“It’s the thought that counts.” But if you’re not a car person, how can you think of the perfect gift for your gearhead friends? This holiday season, CarGurus has done the thinking for you with a list of automotive presents sure to delight car lovers of every age and type.
1. MAXSA Escaper Buddy Traction Mat
Over the hills and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. But if we’re late because our car got stuck in snow, the pie will get cold and Grandma will be worried. Better than a bag of kitty litter, a pair of plastic traction mats can be slid under a stuck car’s wheels, allowing it to grip and claw its way out of the snow.
2. BlueSkyBos Emergency Escape Tool
It’s not often you give a gift that you hope will never get used. But that’s the case with number 2 on our list. In the event of an bad accident, this multi-function 5-in-1 escape tool could be a real life saver. Complete with an LED flashlight, seatbelt cutter, emergency whistle, a strong needle for deflating airbags, and a metal hammer for situations that require you to break a window.
3. Aukey Magnetic Phone Mount
If you’re shopping for someone who spends a lot of time in their car, a magnetic smartphone mount is an absolute must. A slim magnet can be either adhered to the back of their phone, or sandwiched between the phone and its case. Press it against the magnetic mount to keep it surprisingly secure while driving. In a world where most of us use our phone for navigation, rather than a system built into the car, a mount is a practical and safe option. You can find some that connect to vehicle air vents, but an equally useful method is to attach the mount via the CD-player slot.
4. Anker Soundsync Drive Bluetooth 4.0 Car Receiver
Streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music allow drivers to leave their 208-CD binders behind and enjoy tunes straight from their phone. If you’re shopping for someone with an older car, a Bluetooth receiver makes for a great gift. While a simple auxiliary cable might handle playing music just as easily, a Bluetooth receiver offers the added bonus of simplifying hands-free phone calls and is a cost-effective way of bringing older car technology up to date.
5. Tile Mate Key Finder
Never let your friends lose their keys again. A simple key tracker like the Tile Mate uses a smartphone app, which forgetful folks can use to make the corresponding keychain dongle ring—or vice versa, so they can use their car keys to find their phone, too.
6. Autodromo Watch
Maybe it’s the importance of the stopwatch in motorsport’s legacy, but for some reason, cars and watches have always seemed to go hand-in-hand. For the gearhead with a passion for auto racing, an Autodromo watch makes for a very thoughtful gift. Inspired by the Ford GT at Le Mans and the Group B rally cars of the 1980s.
7. Linear Edge Race Track Wall Art
A little bit of automotive appreciation belongs on every gearhead’s wall. Linear Edge crafts 2D and 3D sculptures of famous race tracks out of wood. From Belle Isle Grand Prix to the Nurburgring, and from Spa-Francorchamps to Watkins Glen International, these sculptures will put a smile on any racing fan’s face.
8. Car Coffee Table Book
If you’re shopping for someone who loves learning about cars as much as they love driving them, a coffee table book won’t disappoint. We’re particularly big fans of Randy Leffingwell’s Porsche 911: 50 Years and The Complete Book of Corvette, by Mike Mueller.
9. Lego Ferrari F40 Construction Set
This one might seem perfect for children, but we know plenty of adults who would be thrilled to receive Lego’s 1,158-piece Ferrari F40 construction set. Complete with hinges to open the trunk and engine cover, this model shows off a Lego-ized version of Ferrari’s famous 90-degree V8 engine. You can also find kits ranging from the Volkswagen T1 Camper Van, to the MINI Cooper, to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
10. Meguiar’s Complete Car Kit
Finally, true car fanatics take great joy in one task that many others loathe: the car wash. A complete car-care kit with shampoo, wax, and one of those funny-looking sponge mittens is the perfect gift for that driver who likes to see their reflection in the paintwork and won’t let you eat in the passenger’s seat. Maybe if you’re lucky, they’ll wash and wax your car, too!