Between grocery runs, school runs, road trips and the dreaded commute to work, we spend a lot of time in our cars. With that in mind, we’ve complied a list of some the best gadgets to make the time you spend in your car that little bit easier and more enjoyable. From dash cams to air purifiers, there’s sure to be something here for everyone.
- Garmin Dash Cam 55
With the good looks of a GoPro and ability to record top quality footage, the Garmin Dash Cam 55 is compact – taking up less windscreen space than larger models – and boasts a wide range of extra features, including built-in GPS, voice control and a polarising filter to cut out glare.
It has a reasonably wide viewing angle, comes equipped with an 8GB microSD card and can be integrated with your smartphone via the Garmin Virb app. It also comes complete with lane departure, forward collision and speed camera warnings.
- YI Mirror Dash Cam
Equipped with both front and rear view cameras, this looks cooler than the Garmin 55 and is equally at home recording goofy footage of a road trip with friends or providing evidence to law enforcement and insurance companies in the event of an accident.
With a 4.3-inch integrated touchscreen that attaches over your existing rear view mirror, it’s easy to install and use, and comes with a built-in wide-angle lens on the forward facing camera and an adjustable gravity sensor. For the safety conscious, it will also alert you to potential fatigue after two hours of driving and automatically backs-up your footage in an emergency.
In case you were wondering, dashcams are legal in the UK.
- iClever 800A Portable Jump Starter
Traditionally, if you wanted to jump start your car in the middle of nowhere then you had to wait hours for a Good Samaritan willing to let you siphon power from their own engine to pass by. But with the advent of the lithium ion battery, this doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
The iClever 800A is small enough to fit in your glovebox or the corner of your boot and doubles as a charger for your phone or laptop. It also has a built-in torch if you happen to break down in the middle of the night.
- Nonda Zus Connected Car App Suite
This phone charger plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter, charging your phone 2.4 times faster than conventional models. It can also help you find your car via an app if you forget where you’ve parked and comes equipped with a range of diagnostic features for your car because why not?
Taking advantage of the connection between the cigarette lighter port and your car battery, it keeps you up-to-date on its performance and tracks your mileage. Perhaps most importantly, it can also alert you to nearby parking meters, potentially saving time, money and hassle.
- FRiEQ Car Air Purifier
This nifty little gadget will plug in to your cigarette lighter and eliminate odours. It releases millions of negatively charged ions that basically stick to tiny particles in the air – like dust or microbes – and are collected on a positively charged plate inside the purifier.
Unlike a standard air freshener that merely covers up odours, this has the effect of removing them from the inside of your car, eliminating everything from the smell of wet dog to the cold virus that your most recent passenger helpfully sneezed and coughed all over the place.
- ZEEPIN Solar Power Tire Pressure Monitoring System
This eco-friendly device offers a helping hand to optimise vehicle performance and give you the most efficient miles per gallon, prolonging the life of your tires and reducing the need for roadside assistance.
With four waterproof sensors that attach to the tires, you can easily monitor tire pressure from the dashboard of your car so that you can quickly tell if you’ve sprung a leak or pressure is low, and the back-lit digital screen means you can use it at all hours of the day.
- Pure Highway 400 DAB Radio
Digital radios are standard in most new cars but older models often rely on older FM radios with reduced sound quality. Taking power from the car’s cigarette lighter socket, the Pure Highway 400 adds digital radio to your car’s existing stereo via a wire that runs up to the top of the windscreen to act as an antenna.
It also has built-in Bluetooth so that you can play music from your phone through your car stereo and with the help of the Pure Go app, you can also use your phone’s digital assistant. Siri, turn on the radio.
- TomTom Go 6200
No car is complete without a sat nav and this is the very best that money can buy. Its route guidance is nothing less than legendary – no chance of driving off a cliff or into a lake here – and its super easy to use. It comes with 16GB of built-in memory plus microSD support as well as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and a built-in SIM card.
Voice control means that your hands never have to leave the wheel and it can pair with your smartphone to integrate both Google Now and Siri. And the coolest part is yet to come: the intelligent route mapping learns how you drive and adapts its settings accordingly.
- Bestek 300W Inverter
Most modern cars come equipped with a USB port but few have a 3-pin UK mains socket so you’ll need an inverter to charge something without USB connectivity, such as a laptop, camping fridge or even a television.
It converts your car’s electricity supply from DC to AC and can be connected directly to your car battery to provide up to 300W of power. Over and above the main’s socket, the Bestek 300W has two USB ports providing enough power to charge two iPads simultaneously.
- Hudway Cast Heads-Up Display
The newest cars on the market boast a heads-up display (HUD) that projects safety directions safely in your field of vision so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to glance at your phone or sat nav, even for a few seconds.
For older cars, you can attach the Hudway Cast HUD to your dashboard, directly behind the steering wheel, and stream your go-to GPS app from your smartphone wirelessly via Miracast or Airplay onto a transparent screen right before your very eyes.