Cars are never a complete package, even fully-loaded. Thankfully, there are accessories out there that makes living with them a lot more interesting. Here are 30 of the best (and strangest) accessories for your ride:
1. Jumper cables
2. Multi-hub car charger
3. Roof rack
4. Car vacuum
5. Seat cushion
6. Cellphone holder
7. Retractable license plate holder
8. Pet seat belt
9. Trailer/tow hitch
10. In-car vomit bags
11. Car cover
12. Window deflectors
13. Mud flaps/guards
14. Bug shield
15. Window tint
16. Steering wheel cover
18. Cargo net
19. Car jack
20. Bike rack
21. Rubber floor mats
22. Automatic trunk release kit
23. In-car DVD player/Entertainment system
25. Baby car seat
26. "Shark fin" radio antenna
27. Add-on car ashtray
28. Tailgate BBQ set
29. Sun shield
30. Car window louvres
- 1. Jumper cables
- 2. Multi-hub car...
- 3. Roof rack
- 4. Car vacuum
- 5. Seat cushion
- 6. Cellphone holder
- 7. Retractable...
- 8. Pet seat belt
- 9. Trailer/tow hitch
- 10. In-car vomit...
- 11. Car cover
- 12. Window...
- 13. Mud flaps/guards
- 14. Bug shield
- 15. Window tint
- 16. Steering...
- 17. Carlashes
- 18. Cargo net
- 19. Car jack
- 20. Bike rack
- 21. Rubber floor...
- 22. Automatic...
- 23. In-car DVD...
- 24. Side-steps
- 25. Baby car seat
- 26. "Shark fin"...
- 27. Add-on car...
- 28. Tailgate BBQ set
- 29. Sun shield
- 30. Car window...
One of the earliest examples of must-have car accessories. A pair of good ol’ jumper cables could make all the difference between an (expensive) tow to the nearest auto shop and a five-minute hook-up to a Good Samaritan’s battery.
In the modern age of electronic devices, having a car charger is not only beneficial to our cellphones and iPods, but necessary — especially if you are at one-percent battery life and need some electro-juice fast. A multi-hub universal charger (pictured above) is usually the ideal choice because you don’t have to worry if your device has the wrong hub.
Even in a car with the most generous cargo space, some things just don’t fit — say, a kayak, or a pair of skis. So, if it won’t go in, it goes up — if cross-country travel is commonplace in your lifestyle, this should make you wonder why you don’t have a roof rack by now.
When it comes to a quick interior cleaner-upper, a car vacuum is the perfect way to go, especially if you constantly have to ferry the kids and their friends around place to place. Battery-powered vacuums tend to be more compact but less powerful; charger cable-based models are the better choice.
While a supremely comfortable seat cushion can’t rival the ergonomically built-in luxury of a Mercedes-Benz S Class, it can still make a big difference on your back and bottom. Some are heated, and if you really want to go all the way, others even come with a massage feature and lumbar support, ideal for long trips.
Looking around for your cellphone while driving is frustrating and very dangerous, but fortunately, there’s a solution: the cellphone holder. Most can be mounted onto the dashboard via a suction cup or can even be plugged into your car’s lighter/charger socket. This way, your phone stays exactly where you want it, for when you want it.
How many times have you looked at your front bumper and said “this licence plate is ruining my car’s style”? Well, good news: there’s a way to restore your car’s clean front-end look and still be road-legal, thanks to this nifty accessory that allows your front licence plate mount to fold underneath the bumper like it’s not even there. Most are manually operated, though some are electric. Either way, don’t forget to pop it back up when the law requires it.
The relationship between man and machine is a special one, but even more so is the one between man and dog. A pet seat belt unites all three – and adds safety – just in case Ol’ Yeller in the back gets too ambitious and wants to chew on a passing hatchback.
If it wasn’t for this accessory, we wouldn’t really be able to carry much anywhere — just whatever we could fit in our trunk. While a trailer hitch can be bolted on to most types of vehicles, some (notably SUVs and crossovers) can make better use of it than others.
Who said only planes can have vomit bags? In case your fellow passengers wish to relieve their stomach contents all over your seats and dashboard (thanks to all those hard corners you’re taking) there’s a disposable remedy right in front of them. Even comes with a car logo on the bag, so they can’t miss it.
Regardless of whether you park you car outside or inside, a car cover can help keep your car’s luster looking healthy for a few good years. Besides being relatively cheap, a car cover is pretty good at repelling things like dust and liquids, though it likely still won’t stop your cat from taking a nap on it…
These strange-looking, bulbous pieces of plastic are mounted just above a car’s doors to prevent rain from entering inside when the windows are down. Deflectors have been around since cars gained doors and windows — they also work as wind deflectors on sunroof/moonroof-equipped vehicles.
Off-roading or not, a pair of mud guards is probably one of the best ways to keep your rear bumper clean and mud-free. Also known as splash guards, they’re usually made of either plastic or flexible rubber – and though most unfortunately need some hole-drilling into your bumper for installation, other types can be clipped on.
What does an insect do post-mortem after it literally disintegrates into your windshield at 60 km/h? It takes revenge by making a mess of everything. Prevent this with a bug shield (or deflector), which essentially bounces the bugs’ carcasses off and away from the windshield. While a bug shield sounds ultra-violent, keep in mind that it also acts as a stone deflector for your front hood as well.
Besides adding a cool aesthetic appeal to the vehicle, window tinting reduces the amount of UV that enters your car, and ups your privacy. The darkness of the window tint you are legally allowed varies province to province and state to state (in Ontario, rear windshield and passenger windows can be completely dark, with limited tint in the front and none on the windshield).
The steering wheel is the most important and interactive part of your car, so why not give it some style? Some steering wheel covers are even made of leather and faux-wood vinyl, for that extra-luxurious look. Or, you can go and get a fuzzy cover that matches your fuzzy dice. The choices are unlimited.
Hey girls (and guys), if you want to give your car a little extra femininity, this is the perfect accessory. Made of flexible plastic or rubber, these “carlashes” can be attached just above the headlights — that is, if you really, really want to do that to yourself and the car.
Even with the best designed trunks, nothing really stops your groceries or brand-new crystal set from bouncing around to destruction, making a cargo net the best option. Most are installed as optional extras at dealerships, however aftermarket cargo nets are available as well – so now when you pop your trunk, it’s not filled with broken glass and squashed eggs.
When it comes to roadside emergencies and blowouts, the car jack is the most important, nay, the only car accessory that will get you out of trouble. Using a screw system that is driven by a tire iron (car jack kits usually come with it) it allows you to hoist your car up enough off the ground to perform the necessary repairs. Owners’ manuals explain where and how to use your car jack, so be sure to give that chapter a read.
Why miss an opportunity to check out some trails or ride down the beach boardwalk? Bike racks give you that freedom – and, depending on how many bikes you wish to carry, some bumper-mounted models (pictured above) can take several bikes, depending on their size. These tend to be more affordable and easier to mount on-off, unlike hitch-mount racks that need to be bolted beneath the chassis. Roof-mount bike racks are also common, albeit make sure not to drive through low-height entrances.
Standard car floor mats can take a lot of punishment, but that doesn’t mean they’ll last forever. And, when it comes to the winter season, rubber floor mats are the first line of protection from salt and melting, dirty snow. Sets of four are abundant everywhere, be sure to check if they fit in right without obstructing any pedals or seat adjustments.
The trunk release feature is cool and handy on any car, but still an expensive one at that – which means having to manually pop the trunk while carrying several bags of groceries. It’s not fun, but don’t fret though, as available aftermarket trunk auto-release kits can do pretty much the same thing. What they do, however varies kit to kit- some have a basic “trigger” motor that unlocks the trunk lid, while others use a spring system as well that actually flips the trunk lid wide open.
Road trips are always fun, but let’s face it – after the first few rocks and trees, things get a bit boring there in the back. In-car DVD players and entertainment systems make for a pretty simple distraction (albeit only for the passengers) – pop in a movie, and it all gets a lot easier for everybody to take on the kilometers.
While some trucks/SUVs may come already equipped with these, side-steps can make getting in and out of a tall vehicle a lot easier and dignified – especially if getting behind the wheel each time feels like a climb. Depending on your needs and taste, some side-step kits are available with a chrome finish, and some even come with rubber mounts for better grip.
Soon after the car was conceived, engineers bumped into a worrying safety question: what happens to an infant in case of an accident? How do we keep them safe and in place? Well, that’s where the baby seat comes in. Size, type and installation really depends on the child’s age, as well as the vehicle you have, but most get latched onto the chassis for a solid hold, and come equipped with padding all around the head, arms and legs, as well as a 4-way safety harness.
Commonly seen on high-end luxury sedans and coupes, the shark fin antenna is the modern answer to the standard car aerial antenna – and much cooler, too. Shark fin antenna kits are fairly abundant among aftermarket auto retailers, should you be interested – keep in mind though, no receiver or wiring is usually included and are sold separately, but then again, sometimes aesthetics are all that matter anyway.
In an age when we are encouraged to live healthy and be economical, the common in-car ashtray is another one of those things that is slowly fading from cars, having been reduced to a tiny hole or not even being equipped at all. Thankfully however, smokers can bring that ash-free joy back into their cars with mountable aftermarket car ashtrays – some even light up when you click them open!
Food and motoring. When it comes to combining the two, this is it. Whether they slide out or are mounted onto the rear hitch, tailgate BBQ sets aren’t as uncommon as you’d imagine, but it never gets any less strange when seeing them on public roads – usually with applied stickers such as “Bumper Chef” and “Cook This!”. Roadside picnic anyone?
These extendable pieces of sparking foil and cardboard have dwindled in popularity over the years, but can still serve a noble purpose of keeping your dashboard and everything on it from melting or catching fire from the sun’s heat.
When it came to standing out and looking “sporty”, rear-window car louvres were all the rage up until the late 80s, when they suddenly vanished into obscurity. Other than looking oddly cool, they didn’t really do anything for your car, other than add aerodynamic drag and weight.