Eight cool car accessories for five-star driving
Once upon a time, the ultimate car accessory was a pair of fluffy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror. Now there’s so much clever tech on offer it’s hard to know what’s useful and what will be an outdated gimmick by next week. With that in mind, here are some of today’s best car accessories worth adding to your shopping list, whether you drive the latest luxury model or you’re plugging along in Ol’ Faithful.
Apple CarPlay/Android auto-compatible infotainment system
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto essentially turn your car’s infotainment touchscreen into a mirror image of your smartphone, allowing you to access your phone, voice control, music and other functions safely and legally. Previously you needed the right new car to get this trick, but it’s now available in a growing array of aftermarket infotainment systems. So even if your car predates the brick, you can stay fully, legally connected to the digital realm.
Car vacuum cleaner
Keeping a car’s cabin tidy can be a pain, but these jiggers make the job quick and easy with their user-friendly size, cordless operation and car-specific attachments. Never grapple outside with extension cords and a home vacuum cleaner again.
Stuff happens. And if that stuff happens while you are driving and the matter moves into the legal domain, dash-cam evidence can be a good thing to have. The good ones have both front and rear-facing cameras and will automatically back up footage if they sense a collision.
These little cushions wrap or hook around the sash part of the seatbelt, giving the little tackers a more comfortable place to rest their head and neck when they inevitably nod off on the long drive home.
GPS vehicle tracker
Some of us have cars only a mother could love. Others have the kind of car everyone loves – thieves included. So a real-time car tracker can make all the difference between you holding onto your much-loved asset or never seeing it again. Some trackers even allow you to kill the engine remotely to stop thieves right in their tracks.
12V USB adaptor
New cars have enough USB outlets to cater for a small village but what if you’ve got an old, pre-USB-era car and a cabin full of hardcore smartphone users getting testy? One of these affordable gizmos simply plugs into your cigarette lighter socket and turns the road trip from hell into a trip to remember.
These gadgets have features such as a seatbelt cutter, window breaker, flashlight and other potentially life-saving implements to get you out of an automotive bind. Pop it in the glovebox and hope you never need it.
Why endure the sweaty, gritty discomfort of a long drive after a day on the beach, in the boat, on the bike, sports field or a weekend camping? With one of these, you can carry a supply of solar-heated water on your roof rack, do your thing and feel fresh as a daisy when you get back into the car.