Have you ever been in a situation that could have been quickly resolved if you’d had the right gadget? We know the feeling. Whether your phone has died, your car battery has run flat or you’ve got a puncture, there are lots of times when a gadget could well have saved the day — or at least made life more comfortable until the breakdown crew arrived.
So, to help you avoid any stickier situations, here we look at 16 problem-solving gadgets you should keep in the car to make your driving life a little easier.
1. Jump Starter and Air Compressor
Lots of car care firms recommend carrying a set of jump leads, but what happens when you don’t have a car to borrow a boost from? Rather than relying on a passing good Samaritan, invest in a jump starter device that can get your battery going even in the middle of nowhere. Or, better still, get yourself a jump starter with a built-in air compressor — perfect for saving your lungs when blowing up the airbed on your next family camping trip. This one from Suaoki can even add juice to your devices thanks to USB charging, so it’s ideal for those long drives for work.
2. Blind Spot Mirrors
Whether you live in a busy city or drive a larger-than-average car, a set of blind spot mirrors can help you stay safe on the road, even in areas with lots of cyclists and pedestrians. These self-adhesive mirrors can massively improve your all-round visibility, not only making it easier to keep an eye on other road users, but also giving you better visibility when you’re parking on a busy road or car park.
3. Car Seat Gap Fillers
Do you often find yourself reaching under the driver’s seat to retrieve your phone after it has fallen down the gaps? Make this annoying accident a thing of the past with a pair of car seat gap fillers. These handy pads simply slot down the side of your seat to stop your gadgets falling to the floor, so they’re perfect for those who often keep their smartphone in a pocket.
4. Dash Grip Mat
Dashboards often seem like a bit of a waste of potential, with all that horizontal surface space serving only to gather dust. If you’ve run out of space in your door bins and centre console, why not use a dash grip mat to transform your car’s dash into a handy storage area. These sticky pads simply latch on to your dash and make it possible to store all sorts of items at the front of the car, so your bits and bobs are never far from reach.
5. Tyreweld Emergency Puncture Repair
If you’re unlucky enough to get a flat tyre, the last thing you want to do is start trying to repair it or fit a spare wheel — especially when you’re on your way to work in the pouring rain. That’s where Holts Tyreweld comes in. In just minutes this product seals and inflates your tyre, so you can get where you’re going with minimal fuss and disturbance to your journey.
Holts Tyreweld helps ensure you can safely get to a mechanic to fix or replace your flat tyre.
6. Digital Tyre Pressure Gauge
Whether before a long journey or when carrying an extra heavy load, there’s certain times when it would be handy to have a digital tyre pressure gauge to hand — ensuring your tyres are properly inflated before you set off. Sure, you can check and inflate your tyres at most petrol stations, but that could put you well out the way (plus who wants to spend 50p every time they check their tyres?). By investing in a digital pressure gauge, you can always be sure your tyres are properly inflated.
7. Car Seat Organiser
Maintaining a clean, tidy and well-organised family car is no mean feat, with all sorts of clutter accumulating on the backseats over time. What you need is a car seat organiser, which hangs over the front passenger and driver seat to offer handy cubby holes for all your bits and pieces. Perfect for travelling with kids, these pocket organisers are super helpful for those who take pride in keeping their car looking spotless.
8. DAB Radio Converter
Despite DAB radios being available for over a decade now, car makers have been slow to add them to their cars, often making them an optional extra you have to pay big bucks for. If you’re tired of terrestrial radio and fancy making the switch to digital, converters are available which pick up the digital signal, so you can listen to your favourite DAB stations at the wheel.
9. In Car Accident Video Recorder
More and more drivers are choosing to use in-car video recorders in a bid to protect themselves from insurance scammers, who deliberately cause accidents to reap a cash pay-out. While pricey Go-Pro cameras used to be the only effective dash cam, there are now lots of more affordable versions out there that are specifically designed for use in the car. We like this one, which offers a 170° field of view and night vision capabilities.
10. Smartphone Battery Case
Smartphones may have come on a long way but let’s face it, they’re still rubbish at holding charge. Use your phone a lot and you can expect a day and a half of use at best, which isn’t great when you’re driving around the country without an in-car charger. To give your phone a power boost, why not invest in a battery case which can give the device up to 50% more life from a single charge? These clever cases are now available for most modern smartphones, and are ideal for those on the move.
11. Car Litter Basket
It’s amazing how much rubbish you accumulate as you go about your week, and if you’re not careful a lot of that can end up strewn across the backseat of your car. Many drivers spend more time in their car than they do at home, so it seems only right that your car should have a bin. Car litter baskets are great for collecting litter and are also completely waterproof, so you can be sure that takeaway wrapper or fizzy drinks carton isn’t leaking onto your upholstery.
12. Emergency Road Kit
Whether you’re driving abroad or just prefer to be safe and not sorry, an all-in-one emergency survival kit is a great way to enjoy a little peace of mind at the wheel. Containing everything you could possibly need in an emergency, including jump leads, hi-vis jackets, warning triangles, tow ropes, torches and a first aid kit, these comprehensive kits are an absolute boot essential.
13. Anti-Sleep Pilot
If you spend a lot of time driving on the motorway, you’re probably aware of the very real risk of falling asleep at the wheel. Tiredness is one of the biggest causes of accidents on UK roads, so it should be taken seriously. An anti-sleep pilot hooks up to your smartphone and monitors your tiredness level as you drive, suggesting when it’s time to pull over and take a break. The device sits on the dashboard and displays an illuminated gauge showing how tired you are, making it easy to plan your next pit stop coffee break.
14. Windscreen Fan Heater
There’s nothing more annoying in the winter than demisting your car on cold mornings, when the engine just doesn’t seem to want to warm up and clear the screen. If you find yourself running late on account of trying to defog your windscreen, why not try a windscreen fan heater? These devices sit on the dashboard and warm the glass quickly, so you can get on your way in double-quick time.
15. Stayhold Boot Organiser
It’s frustrating to return from the supermarket to find your loaf of bread has been squashed as your shopping slides around in the boot. What you need is a handy divider that can help you organise items safely, so they can’t roll around and cause damage. Enter the STAYHOLD Boot Organiser, which makes it easy to keep items safe in transit. Invest in a couple of these handy dividers, and you’ll never wince at the thought of cracked eggs again.
16. Mighty Mug Anti-Topple Flask
Cup holders can only do so much to stop your morning coffee spilling all over your lap, with few travel flasks fitting in them securely. The Mighty Mug solves the problem of spilled coffee, with its gravity-defying design meaning it’s almost impossible to knock over. We’re not sure how it works, but these incredible travel mugs refuse to topple no matter how far they’re pressed — and yet can be picked up as normal. Witchcraft it may be, but we think these travel mugs offer a brilliant solution in the car.
At Holts, we develop DIY car repair products that anyone can use, helping drivers get back on the road whether their car won’t start or they’ve suffered a flat tyre. To find out more and view our complete product range, visit the homepage.