- Be prepared for any eventuality with our pick of the best kit
- Be rewarded for safer, smoother driving thanks to a clever free app
- Say goodbye to damaged alloy wheels with rim protectors
Some of the most exciting developments in car accessories come in the form of apps. For example, who, only a few years ago, would have thought you could download something onto your app that would reward your driving?
Check out the full list of accessories below.
1. Head-up display
This clever app turns your mobile phone into a head-up display that projects driving directions onto your car's windscreen. Download the free Hudway app to your phone and select your route on Google Maps. Lay the phone on the dashboard and see your route displayed ahead of you, complete with warnings of approaching corners.
2. Dashboard camera
A dashcam can be an invaluable source of supporting evidence after a vehicle accident. At around £50 the Nextbase iN-Car Cam 101 Go is an inexpensive camera that provides good images, even in low light levels, as well as good audio. Simple to use, it records the time and the date. There are more expensive cameras, but the Nextbase is a solid budget choice.
3. Safer driving app
The free telematics mobile app LV= Driving measures your driving style and could reward you with a safe-driving discount on your car insurance. When you go for a drive, open the app and press record. Your driving performance is recorded and summarised. After 200 miles and 10 or more journeys, you'll be told how much discount you've earned – perfect for young drivers who could get cheaper car insurance.
4. Car finder
If you've ever struggled to find your car in a large car park, you'll appreciate the Hammacher Schlemmer Automatic Parked Car Finder. Just plug the device into your car's cigarette lighter and when you turn off the engine at your destination, it sends a Bluetooth signal revealing your car's location to a specialised mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. There is even a USB port in the gadget so you can charge other devices.
5. Gadget mount
The CD Slot Mount is the sort of idea you wish you'd had first. Simply insert the plastic support into your car's CD slot and attach a choice of mounts that can hold a satnav or a phone (or both at the same time). It allows you to use the item safely and, best of all, doesn't stop you playing your CDs.
6. Parking sensor kit
Although many newer models have parking assistance as standard, you can make parking easier in older cars with the Dolphin DPS455 parking sensor kit. It features four recessed rear-bumper-mounted sensors, a control unit and a boot-mounted proximity display unit you can read in your car's rearview mirror. This last feature works in conjunction with an audible alarm that bleeps faster as you approach an obstacle.
7. Blind spot mirror
Anything that improves your visibility has to be good, and the Summit Dangerzone Safety Car Mirror does exactly that. Unlike those small, curved blindspot mirrors that sit in the corner of your wing mirrors, the Dangerzone attaches to the top of the wing mirror, maximising your vision and improving your safety.
8. Windscreen frost protector
Save valuable minutes and avoid the temptation to drive with your windows still partially frosted over by fitting the Bluecol Magnetic Frost Protector on your windscreen. It attaches simply and securely and, when not in use, folds into a small pack that you can stow in the boot or the glovebox.
9. Dashboard grip pad
Sick of hiding your keys, coins and glasses away in the glove compartment? Have them easy to hand with the snappily named TRIXES Car Grip Pad Sticky Mat Non Slip Anti Slide Dash Gel. Washable and easily removable, this small pad sticks to your dashboard and clings to whatever you place on it, stopping your belongings from sliding around.
10. Handheld tyre gauge
The recent recipient of a five star review from Auto Express, the RaceX Tyre Gauge RX0014 is accurate to within one psi tolerance, easy to read and simple to release – perfect if you need to check your tyre pressure on the go.
11. Headlight repair
Boost the power of your old car's headlights with this simple but effective drill-mounted system. The 3M Headlight Restoration Kit is a fast and effective DIY solution for hazed or discoloured lights. The kit features a mounting system, masking tape, and pads and polish to give what the maker claims are results as good as the professionals'.
12. Alloy wheel protectors
Alloy wheels are increasingly common on cars but while they look good, they're easy to damage – which is why AlloyGator alloy wheel protectors are such a good idea. The nylon circles sit between the alloy and the tyre, protecting the wheel rim. They come in various colours and there's a nationwide network of fitters if you don't want to fit them yourself.