We’ve given and received thousands of car-related gifts so we figured we’d offer you some insights, based on our experience, into the busy and sometimes technical world of car…things. The last thing you want is to accidentally buy someone a $200 Haas racing jersey when they wanted a Red Bull jersey. Or even worse BMW wall art when they’re a die-hard Toyota Supra fan! And if you don’t get the joke, well, that’s exactly why we wrote this. (The new Supra has a BMW engine and many car enthusiasts are bitter about it)
We made it easy, though with some links right to the affiliate products. These are car gifts that relate to every car fanatic and can’t really be messed up, whether it’s your teenage mechanic daughter, your drag-racing uncle, or your Porsche-911-driving boss. Worried about price? We have some meaningful, budget-friendly choices that will land perfectly with anyone who owns a set of four wheels. We also have more involved and personal gifts that speak volumes, and that the recipient will use and cherish the rest of their lives, guaranteed!
Anyone, even non-car people can benefit from a tool that is designed to do everything you want to do in a car – from using a flashlight to checking tire pressure to even doing basic repairs! If they already have tools the convenience of an all-in-one bundle is too good to pass up on, and heck! Even if somehow they do have this very tool, they most likely have more than one car in the family that would need it.
The three tools we recommend are 1: the Swiss Ascent multi-tool on Amazon for $32.99 (pictured first). It has a very convenient digital tire pressure gauge, light, window breaker for safety, and some tools. The second is a more tool-oriented Dpnao Tool with a spanner wrench, pliers, and a few common screw-head bits for $27.98. If you don’t know what any of those tools are, just trust us… they’re needed very often! A third is the budget safety tool; the $10.11 Stalwart Multitool with a zooming flashlight, seatbelt cutter, window breaker, and some useful household tools we’ve needed weekly, at least!
9 Young (Or Young at Heart): A Car Plushie
One cool start-up from Switzerland has started making stuffed models of our favorite cars! It’s called Autoplush and they have car models that cover every car person out there! Jeeps, Mustangs, Porsches, Mk4 Supras (the good one, not the BMW), Minivans, and Miata’s with pop-up headlights…also in the slipper form! They have added a lot of new ones lately like an F-150 pickup, Tesla, a tractor, Land Rover, and a cute little Fiat-500. The company has just started to take off in the car world this year and is popping up everywhere.
If you’re lost about which one your car person would like, just pick the one that looks most like the car they drive or admire, it’s almost certainly their wallpaper or on their Instagram! The plushies are around $32.40 for their main ones and come in various colors. Even though they don’t have our exact car, we’re hoping to maybe get one for Christmas, ourselves. Frankly, we just think this is such a cool, cute idea that even the more hardened car guys can’t resist.
8 Budget: Car Scents
Finding a good car smell that lasts a long time or doesn’t smell like old bubblegum is hard, but not so hard that we couldn’t go out and find some great choices. One classy and slightly-more-expensive option promises to last 365 days or more and is really a great scent to have around, it’s the Arotags for $26.88 and it works by applying concentrated smelling liquid to a wooden hanging tag in the shape of the U.S, or even a pineapple. We recommend the Cool Breeze scent for a light, clean smell or Beach Bum for a more fruity, suntan lotion smell.
Another is the discrete vent-clips by Little Trees. These things are impossible to spot (provenly so) and last at least 3 months in our daily-driven tests and a set containing eight is just $12.10, a perfect middle-point for a colleague’s gift, and impressive in concept. Black Ice is the best flavor by most people’s standards. A classic hanging 5-pack of Little Trees Black Ice is just $9.41 for a much more casual gift.
7 For Gamers: Logitech Sim Racing Wheel and Pedals
Note! You cannot get this for someone unless they own an Xbox, PlayStation, or somewhat “fancy” gaming computer. This is a set of realistic controls that allow a user to seem like they’re really driving their favorite cars in racing games! It can be set up on most desks and would, frankly, get a ton of use if they don’t already have one! The LG System works with the PlayStation or Xbox and PC, just check before purchasing. It costs $150-$300 on Amazon and has tons of great reviews from YouTubers and gamers. These will most likely sell out but they are also at Walmart for a little more.
If you have a gamer car guy in mind and you need a cheaper or more safe gift, a gift card to their gaming platform will allow them to get digital games or unlocks, we recommend $35 or more to be able to cover the cost of a single game, and keep in mind that some newer modules don’t even use disks anymore! So buying a physical disk might not be possible, and a gift card may just be necessary. A digital gift card can be emailed right to them, saving you postage but possibly taking out the human aspect.
6 For Commuters: Car Massage Seat Back
While some cars don’t come with massage seats until you spend over $80,000, you can actually get one of comparable value for $300, or a decent one for as little as $55! While we don’t have the capacity to test all these on long drives, we were able to look into a great many and narrowed it down to three options that will make any long-distance driver feel refreshed and limber when they get to their destination instead of stiff and achy. They’ve lasted users a long time and work as expected according to many reviews.
The first is the nicest option, and worth every penny: The Daiwa Felicity seat top for $229. It can be strapped to the car seat so it doesn’t move and it’s cushioned with memory foam. Heating, shiatsu, and vibrating are all options to stimulate and relax the spine, and a breathable bottom keeps the butt from sweating! The second is the $129 Snailax Seat Pad that is essentially the same, but with far more reviews to go off. It also heats, does deep-tissue, and straps in but will need an adapter for $9.99 to plug in to the car (yes, it fits perfectly on a car’s seat). The final one is also by Snailax, the 6-Motor Vibrating Heat Pad for $53.98 but it is mostly just a mid-to-lower back pad that vibrates to relax muscles and can heat up as well. All three make great add-ons for someone who might not have heated seats in their car for the winter!
5 Budget: A Cheap But Useful Car Accessory
If you have an office “car guy” or some other sort of arms-length acquaintance who could use a little something useful and meaningful, but certainly not expensive, this is your answer! These are some car accessories that anyone can enjoy and require little to no knowledge about the person. All five of these are under $15 and will enhance the life of the user. Heck, you most likely will want one for yourself! We already do. The first is a simple headrest hook set for $6.99 (pictured). The brilliant thing is that you can keep backpacks, clothes, and groceries off the passenger seat and off the floor by hanging them out of the way!
The second is a universal tray/iPhone holder and, man! Do we love this! No more special adapters or breaking vents or ugly suction cup marks just to hold your phone up! It even holds a charger in place so you don’t have to go fishing every time you get in, and small parts now have a little place so they don’t end up under the seat like they always do! The whole thing just sits in place with rubber grips on any dashboard ($13.98). The third is a good car trash can. We recommend either a cute cup-holder version that looks great on a desk as well, has a push-to-open top, and includes 30 tiny trash bags. Also great is a car-seat-back trash receptacle that can hold liquids and contain smells and even has side pockets!
4 For Sports Car Owners: A Detailing Kit
Picking a car detailing kit isn’t hard, and these ones we picked out just depend on your budget! Otherwise, they are tried, tested, and professional-grade! If you’ve ever seen those satisfying videos of someone totally shining up a crappy old car, this is what they used and any car guy would be grateful to get such tools! The first is the one we’d like. It’s the full Chemical Guys cleaning set for $99. It would be shorter to list what it doesn’t include, but we will say that this will take care of everything on the outside of the car from tires to windshields including professional-grade waxes and brushes… all you need is a hose, no power tools!
The interior detailing tool kit is the Calbeau 16-PCS Car Cleaning Kit (pictured) which costs $29.98 and includes brushes for small spots and sensitive surfaces, window cleaning supplies, carpet cleaning, and even engine-bay-useful tools like wire brushes. A Stanley Vacuum for $43 is one of our personal favorites and a more top-end $99 Hoover carpet vacuum will be able to completely refresh any seat and trim to brand-new in one pass by using water and soap (or a formula).
3 High-End: Passport Escort Max Radar Detector
Notice! Not all states allow radar detectors! You can get a ticket if you’re seen with one in your state. Now, if it is legal, Escort does this fancy thing where they will pay for your first ticket (see Escort’s website for details, this is not an offer from HotCars)! That’s how well these things really work, and yes, we’ve used them in Idaho and Utah with 100% perfect results. These are nice because they have GPS memory: that means when you pass locations with devices like an automatic door that sets off a detector every day, it will instead mute the detected radar signals based on a shared database where other Escort users reported it as a false alert. Using the same technology, it talks to other Escort users to know ahead of time where cops are and relays the info to an app.
You can adjust the volume, the chime is pleasant and not annoying, and yes.. it has all the current frequencies used by police including laser, as a top-of-the-line radar should. Directional cues point in four directions to let you know where the cop is scanning from, and thus far we’ve been able to spot some wild hiding places while avoiding the fuzz! On Amazon, the Passport MAX360 (with directional indicators) is $499. Also with ticket reimbursement and GPS (but no directional indicators) is the Escort Passport 9500iX for $299, brand new, the one we’ve owned and never once gotten a ticket in. If you must go cheap but want some reliable indication of a cop nearby, the Cobra RAD 840i for just $140. It still checks all the boxes we care about: long-range, laser, and all KA-bands, but they won’t pay for your first ticket!
2 Budget: Household Novelties
Every man or woman who has any interest in a motor loves to see these things (pictured)! That is a working model combustion motor and the inline-four-cylinder is made to be built by the recipient and shows the pistons moving using real combustion! Frankly, it’s hard not to be fascinated by this gadget, and yes, it can cool you off with the fan. More affordable than that are some of the cutest dang car-related coasters we’ve ever seen: car floor mat coaster! These are $15.99 and are made of real rubber with real texture for sweat to run off.
Perhaps as a great classic office gift is this tire-tread mug for $16.99. To rattle off some more ideas we’ve loved: adults can’t deny the joy of LEGOs so a LEGO Supra is never a bad idea ($16). There’s a cigarette-lighter cover that reads “Fire Missiles” for $13. Lastly, you can never go wrong with a car pun/reference tee shirt most younger car guys would love! “Gapplebees” ($18).
1 Meaningful: A Custom Hoodie Of Their Own Car
There is a world on Etsy of car-related custom products from hoodies to hats to ties to clocks to wall art! While many of them are nice, this time of year we recommend a hoodie, especially if they work in a cold garage. The one we loved the most is a fully-embroidered icon version of our own car. Quite simply you send in a picture (the front one-quarter shot that’s pictured above looks best), and then a designer makes a simple icon version and embroiders it onto the hoodie! The cost for one from the best-rated company is $75 but might not be ready by Christmas this year and another reliable budget-friendly creator makes an outline version for $43 as well.
If you don’t know their favorite car brand, just ask! Odds are that it’s more than one. Some merch lands better with different car brand fans. To name a few, Subaru fans would like a cozy beanie. Ford fans would like a ball cap, Chevy/Camaro/Corvette owners would like a wallet or light-up shop clock, Honda guys like racing jackets or hoodies, Italian sports car guys would enjoy Ferrari racing shoes, and german (Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Porsche) car guys like formal things like a polo. You know your car person best! When in doubt, just picture them with their new gift and how much they’d enjoy it, show their friends it, or rely on it… just like an actual car!
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About The Author
Wyatt Peterson (84 Articles Published)
Wyatt is from Utah and likes to bike, ski, and drive too fast. He’s written articles on motorcycles and cars for years, and especially likes Japanese cars and off-road vehicles. He has been featured in DriveTribe more than once and some of his content has had over 6.5 million views. He loves Formula 1, Formula Drift, the Baja 1000, and World Rally Cross!