Most people spend a decent chunk of their day behind the wheel – why not make it enjoyable?
There are now dozens of gadgets and hacks that make driving easier, safer and more fun. They range from goofy dashboard action figures to car vacuums to radar detectors for avoiding speeding tickets, and chances are you could use at least one of them.
However, not only are there tons of car accessories out there, but there are many variations of the same accessory… and some are really not worth buying. So to help sort through all the car hacks, gadgets and gizmos, we rounded up 10 that we think everyone will appreciate. Check them out below.
1. Maxboost DuraHold Car Phone Mount
BEST PHONE MOUNT
In 2019, phone mounts are essential. Whether you’re taking a hands-free call, changing the music, using your GPS app, or (let’s be honest) checking emails, Snapchat and Instagram at a red light, a phone mount makes it all easier and safer. Plus, quality doesn’t need to break the bank, like this $9 mount from Maxboost. It comes very highly-rated thanks to a sturdy build, an easy installation and a versatile size that accommodates most smartphones.
2. High Road Driver Pockets
BEST DASHBOARD STORAGE
Having a little extra storage close at hand while driving can make a big difference. This phone holder adds that necessary storage, clipping onto the vent next to your steering wheel. It also comes equipped with a built-in charging port, so you don’t have to dig in the glovebox to find your power supply. Use it for your phone, gum, wallet, or any other small stuff you usually just toss on the passenger seat.
3. Funko POP! Dancing Groot Action Figure
BEST DASHBOARD TOY
Who better to jam out with on the way to work than Groot? This little action figure brings the Marvel Avengers icon from the screen onto your dash and features a head-shaking motion, powered by a small solar panel on the base. Plus, the toy is an undeniably cute piece of car decoration, with Groot at his most wide-eyed and adorable.
4. Febreze Car Air Freshener
BEST AIR FRESHENER
Car air fresheners are no longer those ugly things that dangle from the rearview mirror. Febreze changed the game with these genius air fresheners that clip onto the AC vents in your car, injecting a nice scent into the air as it’s blown out. It has great reviews on Amazon, with users saying it eliminates even the most hard-to-get-rid-of scents, replacing the stink with a nice scent that’s not too powerful. You can keep one installed at all times if your ride is always a bit smelly, but even if your car smells great, we suggest keeping one in the glove box in case of a stinky emergency like mildew from leaving the window open or a food spill.
5. SEG Direct Leather Steering Wheel Cover
BEST STEERING WHEEL WRAP
Steering wheel covers are great for two reasons. The first is pretty obvious; they make your steering wheel look and feel fresher. But the second reason is often forgotten: wheel covers keep the leather or vinyl pristine underneath. This improves the resale value, and if you have a nice wheel cover like this one, you won’t even notice a difference. Plus, you can replace it every so often (they’re only $16), and always have a fresh-feeling wheel to grip while you drive.
6. APEMAN Dash Cam
BEST DASH CAM
As good cameras have drastically shrunk in size and price tag, dash cams have started to become commonplace. It can be hard to remember what actually happened during an accident, and sometimes the parties involved don’t agree about the sequence of events. A dashcam eliminates that guesswork, arguing and possible wrong conclusions by law enforcement or insurance companies. If you’re thinking of investing in a dash cam, we recommend this one from APEMAN because it’s reasonably priced, small, captures HD video and detects accidents to make sure the video is saved.
7. Black+Decker Cordless Hand Vacuum
BEST CAR VACUUM
Cars get messy. There’s no way around it. Prepare for crumbs, dust, dirt and hair and just about everything else littering your floor mats. But thanks to this cordless compact vacuum from Black+Decker, none of that junk will stick around long. The cordless design and a handy crevice tool make it ideal for maneuvering in a car, while the small design and long battery allow you to store it in your trunk in case of any disastrous.
8. TOGUARD Backup Camera
BEST BACKUP CAM
If your car is older or didn’t come with a backup camera, you can still make the upgrade for surprisingly little. This backup camera utilizes a touch screen that goes directly over your rearview mirror and includes both a backup camera and a front-facing camera. It still allows you to use the rearview mirror normally, but when you need it, you’ll get a fully functional backup camera to help you park. For best results, connect the camera to a wire in your backup lights (or have your mechanic do it). This will automatically switch on the rearview screen when you put your car in reverse.
9. BACtrack S80 Breathalyzer
We’re sure that you are a responsible driver, but sometimes it can be hard to know whether you’re being responsible or not… especially after a couple drinks. This breathalyzer makes things much easier, and also comes in handy if you have a friend who might need a ride home. This one from BACtrack is a bit pricier than some other options, but you get what you pay for in terms of accuracy. And when compared to several thousand dollars for a DUI, it’s a worthy investment.
10. Escort Passport Radar Detector
BEST RADAR DETECTOR
As we said, we know you’re a responsible driver who never breaks the speed limit. However, just in case you ever get a lead foot, this radar detector will keep you from getting a speeding ticket. It picks up the frequencies of radar guns used by police and alerts you before you’re in their crosshairs. There are a few good options out there, but we like this one from Escort because it’s accurate, highly-rated, and slim.