Not sure what to get that car-loving relation for Christmas? Fret not. Ben Griffin gives the lowdown on 10 of the best petrolhead gifts around.
Christmas shopping for a car fanatic can be a pain, especially if you think a car is simply a tool for getting from A to B and usually describe them by colour.
Luckily Recombu Cars is here to help with 10 motoring-related gadgets we would personally love to be given. So save Santa the hassle of working out what you want and check our list instead.
Transcend DrivePro 200 dash camera
Prone to getting into scrapes? Well you’ll want to splurge on a dashcam. One of the best value on the market is the Transcend DrivePro 200, thanks to full HD footage, the ability to watch footage via a smartphone app or WiFi, 16GB of memory, wide-angle lens and an affordable price.
For filming your driving escapades or road trips, there’s nothing better than a GoPro (well, maybe a dedicated film crew but can you really afford that?). In its cheapest form, a Hero will give you 1080p full HD footage at 30 frames per second, a five-megapixel camera for stills and a burst mode to capture quick bursts of action. The more costly versions add a touchscreen and 4K, but for most people the standard model is perfect, especially when paired with the right car-related accessory pack.
£94, John Lewis
Monster ROC Sport Black Platinum headphones
There might be a time where you are relagated to the passenger seat. But rather than listen to the same radio dross as everyone else, you could always immerse yourself into a good movie or album with a pair of the Monster ROC Sport Black Platinum headphones, which offer a good sound, wireless Bluetooth connectivity and the backing of footballer Christian Ronaldo. Available from Harrods, darling.
Devotec Fuel portable phone charger
Running out of battery power just as you need to make an emergency call is the stuff of nightmares, so why run the risk when you could buy the world’s smallest phone charger and stick it on your keyring? Not only is it shaped like a fuel can, it offers between 20 and 30 minutes of extra call time from one charge of the 22mAh battery. It will work with any microUSB device, which means just about anything except the iPhone (unless you also buy an adaptor).
Tired of pulling over to check on your baby? Garmin’s babyCam could be the answer. Once attached to the front or back-seat rest, it can show you what’s going via the display of a compatible Garmin satnav. A wide-viewing angle means you can keep an eye on multiple children in the back seat, while voice activation lets you keep your hands on the steering wheel. On sale in January 2016 for £159.99, this is a gift any new parent can treat themselves to with any leftover Christmas money.
With roughly 17 per cent of drink-driving convictions handed out the day after drinking, it makes sense to check you are safe to drive. The AlcoSense Lite does just that and is portable enough to fit in the glove box. All you have to do is insert three AAA batteries, blow into it and wait for the result. Of course, you could always not drink at all, but it could be used to save stubborn relatives who claim “I’ve only had one drink”.
It may be a year old but the Cobra JumPack is still making our lives easier, thanks to its ability to jump-start a flat battery without the need for another car to be nearby. Essentially it’s a bloody great battery that has a jump lead connector, which you can easily store in the car for emergencies. It also has a USB connector and can be charged in the car in case other gadgets also fail you when you need them most. Oh, and it has an in-built LED torch with an SOS function if things really go bad. Pricey, until that day you have to enlist the help of a breakdown service.
Vax Power Wash VPW4B power washer
Keeping your pride and joy pristine can be a pain, especially if you ignored everyone’s advice and bought a white car. So fight back with a good power washer, like the Vax Power Wash VPW4B, a revamped version of the talented VPW4. It has a 2,500w motor so it’s anything but short on power, while the variable flow rate ensures a thorough clean. Meanwhile its 10-metre hose means you can be a bit lazy with the car positioning on the drive.
Autoglym Perfect Bodywork, Wheels and Interior cleaning kit
Blasted all the dirt off using the above power washer? Now it’s time for the tough bit, actually doing the proper cleaning part that keeps the dirt at bay. Autoglym is known for its brilliant products (as anyone who has used the Fast Wheels alloy wheel cleaner will attest) and the Halfords pack is currently £55. It includes nine cleaning products, a sponge, drying cloth and a microfibre cloth for making the car shiny. Now do yourself a favour and ditch the traditional sponge, it’s scratching your paintwork.
Anyone with a passing interest in Lego would find the Lego Tumbler a worthy stocking filler. It looks the part and because it has 1,869 pieces it will keep whoever is building it quiet for at least 24 hours, which goes a long way in justifying its £159.99 price tag. It comes with two figurines – Batman and The Joker – and measures 15cm tall, 40cm long and 24cm wide when built. For other Lego sets, check out our petrolhead lego set round-up.