Brad FickCar and Driver
Looking for a fun or functional gift for the car lover in your life, but don’t know where to start? Lucky for you, the car-obsessed editors here at Car and Driver are also excellent gift givers and we know exactly what gifts the auto enthusiast in your life will love. We have gifts for all ages and interests, including toys and books for kids, tools for DIY mechanics, and many car care products to keep the paint shining and the upholstery like new.
Dreading the holiday shopping crowds and the accompanying seasonal mayhem? Don’t worry, it’s 2021! All of the items here can be shipped from online vendors, so let your mouse pointer do the shopping and surprise the auto enthusiasts on your list with something that will make their car-loving hearts skip a beat. We invite you for a leisurely scroll through our virtual car-lover shopping mall, or for a more focused experience, click one of the buttons below to jump immediately to a desired category.
Heel Tread Socks
There’s a more inconspicuous way to display your auto enthusiasm than branded T-shirts—these brilliantly detailed socks from Heel Tread, for example. Heel Tread’s designs cover much of the automotive world and feature iconic styles such as the Gulf livery, BMW’s M division’s classic colors, and the same plaid pattern used on the original Volkswagen GTI. These colorful socks will let you represent your favorite automotive brand even when you’re in a suit and tie.
Kareless Apparel and Accessories
Kareless is more than an online apparel store, it’s a network focused on a shared love of cars, motorcycles, and extreme sports. We tip our hats at the creators of Kareless and love their T-shirt designs. Not only do they offer shirts, but a number of accessories such as keychains, stickers, and hats are available to augment your Kareless look.
R&T Shop – Enthusiast Apparel and Accessories
Treat yourself or the auto enthusiast in your life to some sweet gear from Road & Track. With prices starting at $16, these affordable and stylish gifts feature the Live the Drive slogan or the R&T logo. We suggest bundling the long-sleeve t-shirt with the beanie and the coffee mug to create a perfect kit for a cozy winter morning.
Honda Vintage Culture Tees
Anyone can slap a logo on a T-shirt, but Honda Vintage Culture takes it a step further with officially licensed images from Honda that showcase the brand’s racing heritage. Two of the available T-shirts feature the infamous RA271 F1 race car in 1964. The company also makes two stylish and high-quality zipper jackets modeled after vintage mechanic uniforms from the 1960s.
Custom Knockaround Sunglasses
Know someone who can’t be trusted to not break or lose an expensive pair of sunglasses? We all know (or are) that guy. Well even if you can’t afford a set of designer shades that doesn’t mean you’re limited to options off the gas station rack. Knockaround, purveyor of stylish-but-affordable sunglasses, now has an option to customize a pair of your own from over 1,000,000 different combinations. Some are wacky and wild, but we were able to create this muted gray-and-rose-gold ensemble that really pops with the mirrored lenses.
Bellroy Key Cover
From the same genuine leather used for their wallets, Bellroy has fashioned this handy key cover to keep your keys organized, slim down your pocket, and eliminate the annoying jangling sound of a traditional key ring. A magnetic clasp keeps the cover closed. An exterior hook is perfect for larger car keys.
Bellroy Men’s and Women’s Wallets
Fine leathers and a commitment to simple but well-designed wallets are what set Bellroy apart from the competition. We appreciate the attention to detail and the wide variety of sizes. Their wallets offer RFID protection to help keep your data safe from high-tech thieves, and the women’s clutch holds far more than its compact shape would suggest. Whether you’re looking for a nice piece to use when dressing up or something to carry every day, the Bellroy line of wallets and purses is worth a look.
Felix Gray Polarized Sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses have long been a staple of car guys and gals to help block out glare and provide a clear view of the road ahead. But some brands take the polarization a little too far, turning everything a shade sepia. Felix Gray has gotten things just right with its line of sunglasses, offered in a variety of styles. These sunglasses are lightweight, thanks to thin lenses and Italian acetate frames, and they wear comfortably for long periods of time.
Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves
A nice pair of driving gloves really enhances a chilly spring or fall joy ride, and these beautiful and functional mitts from Autodromo are perfect. The soft leather palm provides a strong grip on the steering wheel, and the stitched back breathes nicely to help avoid sweating. Is your car lover also a watch enthusiast? These gloves have a split-cuff design that creates extra room for a timepiece.
Handmade Fordite Jewelry
Integrate a love for cars into your wardrobe in a subtle way with jewelry made of fordite by Urban Relic Design. Chunks of fordite, which is also known as motor agate, are formed from layers of automotive paint and chipped off the machines at manufacturing plants. The artist shapes and polishes these man-made “gemstones,” then sets them into gold, silver, stainless steel, or copper to create truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Rings, necklaces, earrings, and cufflinks are all available.
The Authentic Race MK2 Driving Gloves
Nothing says luxury like a great pair of driving gloves like these fingerless mitts from The Outlierman. Made from nappa lambskin, these gloves feel super soft and provide excellent grip on the steering wheel—something that’s handy for all cars, not just those classics with wood-rimmed wheels. Knuckle cutouts provide flexibility and ventilation while a high-quality metal snap secures the glove at your wrist. A leather pouch is included to keep your gloves safely stored when not in use.
ic! berlin x Mercedes-Benz Sunglasses
Luxury eyewear company ic! berlin has teamed up with one of Germany’s most revered automakers–Mercedes-Benz–for a line of automotive-inspired sunglasses. These lightweight shades are made from stainless steel and are available in a variety of designs to match your Mercedes. The black MB-01 (shown in the center) would look quite nice behind the wheel of a black E-class coupe, while the MB Shield (lower left) is more futuristic, like the Mercedes EQC electric SUV.
Simpson Hybrid S HANS Device
Keeping your head on, literally and figuratively, when you’re lapping is critical. While the Simpson Hybrid S head restraint won’t help with red mist, it is a smart bit of safety equipment for track driving in cars with three-point seatbelts—a HANS device requires at least a four-point belt to work. This restraint is worn over the shoulders and chest and connects to the user’s helmet to limit neck and head movement in the event of sudden and unintended deceleration. We use them while setting lap times at our annual Lightning Lap test.
Hot Wheels ID Jaguar Cars
Jaguar and Hot Wheels have teamed up to immortalize the British automaker’s lineup in die cast form and the results are super fun. The brand’s all-electric I-Pace SUV and F-type Project 7 have been rendered in the ID line of cars, which can be linked to a smartphone or tablet app so kids can see their racing stats and play digital games. Elsewhere, Jaguar’s gorgeous 2021 F-type sports car joins the Factory Fresh line in a dazzling blue paint job which looks like it just rolled off the dealer showroom.
CandyLab Toys Candycars
Like the larger CandyLab cars, these bite-sized wooden Candy Cars are brilliantly designed and painted to resemble iconic cars from all over the automotive kingdom. Roughly the size of a Hot Wheels car, the small Candy Cars would fit right in with your miniature fleet or serve as a stylish automotive alternative to desktop knickknacks.
Lego Speed Champions Kits
Lego’s Speed Champions collection pays homage to four-wheeled heroes without the complexity and big price tags of its Technic sets. The growing range includes modern cars such as the Ferrari F8 Tributo and Dodge Challenger SRT Demon as well as historic ones like the 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 and 1985 Audi Sport Quattro S1. Most sets can be assembled by kids as young as seven.
R&T Crew Subscription Box
Sure to tickle the fancy of any budding automotive enthusiast is our sister brand Road & Track’s kid-focused R&T Crew subscription box. It starts at $25 and includes a special magazine as well as activities, games, and branded gear. For a limited time, take 10 percent off at checkout when buying a full one-year subscription. Use discount code SPEED10.
2020 Commemorative Hess Toy Truck
Oil and gas company Hess has had a little side project making toy trucks since 1964 and every year the company debuts a commemorative truck for the holiday season. This year’s edition is actually two trucks, an ambulance and a fire and rescue pickup truck, to honor first responders. The trucks feature almost 100 working lights and four different sirens—don’t worry parents, there’s also a mute mode.
Candylab Toys Wooden Cars
Candylab Toys’ lineup of minimalist wooden car models are perfect for small kids and car-loving grown-ups alike. There’s a wide range of vehicles available, from muscle cars to woody wagons—and even some special models such as a police car and a tow truck. A range of accessories enhances the fun, with trailers and canoes that attach magnetically. The toys start under $25, with others priced at close to $40 and higher-end special editions nearing twice that price.
Revell Visible V-8 Engine
With hundreds of parts requiring meticulous assembly, this quarter-scale engine model is the perfect introduction to the inner workings of the venerable pushrod V-8. Builders who are judicious with the glue can turn the handle on their finished engine to see the crankshaft spin, the pistons pump, and the valves joggle. Bonus: Assembling this model takes a level of focus that will have you disconnecting from social media for whole hours at a time.
Hot Wheels Colossal Crash Track Set
This double-figure-eight track is ripe with racing drama as your little car enthusiasts can crash their Hot Wheels or jump them over each other at the center of the track. They can even take it with them on their next adventure because it folds up easily and can be set up almost anywhere.
LEGO Creator Expert Ford Mustang
This 1471-piece Ford Mustang Lego kit is the perfect gift for the auto enthusiast in your life. It’s also highly customizable: there’s a supercharger, front and rear spoilers, tail or side pipes, and even a nitrous-oxide tank. This build makes for a challenging yet rewarding experience and is a great value. Slotting underneath the larger and more expensive Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS and Technic Bugatti Chiron, the $150 Mustang kit is much more affordable and when finished makes for a great office centerpiece.
Hot Wheels ID Smart Track Kit
Hot Wheel’s new ID Smart Track is a classic car track elevated to the year 2021. It links up via Bluetooth with an iPad or other smart device and offers an app that kids can use to control the track and scan their cars for use in an online game. We’ve been playing with one in our office for the past few weeks and we’re feeling like kids again!
LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender
$159.99 (20% off)
Land Rover’s famed Defender is finally, after all these years, being redesigned and LEGO is paying tribute with this very detailed Technic kit. It has over 2500 pieces, so it’s definitely for big kids, but it features all-wheel drive, a working winch, and a four-speed gearbox.
LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián
$343.52 (14% off)
LEGO Technic kits are some of the most challenging builds in the LEGO-verse, and this one, based on the first hybrid Lamborghini, is perhaps the toughest yet. With almost 3700 individual pieces, the LEGO Lamborghini Sián took us over 30 hours to put together and features working scissor doors, a shiftable transmission, and a 12 cylinders with pistons that move in formation. Even the rear spoiler can be moved up and down, just like in the real car. This gift will surely delight the auto enthusiast on your list and it will keep them busy for some time. LEGO recommends this build for ages 18 and up.
LEGO Technic Bugatti Chiron
You or the car person in your life might be into Legos. And we’re not just talking about the kids. Most of our staffers are—surprise!—adults, and our office is covered in a collection of Legos. You can judge, or accept it and learn to love the brand’s easy giftability. At the top of the car-themed model range sits this $350 1:8-scale Bugatti Chiron. There is also a similarly large Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS as well as smaller-scale cars from the Creator series.
Swagtron EB-5 Pro Folding eBike
Designed for more than just the last mile of your commute, this EB-5 Pro folding eBike from Swagtron boasts a 15.5-mile range that will save you from arriving at the office sweaty but still make quick work of the distance between your parking spot and your destination. It’s lightweight and folds up to fit in the trunk of any car. It’s quick and fun to ride, too!
Swagger 5 Elite Electric Scooter
$399.99 (28% off)
Electric scooters are all the rage right now—and are a handy tool for that last mile of the commute—but only one has Swagger. Meet the Swagger 5 Elite. Its electric motor drives the front wheel and propels the scooter pretty quickly up to an observed top speed of 18 mph. A digital speedometer is displayed on the handlebars, but the Swagtron app connects via Bluetooth and provides even more info. The Swagger 5 folds up and easily fits in the trunk of any car.
EcoReco L5+ Electric Scooter
The EcoReco L5+ is a bit more premium than other electric scooters as it features niceties such as a working speedometer, shock absorbers for both the front and rear wheels, and a height-adjustable handle bar. Range is great—we’ve been seeing 15-20 miles per charge. The L5+ is fairly quick too; EcoReco says it’s capable of up to 20 mph, but we’ve exceeded that speed slightly which makes for good fun. It also folds up neatly to fit in the trunk of most cars and SUVs so it can easily be transported for use afield.
Mophie Wireless Charging Travel Kit
Need to take your wireless charging on the go? Mophie’s Travel Kit is everything you need to keep your Qi-enabled smartphone charged during your travel adventures. Inside its convenient travel pouch you’ll find a wireless charging pad with a rubberized cover to keep your phone in place. It also comes with a variety of cords and cables to ensure that no matter where you are you can find an outlet to juice your device.
The KeySmart key organizer is for the Type A auto enthusiast in your life. With space for up to 10 keys installed neatly in a jackknife arrangement, KeySmart more easily fits in pockets, purses, and car storage cubbies. It’s offered in aluminum, plastic, or leather bodies; our favorite is the KeySmart Pro, which adds a flashlight and Tile integration for GPS tracking. Additional tools can be added as accessories, including a bottle opener, pliers, and a USB drive.
Time Traveler Phone & Apple Watch Battery Bank
The Apple Watch is a handy device for tracking your fitness goals or getting notifications from your phone quickly, but charging it on the go can be a pain. The Time Traveler is a portable Watch and iPhone power bank that can be used to juice your devices anywhere. Its compact shape makes it easy to stash inside your suitcase or backpack. In our experience, it provided three days of backup charge for the Apple Watch or one full charge for an iPhone 7 Plus.
Tapplock One+ Security Lock
Keep your tools or garage safe from thieves with this cool fingerprint-powered padlock. The Tapplock One+ is waterproof, Bluetooth enabled, and unlocks in 0.8 second when you rest your finger on its sensor. No combination to forget or key to lose. There’s also an app that allows for remote unlocking in case you need to allow someone access when you’re not around.
Mr. Steak Infrared Portable Grill
Kick your tailgate party up a notch with the Mr. Steak portable infrared grill. This compact cooker fits easily in a car’s trunk, and its gas-and-infrared burner provides more heat than rivals that use only propane. Steaks, chicken, and burgers cook quicker and will cause mouths to water at your next camping trip or football game. The Mr. Steak portable grill features flip-out legs and a removable grease tray.
Apollo Neuro Wearable Stress Reliever
Traffic jam have your stress level high? Maybe the winter blues have you feeling down? This unique wearable device may be the ticket to improving your mood. Developed by neuroscientists, the Apollo sends specific vibrations to either soothe, energize, or focus your brain. It can be worn proudly on your wrist or more subtly on your ankle and can be programmed to kick on at certain times or controlled via a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone app.
$799.99 (20% off)
Though your inner ear may have you thinking you’re the next Lewis Hamilton, unless you actually have a Formula 1 contract, chances are you’re leaving time out on the track. The Garmin Catalyst is a visual learning tool and digital track instructor that can help you hunt down those extra tenths. This touchscreen device mounts in your cockpit and can offer verbal feedback through your car’s stereo as you lap, saying things like “Good job braking less,” “Push harder,” and “Good apex.” The Catalyst’s algorithms are fed by GPS information, accelerometers, and a windshield-mounted camera. Once you’ve logged three laps, the Catalyst starts uncovering missed opportunities, growing more insightful the longer you’re on-track.
Demeter New Car Scented Body Care
Can one truly be an automotive nut without smelling like that which they obsess over? From the aroma genius that brought you perfumed classics such as Spacewalk, Grumpy Cat, and Funeral Home; Demeter presents their redolent interpretation of the classic “New Car Scent” in all of the necessary transdermal applications. Go ahead, we’ll be the last to cast judgement.
Car and Driver Subscription
Shameless self-promotion, we know. But, hey, a subscription to Car and Driver magazine is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. The car lover in your life will enjoy 12 beautifully designed magazines full of news, reviews, and comparison tests, not to mention coverage of our annual 10Best Cars and Lightning Lap events. Perhaps your car guy or girl would also enjoy a subscription to our sister publication, Road & Track, which specializes in performance cars and motorsports.
Motorized Coffee Drinkware
What’s better than a cup of joe from Motorized Coffee? A cup of Motorized Coffee in an official mug. The upstart coffee company has launched a series of branded mugs and thermoses with a decidedly car-oriented design. Wouldn’t these look great at the next Cars and Coffee event?
The Rambler line—ranging from 10-ounce tumblers to a one-gallon jug—keeps hot coffee hot and cold smoothies cold. What else is important? For absolute beverage security, the new 20-ounce travel mug uses Yeti’s most leak-resistant lid. We’re partial to the 12-ounce bottle with the HotShot Cap (pictured), which lets you sip from any spot around the rim.
Motorized Coffee Club
Here’s something that will get our engines revving at the next Cars and Coffee: a premium java subscription from Motorized Coffee Company. This auto-enthusiast-owned boutique coffee roasting company offers a monthly subscription that delivers whole or ground beans right to your front door. Customize your delivery schedule to your liking, and enjoy free shipping as a member. Each flavor of coffee boasts car-themed names such as Supercharged and Drift.
Legendary Car Canvases
While there’s nothing wrong with your nostalgic paper car posters from your teenage years, the team at Legendary Car Canvases has a new way to elevate the art of car photography. They offer a wide selection of today’s most jaw-dropping, drool-inducing automotive artwork, printed on high-quality canvas and professionally stretched over sturdy wood frames. These large pieces of art would make perfect showpieces for your garage, man cave, or–dare we suggest–even your living room.
Respoke Collection Wall Art and Stickers
Ever wish your pride and joy could be on display in your home, garage, or office? No, not photos of your first born, we’re talking about your four-wheeled friend. The artists at Respoke Collection will render a custom illustration of your car, truck, SUV, or motorcycle and print it on a canvas as large as 24×36, as shown here. We used our favorite photo of senior editor Joey Capparella’s recently acquired Lexus GS300 for this and Respoke Collection even sent along a set of stickers for our laptops. Shipping was fast and working with the design team to perfect the illustration was a pleasure.
Linear Edge Wood Wall Art
Linear Edge produces sculptures of the world’s most iconic racetracks—and even some obscure ones—created out of layers of wood. Two-dimensional versions of this wall art start at $99, with larger sizes of each track available for an extra $100. In addition to the 90 available circuits, the company can create custom tracks for no additional cost. Linear Edge also produces 3D versions that show the elevation changes of each track and wooden engravings of iconic car models.
Muggo Heated Travel Mug
Anyone who has a long commute or spends hours working from a home office, will appreciate the Muggo heated travel mug which will keep their coffee or cocoa at the perfect drinking temperature. Set the temperature using the touch-sensitive control panel, add your beverage, and Muggo does the rest. It comes with a leak-resistant top for fewer spills while traveling and a three-hour battery.
Solo Stove Ranger
You don’t need to be an Eagle Scout to build a raging no-trace fire with this portable stainless-steel fire pit. Solo Stove’s double-wall design funnels fresh air from the base of the pit to holes at the top. The preheated oxygen then stokes the flames, making for a hotter-burning low-smoke fire.
JuiceBox 40 Electric Vehicle Charging Station
The need for in-home charging for electric vehicles is becoming more and more common. Luckily, the JuiceBox from EnelX is both affordable and convenient. It’s Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled remotely via a smartphone app. A built-in cable rack helps keep things tidy inside your garage and for those who plan to mount it outside, the JuiceBox 40 comes standard with a security lock.
Deep Sentinel Surveillance Package
Keep your home, garage, and driveway safe and monitored with this starter kit from Deep Sentinel. A series of cameras provides real-time video monitoring by a service of real human beings to make sure your precious belongings remains safe from thieves and vandals. The system can be installed by the homeowner in as little as 30 minutes.
Every dream garage has a lift, but reality is rarely a dream. Ceiling height, square footage, spousal common sense, floor construction, and cost conspire to keep the pro stuff out of our homes. QuickJack addresses those issues with a portable and easy-to-use hydraulic lift system. The BL-5000SLX model raises vehicles as heavy as 5000 pounds about a foot into the air with the push of a button. Once raised, the lifts lock in place with the security of four jack stands. Use it for tough jobs that require a lot of time under the car or for simpler tasks like swapping wheels and tires, doing brake and suspension work, and changing fluids.
Peel + Discover: Cars! Trucks! Trains! And More
Entertain your young auto enthusiasts with the latest Peel + Discover book which focuses on transportation icons. Cars! Trucks! Trains! And More features pages of stickers which, when peeled away, reveal fun facts that every budding car guy or gal should know.
ABC’s For Future Race Car Drivers
Looking to help foster a love of cars in the youngest generation so our family of car enthusiasts will continue to grow? Fast Kids Club’s ABC’s For Future Race Car Drivers is perfect for doing just that. Every page is a racing item and an associated letter to help your little one learn their ABCs in a fun, car-related way.
The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid
This one’s for young travel enthusiasts making plans to see the world. The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid is brilliantly illustrated and packed with information about the world’s most celebrated destinations. Reaching most of these sites requires flying rather than driving, but this book’s intended audience is still years from driver-education classes anyway. Make no mistake: adults will enjoy this read, too.
Car Buying Her Way: The Fierce Girl’s Roadmap to the Car of Your Dreams
Veteran car-sales professional Lisa Copeland shares her experience and perspective on new-car buying in this quick-read softcover. Although it’s aimed at female car buyers, the advice and buying tips she provides will help anyone who’s in the market for a car who wants to ensure they don’t fall victim to typical dealership shenanigans.
Never Stop Driving: A Better Life Behind the Wheel
If there were ever a group of people capable of convincing the masses not to let go of the wheel, it’s the gentlemen behind Never Stop Driving. Lifetime automotive enthusiast and wordsmith Larry Webster navigates us through the first person accounts of voices such as Jay Leno, Patrick Dempsey, and Mario Andretti as they draw from experience on the musings and importance of the human element in automotive interaction. Supported with rich imagery from today’s top automotive photographers, Never Stop Driving is a colorful insight into the minds and opinions of the industry’s most proliferated storytellers.
Urban Cars: Brooklyn
Not every car enthusiast is into showroom fresh sheetmetal. Some find beauty in well-used (and sometimes abused) cars and trucks. Urban Cars: Brooklyn explores such a topic, with page after page of beautiful photos of cars found around Brooklyn, NY.
In the Seat of a Stranger’s Car
This funny and touching novel follows a Hawaiian valet, his misfit co-workers, and their life in the service industry, which is thrown into chaos when they discover a young boy in the trunk of a deserted car. Instead of turning the boy over to authorities, the motley crew decides to keep him, which results in an entertaining tale about the transformative nature of raising a child. Plus, the author’s use of Hawaiian Pidgin English at key points in the narrative gives the reader a more authentic look at life in Hawaii. Don’t worry, there’s a short glossary on page 303.
Atlas Obscura, 2nd Edition: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders
Satisfy your wanderlust and plan your next travel adventure with the help of this brilliantly illustrated guide. The first edition of Atlas Obscura is a best seller and it’s easy to see why. This second edition offers 100 additional locations and details about what makes each destination worth visiting.
Lorries of Arabia
Take a trip through the middle east with this fun book series Lorries of Arabia which uses the unique perspective of semi-truck drivers and explores the machines themselves. This book would make a great gift for anyone with a strange penchant for big trucks.
Corvette Special Editions
Since its introduction for the 1953 model year, the Chevrolet Corvette has made an everlasting impression on automotive enthusiasts the world over. Keith Cornett’s Corvette Special Editions details the most exclusive and memorable examples of the famed American sports car with photos and encyclopedic documentation of specs, pricing, and features.
Oil Udder High Flow Flexible Funnel
Carbon-based life-forms turn into crude oil quicker than oil-change technology advances. But there has finally been a development. The Oil Udder is a multipurpose magnet-containing rubber cup that snaps around the oil filter on your car. As you rotate the Oil Udder to loosen the filter, it catches the dirty oil that would otherwise end up on your arm, your vehicle’s undercarriage, and your garage floor. Order the available drain kit and the Oil Udder doubles as a funnel for emptying and refilling the oil pan with minimal mess.
FIXD Active Car Health Monitor
Uh oh! Your car’s check-engine light came on—is it something simple like a loose fuel cap, or is it more serious? Say goodbye to the age-old dashboard-light guessing game with FIXD. The small device plugs into your car’s data port and broadcasts a diagnostic report to a smartphone app. It can also estimate a cost of repair, direct you to a local mechanic, and provide handy maintenance reminders to help keep your ride in tip-top shape.
NOCO Boost Plus GB40
Don’t get stuck with a dead battery this winter. Order up NOCO’s Boost Plus GB40. It offers enough juice to turn over most engines, but if you have a large displacement V-8 or a diesel, NOCO offers more powerful (and more expensive) jump starters with up to 4000 amps of power.
BlueDriver OBD-II Scan Tool
The BlueDriver isn’t just a code reader—it’s a diagnostic tool. The dongle plugs into your vehicle’s OBD-II port and connects to an Android or Apple device via Bluetooth. It monitors various onboard sensors, provides relevant repair tips based on trouble codes, and records live data as you drive. This is one of the most used items in the C/D garage.
Innova 5210 Pro Code Reader Tool
Most of us have been there – the dreaded Christmas tree of warning lights staring back at us behind the acrylic window of shame that is our gauge cluster. With local mechanics and dealers alike looking to shake every last dollar from your precious student-loan-payback-fund, do yourself a favor and purchase a proper ODB-II reader. This affordable unit provides all the necessary and easy to read information on the symptoms of your ailing vehicle, along with associated levels of urgency on getting your jalopy to the shop in time.
JumpSmart Portable Jump Starter
This powerful tool could be your knight in shining armor if you’re caught out with a dead car battery. The JumpSmart has enough juice to jump-start most engines, even those found in large diesel pickup trucks, and can also serve as a flashlight in the event of emergency. Its small, cylindrical shape means it will fit easily in most bins and cubbies, but it also comes with its own travel case to keep things organized.
Craftsman V20 Impact Wrench
If you’ve been using breaker bars, box wrenches, and ratchets for every shop job, an electric impact wrench will make you feel like a one-person pit crew. Craftsman’s 20-volt half-inchdrive impact wrench makes light work of tire swaps and suspension overhauls, breaking bolts free with up to 350 pound-feet of torque—more than your family crossover has. Its portability means you can bring it out on the trail or to the track or even stash it in your vehicle if you’re prone to getting flat tires. It uses the same lithium-ion battery as the rest of the Craftsman V20 family, which includes everything from an electric chainsaw to a hand-held shop vacuum
Innova 5610 Pro Code Reader Tool
If you’re the type of gear head that enjoys oil-stained clothes, brake dust, and busting your knuckles to save a buck then the Innova 5610 is the comprehensive OBD2 diagnostic tool you’ve been looking for. Apart from being able to read and clear codes, the tool is also capable of checking for emissions testing readiness, oil light and TPMS resetting, brake bleeding/ caliper servicing, and a host of others including live data display and bi-directional testing. With a 1-year warranty and a competitive price, the Innova 5610 is a valuable piece of equipment that will only save you money in the long run.
Meguiar’s Ultimate Insane Shine Tire Coating
Not all auto enthusiasts like shiny tire coatings, but this Ultimate Insane Shine coating from Meguiar’s is perfect for the ones who do. Ultimate Insane Shine provides the company’s highest shine for that dripping-wet look that’s perfect for a cruise night or car show. Simply clean your tire with soap and water, then spray this aerosol gel on and it’s ready to go. In our experience, a little goes a long way so this 15-ounce spray can should last a while.
Meguiar’s Hybrid Ceramic Wax
Take your car’s finish up a notch with Meguiar’s new Hybrid Ceramic Wax. This product provides a protective layer of silicon dioxide that’s similar to ceramic coatings that cost up to $3000 and is easy to apply during a quick carwash. Just wash your car, spray on the wax while your car is still wet, then dry with a microfiber towel to lay a foundational layer.
Chemical Guys Lightning Fast Stain Extractor
Dirt, road salt, and food stains are no match for this tough-working cleaner from Chemical Guys. The Lightning Fast Stain Extractor works quickly to penetrate tough stains and release them from your upholstery or carpet. Not only that, but it helps to eliminate odors and everyone likes to leave their car smelling great inside, right? This product is a must-have for every car detailing kit.
Trinova Premium Glass Cleaner
Keep your car’s windows free from smudges and grime with this great glass cleaner from Trinova. The company’s streak-free formula makes it one of the easiest products to use for a clear, confident view for the driver.
Trinova Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover
No one likes a smelly car, and for those of us with pets, we know accidents sometimes happen. Trinova’s pet stain and odor removing spray works wonders and it’s made from natural ingredients that won’t harm your car or your dog.
iRoller Screen Cleaner
Touchscreen smudges really tugging at your OCD? We found this simple tool called iRoller that works shockingly well. Just slide back the round cover to reveal the sticky inner roller and give it the old back and forth over your infotainment screen and—voila!—fingerprint-free screen. At just $19.95 the iRoller makes a great gift for anyone who has a touchscreen in their life, which when you think about it, is everyone!
Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit
If you want to give your automobile a perfect hand-washed gleam, you should consider the Meguiar’s Complete Car Care Kit. Meguiar’s has been producing high-quality car-detailing products for more than a century. The kit is a great value and features a comprehensive assortment of products. Included you’ll find carwash soap, scratch remover, tire foam, glass cleaner, cleaner wax with applicator pad, and interior detailer.
Tossits Car Garbage Bags
A clean car is a must for most auto enthusiasts, and what better way to keep your car clean than with this novel trash-bag system. Tossits hang from the back of the front seat. When it’s full, you can peel it away from the hanger and throw the bag away, revealing a fresh Tossits bag that’s ready for action.
Brush Hero Water-Powered Cleaning Tool
If you’re all too familiar with the painstaking process of washing wheels, rejoice! The Brush Hero reduces the necessary effort to clean between the spokes on everything from a Mazda Miata to a Bentley Bentayga. The rotating brush head has enough torque to easily clean the dirtiest rims; it connects to a garden hose and sprays water to rinse away debris.
Chemical Guys HydroThread Ceramic Fabric Protectant
This HydroThread Ceramic Fabric Protectant from Chemical Guys coats the fibers of your seat fabric and carpet with a hydrophobic ceramic compound that helps them resist stains. It also helps resists UV rays, which will help avoid fading and discoloration from sun exposure as your car ages, all while retaining the fabric’s natural feel—no waxy or stiff-feeling fibers here.
Casio Edifice EFS-S550
Casio carries on its nod to automotive sport in the Edifice EFS-S550. Developed in part with the Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 pit crew and championed by Thai-British F1 race driver Alexander Albon, the EFS-S550 punches above its weight by blending functionality with stylish, race-inspired design. A bold, numbered bezel, sapphire crystal glass, and a solar-powered battery drive are only half the story in this affordable yet well-executed timepiece.
Casio Edifice EQB-1000D
$247.50 (17% off)
If a slim, affordable, and fantastically appointed dress watch is in your future – then Casio’s latest from their Edifice line should be heavy on your radar. With a solar powered, Japanese-Quartz movement assisted by a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone connection, the EQB1000D-1A provides highly accurate time keeping. The dark, sun-absorbing face accented with beautiful teal highlights rests underneath a lux-spec Sapphire window, surrounded in a thin body of high quality, brushed stainless-steel. The chamfered edges, forward-facing bezel screws, and pronounced crown guards exude a level of industrial-inspired style and utilitarian, wear-all-day attitude.
Casio Edifice EQB900DB
$285.00 (19% off)
Casio’s latest Edifice watch bundles Bluetooth connectivity and a race-friendly lap timer at an affordable price. The dark-blue face is accented by bright-blue inner dials and lit by a small LED light so it’s viewable at night. Linking the watch to your smartphone allows it to maintain the correct time, depending on time zone. It’s solar powered, too, so you won’t have to take a break from track day to recharge. Its upscale appearance and metal bracelet belie its reasonable price.
Yes, we know, premium watches are often pricey, making them dicey gift propositions. But Autodromo’s wristwatches are generally affordable given their specifically automotive flair and Japanese automatic movements. Choose which style suits you—most have faces resembling gauges—and the desired strap and bezel, and you’ll have a slick everyday watch that telegraphs your car nuttiness.
Pelican 1170 Hard Case
Anyone who has to transport fragile devices—like our Social Media Specialist, Michael Aaron—would love this Pelican 1170 hard case. Mike’s case is decorated with stickers he’s accumulated over the years, but inside he carries his various cameras, smartphones, and lenses in safety when he travels so he’s never worried about arriving with broken equipment. Pelican makes cases that are much larger, too, so no matter what you’re transporting there’s a case to protect it.
Tenba DNA 15 Messenger Bag
Perfect for the budding car photographer, the DNA 15 Slim messenger bag from Tenba provides space for cameras, lenses, and other peripherals. To make your next car-spotting outing even easier, the bag provides quick access to memory cards, flashes, and other essentials via two front and two side pockets. This model, used by Car and Driver’s own photographer, Michael Simari, will be appreciated by both amateur and professional photographers.
Sirui Urbanite BP 15 Camera Backpack
Here’s a great all-around camera backpack that’s sleek and simple. The rear access hatch for the camera storage compartment adds extra security, and although it’s not the largest camera bag on the market, it’s the perfect size for a mirrorless camera kit and a pair of lenses. The top pocket can fit many personal accessories to take along with you, and the laptop pocket fits a 15-inch laptop comfortably.
In addition to the brand’s fine leather accessories, Bellroy offers handy and well-designed backpacks like this one in Ink Blue. A dedicated laptop sleeve and a hidden pocket for computer accessories make it perfect for commuting professionals. The large central pocket is separate from the laptop sleeve and is roomy enough for a lunch box, gym shoes, or a full kit of toiletries.
Whether you’re traveling by car, train, boat, or plane, you need luggage that can keep up. We’re fond of Away’s clever design features. Their popular Carry-On suitcase offers a power bank to charge your devices, a hard shell outer layer to protect your belongings, and a nylon laundry bag to keep your clean and dirty clothes separate.
KeySmart Urban21 Backpack
KeySmart’s Urban 21 backpack is a great way to tote your belongings each day. Its compact shape and waterproof outer layer are perfect for those who choose to park farther out and walk to avoid parking-lot door dings. Our favorite feature is the hard-case top pocket that helps protect fragile items if the bag is sliding around in the trunk. Inside are a dedicated pocket for keys, a laptop sleeve, and optional Tile integration to ensure the bag is never lost.
Forza Horizon 4
When it comes to video games, the only ones we like are the ones where we get to drive our favorite cars. Forza Horizon 4 is the latest and greatest in both car availability and killer graphics. The game has simulations for all sorts of weather, too, so if you’ve ever wanted to race a McLaren in the rain or blow through snowdrifts in an Audi Quattro rally car, here’s your (virtual) chance.
Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit
Car and gaming enthusiasts of all ages will find hours of entertainment building, playing with, and tinkering with the Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit. The kit is more than just glorified papercraft—you’re really paying for the thousands of hours that went into the carefully crafted instructions, clever minigames, and interesting documentation on how it all works. Pair it with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and the kit’s steering wheel and pedal controllers add even more fun.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Nintendo’s Mario Kart has been a part of the video game racing scene since 1992 and this most recent iteration takes the series into the Switch era with improved graphics, new tracks, and more options for customizing your kart. Gaming with friends while in quarantine? Mario Kart can be played virtually even if your opponents don’t live in the same city.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Mario and Luigi drive into the real world with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. Using a Nintendo Switch (not included, starting from $200) as a controller, up to four players race tiny remote-controlled karts through timing gates set up in living rooms, basements, garages, or anywhere else they can imagine a racetrack. A camera on each kart streams a live first-person view back to the Switch, where your virtual character may encounter things like power-boosting mushrooms or car-stopping piranha plants that affect your kart in both the physical and digital world.
Logitech Dual-Motor Racing Wheel and Pedals
$249.99 (38% off)
This leather-wrapped video game racing wheel and pedals feels a lot like those in our favorite sports cars, and we’ve been giving them a long-term test while honing our virtual driving skills. The wheel turns smoothly with help from solid steel ball bearings, and the stainless-steel pedals are nicely spaced for heel-and-toe downshifts.
The play anywhere nature of the Nintendo Switch endears it to gamers on the go and it’s one of our go-to consoles for playing some of our favorite games—including the whimsical racing game, Mario Kart. We paired one recently with the Nintendo Labo Vehicle kit, which elevates the racing fun even more. Sure, you can take e-racing more seriously with an expensive racing wheel and seat setup, but the Switch is better for casual family fun.
Playseat Evolution Pro Edition
We’ve been loving this gaming chair by Playseat as we’ve worked to get our Twitch stream up and running while playing racing games in our break room. It’s fully adjustable to fit the broad range of drivers we have here at our office, so we reckon it will fit you, too. This seat is a must-have for anyone whose automotive enthusiasm intersects with video gaming.
Piloti Pistone X Sneaker
Driving shoes can make anyone feel like Steve McQueen, even if they’re wheeling a Toyota Prius, and Piloti is the brand we prefer. Offered in either suede or ballistic nylon and in a variety of colors, Piloti’s updated Pistone X sneaker is perfect for both performance-oriented driving and day-to-day wear. The brand’s signature tire-tread sole provides optimal grip on pedals, and the flexible upper means your feet won’t be uncomfortable on long drives.
Piloti Vittoria – Women’s Driving Shoe
Piloti knows that for every car guy, there’s also a car gal who appreciates a purposeful pair of shoes to help with their heel-and-toeing. The Vittoria sneaker is perfect for the fast-driving women of the world and it comes in three great designs. We’d suggest ordering a half size up, though, unless you prefer a snug fit.
Piloti Avenue – Men’s Driving Shoe
Piloti’s latest mens driving shoe is this comfortable and stylish Avenue sneaker. It’s made in Portgal and features a burnished leather upper and the company’s grippy tire-tread sole and rounded heel. We’ve been testing a pair out during our annual 10Best evaluation and found them to be perfect for aggressive driving, plus they look great with a nice pair of jeans.
Piloti Endurance Sneaker
New to Piloti’s lineup of driving shoes is the Le Mans Endurance sneaker, which pays tribute to the 24 Hours of Le Mans event with a French flag on the back rendered in leather. The shoe is handcrafted from leather, suede, and recycled cotton and features a rubberized sole with the brand’s patented rolled heel which offers superior pedal control. The Le Mans Endurance is offered in Navy and Slate; in our experience the Endurance feels slightly roomier than the Pistone X, so it may be preferable for those who have wider feet.
Alpinestars Tech-1 T Racing Shoes
These lightweight driving shoes from Alpinestars are meant for serious racing drivers, but even novice auto enthusiasts will enjoy their benefits. The Tech-1 T lineup features genuine leather and suede construction, perforated sides for better airflow, and a velcro strap around the ankle for added fit adjustment. These shoes are offered in several different colors and styles and are a perfect addition to a professional driving suit for maximum track-day enjoyment.
Enovoe Car Window Shade
These handy sunshades from Enovoe will help keep your passengers comfortable when the sun’s shining its brightest and help protect sensitive youngsters from its powerful rays. These affordable shades fit most cars and cling to the side windows using static electricity so there’s no suction cups to mar the surface of the glass.
Mpow Bluetooth Receiver
Still driving around in a car from the days before Bluetooth? This excellent Bluetooth receiver from Mpow plugs into your car’s auxiliary input jack and allows you to stream your audio files directly from your smartphone or tablet. There’s even a built-in microphone so users can make phone calls as well, and it can connect to two different smartphones at the same time so DJ duties can be shared with passengers on road trips.
ZUS Smart Car Charger
Sliding behind the wheel with a nearly dead smartphone and only a short drive to the next destination with little time for a charge? This quick-charging gizmo from Nonda is exactly what you need. It plugs into a 12-volt outlet and creates two fast-charging USB ports that Nonda claims can provide a 100 percent charge to two smartphones in under two hours. Connect the device to the companion app and it can also serve as a parking-location reminder, monitor the health of the vehicle’s battery, and track mileage, among other things.
Munchkin Backseat Organizer
In our opinion, there aren’t enough ways to keep cars organized, especially when kids are involved. Munchkin’s backseat organizer is perfect for stashing snacks, toys, diapers, a change of clothes, etc. so that the interior of your SUV or van doesn’t devolve into what amounts to a spilled toy chest.
Sick of fishing for your phone every time you need to check directions or answer a phone call? Not only is that annoying, it’s unsafe! WeatherTech, purveyor of premium car floor liners, has launched CupFone, which fits a variety of cupholders and offers an extension to help position your phone exactly where you want it.
iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2
Quit fiddling with your phone when you’re driving and stash it in this mount with wireless charging capability. It’s sold in two versions: One mounts to dashboards and windshields; the other clips into air vents or CD players.
Lutava Antimicrobial Seat Cover
More so now than ever, we’re concerned about germs, viruses, and sharing those icky things with others. Lutava’s antimicrobial seat covers are easy to install and has shown a 99-percent reduction in viruses and bacteria—including Covid-19—in just two hours. They also sell a bike-seat cover made from the same material, which is great for those of us finally getting back to the gym after lockdown.
Hum by Verizon
Nearly everyone has a smartphone nowadays—even Great-Aunt Beatrice—but not everyone has a vehicle that can communicate with their mobile device. Hum by Verizon changes that by providing vehicle diagnostics, roadside assistance, and more with help from a smartphone app. The HumX device costs $120 plus a $15 per month subscription, which includes hands-free calling and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. In other words, it makes any jalopy a safer and savvier mode of transportation.
WeatherTech Floor Liners
WeatherTech makes many accessories for cars and trucks, but the company is known best for its full-coverage floor liners. Each mat is custom measured to ensure an exact fit, and the sides of the liners extend all the way up to collect and contain liquid, dirt, snow, road salt, and mud so nothing leaks onto your car’s factory carpeting. WeatherTech offers liners in a variety of colors and provides coverage for all rows of seating.
GGBAILEY All-Season Textile Floor Mats
Need to protect your car’s carpet from dirt, melting snow, and road salt, but hate the look of rubber floor mats? GGBAILEY’s all-season textile mats could be a perfect fit. These mats are custom fitted and offered in either dark gray or beige. The tightly looped carpet easily traps liquids and dirt while the thick rubber backing and stitched vinyl edge help keep everything contained. These textile all-season floor mats are a great addition to your car’s winter wardrobe.
GGBAILEY Rugged All-Season Floor Mats
Like GGBAILEY’s all-season textile floor mats, these new, more rugged custom-cut mats intend to keep your carpets looking new, but their deeper channels and more absorbent materials provide additional protection from mud, snow, and moisture. If you frequently find yourself at dirty job sites or live in an area where snow and road salt are a yearly consideration, we’d suggest investing in a set, especially if you prefer the feeling of carpeting over rubber or hard plastic that’s more common among protective floor liners.
Your vehicle acts as a rock-solid foundation for one side of this nine-by-seven-foot sun and rain awning that sets up faster than you can finish your first morning beer and packs down to the size of a yoga mat.
weBoost Drive Reach Cell Signal Booster
If your travels include one-bar-phone-reception territory, a weBoost cellular signal amplifier could be the difference between making a phone call and asking “Can you hear me now?” until you’re hoarse. The top-of-the-line Drive Reach improves voice quality and data speeds for multiple users and installs in minutes.
Valentine One V1 Gen 2 Radar Detector
$675.00 (25% off)
The V1 Gen2 is the first all-new detector to debut since Valentine One started back in 1992. The volume knob is gone, but the general shape persists, as do the hallmark arrows that indicate the source of the signal and make this a “radar locator,” per the company. In addition to providing radar and laser detection, the Gen2 packs Bluetooth so you can connect to the new smartphone app. Maybe best of all, the Gen2 is user updatable, so you no longer need to ship the detector back to Valentine’s headquarters for an update.
ARB Zero Fridge
When you’re on the road or off the grid for days at a time, an electric cooler frees you from the soggy and drippy nuisance of babysitting an ice-filled cooler. ARB’s 47-quart Zero chills as low as minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit and can run off your rig’s 12-volt battery or a 120-volt outlet at the campground. You can even leave it plugged into a vehicle overnight and sleep easy: The fridge stops drawing power if the battery drops below a preset voltage.
Additional reporting by Michael Aaron, Roberto Baldwin, David Beard, Rich Ceppos, K.C. Colwell, Ezra Dyer, Brad Fick, Darren Fitzgerald, Daniel Golson, Max Mortimer, Michael Simari, Eric Stafford, Tony Quiroga, and Eric Tingwall.