Summary – An insight into the world of in-car convenience designed to make your life easier and long journeys more comfortable.
If you use your car regularly, you’re probably going to want to make it as comfortable as possible. With the developments of the last decade, technology has improved to such an extent that modern cars come equipped with an amazing array of gadgets and gizmos – but what if you can’t afford a new car? Does that mean you should miss out on having technology at your fingertips?
Absolutely not. Nowadays, there is a range of in-car accessories designed to improve your comfort and provide the familiarity of the internet and technology even when you’re on the move or miles away from home. Here are 7 of the best in-car accessories and gadgets which we think could blow your mind and improve your driving experience.
Phone charging and connectivity
Obviously, using a mobile phone behind the wheel is illegal and we strongly discourage this process, but these allow hands-free navigation and charging of your phone without you having to take your eyes off of the road. There is a range of in-car USB chargers, Bluetooth connectivity devices and voice-activated phone chargers which all plug into your cigarette lighter – perfect for cars which don’t come with Bluetooth connectivity or an aux cord as standard. If your car is really old, there’s even a Bluetooth connectivity device which plugs into a cassette player, so you can still make use of your smartphone.
If you use your phone for navigation, it’s worth investing in a magnetic phone mount, some of which can also double up as wireless chargers. These are vital for letting you check your route without taking your hands off of the wheel and, because they attach onto your dashboard and not your windscreen, you’ll have a clear vision of the road ahead as well.
In-car food and beverage options
It sounds bizarre, but there is a range of in-car espresso machines which can be plugged into your cigarette lighter – so you’ll never be without your favourite brew on the move or in a rush. The whole range offers great tasting coffee, ready in just a few minutes so you can brew on the go.
For long road trips, you can also buy a minifridge which, again, plugs into your cigarette lighter to store food or drink. What’s more, it will keep your snacks either hot or cold, depending on what you fill it with. Many of them are also fully compatible in your home or workplace as well as your car and they won’t drown out your music either – most make minimal noise while providing tasty snacks for your journey.
These are ideal if you have kids as they are designed to fit on the back of the front seats and come with multiple pockets which your kids can fill with books, toys and games to keep them amused on long or short journeys. It also makes it so much easier to avoid an unnecessary mess in the back of your car as it gives a more convenient storage space than on the seats or the floor, meaning things are less likely to get lost – especially if you have loads of gadgets for your car!
There is also a range of handy storage organisers for your boot as well. If you like having things in a proper place, or you’re transporting a range of fragile items, these offer a great range of collapsible pockets to store both big and small items. It’s also easy to get in and out of your car with two handles, like a shopping bag, and many are also waterproof – so you can keep wet sports gear away from your dry bags in the boot.
Installable Heads Up Displays (HUDs)
Is this gadget geeky and science-fiction or what? There is a range of products available which can project your speedometer or navigation directly onto the windscreen, so you’ll never have to take your eyes off of the road to keep to the speed limit or find your way. They’re also programmed to brighten and dim depending on the weather and time of day, so you won’t lose the contrast of the road at night-time. Once again, they plug easily into your cigarette lighter, meaning there’s no need for any unnecessary wires or hassle.
And, as a bonus, many support phone connectivity so the HUD can be used to read texts, receive calls and control your music as well. Sometimes, you can even get details such as your miles-per-gallon or rev counter on the HUD as well, for that full spaceship experience.
Front of house comfort
Long journeys can often leave you feeling uncomfortable and cramped, especially if you’re in the passenger seat. If you have a more modern car, it might be equipped with heated or even massage seats – accessories you can now buy for your car. Most massage cushions attach to your passenger seat with ease and provide soothing warmth to keep you relaxed and comfortable at all times.
There is also a range of accessories which you can use to store food and drink, making it much easier to keep fed and hydrated while on the move. A swivel storage tray is a good option as it can hold food in the centre and move around to feed both the driver and the front seat passenger while not distracting you from the road.
No one wants to assume that the worst will happen, but it’s always best to be prepared. There is a range of affordable gadgets designed to help you escape your vehicle should you become trapped after an accident or to keep you safe on your journey. A valid option is investing in a safety hammer or other glass shattering device to break through your windows and seatbelts rather than leave you trapped in your vehicle.
If you’re planning on driving long distances or through rural areas, especially during winter, it might be worth investing in a first aid kit or winter car kit, meaning you’ll never be caught out by snow or ice ever again. It also means that if you or a passenger falls ill or suffers an injury, you can begin treatment immediately rather than being stuck and get into serious trouble.
Cleaning products – inside and out
Probably not the most exciting or flashy accessory on this list, but having a powerful handheld hoover can be beneficial for keeping your car’s interior clean and tidy. Good for picking up dog hair, mud, food crumbs and any other mess imaginable, these hoovers will also double as a great way of cleaning the stairs in your house – making them an absolute must-have for those who struggle with being messy.
As it’s also important to keep the outside of your car sparkling as well, there’s a wide range of cleaning products available to clean your bodywork and wheels. These make it easy to get rid of mud and freshen up your car’s exterior to make it look like it has just left the factory once again.
So, there you have it, several in-car accessories you should either want or need to improve your driving experience. There are plenty of options out there, as well as other gadgets and gismos not mentioned on this list. If you’re in the market to customise your car, have a shop around and let us know what you find in the comments below!
Author Bio: Drew works for BookMyGarage writing blogs, website content and almost everything else in between. He works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts. When he’s not helping you save money on running your car or making your driving life easier, he can be found either with his head in a book or with a golf club in his hands (usually looking for the ball in the woods)