On many of the DIN (Cig Lighter) plug devices (phone chargers especially), the regulation electronics
are built into the plug so you can't just replace it with something else. For these devices you will definitely need an adaptor, if you want to use a non-DIN socket.
For my semi-permantly installed 12V devices, such as my fans, we use a small two-pin plug/sockets that look something like this:
I'm not completely happy with the pin design, but they are probably better than the DIN plugs, and are good for the current
that the fan uses.
For the rest of the 12V sockets I use DIN, because I would rather put up with the DIN socket than have to change out all the plugs and/or use adaptors. As I see it, an adaptor, DIN socket to non-standard plug, doesn't really help much. You still have the DIN, plus a second set of connections.
There are different classes
of 12V loads you might see using DIN connectors. Most of them will be low-current, perhaps 0.1A or so -- phone
chargers, handheld GPS
, etc. Then there are laptop computers
, handheld vacuums, spotlights, etc, which will draw approx 5-10A from a 12V socket. You need a fairly high-current connection for these.
I really wish that the standard 12V plug/socket was something other than DIN, but until this changes I've decided to stick with DIN for anything that isn't screwed down.