latch is pressed in like is shown in the photo above. You typically use the shovel by placing one hand on the handle by the scoop and the other hand on the top handle. This shovel is super easy to store and fold/unfold. Check out the below video to see the shovel in action.

Power Foldable Shovel

The Power Foldable Shovel folds down to a nicely compact 12.5 inches from 26 inches at full extension. It would be difficult for most people not to be able to accommodate this shovel in their car space. This is mostly made from a durable plastic with strip of metal at the blade. The shovel comes with a nylon bag for protection while stored or for easier carrying. We put this shovel on our list of best car snow shovels for its ability to scoop a large amount of snow in comparison to several other car shovels.

Suncast SCS300 Automotive Snow Shovel

This shovel has the ability to compact down to 29 inches and extend to over 36 inches via a handle telescope feature. This is one of the bigger shovels on our list so you should  make sure you have the room for it in your car before you consider buying it. The blade is 11 inches by 13 inches, which provides nice room to quickly shovel yourself out of a snowy mess. The blade is made from graphite and the handle is manufactured out of poly-coated ribbed steel core shaft with a resin sleeve.

Hopkins SubZero 17222

The Hopkins SubZero is a durable aluminium shovel that would make an excellent addition to your car winter survival kit. As you can see in the photo, it can collapse to a relative small size. The shovel extends to 30 inches to provide a decent length for emergency shoveling. It can adjust to a side-mount position where the shovelhead is at about a 90° angle to the handle. This allows the user to more easily clear snow from under their car. You can purchase this shovel in your choice of blue, red, or green.

Pinty Aluminium Lightweight Utility Shovel

Here is another lightweight aluminum shovel that disassembles into three pieces for convenient storage. A nice feature of this shovel is that the handle length can be adjusted from 26 inches to 32 inches based on your preference. Most users will have little trouble handling the weight of this shovel at 1.8 pounds. The shovel head measures 11 inches x 8.3 inches. Yes, this is not the largest of the shovels featured, but it will likely have no trouble with many tasks you put in front of it.

Car Snow Shovel Q&A

  • Do I really need an emergency snow shovel for my car?
    • Most people have ample room in their car to store a snow shovel through the winter. Why risk getting stuck, when you can buy a quality and relatively inexpensive car snow shovel in case of an emergency where you need it.
  • Is a car snow shovel just as good as a traditional snow shovel in terms of performance? 
    • The idea of a car snow shovel is to have a practical way to dig yourself out in an emergency. A traditional shovel is typically consider a better option in terms of overall performance, but most people realistically can’t or don’t want to store a full-sized shovel in their car. The compact size of a car snow shovel greatly reduces the burden of having to store it in your car.
  • Can I use my portable car snow shovel as my primary snow shovel?
    • It is probably not a good option for most people due to its small size. Most people will be better off using a traditional snow shovel for clearing off their driveway, sidewalks, etc. because they are much better designed for long-term use.