Technology advances at a rapid rate and unless you can afford to buy a new car once or twice a year, chances are your current vehicle may be lacking some of the latest gadgets.
Well, the aftermarket is always willing and able to help you out. With more accessories, gadgets and conveniences available than anyone could ever use, we’ve listed fifteen of the most useful aftermarket accessories below.
All-Weather Floor Mats
If you live in a region with a lot of rain and/or snow, all-weather mats are a great investment to protect your car’s carpet and regular floor mats from all sorts of grime.
Although car manufacturers sell vehicle specific all-season floor mats, the aftermarket industry does as well and usually for a lot less money. Check out these mats, starting at very affordable prices.
Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Did your car not come with Bluetooth functionality? No problem, aftermarket companies have you covered, with the ability to stream music through your car’s stereo and provide hands-free calling from your smartphone.
No more pulling over to the side of the road. And no more looking like early 2000s work-a-holic stereotype with some bluetooth headset strapped to your ear.
Cell Phone Holder
A lot of people use their smart phones for GPS navigation and other functions. To keep your hands on the wheel and attention on the road, several companies offer cell phone holders that can suction to a car’s windshield. This particular unit, made by Macally, is universal and works for all phones. It has extra length, which is perfect for trucks and SUVs and can rotate a full 360-degrees.
Convex Rear View Mirror
More vision when driving is always great and adding a larger field of view rearward mirror helps with safer driving. By adding a convex rear view mirror, blind-spots and what’s behind your car can all be seen at once with a quick glance at the mirror.
This Broadway unit claims to brighten the view behind you and easily clips onto our existing mirror. It measures 17.9 x 4.7 x 1.7 inches.
A dashboard camera records everything that happens while you’re driving and provides digital video proof of what really happened if a collision occurs.
Dashboard Grip Mat
There’s nothing worse than having cellphones, loose change and house keys shift around your car’s cabin while driving. Grippy gel pads, like the CommuteMate DashGrip, can solve these problems by securing these items while driving. Perfect for phones, credit cards, keys or coins it measures 6-inches by 7-inches. It’s also designed to be easily removable with no sticky residue.
Digital Tire Gauge
Checking your car’s air pressure is important not just for safety, but also the tire’s longevity and your car’s overall fuel efficiency. For simple, quick readings, a digital tire gauge is great. Better still is a solar powered one that will never require batteries. It has an LED display and a built-in light. Able to measure up to 99.5 PSI it can also measure in Kpa, Bar and kg/cm2.
Watch a quick video on how it works here.
Emergency Roadside Kit
This kit weighs just under four pounds and includes booster cables, a flashlight, two D batteries, cable ties, electrical tape, pliers, a 2-in-1 screwdriver, a rain poncho, a care care guide, an accident document guide and more.
Headlight Restoration Kit
The plastic protecting headlights get weathered over time and starts to yellow. This can affect their performance as the amount of light projected onto the road is partially blocked. Headlight restoration kits give you back your full lighting system so you can drive safety at night and during all sorts of weather conditions.
This kit from 3M includes several different pads included for a three step process that will return your vehicle’s lighting system to its optimal performance.
Although it’s commonplace in cars today, many still do not come equipped with built-in GPS navigational units. That’s especially true if you buy a small car. Thankfully, there are still many handheld units available that can be suctioned to a car’s windshield and the prices are quite affordable.
This Garmin nüvi system includes a 5″ screen, with a suction cup, USB cable, a vehicle power adapter, battery and an manual. Maps includes the lower 48 U.S. states, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and more.
Laser Parking System
Are you a garage parker with little room to spare? Back in the day people would hang tennis balls from the roof to help guide them into their spots. Things have become a little more advanced since then and now lasers can help accurately guide you to your optimal parking spot.
Designed for two car garages it easily attaches to the ceiling with included hardware and is powered by an included 110 Volt AC adapter.
Portable Car/Phone Charger
This Whistler WJS-3000B Jump and Go Portable Jump Start Kit uses a li-poly battery and can boost a range of 12-volt vehicles, including those with V8 engines. Better yet, it can even be used to charge small mobile devices and includes an integrated flashlight.
Portable Vacuum Cleaner
From the car care experts at Armor All this wet/dry vac comes with a 15 foot cord and comes with accessories like a retractable crevice tool and an accessory brush. With a removable, washable filter it also somes with an LED light to see in darker spots.
Seatbelt Cutter/Window Breaker
Being trapped in a car is a scary thought, especially after an accident and especially if you’re sinking in water. This simple but ingenious tool can cut your seat belt and break your window to allow for a quick escape.
The Resqme escape tool comes in a wide variety of fun colors and is the perfect key chain accessory for every safety-conscious person, especially parents.
USB Car Charger
Most modern electronic gadgets are charged using a USB cable, but unless your car is relatively new, there may not be a USB port anywhere to be found. Luckily there are several converters available that turn a 12V outlet into an USB charging port.