With Christmas just days away, the Which? Car team has been thinking about which motoring gifts they’d like to receive on Christmas morning. From car safes to snow socks, what should you buy a motoring buff?
To limit the chance of us requesting a new Aston Martin or Porsche, we’ve given ourselves a £100 budget.
That’s still a healthy amount, so if you’re at your wits’ end about what to get a keen driver, the Which? Car team might be able to help. I’ll go first.
Rob Hull: Keep secure with an in-car safe
This might not be very exciting, but something from Autosafe would be gratefully received. Autosafe makes in-car security safes and security boxes. So if you leave sat navs and iPods in your car, like me, you’ll have an appropriate place to keep them instead of storing them in the glovebox – the first place a car thief will look. At just over 60 quid, the S5 Car Safe would be the one I’d want.
Richard Headland: Never go flat with a tyre inflator
Well, I’d be very happy with some vouchers to go karting – in my opinion the best bang for your buck, and the most fun, if you’re buying someone a motoring day out.
On a more practical level, I’d like one of those tyre inflators you can run off your car’s 12v lighter socket, as I’m fed up with garage air machines being out of order when I go to check my tyres. Last time we tested these, the Ring RAC600 came out well – and it’s less than £25. Who said I’m hard to please?
George Marshall-Thornhill: Charge up with solar power
I’ll take a Freeloader solar charger, thanks. Although we’re a little short of sun at the moment, the Freeloader Pro (£69.99) stores energy in its internal battery, providing enough charge to give a boost to mobile phones, MP3 players and the like. It’s just the job if you get caught short and need to make an important call.
Claire Evans: Snow socks to stop the slide
Top of my list are socks – no not ordinary ones, or even ones with cute snowflakes on, but ones for my slippery little Renault. I live at the end of a 100-yard-long unmade road and my Modus slid and swerved all over the place during the last bout of snow. So I’d like a pair of snow socks (around £50) to fit snugly over its front tyres.
Will McManus: Become an in-car DJ
I love listening to music while driving – and the squeaks and rattles my car has developed in the past year are only part of the reason. Although my car stereo can play MP3 discs, I find it annoying to have to burn a new disc every time I download some new tunes. So I’d like a Griffin iTrip FM transmitter (around £23.99).
I tried one out last month and loved that you just plug it into your iPhone and go, giving you access to far more music on the move. The downside is that my girlfriend can use it from the passenger seat, meaning she’s the DJ. And given that I’ll be covering quite a few miles between Christmas and the New Year, that might make it a bad idea…
Tim Pitt: Brighten up your headlights
It’s dark by the time I leave work at this time of year, so I’d like a set of brighter headlight bulbs for my trusty Ford Focus. We tested upgraded headlight bulbs like the Bosch Pure Light, Halfords Super Brilliance, Osram Night Breaker and Philips X-Treme Power earlier this year, and found that some offered a big improvement over standard, factory-fitted bulbs. And at around £16 a pair, that makes upgraded bulbs a very cheap way to make your journey safer.
David Evans: Safely carry that take-away
I want something we haven’t looked at for far too many years. Originally seen on the Land Rover Discovery, it’s available to all as an accessory – the Curry Hook. Once I’m fed up with turkey and eaten my last mince pie, all I’ll want to do is bring my taste buds back to life.
So the £2.50 Curry Hook is the perfect accessory to help avoid embarrassing spills as you bring your take-away home. We tested one back in 2001 and although I can’t find the same one now, there are alternatives out there that can bring your lovely curry home (and it also works for Chinese takeaways!) Which of these motoring gifts take your fancy?