Car Lover Gifts for Birthdays, Holidays or Everyday

Accessories

CarAudioNow reviews and assembles our unbiased lists of best products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. See our Affiliate Disclosure and How We Choose for more details.

It gets harder to find the right gift every year. Fortunately though, if you’re buying for someone who loves cars, or has a special car they’re very proud of, there are some great gift ideas to be had. These range from useful gadgets that will help keep your friends and loved ones safe, to useful tools and even fashion accessories. Here we’ll run through 10 different gifts you might want to consider.

Quick Links:

Our Top Picks for Gifts

Heavy Duty Tire Pressure Gauges Gift Image

Tire Pressure Gauges

Tire pressure is a safety issue. Every car owner should have at least one pressure gauge – one that lives in the trunk or glovebox and one for the garage.

Analog Tire pressure gauges have a circular dial that’s swept by a needle. They don’t need a battery so they’re always ready to use. One advantage of digital gauges is the ability to switch between different units of pressure, (which might be useful on an imported vehicle.)

Tire pressure gauges come with or without a hose. Those with no hose fit straight onto the top of the valve. A hose gives more flexibility in where to put the display or readout. Readout accuracy depends in part on the increments displayed. Some gauges read to 0.5psi while others go to 0.1. Gauge accuracy is also indicated by conformance to the ANSI B40.1 standard.

Also look for a pressure lock/release button. This holds the gauge at the reading until you’ve had a chance to look at it.

Tire pressure is a safety issue. Every car owner should have at least one pressure gauge – one that lives in the trunk or glovebox and one for the garage.

Analog Tire pressure gauges have a circular dial that’s swept by a needle. They don’t need a battery so they’re always ready to use. One advantage of digital gauges is the ability to switch between different units of pressure, (which might be useful on an imported vehicle.)

Tire pressure gauges come with or without a hose. Those with no hose fit straight onto the top of the valve. A hose gives more flexibility in where to put the display or readout. Readout accuracy depends in part on the increments displayed. Some gauges read to 0.5psi while others go to 0.1. Gauge accuracy is also indicated by conformance to the ANSI B40.1 standard.

Also look for a pressure lock/release button. This holds the gauge at the reading until you’ve had a chance to look at it.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $19.97
1 new from $19.97
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $22.51 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 20, 2018 4:17 am

Also analog with a very clear 2” black dial, this gauge doesn’t have a hose and fits straight onto the valve stem. It complies with ANSI B40.1 for accuracy and the manufacturer says it's accurate to ±1% of full scale. Max pressure is 60 psi and there is a convenient pressure release button.

Also look for a pressure lock/release button. This holds the gauge at the reading until you’ve had a chance to look at it.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $16.89
1 new from $16.89
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $19.85 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 20, 2018 4:22 am

This DIYCO gauge has a circular head with a clear digital display, a hose of about 12” and a pressure release button. The pressure range is 3-150 psi with resolution of 0.1 psi and it’ s calibrated to ASME B40.7 Grade A (+/-1% of full scale.)

What makes this gauge different to all the others is its interchangeable air chuck system. This provides far more flexibility in connecting to valves and so makes the gauge exceptionally versatile. It also has a 2-year warranty, takes 2 AAA batteries, (included) and comes with a User Manual.

Price Comparison

ebay.com Ebay.com $34.99 BUY IT
amazon.com Amazon.com BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 19, 2018 12:21 pm

Hose-less and digital, (it fits right onto the valve,) this gauge also has a safety hammer, flashlight, seatbelt cutter and red safety light built right in. That makes it a great gadget for keeping in a glovebox so you, or your friend or loved one, has it handy when needed. Made from black plastic, it’s very easy to hold and use.

The pressure range is 3-150 psi, displayed in 0.5 psi increments. Accuracy is claimed to be +/- 1 psi and it measures in psi, bar, KPa, and KgF/cm2, One AAA Battery (not included) and one CR2032 Lithium Battery (included) are needed.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $14.95
1 new from $14.95
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $20.99 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 15, 2018 9:34 pm

Best Tie Downs

Ratcheting Tie Downs

This handy gadget is a strap with hooks at each end and a lever in the middle. Cranking on the lever pulls the strap tight. These are essential for anyone who moves “stuff” in the back of a truck as they stop it from sliding around.

Two things to consider are strength and length. Strength is quoted in pounds and usually refers to breaking strength rather than the maximum safe load. Maximum load is one third of the breaking strength. Buy straps stronger than the weight of whatever the gift recipient will be securing.

Length determines how useful the straps will be. If buying for someone who might want to move a motorcycle or ATV be sure to choose straps that are long enough.

Straps also need good hooks. ‘S' hooks are standard, but look for those made from quality steel. If they have safety clips that stop them coming off the anchoring point, even better.

These black straps, (they come as a pair,) feature double security stitching, are American-made and measure 1½” wide and 7ft long. Breaking strength is 3,000 lbs and the working load limit is 1,000 lbs. The heavy-duty S-hooks, are vinyl-coated and have an extra-wide 1¼” opening. The ratchet mechanism itself has a rubber-coated handle and contoured release lever for easy operation.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $23.89
1 new from $23.89
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $26.97 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 6, 2018 1:35 pm

These are light duty straps, the kind you might use to hold down a bicycle in the back of a pickup. Breaking strength is 1,500 lbs and working load is 500 lbs. They’re blue, 15 ft long and 1” wide, with rubber-coated S-hooks. The set also includes two 40” bungee Cords.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $17.95
1 new from $17.95
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $24.00 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 4, 2018 11:02 am

This is the strap you want if you, or your friend, ever need to move a heavy load. Measuring 2” wide and 40 ft long, breaking load is 10,000 lbs and the working load is 3,333 lbs. Double J-Hooks provide strength and security at the tie-down points. Bright yellow for visibility, this strap is engineered to meet D.O.T., California Highway Patrol, and Web Sling Association standards.

Price Comparison

ebay.com Ebay.com $31.13 BUY IT
amazon.com Amazon.com $32.79
17 new from $23.85
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 2, 2018 9:30 am

Automotive Cufflinks Main Image

Cufflinks with an automotive theme let a man show off his passion discretely. Look for a fun design and durable metal construction. If budget allows, go for sterling or 925 silver. (That means 92.5% silver, the balance being copper for increased strength.) They look better presented in a gift box, and it makes storage easier too.

These fun ‘links look like a miniature fuel gauge and speedometer with white markings on black faces. They’re made from brass with a high-grade stainless steel plating that gives a bright shine and a gift box is included.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $12.59
1 new from $12.59
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $17.51 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 2, 2018 9:31 am

Made from bright plated brass, each cufflink has the classic “H” manual transmission shift pattern set in and marked in black. They even have the extended 5th gear and an “R” for reverse! They’re 11/16” diameter and come in a gift box.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $19.90
1 new from $19.90
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $25.48 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 10, 2018 2:21 pm

Show him how much you care by pushing the boat out with these sterling silver cufflinks! These each look like a little Mini car with a little union jack logo on the door. They’re 92.5% silver and come in a smart black presentation case.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $252.00
1 new from $252.00
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: October 26, 2018 10:34 pm

Portable Jump Starter Gift

Jump Starters

A jump box is a portable battery you use to kick your car's engine into life. Most also include ports for charging cellphones as well as some kind of flashlight. A jump box is a great gift for a new driver or someone who travels on their own a lot. Even if they never need to use it, just having it in the car provides peace-of-mind, (for driver and anxious parents/spouse alike!)

Jump boxes are specified in terms of capacity and peak amps. Capacity (the amount of energy stored,) is indicated in Amp-hours (Ah) or sometimes milliamp-hours. More capacity means more engine starts or devices charged.

Peak amps (A) indicates how much electrical current can be delivered and relates to size of engine started. 500A is enough for most engines but you'll need more for engines larger than 5 liters. You should also know that diesel engines need more amps to start, (500A will turn over a 3 liter diesel.) Starting in very low temperatures also needs more peak amps.

This portable power bank/external battery charger delivers 500A peak and has a capacity of 12,000mAh. That should be enough to jump start a 5 liter gasoline or 3 liter diesel engine up to 12 times. There’s a built-in LED flashlight and a carrying bag is included. Measurements are 10 x 6.5 x 4”.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $59.99
1 new from $59.99
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $62.99 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 20, 2018 8:45 am

At 7.9 x 4.4 x 2.8” this jump box is about the size of a thick paperback book. That makes it easy to store somewhere in a car, truck or even on a motorcycle. With 300A peak and capacity of 8,000mAh it’s suitable for gasoline engines up to 2.5 liters and should provide up to 10 starts. It also works as a phone charger and has a built-in LED Flashlight.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $66.99
2 new from $66.99
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $89.95 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 2, 2018 9:31 am

Car Care Cleaning Kits Main Image

Car Care Cleaning Kits

Real car enthusiasts like nothing more than getting to work with a wash mitt and a big bucket of suds. That’s why it’s hard to go wrong with a gift set of car cleaning essentials. There’s a host to choose from: we’ve picked three that will appeal to the most ardent gearhead.

Lubricant specialists Lucas Oil also produce a small range of car care products. This boxed set contains three 24oz bottles of Speed Wax, Interior Detailer and Tire & Trim Shine. There's also a microfiber towel and a tire sponge so your gift recipient will have everything needed to spruce up the inside and outside of their ride.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $28.14
3 new from $25.70
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 2, 2018 9:31 am

This kit includes everything needed to thoroughly wash a car by hand. You get a 4.5 gallon bucket with a grit guard that fits at the bottom, plus two 16oz car wash/shampoo bottles and a gel wheel and rim cleaner. There's also a wash mitt for the actual cleaning work and a generously-sized microfiber towel for drying the car afterwards.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $99.99
1 new from $99.99
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $123.80 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 2, 2018 9:31 am

Meguiar's is one of the best-known names in car care, so giving a car enthusiast this kit shows you took the time to choose a quality brand. The kit includes everything needed for a thorough detailing, and the quantities are enough that this could last a whole year. In addition to 48 oz of car shampoo you get 16 oz. of “Ultimate Compound” that removes road grime, plus 16 oz. of polish, 16 oz of liquid wax, 15.2 oz. “Ultimate Protectant” for interior surfaces and exterior trim and black plastic restorer. There are also 6 microfiber towels, a microfiber wash mitt and a microfiber water magnet drying towel.

Two things missing are glass cleaner and a tire shine, so you may want to buy those separately.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $53.22
2 new from $49.09
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $59.12 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 5, 2018 9:23 pm

Leather Driving Gloves Main Image

Leather Driving Gloves

Driving gloves aren't just something Steve McQueen wore in Bullitt. As anyone who's climbed into a car on a winter morning knows, the steering wheel can get really cold! Plus, you want gloves on while scraping ice and frost. Ordinary gloves don't work for driving because they're too thick and you can't get a good grip of the wheel, and that's where driving gloves come in.

The best driving gloves are made from thin leather that keeps pinkies warm but lets you stay in control. They'll also improve comfort on long drives and protect the steering wheel from scratches and sweat. Driving gloves should be snug but not too tight, so pay attention to the size chart!

Available in black and brown, these are sheepskin leather with an elasticized wrist and open knuckles on the back of the hand.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $34.95
1 new from $34.95
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $37.37 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 5, 2018 9:22 pm

Available only in black, these sheepskin leather gloves are described as “touchscreen.” They have a 50:50 wool:polyester lining for extra warmth.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $34.99
1 new from $34.99
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 2, 2018 9:21 am

Dents has made leather gloves since 1777, presumably for carriage drivers, but they'll work just as well in a Mini Cooper. These are English Tan in color and made from hairsheep leather. (This comes from sheep with fine hair that leaves no markings. The result is an exceptionally smooth, supple and durable material.) If you're looking for a gift that will last, these gloves are hard to beat.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $78.95
1 new from $78.95
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 4, 2018 11:57 pm

Smartphone Dash Mount

Smartphone Dash Mounts

This is essential for anyone who uses their phone in the car. It lets the driver follow navigation directions and make calls hands-free over Bluetooth. There are three mounting methods:

  • Stick to the windshield
  • Clamp onto an air vent/inlet
  • Sit on the dashboard.

Some phone mounts come with a long arm that brings the screen closer to the driver. Others incorporate the latest wireless charging capability. Check the mount you’re considering fits the phone your gift recipient uses before ordering.

This is long arm mount that suctions onto the windshield. The arm has a support piece that rests on the top of your dashboard so the phone doesn’t vibrate too much. Side arms grip the phone and open up to 3.5” so it should accept any modern phone such as the iPhone Xs, 7, 6, 6S and Samsung Galaxy.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $15.99
1 new from $15.99
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $18.73 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 9, 2018 10:47 pm

A weighted base like a beanbag holds this in place on the dashboard. For extra security you can also use a suction cup and hook. It holds the phone top and bottom with the jaws opening up to just under 5”. This should fit phones such as the iPhone 5, 5S, 5C, 4S and 4.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $18.49
8 new from $9.96
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $27.08 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 5, 2018 9:22 pm

This is a suction mount that could go on the dash although will probably work better on the windshield. It clamps the phone on the sides and holds models like the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus as well as Note 8 and iPhone X.

What makes this mount special is that it provides Qi Wireless Fast Charging technology. The downside is that the mount itself must be plugged in to power, but that’s a small price to pay for convenience.

Price Comparison

Key Finders and Locators

Key Finder/Locator

Do you know someone who can never find their car keys? Then buy them a key finder. A key finder is a little tag that slips onto their keyring and pairs wirelessly with a cellphone or base station. To find their keys all the user need do is open an app or activate the base unit. Providing it's in range the finder will buzz or ring.

This is a tiny square that measures 1 3/8 x 1 3/8 x 3/16” and fits on your keyring. It looks very cool, is waterproof and has a range of 200 ft. If it's out of range a map reveals where it is. Using it entails setting up an app on your cellphone, although it will also work with Alexa and Google Assistant. Note that the battery is not replaceable.

Price Comparison

Unlike the Tile, this doesn’t need an app or a cellphone. Instead it consists of a base unit and four brightly colored ‘fobs’ to fit on your keyrings. Just press one of the colored buttons on the base and that fob will beep and flash. Also unlike the Tile, the FidgetKute has replaceable batteries. Range is up to 120 ft. in the open, less indoors.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $23.39
1 new from $23.39
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 5, 2018 6:00 pm

Bluetooth Wireless Hands Free Car Kits

Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kits

One way of stopping your nearest and dearest from holding their phone while driving is to give them a Bluetooth hands-free kit. This is a device that links a cellphone to the car’s audio system. That puts an end to holding the phone to speak – just talk naturally while the kit listens and broadcasts.

Plugging into the power outlet, this features a clear blue LCD display and three USB charging ports. To use, just plug the transmitter into the car and pair your phone.

Price Comparison

amazon.com Amazon.com $21.99
1 new from $21.99
BUY IT
ebay.com Ebay.com $27.10 BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 18, 2018 11:00 am

There’s no display on this hands-free kit but you do get a noise isolation circuit to improve audio quality and the ability to pair with two phones simultaneously. There are also two built-in USB charging points.

Price Comparison

This device is really compact and very easy to set up. Just plug it in to the car’s power outlet and tune the radio to the same frequency as transmitter. (It’s shown on the device.) Then pair the phone and away you go!

Price Comparison

Car Cellphone Signal Boosters

Car Cellphone Signal Boosters

If you’ve a friend a relative who relies on good cellphone reception in their car – and who doesn’t these days – why not treat them to a signal booster? A signal booster captures the cellphone signal outside the vehicle and re-broadcasts it inside, effectively increasing the signal a phone sends and receives. That improves the connection quality and increases data rates.

The key feature to look for is network type. A 3G-only system will be less expensive but won’t deliver the speed of a 4G system, so check before you buy. You’ll also find higher-end boosters can handle more than one phone simultaneously. Here are three we think worth considering (and they work with all carriers.) (Note that you’ll be mounting an antenna outside on the roof.

This handles both 4G LTE and 3G networks, but only boosts a single phone. An installation guide is included and there’s a two-year warranty.

Price Comparison

Also 3G/4G LTE, this too boosts all the cellular devices in the car. The kit comes with installation instructions and should be within the capabilities of anyone who enjoys doing a little work on their car.

Price Comparison

ebay.com Ebay.com $279.99 BUY IT
amazon.com Amazon.com $399.99
17 new from $399.99
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 19, 2018 12:30 am

If it’s important to boost the signal for everyone in the car, this might be the kit to get. It will enhance 4G LTE service for everyone in the vehicle. Full installation instructions are included, and the warranty is an impressive five years.

Price Comparison

ebay.com Ebay.com $179.99 BUY IT
amazon.com Amazon.com $219.89
1 new from $219.89
BUY IT
Last Amazon price update was: November 5, 2018 9:16 pm

Show you've thought about them

Finding that “perfect” gift can be hard, but if you’re buying for someone who loves their car, or cars in general, our list of ideas should help. From gifts to keep a car looking it’s best to gadgets that help keep the driver safe, our list spans tools and devices every car-owner will appreciate.