What do you get for the driver in your life? This can be a hard question to answer, but it doesn’t have to be the same old gift card this year. If you have friends and family who are always driving, think about something that fills a need they don’t even realize they have. Here are a few car gadgets that make great gifts for any driver and don’t require complicated modifications. Not only will these car gadgets make the driver’s commute more enjoyable and safer, they also don’t have to break the bank.
Give your favorite driver peace of mind with a dash cam. Not to be confused with a backup camera, these little observers usually mount to the windshield or dash facing out towards the front of the car. Most units use a wide angle lens to capture the broadest possible image, as well as loop recording for continuous use without worry of filling up the memory card.
That OBDII plug under the dash of your vehicle is usually something that only a technician interacts with. Car gadgets like Bluetooth OBDII adapters can open up a whole new world of interactivity and information. If the check engine light comes on, free and inexpensive smartphone apps can give your driver some basic diagnostic capabilities. There are also apps that ensure drivers are being efficient and some that help parents keep tabs on how their teen drivers are doing behind the wheel.
Backup cameras, often standard now, are really useful for getting into tight parking spots and avoiding accidents when backing up. An add-on backup camera may come with a separate display, or may replace your rearview mirror and include a miniature backup camera display. Some installation is required, but nothing that the average DIYer can’t do in a couple of hours.
Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit
Bluetooth headsets may be passé, but are sometimes still necessary when you’re on the go. Some hands-free car kits offer simple plug-n-play access. You just stick the microphone to a convenient spot on the dash and you’re ready to go.
USB Charger and Power Inverter
If there’s one thing the driver in your life needs, it’s a gadget to power all of their other gadgets. Many power supplies available on the market today simply plug into the 12 V socket and have up to 4 USB power outlets, for charging tablets or smartphones, and even a 110 V socket, for charging things like laptops.
When it comes to car gadgets, there are hundreds of things to choose from — from the silly to the useful. Take a look at the drivers in your life and their cars, and pick something perfect for them this holiday season.
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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Ben has been taking things apart since he was 5, and putting them back together again since he was 8. After dabbling in DIY repairs at home and on the farm, he found his calling in the CGCC Automobile Repair program. After he held his ASE CMAT for 10 years, Ben decided he needed a change. Now, he writes on automotive topics across the web and around the world, including new automotive technology, transportation legislation, emissions, fuel economy and auto repair.