In car gadgets are not the exclusive preserve of “petrol heads” and techies. There are all kinds of inexpensive items out there that make day-to-day driving either less stressful and / or more enjoyable, and that’s what this round-up is all about.
All of the in car gadgets on this list are affordable and rather clever. We’ve done our best to largely steer away from gimmicks and point you in the direction of items that will genuinely improve your day-to-day motoring.
So, without further ado, here’s our round-up of the top five inexpensive in-car gadgets.
1. The Cheapest and Handiest of in Car Gadgets!
Often, the very simplest ideas are the best, and this in car gadget is a great example.
All it really is is a spring-loaded clip! However, it’s sturdy and flexible, and clips on to practically any air-vent (although you may wish to proceed with caution if your car has especially thin vents).
All you then have to do is attach your phone, letting the soft pliable clips grip it in place. It’s akin to the cheapest and most sensible “car kit” you could imagine for your smartphone, which earns it its place at the top of this list. It’s perfect for mounting your device to use it as a sat nav, or as a music player.
- Simple; Cheap; Clever.
- Allows you to mount your phone in landscape or portrait mode.
- Grips on to practically any vent.
- Particularly thin vents may pose a problem.
2. An In Car Gadget for Music Lovers
While many modern cars now come with smartphone / iPhone connectors, they’re not as ubiquitous as one might think. They’re often not included in “base” car models, and there’s no guarantee they’ll be compatible with the phone you have.
The alternative is a device that allows you to send the sound from your phone (or music player) to a radio frequency. All you then have to do is tune your radio to the chosen frequency and you’ll hear your music. This is perfect for older cars without smartphone inputs, or cars with inputs that aren’t compatible with the device you want to listen to.
If you happened to play around with one of these in-car gadgets several years ago, you may be skeptical, but the quality has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. These items are very inexpensive, and FAR cheaper than paying for an aftermarket phone input for an older vehicle.
- Allows you to plug in anything with a headphone jack and hear it through your car stereo.
- Far cheaper than a fitted “car kit.”
- It’s sometimes difficult to find an uncluttered FM waveband around busy cities.
3. One for Business People
If you’re a road-warrior or travelling salesperson, you probably find yourself needing to do a little work (or simply feed yourself) between meetings.
Rather than force you to contort yourself and twist towards the passenger seat, this steering wheel mounted makeshift desk gives you a proper ergonomic surface on which to work or dine.
It only takes seconds to hook it into place, and is also very easy to stow away whilst not in use. It’s one of those things you didn’t know you needed until you learned it existed! Just don’t try to use it while you’re on the move please!
- An inexpensive way to turn your car into a mobile office.
- A good way to eat in the car without making a mess.
- Higher corners would improve the design – especially if you plan to eat soup!
4. A Great Gift for Drivers
This particular in car gadget looks like a baby-wipe container and isn’t strictly speaking a “gadget.”
However, it’s a perfect gift for someone who travels plenty of miles – if you can resist buying it for yourself!
It’s something akin to the kind of amenity kit you are handed if you travel business class on a plane – but for your car. Given the case design, it’s ironic that it does, in fact, contain a “lemon refreshing wipe,” but it also includes far more useful things too, including a pen, an ice scraper, a glowstick light, plastic gloves, and a hand warmer – along with a few other things.
Gimmicky as this may seem, it actually all makes a lot of sense, with the kit containing items that could prove hugely useful in the event of a car breakdown, or even a spillage from the kids in the back. As mentioned above, it would make a great present too.
- Fantastic value.
- Surprisingly sensible contents.
- None – every car should have one of these in the glovebox!
5. A Touch of Luxury
It turns out you don’t have to buy a high-end prestige car to gain yourself a massage function for your seats!
This inexpensive in car gadget may not be quite as tidy as a factory-fitted massage seat, but it does the job, and includes five different massage modes and a heating facility.
At such a low price, this massage cushion is a “no-brainer” for anyone who feels uncomfortable during or after a long drive. It’s powered by the 12V cigarette lighter socket, but also comes with a mains plug so you can take it inside and use it there as well.
- In-car massage at a very low price.
- Reported to be highly effective by multiple reviewers.
- May be considered a little scruffy by those who like to keep their cars immaculate.