Every mechanic, or responsible vehicle owner, understands the importance of taking care of your car. To do this properly requires regular maintenance of several key areas to keep everything running effectively. Perhaps the most important thing to do frequently is an oil change, which should be done every 3000-4000 miles.

An oil drain pan is used to make this much simpler and less time-consuming. This specialist piece isn't as glamorous or well known as some other mechanic's tools, but compared to homemade alternatives, it will allow you to change the oil safely and without the mess.


Preview

Model

Size

Weight

Check Price

Capri Tools CP21021 Portable Oil Drain Pan,...

Capri Tools CP21021

4.5 Gallons

1.9 lbs

ATD Tools 5184 Black Drain Pan - 4-1/2 Gallon...

ATD Tools 5184

4.5 Gallons

0.5 lbs

Motivx Tools Engine Oil Drain Pan -...

Motivx Tools

4 Gallons

2.15 lbs

Lisle 17942 Black Plastic 4.5-Gallon Drain...

Lisle 17942

4.5 Gallons

1.8 lbs

Hopkins FloTool 42003MI 16-Quart Drain...

Hopkins 42003MI

4 Gallons
(more available)

1.25 lbs

Matrix Concepts M28 Oil Drain Container,...

Matrix Concepts M28

4 Gallons

1 lbs

GarageBOSS GB150 12.5 Quart Oil Drain Pan...

GarageBOSS GB150

3.1 Gallons

3.15 lbs

Goplus Portable Oil Drain Pan with Pump 17...

Goplus

17 Gallons

38.5 lbs


How do Oil Drain Pans work?

Oil drain pans are used to make changing the oil much more secure and limit any mess that comes from spills or leaking. When draining the oil from your car, you slide the oil drain pan underneath your vehicle, allowing you to capture the waste, and then you can slide it out and dispose of it. Many of the best oil drain pans are sealable, allowing you to securely and safely dispose of the old oil that is no longer needed. Oil drain pans are one of those simple tools that once you start using, you wonder how you ever did without it.


Benefits of Using Oil Drip Pans

Many people often ask, why do you need an oil drip pan? Well, the truth is that oil changes are an essential activity you will need to undertake regularly to upkeep your car. Just like all other mechanical work, you want to make sure you're using the right tools for the job.

Compared to homemade alternatives, oil drip pans make the change of spillages much less likely. They're specifically designed to capture and contain the oil without any leaking. The average vehicle can hold up to 8 quarts of oil, and believe me; it is not easy to clean! Using the proper tools will save you time and money in the long run.


Choosing a High-Quality Oil Drain Pan

Durable Material

Picking a heavy-duty and durable oil drain pan means it will last longer. Generally, you should look for more weighty models, but bear in mind this can make them more challenging to pick up and move, especially when filled with oil.

Size & Oil Drip Diameter

The bigger the oil drip diameter, the larger the container and more natural it will be to catch all of the oil. The oil drain pan needs to fit under your vehicle, so if you have a lowered car, you'll need to look at the profile of the product carefully. 

Oil Capacity & Built-in Storage

This is a crucial feature to look out for. Many oil drain pans come with built-in storage that allows you to catch the excess oil and then pick up the device to empty it later. You should also consider the capacity you need, as larger vehicles will have more oil to be drained.

Leak Prevention Features

Once you've drained the oil, then you will want to be able to move it without any leakage. Most modern models are fully sealable, and the cap can be locked to stop it spilling, especially useful if you need to travel to dispose of the oil.

Ease of Use

Oil drain pans, when filled, can be surprisingly heavy. You should look for a model with comfortable handles that make it easy to lift and move. A pouring spout can also be useful for directing the flow of the oil and preventing any spills.

Price & Warranty

Price and warranty will always be key factors when selecting any product. There's a wide variety of models, and you can choose to spend a little or a lot. In our experience, spending more on a heavy-duty model will create savings in the long run. Always look for a warranty to give you protection and security if there are any issues.


8 Best Oil Drain Pans Reviewed

1. Capri Tools CP21021

Best Oil Drain Pan (top pick!)

Size

4.5 Gallons

Weight

1.9 lbs

Color(s)

Black

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

Our top pick for best oil drain pan is the Capri oil drain pan, which provides simple but effective functionality. Made from tough polyethylene, it's durable and resistant to even heavy use and made to stand the test of time. 

Capri clearly understands the needs of the user as this oil drain pan is a decent size, but generally small enough to fit under most vehicles. It can catch and store high volumes of oil, which is good for those with larger cars or those who carry out multiple regular changes. It's been designed to be lightweight with two sturdy handles for easy moving. There’s also a large opening to drain waste oil into which helps to prevent leaks or spills, with an anti-splash lip to help stop any oil going where you don’t want it.

Capri has added to the durability of this oil drain pan by making is resistant to high and low temperatures, with antifreeze properties. It’s easy to clean and maintain without any risk of staining. What at first seems like a straightforward oil drain pan has hidden depths. It’s priced very reasonably, coming in the mid-range bracket, but considering all the features, it's pretty impressive. There's also a warranty to help protect your investment long term. If you need a reliable oil drain pan that will do the job and make life easier, this is most likely the one for you.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty and durable
  • High volume
  • No leaks
  • Easy to move

Cons

  • Too large for some low-rise vehicles

2. ATD Tools 5184

Runner up

Size

4.5 Gallons

Weight

0.5 lbs

Color(s)

Black

Material

Plastic

Warranty

No

A very close second on our list is the ATD Tools oil drain pan, which has an intelligent design and a lot of useful features to make oil changes easier. It's incredibly lightweight and maneuverable with molded handles that allow you to pick up and move the whole pan simply.

While it isn't as heavy-duty as other models, it's still very well made. At only 6 inches tall, it will fit under any vehicle, and it can still handle over 4 gallons of oil. ATD Tools have helped prevent any spills with an anti-splash lip all around the draining pan. This is regarded as one of the most efficient on the market at avoiding spills. 

There's no lid or cover with this oil drain pan, so it's not ideal if you need to transport the waste oil any great distance. It does have a very large spout to help pour accurately and prevents the need for any other equipment. It’s also all been designed to be easy to clean, making it low maintenance. Simple, cost-effective, and well designed. If you're tired of using leaky, homemade alternatives, then this is the perfect upgrade to make your life easier.

Pros

  • No leaks
  • Molded handles
  • Prevents splashing

Cons

  • No lid or cover

3. Motivx Tools

Best for motorcycles

Size

4 Gallons

Weight

2.15 lbs

Color(s)

Black

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

If you're changing the oil in your motorcycle, you need to make sure you have the right equipment. This includes getting an oil drain pan that's designed specifically for this task. The Motivx Tools drain pan has all the great features we would expect and is the perfect height for motorcycles.

Motivx Tools has created a heavy-duty pan. Made from reinforced polyethylene, and with a solid base, it can handle large volumes of oil without giving way. It's also got 2 substantial handles built in so you can pick it up easily. Alongside this construction quality, this oil drain pan is also intelligently designed. It has an anti-splash lip all around the rim, which prevents any overspill or splashing when being moved, plus it has a unique drain spout, which allows the waste oil to be emptied into even small containers.

This is a heavier model than most of the others on the list, and it is slightly more expensive. It's certainly worth the extra cost and is suitable to be used every day, even in a commercial environment. It works best for motorcycles but will also service almost any other vehicle too.

Pros

  • Heavy duty
  • Two large handles
  • No splashes

Cons

  • No lid or cover
  • More expensive

4. Lisle 17942

Value for money option

Size

4.5 Gallons

Weight

1.8 lbs

Color(s)

Black

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

While we know oil drain pans are pretty much a necessity for mechanics and vehicle owners, it's still important to get value for money. The Lisle pan is probably the most basic on the list, but very cost-effective. At 6.6 inches tall, it's relatively large and won't be suitable for low rise vehicles. That being said, it can handle a large volume of waste oil, and despite being a heavier model, it has two solid handles for easy moving.

There's no lid included with this one, so it's better suited for those who don't need to transport waste oil far to dispose of it securely. A 1-inch spout allows you to pour the oil quickly without spilling, and an anti-splash rim helps stop oil leaking out when draining. The wide collection tray is also useful for capturing high volumes of waste quickly without it spilling over the floor.

The whole model is heavy-duty, but it's probably not as durable as others on the list. However, at this price point, it's offering exceptional value. Not everyone immediately sees the benefit of getting a professional piece of equipment to do the job, and often they'll think a bucket or homemade device will work just as well. This is an excellent oil pan for transitioning away from homemade solutions, as you won't have to spend a lot, but you will see a number of benefits instantly.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • High volume
  • Large collection pan

Cons

  • No lid or cover
  • Less resistant to heat and cold

5. Hopkins 42003MI

Best oil drain container

Size

4 Gallons

(more available)

Weight

1.25 lbs

Color(s)

Black with red seals

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

When changing your oil, you need to consider how you're going to dispose of it safely. In some cases, this means storing it securely for a while before you can do so. The Hopkins oil drain pan has been designed specifically to help with this, helping you gather and store the oil from multiple changes which can then be recycled or disposed of.

Unlike the other oil drain pans on the list, this feels heavier and more robust. It’s made from reinforced plastic and developed specifically for multiple oil changes and larger equipment, making it well suited for commercial purposes. The drain pan has a secure lockable container that allows you to seal the waste oil away. It can then be stored vertically or horizontally. This is a useful feature for those who potentially need to travel to dispose of waste oil.

The Hopkins oil drain pan isn't overly weighty, or bulky, but can handle high volumes. Two molded handles make it easy to lift and have an extended design, which helps capture all of the oil being drained. Available in a range of sizes, this is an impressive piece of professional kit that is worth investing in to make oil changes easier.

Pros

  • Secure storage container
  • Well suited for commercial use
  • Robust and durable

Cons

  • Some risk of leaking when storing vertically
  • Catch pan needs regular cleaning

6. Matrix Concepts M28

Best clear oil drain container

Size

4 Gallons

Weight

1 lbs

Color(s)

Clear

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

Another sealable oil drain container, the Matrix Concepts pan, is a cost-effective option for handling oil changes. It has a secure, lockable storage area with a screw-on cap to prevent any spillage. This can then be stored upright or horizontally, but be warned that storing upright can lead to some minor drip of oil coming out. The advantage of it being a clear oil drain container is that you can quickly see how full the pan is at a glance.

This is a very light model but still reasonably durable. It has a very large handle for easy carrying and moving. It's only got a lower profile than other oil pans, and at just 4 inches tall, it will fit under most vehicles. The draining area is medium-sized but should be able to capture the waste oil with minimal spillage.

Matrix Concepts have made this pan very user-friendly and maximized the benefit to the user by including built-in storage. It's not surprising to see a lot of positive feedback from users and an overall appreciation for the simplicity and effectiveness of the device. It's priced very well and compatible with a number of accessories to make changing your oil a lot easier — a good investment for mechanics or vehicle owners.

Pros

  • Built-in storage container
  • Suitable for low vehicles
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Less durable
  • May leak a small amount

7. GarageBOSS GB150

Best Oil Drain Pan with funnel

Size

3.1 Gallons

Weight

3.15 lbs

Color(s)

Black with yellow attachments

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 1 year

A handy feature of an oil drain pan is having a funnel attachment to help with quick and easy draining. The GarageBOSS model has a funnel mouth to attach to this, preventing any spills or leaks as you change the oil and dispose of the waste.

The oil drain pan also comes with built-in storage that allows you to store the waste oil for recycling or disposal. It can handle a reasonable volume, allowing it to be used for multiple changes without issue. The GarageBOSS leak-proof cap helps prevent any leaking, even if stored vertically. This drain pan has a shallow profile at just 3.5 inches, meaning you can slide it under very low vehicles for oil changes. It's heavier than other models, but that's more of a testament to the quality build than anything else. There are solid handles for lifting, but do bear in mind that when filled, this can be difficult to move.

Intelligently designed, well made, and very user-friendly, this oil drain pan is built to last. The shape and seals limit spills and keeps the oil change simple. It’s priced effectively and definitely a good investment for any vehicle owner, but specifically useful for those who carry out multiple oil changes frequently.

Pros

  • Built-in storage container
  • Wide mouth funnel
  • Robust and durable

Cons

  • Heavier model
  • Lower volume

8. Goplus

Best oil drain pan with pump

Size

17 Gallons

Weight

38.5 lbs

Color(s)

Black

Material

Plastic

Warranty

Yes, 2 years

The Goplus oil drain pan is the best oil drain pan with a pump and has incredible functionality. It features a pump that allows you to drain oil even if there is no pit or hoist available to give you an angle. The 8-foot hose then will enable you to securely drain or transfer the waste oil as needed, giving you a lot of flexibility in where and how you use it.

This is a much larger and heavier pan that's perfect for those who carry out a lot of oil changes. It can store up to 17 gallons of oil, which is up to 6 average-sized vehicles worth. The whole unit is on a rolling tray, so you aren't stuck carrying that much weight on your own. The unit has a low profile at only 4 inches, so that you can use it with a variety of vehicles. The T bar which operates the pump can fold over for easy storage, making the whole unit more maneuverable.

The Goplus oil drain pan is very durable and designed for frequent use. It’s made from reinforced high-impact propylene so you can use it repetitively with confidence. This is one of the more expensive drain pans, but given the amount of use you should get from it, it's undoubtedly a good investment.

Pros

  • Very large volume
  • Pump included
  • Wheel tray for maneuverability

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Not well suited for cold conditions

Indicators: Engine Oil Change

It’s best practice to change your oil every 3000 miles or so, but there are often some factors to look out for that indicate it needs to be done as soon as possible. Firstly, of course, there’s the check engine light. More often than not, this will come on because your oil needs to be changed, and it's impacting the way your vehicle works.

Secondly, you should listen to your engine. If it's becoming louder or more noticeable, it could be a sign that the old oil is not doing its job, and it needs to be changed.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for a smoky exhaust and your nose open for oily smells. Both of these may mean you need to change the oil quickly.

For a lot of us, the gut reaction can be to go to a mechanic for them to do the work. While this can be the easiest path, it's often expensive, and really there's no reason you can't do it yourself. An oil waste pan lets you do this simply and with minimal mess, but make sure you read on to get the full guide if you haven’t done this before.


Using a Waste Oil Pan

If you're seeing the signs and know it's time to change your oil, then first you need to make sure you have a drain pan. Once you do, there are 4 key steps to follow.

  • Step 1:
    Jack up your car so you can fit the oil drain pan underneath.
  • Step 2:
    Slide the oil drain pan under the car, beneath the oil container.
  • Step 3:
    Open up the oil container and drain the oil into the pan (using a funnel if an option).
  • Step 4:
    When the draining is done, slide the pan out and seal it up. You can then securely dispose of or recycle the oil.

The video below has a full guide for changing your oil:


How to Drain and Change Oil

When you’re draining and changing your oil, there are some essential tips you should follow to keep it simple and stress-free:

Get the right tools. You want to make sure you've got the right equipment to do the change. This means the correct oil for your vehicle and the right oil drain pan that fits your needs. Raise the car and find the right container. You should jack up your vehicle and make sure you've located everything you need. If you aren't sure how to jack up your car or don't have the equipment, then you should probably contact a professional mechanic for assistance.

Check it all. Once you’ve completed the draining and done the replacement, you need to make sure everything is closed, tightened, and secured. The last thing you want is a messy leak happening as soon as you drive off, so check, check, and check again.


Disposing of Used Oil Properly

Disposing of your waste oil safely and securely is crucial. Recycling your motor oil can often be the best option, and it's much better for the environment. It can be used for fuel in plant boilers, space heaters, or for other industrial applications.

There are a lot of oil recycling centers around, and you can find your local one here. Whatever you do, don’t just pour the oil down the sink or into the ground.


Oil Leaks and What to Do About it

Oil leaks are surprisingly common, and not something you should ignore. Oil leaks can cause staining, damage other components, and can even become a fire risk. You should always keep a close eye on your oil level using the gauge or a dipstick to see if it’s dropping so you can act as quickly as possible.

You don’t always need to go to a mechanic to find the cause of an oil leak. The most common causes are from degraded seals, bad connections, or a damaged gasket. You can typically identify the cause just by going under the machine and seeing what's happening.

You can buy a number of specialized products to help protect against the degradation of seals and stop leaks, however in some cases you will need to replace faulty caps or rubber seals. You should also find a torque wrench and make sure all the bolts are as tight as they need to be. If this doesn't work, you should consider contacting a professional because all oil leaks should be dealt with quickly to stop issues.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where is the best place to buy oil drain pans?

Amazon is the best retailer for oil drain pans because it has the widest selection and offers the best value for money.

What are the best oil drain pan brands in the market?

There are a number of reputable brands producing oil drain pans, but Matrix, Hopkins, Lisle, and Capri all produce consistently good value products.

How often and when should I change my car’s engine oil?

Your engine oil should be changed every 3000-4000 miles, depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

How much does an oil change typically cost from a mechanic?

A typical oil change from a mechanic will cost between $20 and $100.

Are the top 4 models on our list exactly the same?

No, they are all different, and while they have many similarities, some key features set them apart. All of them are good quality oil drain pans that offer good value to the user.


Conclusion

Oil drain pans are incredibly useful devices that make maintaining a vehicle much more manageable. While the concept is simple, there are a surprising number of different models available to choose from, each with various features.

The Capri oil drain pan is robust, durable, and heavy-duty. It's large enough to handle a high volume of waste oil but still easy to use and move with molded handles. It's also one of the best value oil pans on the market. If you're looking for a safe and secure method of draining your waste oil without a huge price tag, then this is definitely the best oil drain pan for you.