From the evergreen sat nav to innovative-yet-simple baby monitoring mirrors there are a number of handy gadgets you might find useful for your car. Sometimes, even something as simple as a car seat can be useful too, especially if you have kids. Click to read more about those, while some handy gadgets are detailed below:
1 Baby Monitoring Mirror
If your baby is in a rear-facing car seat mounted on the back seat of your car, then keeping an eye on them is difficult, if not impossible.
To overcome this, there are mirrors available that rotate through 360 degrees and attach quickly and easily to the headrest and aim towards the front of the car. When you check your rear-view mirror, you can see your baby clearly.
Some provide a light so you can see your baby even in the dark – and some include low-level lighting so you won’t wake them up.
2 Multi Socket Chargers
With more of us owning multiple devices such as mobiles, iPods and tablets it can be a logistical nightmare keeping them fully charged on longer trips.
A multi-socket charger that fits into the 12V socket means you can charge several devices at once. They’re especially useful if you have a car full of passengers who all want to charge something up.
3 Dash cam
As its name suggests, a dash cam mounts on the dashboard – or maybe the windscreen – and films what’s happening in front and records onto a memory card such as a Micro SD type.
If you’re unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, the footage recorded may well be able to prove who was at fault. Insurance companies can accept dash cam film when assessing claims.
Dash cams come at various price points – if you’re thinking of buying one, make sure it’s of sufficient quality to film registration plates clearly and performs well at night.
If you’ve recently passed your driving test this could be a useful way of protecting yourself from people making assumptions based on your age rather than the skills you’ve recently acquired on the practical and theory behind driving. This protection could prevent insurance cost spiraling more than your already-high premiums and ensure the gadget more than pays for itself.
4 Sat nav
While many cars offer a sat nav as an option, it’s usually very expensive and often only standard on more upmarket cars. There’s no doubt they’re of huge benefit when route finding, and portable units are very well priced these days.
Industry leaders such as Tom Tom and Garmin offer a range of units with various specifications. It could be worth spending a little extra and choosing a fully-featured model.
There are models available that offer not just sat nav facilities, but integral dash cams (see above) removing the need to buy a separate unit. Some sat navs also include safety aids such as collision warning for when you’re too close to the car in front and lane departure alert – if you drift out of your lane it’ll warn you.
Some even offer a bluetooth module so you can talk hands-free on your mobile, and there are one or two models available offering all of the above in one unit making the sat nav a fully-featured navigation, safety and communications device.
5 Vehicle to Vehicle Booster
A very useful, and easier to use, alternative to jump leads. Instead of having to lift the bonnet and connect each lead to the battery terminals (sometimes an awkward and possibly dirty process), you simply connect one lead to you car’s 12V socket and the other to the second car’s socket.
No more trying to remember what lead goes where and un-tangling jump leads in a dingy car park.