This article will explain exactly how to stay warm in a car with no heat. Don’t worry, there are many solutions on offer to resolve your current situation!
If you’ve found yourself in a circumstance where you have to drive or sleep in your car with no heating, then this is the article for you. I will now take you through the many tips and tricks of how to stay warm in a car with no heating. Let’s make sure you stay warm, whatever the weather.
Buy a small car heater
Buying a small portable car heater is a great way to warm your vehicle until the heating is repaired. They’re generally not expensive, and it also helps to defog and defrost the windows before setting off.
You can purchase one that plugs into the cigarette lighter and provides enough heat to warm you up quickly. Here is a Budget Portable Car Heater for under $30.
Use a cigarette lighter adapter to operate more heating options
Many of the heating options in this article will require electricity to be drawn from the battery of your car, usually via the cigarette lighter. For more heating, you need access to more power. One option is to use a Car Power Inverter, which plugs into the cigarette lighter and then allows you to plugin more/larger appliances.
The second option is to use a Cigarette Lighter Adapter which provides you with three ports instead of one. You can now plug in more appliances that run via your cigarette lighter socket. Depending on what you purchase, choose the best option!
Heated seat covers
By using an adapter or inverter from the previous section, you can install Heated Seat Covers in addition to your portable car heater. They are a great idea, as your whole body will get toasty warm while you drive.
They plug into the 12V outlet or USB, so make sure your car has the correct connections to plug them into.
Insulate your car
If you really want to know how to stay warm in a car with no heater, insulating your windows is one of the best things you can do. Purchase some Reflectix Insulating Foam and cut it to the shapes of your windows. Use some black fabric and Adhesive Spray to create insulative window covers.
This is one of the cheapest ways to keep the heat in your car when it’s too expensive to fix the heating system. Once you’ve installed these window covers, the portable car heater discussed above will be more effective.
Enjoy a hot drink
A nice cup of coffee (or tea for the British among us) is a great start to the day and will help to warm you up for the day’s travel. The heater of your car may be broken, but at least enjoy a delicious hot beverage!
Plus, the caffeine in a tea or coffee will give you a boost of energy to keep you feeling awake and alive while driving. Grab yourself a nice Insulated Travel Mug for the road!
I never leave the house without a good travel mug. It’s one of my Essential Things To Keep In The Car!
Use a heated car blanket
One step up from a normal blanket would be a Heated Car Blanket, which plugs into the cigarette lighter socket to keep you warm. This is a great option that is also available for under $30. If you don’t like the idea of being wrapped up in many layers, a heated blanket is perfect.
Heated steering wheel cover
Another thing you need when driving is warm hands, as you don’t want your hands to go numb when holding your steering wheel. A Heated Steering Wheel Cover is a great option for solving this problem! This one plugs into your cigarette lighter socket and will be sure to keep your hands warm.
Keep your head warm
In a cold environment, you lose heat from your head quickly. Get yourself a nice warm hat to wear during car journeys in order to stay warm in a car with no heat. A scarf and beanie hat should be perfect.
Another way to keep your head warm… grow a beard! Facial hair will help you stay warm even when the inside of the car is freezing.
Alternatively, a heated cap is a great thing to wear whether driving or sleeping in your car. Many of them promote blood circulation, so they stop you from getting pain or fatigue, which you especially don’t want when driving.
Before you even park your car, think about where you’re leaving it. If you park out in the open, you’re going to be exposed to the elements. If it’s raining or snowing, the vehicle is going to get colder.
If possible, park in a covered area, or buy a cover that can go over the top of the car. Though this won’t stop frost completely, it will stop snow from falling on your car. It’ll also mean you don’t have to scrape ice off in the morning.
Start your engines…early!
Despite the fact your car has no heating, it still generates heat when the engine is running. If you start your car a good deal of time before you set off, it will generate some extra heat. At least it will be a little toasty when setting off!
Get a block heater
A Block Heater is a great thing to get as it will keep your engine warm and prevent it from freezing. You can install this on your engine as it plugs into the power outlets.
As well as being good for the engine, it will also defog the car windows. You can buy one on Amazon, and this will help you stay warm in a car with no heat.
Eat a hot meal
Eating a hot meal will put you in a good mood even if the heater in your car isn’t working. Consider getting yourself a portable food warmer that can heat up a meal. This won’t just warm up your body, but hopefully will bring a smile to your face.
Hand and feet warmers
These are little pouches that go inside your gloves, shoes, and your pockets. They don’t start warming up until you remove them from the packaging. They’re great for providing some quick relief from the cold.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you make a qualifying purchase, but this is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Road Trip Expert.
Iain founded The Road Trip Expert in 2019 and continues to manage the website to this day. The inspiration to start the blog came during an extensive road trip around Europe with two friends that spanned several months and involved over 25,000km of driving. He started backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries. Read more on the About page.