While shopping for a gift for car enthusiasts may seem like something you can do in a breeze, in reality, it can be a Herculean task. Car people are a different breed and they’re naturally meticulous and finicky about their preferences.
With that, it can be tricky trying to pick out an item that they will cherish and match their automotive passion. Not to mention that everything can even be harder if you’re not a car fanatic or gearhead yourself.
Lucky for you, we understand the challenge, so we’ve listed the best gift ideas for car lovers and car owners of all kinds. From must-have car accessories to trendy car-themed apparel and essential tools, these useful and clever presents will surely impress auto aficionados and fuel their obsession.
1. Car Vacuum
A true car lover will appreciate having a solution to every vehicle owner’s dilemma of keeping the car clean. Gift them a compact, powerful car vacuum that will suck up every pesky piece of dirt or debris in their car’s interior anytime. Look for handheld cordless vacuums so they’ll have no issues reaching all the crannies and nooks and choose a low-noise one, too, so they can clean in peace before their beloved rides.
2. Neck Pillow
Let’s be honest: driving can be stressful, especially for long hours. So, why not make things bearable by providing the much-needed comfort to the car owners in your life? An easy-to-install car neck pillow that’s made of high-density memory foam can provide lumbar support and absorb the pressure on their neck caused by extended periods of driving. Chances are they’re also in the market for comfy car accessories. Make it happen and bring them that high level of comfort when they’re on the road.
3. Polarized Driving Sunglasses
Every gearhead needs a reliable pair of polarized driving sunglasses. They’re great at reducing sun glare and reflection coming off the road, other cars, and other sources. Eliminating glare means having better visibility and keeping not only yourself but everyone else safe on the road. Polarized lenses also enhance colors and make objects appear sharper, giving a clearer view for even safer driving. Whether it’s bright and sunny outside or the skies are overcast, these specialized shades can help out a lot.
4. Smartphone Mount
Car lovers and car owners would love to spend their precious money on car attachments rather than using them to pay for an expensive fine. So, be sure to add a smartphone mount to your gifting list. It will help them mount their smartphone to a fixed spot on the dash or windshield, allowing them to safely and conveniently use their smartphone for navigation or entertainment purposes. Plus, there are lots of cool designs, too!
5. Tire Inflator
If the car owner you know has already filled up his car with useful attachments and you’re looking for a practical gift instead, your best bet is giving them a tire inflator. This tool is handy in keeping tires correctly filled up for a smooth ride and will definitely help during roadside emergencies.
Find a tire inflator with a cordless design to make inflating easier and one with an auto-off feature so they’ll never have to fret about over-inflating their tires. What’s great is that tire inflators aren’t meant for tires alone. If they need to inflate cushions, balls, and other inflatables inside their home, they can definitely do so.
6. Car-themed Books
Enjoying the world of cars doesn’t always entail being on the road, getting messy under the hood, or watching car-themed flicks like “Fast & Furious” or “The Transporter”. Sometimes, gifting car lovers would already appreciate a good old book about cars that can keep them entertained for hours. There are many types of book titles available. You can choose from novels to history books or coffee table books about design concepts. You’re lucky if they happen to be car-loving bookworms!
7. Dash Camera
While we don’t want our loved ones and friends to experience or witness any accidents, such situations are sometimes inevitable. If they don’t have one yet, make it a priority to give them a dash cam for their safety and security. This device can serve as extra sets of eyes on the front and back of the car which can help them capture any accident on camera. Thus, skipping the he-said, she-said part when claiming insurance and saving them from hefty legal fees if the accident isn’t their fault.
8. Seat Cushion
Normal car seats are usually hard and stiff, and wouldn’t normally take the body shape or allow one to sit in the correct posture, making long-distance driving uncomfortable. Make any automotive enthusiast happy by giving him a good seat cushion. With various features like anti-slip bottom and backing, built-in handles, and heating and cooling abilities that all ensure unparalleled comfort, long car rides will no longer be an issue at all.
9. Kick Mats
Preserving a car’s interior transcends just only protecting the floor. If your friend or loved one has kids, they’re most likely facing the problem of their little ones messing up their seats with unwanted dirt, sand, mud, or scuff marks. To end their woes, you can gift them kick mats that are specifically designed to fit and cover their entire seats, making them mess-free at all times.
10. Leather Keychains
Car keychains never have to be boring. Like how car lovers spend time customizing every detail of their vehicles, they will also love a little personalization on their keychains. You can buy them cool custom-made leather keychains stamped with their names or words of your choice. From a safe space to keep their keys, they can now have the chance to show off their beautiful keychains as they go about their day.
11. LEGO Kits
If they’re interested in legendary cars, this gift is certain to please. LEGO kits are one of the coolest presents for classic automotive fans anywhere. There are many models to choose like the Chevrolet Camaro Z28, Porsche 911, and the Ford Mustang, which will help them drive down memory lane and relive some of history’s best-loved icons. In addition, building LEGO kits is a great activity for all ages, so it’s a sure hit for appropriately-aged kids alike.
12. Car Cleaning Kit
Most say that a clean and tidy car drives better. However, keeping a car clean can sometimes be a daunting task, especially if you don’t have the right tools to do so. With that, any car owner will appreciate getting a car cleaning kit. Complete with wash soap, glass cleaner, tire shine, detail spray, cream wax, cleaning brush, wash mitt, microfiber cloth, and other cleaning accessories, car care has never been easier.
13. Mechanic’s tool kit
Every car people need its own toolset for inspection, maintenance, and quick repairs. Quit having your car person make do with whatever is left on his old toolbox to get the job done. Gift him his new mechanic’s tool kit that contains the necessary tools he needs from wrenches, screwdrivers, ratchets, sockets, and hex keys to help him tackle everything he needs to work on his beloved car.
14. Driving Loafers
Driving loafers are the ideal shoes for cruising. They have thin, flexible soles that allow a car driver to maximize the feel of the pedals and hit them with better ease. These shoes are also lightweight, comfortable, and breathable, which means they feel good on the feet. Plus, they’re also very stylish, so your car enthusiast can expect to still look good after they park the car and get out.
15. Driving Gloves
Driving gloves aren’t intended for race car drivers only. Any car person will also love to have driving gloves as a gift. They help reduce the vibrations from the wheel that often tire the hands during long hours of driving.
During the fall and winter, they keep the hands warm, ensuring that the wearer won’t lose grip from maneuvering due to the freezing cold.
Lastly, they also help preserve the steering wheels, acting as barriers from the oils and sweat from the hand. Don’t worry, as there are lots of sizes, colors, and cool designs to choose from, so you won’t have a hard time finding the perfect fit for them.
16. Car Jump Starter
Getting stranded with a dead car battery in an isolated place is among the most terrible situations car owners won’t like to be in. Save your loved one from such an experience by getting them a car jump starter. It provides charge to a vehicle immediately without a plug socket, making them very useful during emergency situations. They’re small enough to keep in a car, so any road warrior is sure to welcome one.
17. Fun T-Shirts
Whether it’s one with a striking saying about cars, the logo of their favorite car brand, or custom-made designs, a fun and cozy T-shirt is a definite hit to any car buff. Your car-loving family member or colleague will surely love to wear the shirt to let the world know how big their love is for cars.
18. Racing Socks
Another perfect gift that will impress car lovers is a pair of racing socks. Usually made of a blend of cotton, spandex, and polyamide, making them ultra-soft, comfy, and breathable. Yet, what they love more are the nice-looking prints of car parts, race track accessories, fast cars, cool patterns, and smile-inducing sayings that highlight and flaunt their obsession with speed.
Are you looking for a foolproof gift instead? You can never go wrong in gifting a classic watch. Look for one with a timeless design and layout, comfortable band, added features like a backlight, and suitable size and weight. A perfect watch can complement their driving apparel and make them feel more confident as they take on the day.
20. Automotive Cufflinks
Does your car-loving friend like to wear cufflinks even on random days? Perfect! Available in unique designs and layouts like a speedometer, manual transmission, spark plug, vintage car, steering wheel, and other extraordinary finds, these cufflinks will undoubtedly bring delight to any car lover or car owner. Most are reasonably priced and come in a gift box, so all that’s left to do is hand them over your thoughtful present.
21. Laser Radar Detector
Radar detectors are devices that alert drivers, both visually and audibly, of police lasers and radar waves both in front and back of the vehicle. While most people think these tools are for saving themselves from speeding tickets, the bigger reason for having laser radar detectors is to become more aware of what’s going around and have additional situational awareness. Thus, reducing the risk of mishaps and making driving safer. So, if you wish to make the recipient an even more responsible and reliable driver, this device is the ideal gift.
22. Coloring Book
Love for cars is for all ages. If you’re finding something to find little gearheads the best gift, you can consider giving them car-themed coloring books. There are many coloring books to choose from like ones that feature the classic cars from the 1950s, the muscle cars of the 1960s to the 1970s, or the modern hypercars of the 21st century. Not only will kids enjoy the activity, but it will also help them know some of the world’s most popular cars.
23. Canvas Wall Art
Passion for cars doesn’t end on the road. You’ve likely encountered car lovers keeping an assortment of decorations in their homes, ranging from posters, scale models, wall clocks, and everything else under the sun that features a car. A collection addition you can give them to that is canvas wall art that showcases their favorite car. A stunning adornment that they can hang wherever they like.
24. Car Trash Bin
Trash is never meant to go on the floor, or worse, stay hidden under the seat. To further help keep car owners keep the interior of their car clean and prevent a messy environment, give them a car trash bin. Most come with an adjustable quick-clip strap and are easy to install on both front and rear headrest or the center console, so there’s no more reason for garbage to lurk elsewhere around.
25. Travel Duffel Bag
A travel duffel bag is the best gift for any car enthusiast that engages on long road trips. With all the gear they need to bring for a weekend getaway, a camping vacation, or a family leisure activity, they need the right bag with ample capacity to carry their clothes and other essentials. These bags usually come with convenient shoulder straps and handles, making them easy to bring, and inside zippers, pouches, and compartments for easier storage. They are also usually durable, keeping items safe during the entire adventure.
26. Custom-Made Air Freshener
Car air fresheners can do wonders in making vehicles smell nicer, but put yourself in the receiver’s shoes and you can see that they are quite an unexciting gift idea. To get out of the boring zone, you can get a custom-made car freshener that will feature something memorable or something that reflects the car owner’s personality. For sure, it’ll be an attention-grabber and a great conversation starter for those who’ll ride their vehicle!
27. Car Organizer
All rides must be clutter-free and one of the best ways to do that is to keep all the essentials tidy and in proper shape in one convenient spot through a car organizer. This must-have car accessory comes with spacious compartments that the car owner can use for storing tissues, wallets, umbrellas, bottles, and other items that shouldn’t be wandering around the car seat, floor, or dashboard.
28. Speaker System
Most new car owners turn out disappointed with the quality of the speaker system in their vehicle, given that most manufacturers only install basic units that simply get the job done. Don’t let that ruin their supposed-to-be fun experience enjoying their new car. An easy solution is gifting them a high-quality speaker system that produces great bass and clean, crystal-clear, strong sound to level up their audio experience.
29. Dog Seat Cover with a Hammock
Some car lovers are pet lovers as well, and even bring their beloved pooch on their rides. A dog seat cover with a hammock is a practical gift as it helps keep their pet from messing up their car’s floor, backseat, and interior. It also serves as a gift to the dog, as the hammock gives them a space to comfortably play or lie in, making the canine enjoy the trip.
30. Custom Car Window Decal
Every car buff will adore a fun car window decal. You can have a personalized decal and design it based on how you think they would love it, from the logo, text, font, size, and background color. Your rules – all for the happiness of the automobile junkie in your life.
31. Car Emergency Roadside Assistance Kit
There can never be a convenient time for a car to break down, but mishaps do happen. When they do, a part of the stress can be relieved if a car owner has an emergency roadside assistance kit to rely on. These include an impressive assortment of useful items like a basic toolset for minor repairs, warning triangles, safety cones, a flashlight, and bungee cords. There are even other items that will help the driver survive, such as an emergency blanket, an alert whistle, and a first-aid kit. With this gift, your loved one or friend can be virtually prepared for any situation they may face on the road.
How Much Should You Spend?
Your gift’s price is an entirely personal decision you need to make based on your budget and preference. Luckily, the items on this list offer a great price range, from cheap to relatively expensive, allowing you to find something that will fit your budget. Yet, truth to be told, the price is something you shouldn’t be worrying about that much. The adage “it’s the thought that matters” may seem outdated, but is still applicable today. The kind intention is more important than your gift’s price and your car-loving friends or family members will surely be grateful for whatever they may receive.
Should You Pick a Fun Gift or a Practical One?
It’s another personal choice. You’re the one who ultimately knows the personality of the recipient and the special considerations when finding a gift that will make them feel happy.
For instance, if the recipient is somewhat close to you and is known for his fun-loving demeanor, you can opt for fun gifts like a custom car window decal of your special memory together or a comic car-themed T-shirt.
If you are gifting a new car owner, going for practicality is ideal, which means you can consider gifting him a dash camera, a tire inflator, a mechanic’s tool kit, or a roadside emergency assistance kit. If he loves car accessories instead, a smartphone mount, a neck pillow, a car trash bin, or a car organizer are the most suitable.
On the other hand, you may consider gifting them polarized driving sunglasses, driving loafers, a seat cushion, or driving gloves if you think they prefer to feel more comfortable when driving. Maybe, they’ll be happy to have better tools to keep their car clean. With that, it’s best to opt for a car vacuum or a car cleaning kit.
If you’re gifting a man, they will more likely appreciate an upgrade with their speaker system, a watch, a pair of cufflinks, or racing socks. As for women, they are more into organization and cleaning, as well as safety, so better to gift something that meets those categories.
Finding the perfect car gift for car lovers and car owners never has to be difficult. With a little research and knowing what they like, it will be a piece of cake to find what’s the best for them and what can keep their hearts racing.