If you’re struggling to find the perfect present for the car enthusiast in your life, could something motoring related be a good choice? There is no end of motoring related products and presents, and it’s probably fair to say that some are more useful than others. Here’s our run down to what any keen driver would be delighted to unwrap for Christmas, birthday or any other special occasion.
Many modern cars come with an integrated satellite navigation system, but if you don’t have one in your car, then a plug-in unit can be a great gift. Expect to pay anything between £50 and £120 for a windscreen mounted unit, which plugs into the cigarette lighter socket in the car. The main advantage to sat navs is that you’ll never again get lost as all you have to do is plug in the postcode of the place you’re going and the system will do the rest. If you regularly drive overseas, many units can be attached to your laptop or tablet, where you can then download maps for continental Europe, North America or even further afield.
The other “must-have” driving technology is a dashcam. This is a little high definition video recorder which shoots footage out of the windscreen front the driver’s perspective. Dash cam footage can be hugely useful if you’re caught up in an accident – there’s no need to go into lengthy explanations about what happened when all you have to do is download the footage and email it to your insurance company. Dashcams have come down in price in recent years, and you can now get a range of different models for less than £50. There’s also the option to get a second camera positioned at the rear of the car, videoing what’s happening behind.
An eternally popular gift for those who feel the need for speed is to book a track day at a local racing circuit. There is a range of options for this and you can either use your own car on the track, or use a high-powered sports car supplied by the track. If you’re not a confident driver, you may choose a passenger experience rather than getting behind the wheel yourself. It’s the perfect experience for anyone who loves the thrill of driving fast, but who wants to do it in a controlled and safe environment. Check the minimum ages if booking this type of day out for younger drivers; many tracks insist that drivers are at least 25 for insurance purposes.
OK, it’s not the most exciting present but certainly a practical one. Any driver knows how much it costs to put a car through its annual service, or the required repairs which might be flagged up when you book in for the MOT test. Some garages will just sell vouchers representing a monetary value which the driver can spend as they see fit, whereas others will sell a voucher for a specific purpose like a MOT test or a service. Some will even let you spend the vouchers on petrol and other motoring accessories in the shop.
If you’re fed up changing radio stations as you travel, what about investing in a DAB radio adaptor? These plug into your car’s cigarette lighter socket, and clip onto the dashboard. You’ll get the full range of DAB digital radio stations, allowing you to listen to your local radio station wherever you are in the country. The DAB system also gets rid of the crackle and poor reception associated with standard FM radio. A digital radio adaptor will set you back around £50.