Are you looking for the best car accessories to enhance your driving or car ownership experience in 2018? Well, if you are, you have definitely come to the right place!
We have a long list of gadgets and tools that have been developed to make owning a car fun and exciting. Most of these devices are designed to enhance your comfort as well as augment your car’s abilities, while others are solutions to common challenges/problems that you have always wished to do away with.
In 2018, you shouldn’t be stuck on the highway during a road trip because of a dead battery or a flat tire. Neither should you have trouble with your insurance company trying to prove that the other driver was at fault during an accident. With the following accessories, you will not only improve your driving but also all-around car ownership experience.
1. Portable Car Battery Jump Starter
A portable jumper starter kit is arguably one of the most important car accessories that you should possess this year. Almost every car owner has come to fate with a dead car battery. If you are one of the lucky few who hasn’t, it isn’t a guarantee that you will not experience the challenge at least once in the future. A car battery can die unexpectedly (for example when the radio is left on for an extended period while the engine is off), and if there is no help nearby, you can be stranded for hours or days.
A portable jumper starter kit is designed to give you backup power when, and wherever you need it. With the kit, you can quickly hook the power source to your battery using clamps and start the car. Additionally, jump starters in 2018 have incredible extra features such as flashlights and USB ports for phone charging. So you don’t have to worry about your dead Smartphone even if you don’t own, or if you forgot your USB car charger somewhere.
Some of the best portable car battery jump starters that we recommend include:
- NOCO Genius GB70
- PowerAll Supreme PBJS1600-RS
- Antigravity Batteries Micro-Start XP-10
- Weego Jump Starter 44
We are a huge fan of the NOCO Genius GB series of jump starters because they are incredibly powerful, universal, heavy duty, and feature-packed. They are also user-friendly, and the GB70, in particular, can provide up to 40 jump starts with one full charge.
Check out our in-depth review of all the above jump starters and compare their features to make an excellent purchase decision.
2. Tire pressure monitoring tools
Keeping your tire pressure in check is vital at all times. Failure to do so results in tires wearing out unevenly, and this reduces their lifespan. You will be forced to change your tires more often and this can be costly. In extreme cases, uneven tire pressure is a safety hazard that can be a contributing factor to an accident’s occurrence.
Traditionally, car owners have used handheld pressure gauges to monitor tire pressure. Lucky for you, one of the 2018 coolest car accessories is an automatic tire pressure monitoring system (named Fobo Tire Plus System) designed to help you monitor your auto’s tire pressure from your Android or iOS device.
Fobo Tire Plus System comes with four waterproof sensors that are attached to each tire’s pressure nozzle to keep track of the tires’ status at all times. The sensors then relay the information they collect directly to an Android or iOS device via Bluetooth. From here, you can easily tell which tire needs more pressure, or if there is one with excess pressure and needs deflating. The device also has an alarm that alerts you when one or several of your tires are losing pressure rapidly so that you can pull off the road.
With this tire monitoring car accessory you can enjoy:
- Better tire wear
- Better fuel efficiency
- Enhanced road safety
- Optimal tire performance
- Better car control
- Tire cost savings in the long-run
- Up-to-date tire pressure status
3. Dashboard Cameras (Dash Cams)
Dashboard cameras may not be new to the lists of cool car accessories, and that is with good reason. Dash cams are small digital cameras that are mounted on the dashboard to record and store occurrences on a driver’s journey for later references. They are one of the coolest car accessories that are a must-have!
Dash cams can help you record your trip when traveling to old or new destinations without having to lose your focus on the road or steering wheel. However, perhaps the most important use for a dash cam is proving who is at fault during an accident. If the camera is not destroyed, (mostly in minor accidents) accident investigators and insurance companies can determine who is responsible for the crash faster, making it easy for you to receive compensation as soon as possible. It will also help you avoid being penalized by your insurance company (say by having to pay higher insurance premiums) if you were the victim.
2018 dash cams are more advanced and feature-packed. Most of the reliable options we have reviewed offer extra features such as lane departure and front collision warning systems, safety camera alerts, and built-in GPS among more.
Some of the top dash cams to choose from include:
- THINKWARE TW-F750
- Garmish Dash Cam 35
- Swann DriveEye 150DCM
- Magellan MiVue 538
- Cobra CDR-895D
Check out our comprehensive review of these top 5 dashboard cameras and choose the best option depending on your needs and budget.
4. Rear Backup Camera Systems
Have you ever hit a wall, car, or short pole that wasn’t visible through the rear view mirror when reversing? Most probably yes! There are a high number of accidents leading to injuries and damage that are often caused by reversing vehicles. In most cases, drivers cannot see clearly what is behind the car because of the blind spot outside the rear view mirror screen.
Rear backup cameras are excellent car accessories that help drivers do away with this problem. The cameras are attached at the back end of the car – specifically at a central point to give a good viewing angle of the surroundings. The cameras are then connected to your car’s monitor or Smartphone via a wireless or Bluetooth connection.
With some cameras, each time you engage the reverse gear your monitor immediately displays the view of the area behind the car, and you can see well if there are any obstructions in the blind spot. Most reliable backup cameras are also IR-sensitive for night use.
Here are some of the top rear view backup cameras that we recommend:
- Pearl RearVision
- Rear View Safety Wireless RVS 091406
- Yada Digital BT53328M-1
- QuickVu Digital Wireless
- Optix RVC910IR
Check out our detailed review of these best rearview backup cameras and more. You can compare and contrast their features and prices to find the one best suited to your preferences.
5. GPS Trackers
A GPS tracker is a really cool device that connects with your Smartphone to give you real-time updates about your vehicle’s location. Most parents use these devices to keep tabs on their kid’s location for safety purposes. However, most car owners use GPS trackers to monitor the movement of their cars as well as try and recover them if stolen. Tracking devices use satellite navigation to pinpoint the exact location of a vehicle in real-time.
Many GPS tracker systems come with additional features to enhance your vehicle monitoring capabilities. For example, with some trackers, you can switch your car on and off with the tap of a button or by sending an SMS to the tracker’s SIM card number. You can also set a perimeter so that you get an alert when someone drives your car beyond it.
Additionally, you can use the gadget to listen in on the conversations being held in the car directly from your mobile phone – no matter how far away the vehicle is from you. That means if somebody stole your auto, you can listen to their conversation and perhaps learn about their identity. You can then find out the car’s location, switch it off immediately, and alert the police so that they can try to make an arrest.
Some of the top GPS tracker systems include:
- Spy Tech STI GL300 Mini Portable Vehicle GPS Tracker
- MOTOsafety OBD GPS Tracker
- Vectu Portable GPS Tracker
6. Radar Detector
No one really enjoys getting a speeding ticket. It hurts more when you get flagged down for driving over the speed limit for a speed-limit sign that you innocently didn’t see. Also, if you are a responsible speed enthusiast, you would love a car accessory that can help you enjoy your car’s power without piling up speeding tickets every now and then.
Radar detectors are some of the coolest car accessories to enhance your driving experience in 2018. These devices alert you of a police officer using a speed detector or laser equipment nearby so that you can take your foot off the pedal. The gadgets are fitted with alarms that sound when police radar is detected close-by, helping you avoid exceeding a set speed limit and a potential ticket.
Almost all radar detectors give a proximity notification of the detected signal, but some such as Valentine One can also give you the direction where it’s coming from.
However, it is CRUCIAL to note that we don't advocate for reckless speeding. A radar detector will only help you avoid a speeding ticket, but it’s your responsibility to drive safe at all times!
Some of the best radar detectors we recommend include:
- Valentine One
- Escort Passport Mmax
- Beltronics Pro 500
- Escort Redline
- Cobra SPX 7800BT
Check out our full review of the above top car radar detectors to help you make an informed buy decision.
7. Heads-up Display Devices
One of the major causes of accidents today is distracted driving. Distractions when driving come in many ways and forms, but the two most typical reasons reported in the recent past are Smartphone use (particularly by teenagers) and drivers taking their eyes off the road to make adjustments on car accessories such as radio volume control.
To avoid such distractions, several companies have developed cool auto accessories that allow heads-up display right into the driver’s line of sight. These devices have a housing that mounts on the dashboard just above the steering wheel and then projects a transparent screen on the windscreen; where the driver can have a clear view of the display without taking their eyes off the road even for a second.
Heads-up display gadgets have features such as built-in GPS navigation that gives you turn-by-turn directions during your journey. You can easily control the devices using buttons on the steering wheel, ensuring your hands don’t let go where it’s most important. The gadgets also offer hands-free control capabilities, allowing you to pick or cancel calls just by making a gesture at the display.
Some of the heads-up display auto accessories you should check out include:
A heads-up display unit is a must-have accessory this year if you are looking to boost your driving experience. Get one and don’t blame us when you get addicted!
8. Car-Air Purifier
If you spend so much time in your car, then you understand how stuffy it can get at times. This not only makes your vehicle uncomfortable and negatively impacts your driving experience but also has a bad influence on your skin’s health.
A car air purifier is one of the best accessories you can buy for your car in 2018. With this gadget, you will be able to enjoy clean and fresh air throughout your journey and feel better in general.
Air purifiers eliminate dust, lousy odor, pet smell, cigarette smoke, pollen and any other impurities in the air within your car. Simply plug them into your car’s charging port and leave them to work their magic. Your driving experience will never be the same again!
Some of the car air purifiers to look out for include:
- AUTOWIT Fresh Multi-Purpose Air Purifier
- Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag
- Nova 2.0 Ionic Car Air Purifier
9. Wireless Smartphone chargers
If you have already warmed up to the wireless charging technology in your home or office, it’s time you took it to your car as well. Wireless Smartphone chargers are now making in-routes to your vehicle through innovative gadgets such as the Ventev Wireless Pro.
Ventev Wireless Pro replaces your traditional – most often slow – USB charger with a device that doubles up as a phone holder and wireless charger. This accessory delivers almost three times faster charge than a standard wireless charge, ensuring your Smartphone’s battery is full within minutes.
With this gadget, your phone is always available when you need it for navigation. Plus, charging becomes easy because you don’t interact with any tangled USB cables anymore. Your focus on the road is also not compromised.
10. Night Driving Sunglasses
Driving at night is often a challenge for many because of constantly being bombarded with damaging light from on-coming traffic. If you are driving on a single-lane road at night, it is common to come across drivers with full headlights on. This light is often distracting and blinding, and has in most cases led to accidents.
Luckily, technology in 2018 is giving you access to night vision sunglasses that help block the blinding light and enable you to drive better at night. The glasses have an anti-reflective coating that helps cut down glare. Plus, even if you wear prescription lenses, you can still fit most of these sunglasses over your eyeglasses.
One of the best brands of night driving sunglasses to look out for is the Eagle Eyes Classic Aviator Night-Lite. These sunglasses are built with cutting-edge technology, and the Eagle Eyes brand is widely acclaimed and recognized even by NASA and the Space Foundation.
Other popular night vision sunglasses to check out include:
11. OBD2 Scanner Devices
Every car owner out there dreads the “check engine” light popping up on their dashboard. It is one of the most annoying and terrifying things because you know that your engine is running into problems, but you can't even tell what they are.
If you are not a mechanic, then the first thing you are likely to do is head over to one and have them inspect your car. This will most likley cost you plenty of time and money which could have been saved if you checked the problem yourself. Plus, if you find a mechanic that is willing to take advantage of you, they can lie about the meaning of your check engine light just to earn a few extra bucks from the situation.
However, with an OBD2 scanner, you can be able to check the source of your engine troubles by yourself. Sometimes the reason for a check engine light is an unnecessary ABS or SRS code that you can easily clear with your OBD2 scanner, saving time and money. The scanning device also helps you know the problem before taking the vehicle for a serious check-up so that a mechanic can't lie to you.
One of the best overall OBD2 scanners on the market is the Innova 3160G OBD2 Diagnostic tool. It scans a wide range of potential problems, has a simple to use interface, is capable of erasing ABS and SRS error codes, it can survey your battery and alternator’s performance, and it comes with reliable customer support.
Other scanner options to consider include:
- BlueDriver Bluetooth Professional OBDI Scan Tool
• Autel AutoLink OBD2 Scan Tool
• FOXWELL NT301 Code Scanner
• ACTRON CP9680 Scanner
• OXGORD MS300 OBD2 Code Reader
Check out our comprehensive review of the above OBD2 scanners plus more. You can compare their features and prices before making a purchase.
All the above accessories can come in handy in one way or the other to enhance your driving experience. Consider taking a short at several or all of them and share with us your experience. For some of the accessories that we have personally tested and reviewed, make sure to read our findings to compare and contrast various brands before making your purchase.