We are a culture obsessed with gadgets and accessories – from every last thing we can clip to or plug into our phones, to the latest pieces of tech that we can wear on our bodies. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just a part of who we are as a species: naturally curious and willing to explore, even with our tech and gadgets. Car accessories are no exception, and manufacturers have come up with just about everything you can imagine, and even a few things you probably haven’t.
With so many different things out there to choose from, however, it’s easy to end up missing out on some things simply because you were too busy looking at something else. Whether you’re working on your vehicle, making some upgrades and adjustments, or just planning a road trip and want to make sure it goes as easy as possible, there are car accessories out there for you. I’m here to help guide you through the choppy seas of commerce and endless options to show you the way to some of the more interesting items out there.
Rather than getting into a lot of specific items you should check out, I’m going to go over some general things and car accessories to look into. I’ll let you choose specific ones you prefer.
First up, the wheels – the sole point of contact between your vehicle and the road (at least I hope it is) (also I know that’s technically the tires, but come on now). There are a lot of ways you can upgrade the wheels on your vehicle, though they are mostly aesthetic car accessories that do little to actually change how your car performs. Chrome and black wheels or something machined and industrial are very popular – as are additions of lights and similar features to really make your car stand-out.
Floor Liners and Mats
Alright, so in fairness floor liners and mats are not exactly the sexiest of car accessories, I get that. Don’t worry, there’s more cool stuff to come, but let’s be practical for a moment. Good floor liners are the kind of thing we take for granted and don’t really think much of – until we really need them.
If your vehicle came with cheap and fairly useless liners or mats that slide around, aren’t big enough to really catch dirt, and just seem generally lame, then it’s time for an upgrade. Good floor liners can fit so snug they seem to have almost been molded into the vehicle, offering your car, truck, or SUV unparalleled protection. Neat gadgets are great, but nothing beats keeping your ride looking sharp.
Alright, so you buy yourself a big ol’ full-size SUV or heavy-duty pickup truck so you can load it up to go camping for a week or two this summer, or to get to grilling and tailgating every weekend. That’s great, but how are you going to load up everything you need? You don’t want your gear sliding around and falling over, making a mess or banging up your vehicle.
Fortunately, there are lots of different car accessories designed to help you with cargo management in and on your vehicle. These include pretty basic stuff like totes and cargo nets that you can easily place or install in your vehicle, as well as roof racks and other car accessories that you can attach for more storage solutions. Good cargo management lets you really take advantage of the space you have in your truck or SUV, and can make all the difference during pre-trip, early-morning packing.
Tablet and Phone Holders
Distracted driving is dangerous driving, often resulting in serious and deadly collisions. Modern devices and tech like tablets and mobile phones present very real distractions while in a vehicle, especially if they start sliding around or falling off a seat onto the floor. That’s where tablet and phone holders come into play – and why they are so important.
There are all kinds of different designs for these car accessories, and they usually mount to your dashboard, center console, or windshield. If you are interested in driving for a rideshare app, then these accessories are even more important and may be required by law in your state. Either way, your passengers will appreciate you staying focused on the road and not trying to juggle a phone while flying down the highway.
Rear Seat Entertainment
For decades, squabbling siblings and children in the backseat have been fodder for sitcoms, movies, and stand-up comedy routines. These days, however, there are numerous car accessories to help alleviate the boredom that often prompted such bickering and fighting. While some vehicles have HD screens and media players built into the back seat, you can also add these devices to your vehicle yourself.
Some of these car accessories will mount to the ceiling of your vehicle, hanging down for your back-seat passenger’s viewing pleasure. Others mount or simply latch onto the back of the front-row seats so they can be viewed in the second or third rows. You can even get mounts that let you slide a tablet into a holder to keep the rear seat entertained, then remove the tablet when it’s not needed.
Interior Customization and Gadgets
There are seemingly endless ways for you to customize your vehicle after you purchase it, which is particularly handy if you buy a used or pre-owned vehicle. Car accessories can let you add chrome, black, or colored details throughout the cabin of your vehicle, add accent lighting and even place emblems inside to show your pride in your vehicle.
You can also improve your driving experience with car accessories that can add a head-up display to your dashboard or install a cooler in your center console. From kettles to coffee-makers, there is pretty much no end to the kinds of things you can add inside your vehicle.
But why stop at the inside? There are also a lot of car accessories that add to the appearance of the outside of your ride. Add decals or stripes, stickers, and magnetic emblems, or even hood ornaments to the outside of your vehicle to really make it your own. Of course, there are also more practical exterior car accessories like splash guards for your tires and assist steps for all you full-size SUV and pickup lovers out there (you know who you are).
Security and Protection
First things first: nothing can compare to having the best safety features in your vehicle, to begin with. Seatbelts, airbags, and other items built when a car is manufactured really are the best. That being said, there are plenty of useful and important car accessories that can help keep you safe and secure when you’re on the road.
Radar detectors are very popular among folks who have a bit of a heavy foot and want to avoid speeding tickets – though they can’t help you when traffic cameras are in use. Dash cams can be installed inside vehicles to record everything that happens inside and immediately around your car, which can help keep you safe and provide a record if something illegal happens. You can even consider buying your own breathalyzer to help you make sure you are legally allowed to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks.
Don’t forget about a first aid kit. This may be the most important car accessory of all and it can save lives if you find yourself at the scene of a crash or have any other medical emergency. You should also pack some blankets, a change of clothes, and some water bottles, and dry food as part of an emergency kit in your vehicle, just in case you even break down far from help.