Not sure what to get a loved one who loves cars and motoring? Recombu Cars is here to help with ten gift ideas that should go down a storm.
Looking to show your appreciation for all those years of having access to the ‘Bank of Dad’, or for your mum’s services as an unpaid taxi driver? Maybe you just want to treat yourself to a gift worthy of a petrolhead? Here are some of the best gifts around that should do the trick.
Want to prove you are a good driver? In steps the TomTom Curfer, a device that monitors how efficient you are when it comes to acceleration, braking, cornering and idling and then recommends how you could improve after each journey. You can then share the results over social media or just keep an eye on more useful stuff like battery voltage, coolant temperature and air pressure. All you need to do is connect the TomTom Link 100 dongle to your car’s OBD port, install the iOS or Android app and away you go.
£59 or £75 with OBD-II extension cable, TomTom.com
Roidmi 2S Music Bluetooth car charger
The Roidmi 2S charger is worth a look for device hoarders as it includes not one but two USB ports, allowing you to charge two USB devices simultaneously at twice the charging speed of a conventional charger. It can also connect to the Roidmi app for streaming music over Bluetooth using your car’s in-built speakers. The project is currently being funded on Indiegogo and has smashed its target goal of US$10,000 by 1,030 per cent so get in quick.
TomTom Go 510
If there’s one thing sure to infuriate the driver, it’s getting lost. So avoid unnecessary arguments (or at least, hinder them) with a satnav like the TomTom Go 510. This particular navigation device includes worldwide maps so you can go abroad and avoid taking the wrong road and you can update said maps on a quarterly basis for free. Speed camera alerts are included, too, so there’s less chance of getting a ticket, and the five-inch touchscreen display makes it easy to see. A ‘Click & Go’ mount for the car is included in the box.
Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS
If you or your recipient never really grew up, there’s a chance they would enjoy building a Lava Orange Porsche 911 GT3 RS from 2,704 pieces of the stuff. At 570mm long, 270mm wide and 170mm tall, the Technic model is one-eighth of the real car and 656 times cheaper – but by no means cheap, at nearly £250. Such is the attention to detail, it has a fully-functioning double-clutch gearbox. Click here for other Lego-based alternatives.
Karcher Window Vac WV5 Premium
Some of us will swear by a mix of white vinegar and water to make glass and windows sparkle, but there is another less smelly and faster way. Karcher’s Window Vac uses a vacuum to suck up the water so you can avoid leaving unsightly streaks. Meanwhile three LEDs let you know how long before you need to rejuice the lithium ion battery. Karcher has made the the Window Vac 10 per cent quieter than the previous model, and it is easy to empty the dirty water when you’re done.
Belkin Car Power Valet
For those who want to charge their iDevices without risk of frying them, Belkin has you covered with the rather pricey but quality Car Power Valet. Available with one or two USB ports, the Belkin device plugs into a 12v socket and charges iPhones (iPhone 5 onward), iPads (4th gen onward) and iPods (4th gen onward) at their optimum rate. Meanwhile its aluminium casing, braided cable and leather case ensure it can survive whatever punishment your passengers can throw at it.
£69.99 (£89.99 for dual version), Belkin.com
Thinkware X550 Dash Cam
With drivers seemingly more intent on ruining your day than ever, it makes sense to cover yourself in the event of an accident. One of the finer dash camera examples is Thinkware’s X550, which records your journeys in video at full HD 1080p quality for as long as the memory card lasts, with Super Night Vision ensuring it can film at night. Some of the X550’s clever functionality requires a hard-wired installation, including lane departure warning, which any DIY-proficient dad should be able to handle.
From £169 (16GB), Thinkware.uk
Bike Mine has one very simple aim and that is to scare away thieves with a 120dB explosion. Essentially you connect the contraption to your bike and then, in the event anyone tries to steal your two-wheeled pride and joy, a very, very loud noise is triggered. With 22 days to go, this Kickstarter project is a way off its £15,000 goal so the ‘loudest bike alarm’ in the world may never see the light of day. Best to give it some love if you like the idea, then.
Project Cars: Game of the Year Edition
Any petrolhead with a PC, Xbox One or PS4 would no doubt appreciate a good racing game. One of the finer examples is Project Cars, which features 125 cars (the Pagani Huayra BC one of them), some of the most realistic physics in racing games and the mighty Nurburgring. The Game of the Year edition comes with a lot more content than the original so it’s really good value, especially when you consider how much actual motorsport racing costs.
£31.99 (Xbox One), Zavvi.com
Karcher K5 Premium
Cleaning a car can be a waste of a sunny afternoon or strangely therepeutic, depending on your viewpoint. Either way, it’s worth having the right tools for the job and a good pressure washer will help remove grime better than a hose and bucket. Karcher’s K5 Premium Full Control Home Pressure Washer has more than enough power to blast away mud and just about anything else stuck to your car, with an LED display on the trigger showing you the pressure the water is being blasted out at and a hose reel for keeping the eight-metre hose neat and tidy.
Tech Dopp Kit
With so many gadgets and cables to worry about these days, it can be easy to forget the essentials when off on holiday or a business trip. Luckily American travel kit purveyor This Is Ground offers a luxury leather organiser that lets you neatly store all the leads within leather hoops. Meanwhile smaller items can be kept safe in a small zip pouch. For those who love proper leather goods and being organised, the Tech Dopp Kit will prove to be a fine looking addition to a travel suitcase that will stand the test of time.
Lego Caterham 620R
A slightly easier Lego set for the younger petrolhead (or less patient adult), but the Lego Caterham 620R is just as cool to build and proudly display in your home as the Porsche 911 above. The 773 pieces take a surprisingly long time to put together and when done it features a mini cockpit, proper rubber wheels, bright yellow paintjob and a bonnet you can open to view the engine. Oh, and you get four axle stands in case it needs any work done, which can be stored in the boot.
Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum cleaner
We love Henry, Edward and other brightly coloured vacuums with a face as much as the next man, but cleaning cars and the stairs can be a pain with them. That is where the bag-less Dyson V8 Absolute steps in, complete with strong suction and a compact design. Up to 40 minutes of battery life is promised between charges, depending on the mode you use, which should be enough to clean up after the hairiest dog, and it weighs an arm-friendly 2.61kg so there is no need for the arm strength of Lennox Lewis. As for dust space, the 0.54-litre capacity should be enough between charges and is easily emptied. In short, the Dyson V8 Absolute sucks – but in a good way.