Whether you have a feature-loaded SUV or a base-end hatchback, your Car Accessories is your canvas. Carmakers sell thousands of carbon-copy versions of each of their models each year. But every one of those cars go on to take a personality of its own, with a unique array of ornaments and accessories. If you often find yourself browsing Amazon for frivolous chrome bits and odd gadgets, we can offer better ways to spend your money online. Here’s our list of interesting and (mostly) affordable accessories you can add to your car:
Most regular cars come with slightly convex rearview mirrors which can be set far enough to minimise the blind spot created by the B- and C-pillars. Stick these two round mirrors over the far edge of your ORVMs, and you can reduce the blind spot even further.
Mi Portable Air Compressor Tyre inflators aren’t cheap, but they are a sound long-term investment for any car owner. Some, like the one linked below, can be plugged into a 12V socket. But the Mi Portable Compressor is rechargeable and small enough to fit in a medium-sized cubby anywhere in the car. We also recommend you spend a few hundred rupees on a tyre repair kit and store that in the boot as well.
Phone windshield/dashboard mount
Using a phone while driving is dangerous and illegal. But several technologies help you take phone calls or use Google Maps on your phone. Even a simple auxiliary cable is enough to prevent distractions. To keep the screen in your field of view, a myriad of phone mounts are available online. We prefer the ones that can stick to the windshield or dashboard and offer some degree of adjustment. If the linked mount seems expensive, this one is usually on sale at a lower price. You can also buy a magnetic mount that clips onto an air vent — this one from Spigen is a good deal.
You’d think dash cams would be more popular in India given the high traffic fines and frequency of road accidents. The camera linked above can be connected to the accessories port of your car and can transfer data via WiFi. It has sensors that detect a collision and save the pre- and a few minutes of post-accident video footage. A less expensive alternative can be found below. You’ll need a high capacity (at least 64GB) microSD card to get the best out of these cameras.
Fast USB charger
A phone charger is the most overused car accessory during a road trip after the neck pillow. To make sure that your phone can be charged as quickly in the car as at home, get yourself the Boat dual-port charger linked above. This one can be used to charge three devices simultaneously.
Littering in a car is senseless and inconsiderate. In-car trash management can be as simple and economical as having a disposable bag for apple cores and toffee wrappers. A reasonably priced mini dustbin fits into a cup holder and can be cleaned easily. But the larger bin linked above can store even more and doesn’t intrude on cubby spaces.
Mini door ajar warning lamps
Pricey cars have little lights on the doors to warn other road users at night if the doors are open. You can add that feature to any car with the inexpensive set of LED lights linked above. Each of these is fitted with a CR2032 battery, so installation is as simple as sticking them onto a flat spot in the door. A tiny magnet stuck on the door jamb controls the on-off switch in the light.
If you’re paranoid about car theft, nothing can offer more peace of mind than knowing where your car is at all times. You can put an inexpensive sim-based tracking device in a secret location. But an app-based OBD-II device like our own Cardekho Uplink (linked above) even offers geofence alerts and tow-away alerts. Find out more about the device and app here.
Inflatable bed for the back seat
Sleeping in a tent while camping is a tradition, but your car can offer air conditioning and the safety of locked doors. The inflatable bed linked above can fit into most car rear seats. Word of caution: when this bed is in use, the rear seatbelt anchors and ISOFIX mounts are inaccessible. Deflate and stow away the bed while driving.
Add a bit of allergen elimination to your Sunday car cleaning routine with a vacuum cleaner. The one linked above draws power from the car’s accessory port, and can be used on both wet and dry surfaces.
Bluetooth tag for car keys
If you’re someone who loses their car keys all the time, you can use a Bluetooth tracker to find them. The price makes them quite prohibitive. Yet, some people such as the elderly are sure to see these as a godsend. The tracker itself is water-resistant and seems long-lasting, so such a gadget could be a good investment for those who need it.
Battery jumper kit
A battery jumper kit can be a lifesaver in an emergency. The one we’ve linked above is on the lower end of the price range, but it packs enough punch to jump even large diesel engines. If you don’t want to invest in a jumper power pack, at least buy a set of jumper cables.