Everyone knows that hollow, fake smile people have when they receive a gift they don’t want. Or that terrible feeling you get when you have to utter “aw, that’s so thoughtful” at the fresh pair of socks you just opened, hoping it was a designer clothing item or wads of cash.
We know that feeling well, so we’re going to try paying it forward to you, fellow reader, so you can learn what gifts to NOT get the automotive enthusiast on your list this year.
It doesn’t matter that it smells like bacon, a mojito or like PineSol. Air fresheners are lame and they reek of “last-second gift idea.” They also get the gift receiver to think to themselves: “Does my car really smell that bad?” Skip this gift.
Have you ever smelled these colognes/perfumes? They’re entirely too strong, and usually don’t smell great at all. Maybe if your car fan is a collector, these might be appropriate, but even then, the receiver may be tasked with having to use up all the product, and that’s trouble for everyone (unless you don’t have a sense of smell). These usually end up being used as bathroom deodorizers, only because they smell marginally better than whatever poop it’s masking.
There’s no need to give your car human body parts. Headlight designs are already looking awesome these days with some pretty slick LED accents, and sticking a pair of eyelashes on top is gaudy and goofy. On the other hand, the Truck Nutz are downright offensive. No one needs to see car genitals on the road!
Some keychains are cool, some are ridiculous, and if you have enough of them, you pretty much become a key-chime musical instrument. People will hear you coming from a block away with your keychains jingling away. Also, if your gift receiver’s car is affected by the GM ignition switch recall, then maybe heavy, dangling keychains are a really bad idea. Most gifted keychains end up in the junk drawer anyway.
Ebay’d Press Kit
Your friend is a huge car fan and wants all the documents on the latest car? Don’t buy the official press release from a desperate attendee of the latest auto show. These are typically just USB key drives with press releases and photos that are all easily found online for free.
Steering Wheel Phone Mounts
Phone mounts for your car are pretty useful, but skip the ones that attach to your steering wheel. They’re distracting, dangerous, and aren’t as useful as a fixed dashboard mount.
Steering wheel/seat covers
Steering wheel and seat covers aren’t always a bad idea, but some off-the-shelf examples are so poorly fitting that they’re more of a detriment than any help. Steering wheel covers that don’t fit properly can really detract from the amount of control you have on your car, so we’d suggest staying away from these.
Maybe if you’re concerned about your friend’s drinking and driving, you can get them professional help? Or a book about self-control at the bar? Worse yet, for the immature (like, oh, maybe the college crowd) a breathalyzer may even turn into a high-score ranking!
The Bumper Dumper
Personally, we never know when this would be useful, and it seems more embarrassing than thoughtful. Unless you’re doing some kind of gag, skip this gift and the awkward explanation of what it is. Unless you’re a hillbilly! Then this gift is rad!
Hitch Mounted Pole
You may think your energetic friend is a budding entrepreneur, but this hitch mounted stripper pole may not get them going in the right direction.