Christmas Car Gifts 2015
It’s that time of year when we practice our appreciative faces ready for when we receive yet another shower gel and deodorant gift set that, secretly, we have been waiting the whole year for. But if you’re looking to do things a little differently this Christmas time, we’ve got some gifts that petrolheads alike will love.
#10: Car Tyre Pressure Valve Caps
These tyre pressure valve caps mean that you can know from one quick glance if your tyres are getting flat. These particular caps are made for 2.4 Bar / 36 psi and so may not be ideal for every vehicle and will depend on the manufacturer’s recommended pressure for your tyres. When the tyre pressure is good you will only see the green section, and as it starts to deflate you will see the yellow and red sections come out. Eliminating the guesswork which is usually required when analysing whether you need to take a trip to the tyre inflator. We found this set for £3.35 (set of 4) on eBay. But on the other end, if you want to level up we also found a Fobo Bluetooth Tyre Pressure kit which sends your psi to your phone so you don’t even have to look at your tyres.
#9: Compact Jump Starter
Have you ever seen a small jump pack? No us neither. Jump packs are usually on the larger size and so you wouldn’t keep a normal one in your car “just in case” as they usually take up more space than your car’s battery itself! But now you can buy one that easily fits in your glove box for those emergencies when you’ve been parked up for too long listening to that new Justin Bieber track (shame on you!). Also the company who manufacture this jumpack usually make mobile phone products so this one features 2 USB ports for charging your phone too! We found this compact Anker jump starter that can revive cars with engines up to 3 litres in size for £65.00 on eBay. (Cheaper than the £80.00 Cobra JumPack’s that all other sites seem to list!)
#8: Dashboard (EML) Warning Light Reader
Ever had a strange symbol flashing up on your dash (such as the engine management light) and wanted to know what it was before taking it to a garage? Well you can now pick up wireless OBD readers that you plug into your OBD port which is usually found in one of your car’s foot wells. Using an app on your phone, this will conveniently give you the exact error code which you can look up in a supplied booklet. We found these on eBay for around £10.69 – less than you can pay to drive to a garage and have them check it for you!
#7: Window Solar Mobile Phone Charger
Not enough USB ports in your car to charge those “can’t live without” devices? This small square suctions onto a window while using a small solar panel to charge your phone. Granted the power output might not be as strong as plugging into a socket at home, but it should tide you over for the duration of a road trip. Ideal for camping when you don’t want to drain your car battery too! We found this one for £5.99 on eBay.
#6: Fast Charge USB Cigarette Charger
Do you find your car charger not giving your devices enough juice? This is because most common chargers are only 1A resulting in slow charging speeds and if charging while using your device you may see your battery percentage go backwards! The secret here is to find a 2.4A charger which should charge just about as well as your mains plug in your wall at home.
We found this Hama 5V/2.4A USB Car Charger for only £1.95 on Amazon with free delivery. Look out for other brands such as Aukey who make twin USB port versions with a similar flush design. When you look for a twin USB port charger remember you will need it to produce double the amps so look for a 4.8A so you can charge 2 devices without a drop in power.
#5: Dash Cams
Dash Cams are all the rage at the moment. Drivers are starting to use these for evidence when involved in accidents or for more fun reasons – capturing bad drivers on video! Features to look out for are the quality of the image, whether it has “night vision” for recording clearly at night and parking mode or motion detection for recording accidents when parked. The cheapest one we found on eBay was £7.98 however you may wish to do some research before purchasing as we haven’t personally tested the quality of this one, although it could be a low cost solution depending on your needs! Most dash cams range from £50 to £200 from the likes of Garmin and other reputable brands. Once you have one of these you can fill YouTube with more videos like the one below: (Benny Hill soundtrack is optional!)
#4: Ultra Small USB Memory Stick
Perfect solution for all of your in car music! If you have a head unit that can play MP3s via a USB port this is the perfect type of USB stick as it sits almost flush to the head unit. We found this SanDisk 64GB version for £14.34 on eBay, however you can also find 128GB models for around the £35.00 mark – which should be enough for your entire music collection!
#3: Car Phone Holder
Using a phone while driving is illegal and will land you with 3 points on your licence plus a £60 fine. But we often need our phone to listen to music, or when using the maps feature as a satnav, and so it’s much less stressful while driving to simply have your phone in an easy line of sight, like with this windscreen mounted suction holder. This model uses a very similar style to the TomTom Sat Nav’s that you might have seen and doesn’t take up much of your windscreen, resulting in distraction free driving. We found this one for £2.25 on eBay however, there are a multitude of options available with different prices.
#2: Enable Your Car With WiFi
Nowadays you can easily install a semi-permanent WiFi hotspot in your vehicle using one of these devices. The picture shown is of a TP-Link M5350. All you need to do to operate it is pop a sim card, of your choice, with a data plan into it and your car instantly becomes a mobile WiFi point. This one supports 3G which should be fine for most internet requirements however, you can find others which support the faster 4G connections if you’re willing to pay a bit more. Now all of your passengers can stay connected to the internet without draining their data on those long road trips! The device can be charged using a micro USB and the battery lasts up to 7 hours of internet surfing. We found this model for £24.99 via Argos on eBay which saves £15 over picking one up in store!
#1: Ticket(s) for The Goodwood Festival Of Speed
A mecca for petrolheads around the world. Goodwood is a place where car lovers of all varieties come together and the Festival of Speed is one of the largest. The Festival of speed is held on Lord March’s estate and attracts hundreds of thousands of people each summer including celebrities. Car manufacturers show off their latest creations and racing happens throughout the day on the track. Tickets can be purchased for the whole weekend but individual tickets for Saturday or Sunday can be purchased for £65.00 on the Goodwood website.