The days when the cutting edge of car accessories was a pair of fluffy dice and a small cardboard tree are over, thankfully! Today, you can kit out your car with a huge range of gadgets, some so useful you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them, some nice to have, and some just for fun…
In car entertainment has come a long way from the tape deck and games of I Spy. Bluetooth connectivity allows you to stream through the car’s audio system from your phone or MP3 player without the need for wires, while digital radios bring clear sound and a choice of stations with no fading out. Passengers in the back seat can even watch DVDs or play games on in car tablets.
The humble lighter socket is rarely used for its original purpose, but rather to power all kinds of items, from a USB smartphone charger to a vibrating massage cushion. An in car 4G hotspot plugged in to the lighter socket allows you to turn your car into a personal Wi-Fi zone, capable of supporting multiple devices. If you get stuck in a traffic jam, or stranded overnight, you can even power a kettle, an electric blanket, or even a stove.
If you’re getting serious about cooking in the car, never mind the cup holder. There is a steering wheel desk available that lets you eat lunch from behind the wheel, or maybe catch up with some work, all while safely parked up of course.
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For a car gadget that’s utterly silly yet irresistibly appealing, you’d have to go a long way to beat a USB charger shaped like the ‘flux capacitor’ from Back to the Future. On the more practical side are items that help you with car safety, from high-end parking cameras to cheap and simple stick on blind spot mirrors. Or try out the handy Bluetooth gizmo, it will help out if you forgot where the car was parked at the airport when returning from holiday.
Some gizmos can save you money on your insurance policy, including dashboard cameras, and black boxes for young drivers. Others, like a digital breathalyser, could save your licence, or even your life. Also in the lifesaving category, consider keeping a combination window hammer and seatbelt cutter to hand.
Everyone appreciates a quality gadget especially those involved in the motor trade, both new and used cars being sold may offer a gadget or two as part of a deal. Those driving cars for long journeys on Trade Plates may benefit from a gadget to improve the trip.