gifts for car lovers
Cheapism

30 Popular Gifts for People Who Love Cars

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gifts for car lovers
Cheapism

Gifts for Gearheads

Few holiday shoppers can spring for one of the luxury cars wrapped in bows that automakers advertise on TV at this time of year, but there are many fun and practical inexpensive gifts that will rev the engine of any auto enthusiast. Each of these items, from accessories to gadgets to maintenance supplies, garners strong ratings from online reviewers and is widely available at the usual mass merchandise emporia and specialty retailers. Looking for more car-related gift ideas (or perhaps some items for your own car for safety and convenience)? Check out 25 Items You Should Always Keep in Your Car.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: Unique Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Meguiar's Ultimate Liquid Wax
Amazon

Car Detailing Products

$16 from Amazon
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Auto lovers may not ordinarily treat themselves to high-end car waxes, (or wheel cleaners, tire dressings, and the like ...) but these practical maintenance supplies typically cost $5 to $20 at big-box or specialty retailers. Stick with premium brands such as Mothers or Meguair's, names and products that will mean something to someone who is serious about cars.

Related: Show Some Brotherly Love with These Great Gifts for Brothers

Amazon
Amazon

Echo Auto

$20 from Amazon
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You can now get all the convenience and annoyance of Alexa right on your dashboard with Echo Auto. Mounted on the vent, it can make any vehicle Alexa-compatible and it connects to your car’s speakers through your phone’s Bluetooth. Just like the standard Echo, it has multiple mics and far-field technology to pick up voice commands even over music or other loud background noise.

Related: Amazon Brand Products That Shoppers Love

Amazon
Amazon

Travel Cooler

$270 from Amazon
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The best car coolers are the ones that aren’t dependent on the amount of ice you can cram in with all the stuff you’re trying to keep cold. This 26-quart fast-cooling fridge from JoyTutus gets cold in 15 minutes and has thick insulation to keep it that way long after it’s unplugged. It can hold 24 bottles or 28 cans, and an included adapter lets you use it at home, at the campsite, or anywhere AC power flows. It has earned the title of Amazon’s Choice and it’s currently on sale.

Related: Gifts for RV Owners That'll Put 'Em on the Road in Style

Handheld Vacuum
Amazon

Handheld Vacuum

$40 from Amazon
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Any driver will appreciate this portable car vac by ThisWorx. Don’t let the low price fool you. Owners say this little 12-volt vac has plenty of power to suck up dirt, gravel, leaves, and whatever other debris finds its way into your vehicle. It plugs into your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet (what used to be the cigarette lighter) and comes with three attachments plus a carrying case to keep everything together when you stash it in the trunk.

Related: Top-Rated Cleaning Products on Amazon

Amazon
Amazon

Dash Cam

$45 from Amazon
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It’s hard to remember a time when an Apeman model wasn’t listed as Amazon’s Choice among affordable dashcams, and more than 15,000 reviews later, the brand is still tops. Providing peace of mind when dealing with law enforcement or for insurance purposes in the wake of an accident, Apeman dash cams are known for simplicity, reliability, affordability, and must-have features like loop recording, 1080p definition, and motion-detecting capabilities.

Related: The Best Gifts for Photographers from Newbies to Pros

Amazon
Amazon

Tile Mate Key Tracker

$25 from Amazon
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Misplaced car keys have been a part of owning cars since cars were a thing. That all ends with the Tile Mate. Bluetooth enabled and Amazon Certified to work with Alexa, the tiny little square can spare you from countless frustrating moments where you’re trying to get out the door but can’t because your keys are MIA. The No. 1 best-seller is waterproof and comes with a one-year replaceable battery.

Related: Thoughtful Gifts Under $25 for Grandma and Grandpa

Amazon
Amazon

Lego Technic Land Rover Defender

$198 from Amazon
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When the car lovers in your life aren’t actually in their cars, they can build the Land Rover of their dreams thanks to the LEGO Technic version of the British brand’s Defender model. Highly detailed and true to the source inspiration, the completed model is an homage to an off-road legend that became a status symbol.  

Related: Incredibly Fun Toys for Adults

Amazon
Amazon

Car-Themed Movies

From $8 on Amazon
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Many car guys and gals love the car-themed films from the late actor Steve McQueen, a real-life auto aficionado who did his own racing scenes. “Bullitt,” “Le Mans,” and other McQueen films from the 1960s and ’70s enjoy a cult following to this day, as do actor Vin Diesel’s more recent “Fast and Furious” movies. On Amazon, “Hobbs & Shaw” (the latest in the franchise) is available on DVD and Blu-ray, but you can also pick up “Bullitt” for about $6 on Blu-ray, and any car enthusiast with a backseat DVD player will appreciate a kid-friendly film such as Disney’s “Cars” ($15 on Amazon) to keep children entertained and allow parents to focus on the road.

Related: 25 Gift Ideas for Guys Under $25

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Amazon

‘Why We Drive’

From $13 on Amazon
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“Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road” is, according to Amazon, a “first-of-its-kind celebration of driving as a unique pathway of human freedom, one now critically threatened by automation.” An examination of humanity’s love affair with the automobile, it’s available for different prices as an ebook, paperback, or hardcover.

Related: Clever and Creative Gifts for Book Lovers

Home Depot
Home Depot

Jump Box

$149 from Home Depot
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A staple of auto emergency kits for generations, jumper cables are great — provided the stranded driver encounters someone who can help, who is willing to help, and who isn’t a ghoul who would jump at the chance to prey on a vulnerable motorist. A good, reliable jump box, like this DeWalt best-seller from Home Depot, puts the power in the hands — and the trunk — of the person whose car won’t start. With 1,400 peak amps, this rechargeable jump box can also deliver compressed air.

Electronic Tire-Pressure Gauge
Amazon

Electronic Tire-Pressure Gauge

$10 from Amazon
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Forget those old pencil tire-pressure gauges, which aren’t especially accurate. Electronic gauges with digital readouts are more precise and easier to read. Many sport a built-in LED light for easy viewing and some even come with carrying cases. This stocking stuffer is especially useful for a driver with an older car that lacks a built-in tire-pressure monitor—remember, properly inflating tires extends tread life and helps with gas mileage. Consumers posting reviews on Amazon like the accuracy and user-friendliness of this AstroAI product, a No. 1 best-seller that’s currently being sold at a discount.

Home Depot
Home Depot

Emergency Supplies

$30 from Home Depot
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A roadside emergency kit like this Orion 60-piece package contains the basics needed to get through a bad situation if something goes wrong. The kit comes with jumper cables, first-aid, light sticks, flares, gloves, cloth, and a poncho and reflective vest for staying safe and dry while making roadside repairs. It’s all packed in a handy carrying case designed to fit in the trunk and is likely the only gift you hope never gets used.

Related: 21 Things to Keep in Your Car For Safe Winter Driving

Advance Auto Gift Card
SVM

Parts Store Gift Card

$10 and up from Advance Auto Parts
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When all else fails, a gift card from a local auto parts store is a sure win. Gift cards acknowledge a love of cars while affording the giftee free reign over what to buy, relieving the gift giver from making tough choices. Car people know what their vehicles need, what maintenance is needed, and what brands they like. AutoZone, O’Reilly, and most other auto parts chains sell gift cards in various denominations, and many can be ordered online.

Home Depot
Home Depot

Mechanic’s Tool Set

$115 from Home Depot
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This 210-piece set from Stanley contains most of the hand tools an avid DIYer will need for repairs, modifications, and upgrades on a car while also coming in incredibly handy around the house. It includes a range of drive sockets and ratchets, hex keys, screwdrivers, wrenches and more, all crafted to meet or exceed ANSI standards and all backed by Stanley’s famous full lifetime warranty.

Related: DIY in the USA: Tools That Are Still Made in America

Target
Target

Trunk Organizer and Changing Station

$35 from Target
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If someone on your gift list has a car and a baby at the same time and is intent on preventing the latter from destroying the former, consider the Brica Out-N-About. It’s earned an amazing 4.9 out of five stars after nearly 70 reviews with a 100% recommendation rate. It keeps trunks clutter-free and babies well cared for in on-the-road emergencies.

Related: Practical and Thoughtful Gifts for New Parents

Amazon
Amazon

Remote-Control Car

$25 from Amazon
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Somewhere inside of every car lover is a kid who dreamed of one day getting a driver’s license. Not only can a remote-control car unleash that inner kid, but you don’t need to insure a remote-control car or get it registered. Not to mention, it’s hard to imagine there’s a better COVID quarantine distraction for killing idle time. This highly rated model won the title of Amazon’s Choice and comes with batteries included.

Related: 50 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Him Under $50

Amazon
Amazon

Novelty Socks

$7 from Amazon
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Part gag gift and part practical present, these left foot/right foot clutch/gas socks are good enough for an Amazon’s Choice selection and a 4.7-star rating. Mid-thickness and mid-length, the pair is perfect for anyone who counts themselves among the last of the dying tribe of drivers who still roll in a stick shift.

Related: Fun Gag Gifts

Amazon
Amazon

Ionizing Air Purifier

$24 from Amazon
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For about twice the price of a standard outlet converter, you can get a device that turns cigarette lighter outlets into two USB charging ports while also purifying the car’s cabin with ionizing technology. This purifier not only conquers smells from grossness like food, smoke, and pets, but it removes allergens, pollen, dust, and bacteria from the air — all without masking scents from traditional air fresheners.

Amazon
Amazon

Outlet Converters

$15 from Amazon
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Many competing brands sell phone chargers that draw power from the little outlet that push-down cigarette lighters used to go into. Few, however, have ratings of 4.8 on Amazon after nearly 15,000 reviews. Taking the title of Amazon’s Choice in the category is this car charger adapter by Hussell, which has ports for two USB cords and stands out as one of the smallest options on the market. It promises charges at four times the usual speed—even when two devices are charging at once.

WeatherTech
WeatherTech

WeatherTech CupFone

$35 from WeatherTech
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WeatherTech is famous for its custom, laser-fitted floor mats, but its CupFone phone holder might just be the best auto accessory the company makes. Designed to fit snugly into any cupholder, it keeps your phone below the windshield, off the dash, and free from dangling cords when charging—all without being pinned to the heating vent.

Target
Target

Back Seat Organizer

$25 from Target
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Even for drivers without babies, a good organizer can prevent your back seat from turning into a rolling storage shed for tissues, receipts, snacks, hair brushes, and all the other clutter that makes messy cars messy. The Skip Hop Style Driven backseat organizer hangs over either of the front seats and provides pockets and holders to keep everything neat and easily accessible.

Target
Target

Portable Tire Inflator

$20 from Target
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The tire pressure warning light is never a welcome sight on the highway, especially on road trips when an underinflated tire is calling for relief and the nearest gas station is miles away. A must-have item for any roadside kit, a highly rated tire inflator like the Slime 12-volt 40050 is powered by your vehicle and inflates sluggish tires on cars, SUVs, and light trucks for those times when help is not on the way.

Related: 50 Unique Holiday Gift Ideas for Her Under $50

Target
Target

Fix A Flat

$14 from Target
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An automatic inflator is a lifesaver in a pinch if a tire is low. If you get a flat, however, no pump in the world can get you from point A to point B — unless you have Fix A Flat. Since 1970, Fix A Flat has been the go-to spray can for roadside tire repair. A little bit of mechanic’s magic in a can, Fix A Flat repairs tears and punctures while also inflating the damaged tire to get you back to driving safely, smoothly, and fully inflated long enough to swap that old tire for a new one.

Dry Rite Heavy Weight Premium Plush Microfiber Cloth
Amazon

Chamois Cleaning Cloths

$12 from Amazon (2 ct.)
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Car enthusiasts who wash their vehicles by hand will not be disappointed with chamois cloths or mitts, considered the gold standard for car care. Soft chamois won’t scratch a vehicle’s paint but does wear out over time, so having a fresh supply on hand is never a bad idea. Stick to products marked “microfiber,” which is gentlest on automotive finishes.

Bell Automotive Spike License Plate Frame
Amazon

Custom License Plate Frame

$20 from Amazon
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Combine a love of cars with that of a sports team, a state, or just about anything else with a custom license plate or frame. Holiday shoppers can find items that honor music groups, car brands, political causes, and more. This macho Bell Automotive spike license plate frame is just one possibility. Novelty plates start at about $4, but first, make sure state law allows non-standard plates on the front of a car.

Amazon
Amazon

The ChapStick Keychain

$10 from Amazon (6 ct.)
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Although it’s commonly called the ChapStick keychain, this cult-classic accessory is not made by the famous lip balm company. Slapped with bright floral-psychedelic patterns, it’s designed to keep snug one tube of lip balm in the standard tube shape that ChapStick made universal. Tubes of lip balm, after all, were made to be lost in cars.

Amazon
Amazon

Floor Mats

$27 from Amazon
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Winter means snow, slush, sleet, and ice, all of which can ugly up and devalue a vehicle’s carpeting. These FH Group heavy duty floor mats have tall outer ridges to trap whatever gets tracked in, they’re available in several colors to match a vehicle’s interior, and are custom fit to your car—just use the dropdown menus to enter your vehicle information. Since they’re made of rubber, they’re easy to clean.

Amazon
Amazon

Automatic Battery Tender

$25 from Amazon
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Anyone who owns a rarely driven custom car will appreciate a battery tender, a little electronic device that plugs into a standard outlet to monitor the battery and charge it up when necessary. Auto parts stores and big-box retailers typically carry these gadgets, which are available in a range of models for everything from motorcycles and ATVs to passenger cars and full-size trucks. The Deltran Battery Tender Junior gets terrific owner reviews on Amazon and is currently being sold at a steep discount.

Motor Oil and Oil Filter
Walmart
Amazon
Amazon

Oil Filters

$14 from Amazon
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Pair a jug of motor oil with a highly rated oil filter, like this Mobil 1 M1-110 Extended Performance product available on Amazon, and it’s a complete gift. Be sure the filter fits the recipient’s vehicle just as you would first make sure the oil is the specified type.