Your car isn’t just a way to get from place A to B: it’s a mobile office, your space to sing and so much more. We’ve put together a list of 10 gorgeous gadgets and accessories that every road warrior could use.
We tried to choose a mix of high-tech and low-tech items. We also looked at a variety of price points. Please let us know your favorite gadget or accessory in the comments.
GOSAFE 535 Dash Camera
We all know that you’re a good driver … it’s everybody else you have to worry about. That’s why you should consider a dash camera. Some good reasons to get a dash camera are:
- Evidence in case an accident happens
- You’re better prepared for cases of insurance fraud
- You never know what that footage may lead to
Most dash cameras are relatively affordable and easy to install. We like the Papago! GoSafe 535 Dash Camera. It’s easy to mount, doesn’t cost too much and has a wide enough viewing angle to capture everything you’d want it to.
It comes with a companion app that could be useful. It also has assistance alerts and built-in sensors that automatically detect collisions and saves that video file.
- You can find the Papago! GoSafe 535 Dash Camera here.
Image via Pagago!
Streaming music service or podcast app
A streaming music service or a podcasting app means you’ll never have to sit through annoying radio commercials again.
Services like Spotify or Apple Music are great music options. Both offer access to tens of millions of songs at your fingertips, as well as ways to discover new music. There are free versions or free trials with both services.
If you don’t want to pay for a service or are concerned about mobile data usage, try out a podcasting app. Your smartphone has default players built in. You can avoid mobile charges by downloading podcasts when you’re on Wi-Fi.
Podcasts are very similar to radio programs but they cut out a lot of the fluff (and many of the commercials). There are a wide variety of podcasts out there. These cover sports, business, news, specific TV shows and more. Basically, you can find a podcast about nearly anything you’re interested in.
Image via Spotify
There are hundreds of thousands of blind spot accidents in the United States each year. Modern, higher-end vehicles use a variety of sensors to warn you if somebody is in your blind spot. But, you can also spend about $10 for some blind spot mirrors.
Just attach these to your side mirrors and you’ll likely be safer on the road. We chose ones by Essential Contraptions because they use real glass and are rust resistant. This includes a four-pack so you can place it on your side mirrors and your rear-view mirror.
Image via Essential Contraptions
Having a dead battery is a horrible experience. It often involves waiting for service or flagging somebody down for a jump start. Thankfully, you can now buy portable chargers that can jump-start your cars.
The Anker Jump Starter Portable Charger is a good option. Just charge it once every three months and throw it in your trunk in case of emergencies. I’ve actually used this one to jump-start cars and it works well and is safe and simple to use. As an added bonues, this portable jump starter can charge most of your gadgets, too.
Drop Stop Car Wedge
Fans of the show Shark Tank may recognize the Drop Stop car wedge. You place it in your car to prevent items from falling down the car seat gap. This could be your phone, keys, french fries or anything else.
The Drop Stop is a simple-but-brilliant object that solves a problem you may not even realize you have. Along with helping you not have to fish around for your phone, it can legitimately boost your safety on the road.
Stay hydrated: Cold stuff
A water bottle is always handy for the car. The Camelbak Eddy does the job well. It’s affordable, spill-proof, easy to clean and is free of things like BPA and BPF. I like having the straw and easy-grip handle, too.
- Get Camelbak here
Image via Camelbak
Stay hydrated & awake: Hot stuff
For many of us, coffee is an important part of the morning commute. That’s why a travel mug is a must-have. I require my travel mug to:
- Keep coffee warm
- Not spill the coffee
- Be easy to clean
The Contigo Autoseal West Loop checks all those boxes and is stylish, to boot.
- Get the Contigo Autoseal here
Image via Contigo
Wireless charger & phone mount
You should never use your phone for things like texting or gaming when you’re driving. But, your phone can be useful for maps and music while on the go. That’s why it’s great to have a phone mount, especially one that can also charge your phone.
There are many types of phone mounts out there including those for CD slots, the dashboard and for the windshield. Make sure your state allows windshield mounts if you choose one.
I like the iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless mount. It’s a bit pricey at $50 but it’s adjustable for whatever phone you have and it provides wireless charging.
Image via iOttie
For older vehicles: Bluetooth adapter
If you have an older vehicle, you can still easily connect your devices with a Bluetooth adapter. These are relatively inexpensive and enable you to have wireless calls, as well as use streaming services from your phone.
The Mpow mini receiver easily plugs into your car’s audio adapter to give you Bluetooth connectivity to your car. This model can connect to two devices at once, so you can share DJ duties with passengers.
- Get the Mpow Bluetooth receiver here.
Upgrade pick: Escort Max 360C
This protection against potential ticket threats is a bit pricey but if you have a connected car and are looking for an awesome driver alert system, look no further than the Escort Max 360C. It aims to provide 360-degree protection from all sorts of tickets, including radars and red-light cameras.
The compact unit pairs directly to your car’s Wi-Fi to provide live updates from other connected users. It comes with distinct directional arrows so you know where the source of a potential ticket is coming from.
Bonus pick: MileIQ
Ok, this might be cheating. But, don’t forget to get the most out of your miles with a mileage-tracking app like MileIQ. It’s the easiest way to track your mileage for taxes or reimbursements.
MileIQ automatically logs your mileage in the background. You can just drive like you normally would and a mileage log is created for you. You can classify drives as business or personal with a single swipe and you can send detailed mileage reports with just a few taps.
MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.