car trash can

This Really Is the Best Inexpensive Car Trash Container

Wouldn’t you think that if car manufacturers can perfect self-driving cars, they could also come up with a way to conquer the car trash problem? Maybe something in an attractive, solid, waterproof, discreet receptacle that could also qualify for Best Inexpensive?

trash in a car to highlight best inexpensive way to combat the litter

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I’ve always thought that a built-in trash compactor would be great. Or even better, some kind of incinerator that sucks the accumulation of trash and garbage right out of the car and into a holding tank somewhere that magically converts it into purified drinking water. Or gasoline.

While waiting for that kind of invention to appear, I’ve tried plastic bags, plastic tubs, and every kind of frugal trick and tip you can imagine to handle the annoyance of car trash.

I’ve tested and tried. Some ideas are better than others, but nothing has ever proven 100% satisfactory. Until now.

Best Inexpensive Car Trash Can

The Drive Bin XL is inexpensive and comes loaded with the features I would have absolutely insisted upon had anyone asked me to weigh in on the design.

car trash can

Has It All


Extra-large, 3-gallon capacity, yet compact to fit most vehicles.


Sits on the floor or attaches to the back of the headrest.


Four solid sidewalls that do not collapse.


Has a magnetic lid that hides the mess or folds back to be out of the way.


Comes with a 10-pack of (unnecessary) disposable plastic liners because …


Takes standard grocery bags as liners!


Has side clasps to hold the plastic bag in place.

Handles Spills

Waterproof, super sturdy.


Doubles as a cooler; insulated with thermal features.



If I sound giddy about this discovery, that’s because I am. Giddy with joy that finally I’ve found the perfect car trash can that will work just fine until someone invents the kind of compactor or incinerator I described (and still dream of) above.

This is the trash can every family vehicle needs to keep the car clean, tidy, attractive, and litter-free. 

After using my cool new Drive Bin XL trash can for a few months, I turned around and bought a second one for a gift—quite possibly the best gift ever,  says my recipient.


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Originally published: 3-5-15; Updated 5-6-21


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6 replies
  1. Ann says:

    A little cheaper & smaller is – if you have a dog – using a doggy poop bags w handles. I loop the handle on the gear shifter and put the body of the bag on the passenger side. It’s smaller & convenient: when full, you just tie the handles together, toss et voila! I keep a roll in the glove compartment (along w/those all important extra batteries for the key fob).

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Two choices: Sits on the floor (there is a gripped surface on the bottom) or hangs by a strap from the back of any headrest

  2. Gina Stevens says:

    Great invention! I follow the “everything goes” rule. Anything that doesn’t permanently belong in the care (all those sanitizing wipes) gets taken out with me. Other people use their cars as extra storage.


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