Car Accesories

9 must-have gadgets for your car in 2024

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If you’re anything like me, you love finding ways to make your ride smoother, safer, and just plain cooler. Today’s cars are more than just a way to get from point A to point B—they’re packed with tech that can transform your driving experience.

Whether you’re commuting to work, heading out on a road trip, or just cruising around town, having the right gadgets can make a world of difference. These days, it’s all about convenience, safety, and entertainment, and the right gear can bring all that and more to your vehicle.

In this article, we’re diving into the top 10 must-have gadgets for modern cars. These aren’t just flashy add-ons; they’re practical tools that can seriously upgrade your ride. From devices that help you navigate the roads like a pro to ones that keep your car clean and comfy, we’ve got something for everyone.

We’ll break down each gadget, talk about why it’s awesome, and give you some solid recommendations on the best options out there. So whether you’re looking to pimp out your current car or deck out a new one, you’re in the right place.

Alright, let’s get started and check out the gear that’s going to take your driving game to the next level!

1.Dash Cam

A dash cam, short for a dashboard camera, is a small video recording device mounted on your car’s dashboard or windshield. It’s designed to continuously record the view through your vehicle’s front windscreen and, in some cases, rear or interior views. Dash cams have become increasingly popular among drivers for their ability to capture high-quality video footage of the road ahead.


  • Security and Peace of Mind: One of the primary reasons to invest in a dash cam is the added security it provides. In the event of an accident, a dashcam can provide clear evidence of what happened, which can be crucial for insurance claims and legal disputes.
  • Protection Against Fraud: Unfortunately, incidents of staged accidents and insurance fraud are on the rise. A dashcam can protect you from false claims by providing indisputable video evidence.
  • Recording Scenic Drives: For those who love road trips, a dash cam can capture stunning scenic drives and memorable moments on the road. You can easily share these videos with friends and family or keep them as personal mementos.
  • Monitoring Teen Drivers: If you have a young driver in the family, a dash cam can help you keep an eye on their driving habits and ensure they’re driving safely.
  • Parking Surveillance: Some dash cams come with a parking mode that records video even when your car is parked. This can be useful for catching hit-and-run incidents or vandalism.

Top Picks

Here are a few popular dash cam models that have received high praise from users and experts alike:

  1. Garmin Dash Cam 66W
    • Pros: Compact design, 1440p HD video, wide 180-degree field of view, voice control, GPS logging.
    • Cons: Higher price point, requires additional accessories for parking mode.
  2. Nextbase 522GW
    • Pros: 1440p HD video, built-in Alexa, emergency SOS feature, GPS logging, easy to install.
    • Cons: Slightly bulky, can be expensive with additional modules.
  3. Vantrue N4
    • Pros: Three-channel recording (front, rear, and interior), 1440p HD video, infrared night vision, parking mode.
    • Cons: No built-in GPS, larger size.
  4. Rexing V1
    • Pros: Discreet design, 1080p HD video, wide dynamic range, loop recording, affordable.
    • Cons: No GPS or Wi-Fi, basic features.

Installation Tips

  • Placement: Position the dash cam behind the rearview mirror to minimize obstruction of your view while driving.
  • Power Supply: Most dash cams can be powered through your car’s cigarette lighter socket or hardwired to the fuse box for a cleaner installation.
  • Memory Card: Invest in a high-quality, high-capacity microSD card to ensure smooth recording and ample storage space. I usually use Sandisk microSD cards. Never had one fail yet (knocks on wood).

2. GPS Navigation System or a Great Phone Mount

A GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation system is an essential gadget for any modern car. It uses satellite signals to determine your precise location and provides real-time directions to help you reach your destination.

While many smartphones come with built-in GPS capabilities, dedicated GPS navigation systems offer a range of features specifically designed to enhance your driving experience. But some of us just need to get there, and budget IS a concern. In these cases, all you need is a great phone mount because all recent smartphones have a GPS inside and a Maps app.

3. Bluetooth Car Kit

A Bluetooth car kit is a device that allows you to wirelessly connect your smartphone to your car’s audio system. This enables hands-free calling, music streaming, and access to your phone’s voice assistant, all without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.

Bluetooth car kits come in various forms, including plug-and-play devices that connect to your car’s auxiliary input or FM transmitter, as well as more integrated options that can be installed directly into your car’s stereo system.


  • Hands-Free Calling: One of the primary benefits of a Bluetooth car kit is the ability to make and receive calls without physically handling your phone. This not only enhances convenience but also improves safety by allowing you to keep your focus on driving.
  • Music Streaming: With a Bluetooth car kit, you can wirelessly stream music from your smartphone to your car’s speakers. Enjoy your favorite playlists, podcasts, and streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music with high-quality sound.
  • Voice Commands: Many Bluetooth car kits support voice commands, enabling you to control your phone’s functions using your voice. This includes making calls, sending texts, getting directions, and controlling music playback.
  • Compatibility: Bluetooth car kits are compatible with a wide range of smartphones and car audio systems, making them a versatile addition to any vehicle.
  • Ease of Installation: Most Bluetooth car kits are easy to install and require minimal setup. Plug-and-play models can be connected in minutes, while more integrated options might require professional installation but offer a cleaner look and better integration with your car’s existing systems.

Top Picks

Here are some of the best Bluetooth car kits available on the market:

  1. Jabra Freeway
    • Pros: High-quality speakerphone with three speakers, noise cancellation, voice commands, FM transmitter, easy setup.
    • Cons: Bulkier design, higher price point.
  2. UGREEN 5.3 Aux Bluetooth
    • Pros: Compact design, easy plug-and-play setup, affordable.
    • Cons: Limited range, no built-in display.
  3. Nulaxy KM18 Bluetooth FM Transmitter
    • Pros: Large LCD screen, FM transmitter, USB charging port, SD card slot, AUX input, wide compatibility.
    • Cons: FM transmission can be affected by signal interference, slightly bulky.
  4. Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit
    • Pros: Simple and compact design, easy installation, clear audio quality, supports aptX for higher sound quality, affordable.
    • Cons: Limited to cars with AUX input, no built-in display.

Installation Tips

  • Plug-and-Play Models: For Bluetooth car kits that connect via AUX input or cigarette lighter, simply plug the device into the appropriate port and pair it with your smartphone. Ensure the device is securely positioned to avoid any distractions while driving.
  • FM Transmitters: If using an FM transmitter, find an unused FM frequency on your car’s radio and set the transmitter to the same frequency. Adjust the transmitter’s position for the best signal quality.
  • Integrated Systems: For more advanced Bluetooth kits that integrate directly with your car’s stereo system, consider professional installation to ensure proper setup and functionality. This can provide a cleaner look and better integration with your car’s existing controls. And this is the ideal solution; I promise it’s worth the hassle.

4. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is a safety device that continuously monitors the air pressure inside your vehicle’s tires. It alerts you when the pressure drops below or rises above a pre-set threshold, helping you maintain proper tire inflation.

TPMS can be factory-installed in newer vehicles or added as an aftermarket accessory to older cars. There are two main types of TPMS: direct and indirect. Direct TPMS uses sensors mounted on each tire to measure pressure, while indirect TPMS estimates pressure based on wheel speed and other factors.


  • Enhanced Safety: Proper tire pressure is crucial for safe driving. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can lead to poor handling, increased stopping distances, and a higher risk of blowouts. TPMS helps you avoid these dangers by providing real-time pressure alerts.
  • Improved Fuel Efficiency: Maintaining the correct tire pressure can improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance, which means your engine has to work harder and consume more fuel. TPMS helps you keep your tires properly inflated, saving you money at the pump.
  • Extended Tire Life: Properly inflated tires wear more evenly, which can extend their lifespan. By regularly monitoring tire pressure with a TPMS, you can avoid premature tire wear and reduce the frequency of replacements.
  • Environmental Benefits: Improved fuel efficiency and extended tire life contribute to a lower environmental impact. Properly inflated tires reduce CO2 emissions and decrease the number of tires that end up in landfills.
  • Convenience: TPMS eliminates the need for manual pressure checks with a gauge. The system provides continuous monitoring and instant alerts, allowing you to address tire issues promptly.

Top Picks

Here are some of the best TPMS options available on the market:

  1. TireMinder A1A
    • Pros: Easy installation, real-time pressure and temperature monitoring, large display, customizable alerts, supports up to 22 tires.
    • Cons: Higher price point, requires periodic sensor battery replacement.
  2. Vesafe Wireless TPMS
    • Pros: Solar-powered display, easy to install, real-time monitoring, audible and visual alerts, affordable.
    • Cons: Limited to 4 tires, solar charging may be less effective in low-light conditions.
  3. FOBO Tire Plus
    • Pros: Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone app integration, easy installation, real-time monitoring, supports multiple vehicles.
    • Cons: Requires smartphone for monitoring, higher initial cost.
  4. EEZTire TPMS
    • Pros: Large color display, real-time monitoring, customizable alerts, supports up to 26 tires, reliable performance.
    • Cons: Expensive, display unit requires a power source.

Installation Tips

  • Sensor Placement: For direct TPMS, install the sensors on each tire’s valve stem. Ensure they are securely fastened to prevent air leaks. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement and calibration.
  • Display Unit: Mount the display unit in a visible location on your dashboard or windshield. Ensure it does not obstruct your view while driving. Some units are solar-powered, while others may require a connection to your car’s power outlet.
  • Calibration: After installation, calibrate the system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Set the desired pressure thresholds and ensure the system is functioning correctly.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check the sensors for damage and replace their batteries if needed. Keep the display unit clean and ensure it is receiving adequate power.

5. Portable Jump Starter

A portable jump starter is a compact, battery-powered device designed to jump-start a vehicle without the need for another car. It comes with built-in jumper cables and can be used to revive a dead battery in emergencies.

Modern portable jump starters often include additional features such as USB ports for charging electronic devices, LED flashlights, and air compressors, making them versatile tools for any driver. I can tell you mine saved me a couple of times. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time to wait for a friend to bring you a battery or something. You need to get going.


  • Emergency Preparedness: A portable jump starter ensures you’re never stranded with a dead battery. It provides peace of mind knowing you can quickly and safely jump-start your car without needing assistance from another vehicle.
  • Convenience: Unlike traditional jumper cables, a portable jump starter is easy to use and doesn’t require another car. This is especially useful in remote areas or during late-night emergencies.
  • Multi-Functionality: Many portable jump starters come with additional features like USB charging ports, which allow you to charge your phone, tablet, or other devices on the go. Some models also include built-in air compressors for inflating tires and LED flashlights for added safety.
  • Compact and Portable: These devices are designed to be compact and lightweight, making them easy to store in your car’s trunk or glove compartment. Despite their small size, they pack enough power to jump-start most vehicles.
  • Cost-Effective: Investing in a portable jump starter can save you money on towing services and potential delays. It’s a one-time purchase that can provide years of reliable service.

Top Picks

Here are some of the best portable jump starters available on the market:

  1. NOCO Boost Plus GB40
    • Pros: Compact design, powerful 1000-amp output, can jump-start up to 20 vehicles on a single charge, built-in LED flashlight, USB charging port.
    • Cons: Higher price point, requires regular recharging to maintain readiness.
  2. DBPOWER 800A Portable Car Jump Starter
    • Pros: 800-amp peak current, supports up to 7.2L gas or 5.5L diesel engines, built-in LCD screen, compass, USB ports, affordable.
    • Cons: Slightly bulkier than some competitors, shorter jumper cables.
  3. TACKLIFE T8 Pro
    • Pros: 1200-amp peak current, can jump-start up to 30 times on a single charge, built-in air compressor, dual USB ports, LED flashlight, durable design.
    • Cons: Larger and heavier due to additional features, air compressor may be slower than standalone units.
  4. Beatit G18 Pro
    • Pros: 2000-amp peak current, supports up to 8.0L gas or 8.0L diesel engines, quick charging technology, dual USB ports, LCD screen, built-in compass.
    • Cons: Premium price, may be overkill for smaller vehicles.

Installation and Usage Tips

  • Initial Charge: Before using your portable jump starter for the first time, ensure it is fully charged. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging times and methods.
  • Storage: Keep the jump starter in a cool, dry place, ideally in your car’s trunk or glove compartment. Avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check the charge level of your jump starter and recharge it as needed to ensure it’s always ready for use. Some models have a built-in indicator to show the battery status.

Using the Jump Starter:

Safety First: Ensure your car is turned off, and both the jump starter and car battery are dry and free of any flammable substances.

Connect the Cables: Attach the red clamp to the positive terminal (+) of your car’s battery and the black clamp to the negative terminal (-).

Power On: Turn on the jump starter and wait for the indicator light (if available) to show it’s ready.

Start the Car: Attempt to start your vehicle. If it doesn’t start immediately, wait a few minutes and try again.

Disconnect: Once the car starts, carefully disconnect the clamps in reverse order (negative first, then positive) and turn off the jump starter.

6. OBD-II Scanner

An OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) scanner is a device that connects to your car’s OBD-II port to read and interpret diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) generated by your vehicle’s computer system. These codes help identify issues with your car’s engine, transmission, and other critical systems. OBD-II scanners range from basic code readers to advanced diagnostic tools that provide real-time data and extensive troubleshooting capabilities.


  • Diagnose Car Issues: An OBD-II scanner allows you to identify and troubleshoot problems with your vehicle before they become major issues. By reading the diagnostic trouble codes, you can determine the cause of the check engine light and other warning indicators.
  • Save Money on Repairs: Understanding the nature of the problem can help you avoid unnecessary repairs and save money. You can decide whether a visit to the mechanic is necessary or if it’s a minor issue you can fix yourself.
  • Monitor Vehicle Performance: Advanced OBD-II scanners provide real-time data on various parameters such as engine RPM, fuel efficiency, and sensor readings. This information can help you monitor your vehicle’s performance and make informed decisions about maintenance.
  • Emissions Testing: Many OBD-II scanners can check your vehicle’s readiness for emissions testing. This can help you ensure your car meets the required standards and avoid failing an emissions test.
  • Easy to Use: OBD-II scanners are user-friendly and can be used by both professional mechanics and car enthusiasts. Most models come with clear instructions and intuitive interfaces.

I think my OBD-II scanner, a random ELM 327 that looks as sketchy as they come, saved me over $1000 since I have it. Seeing the error, doing some work, and just going prepared at a shop when I couldn’t repair it myself gave me huge savings.

7. Wireless Charging Pad

A wireless charging pad is a convenient device that allows you to charge your smartphone and other compatible devices without the need for cables. These pads use inductive charging technology, which transfers energy between the pad and your device through electromagnetic fields.

Simply place your device on the pad, and it begins charging automatically. Wireless charging pads for cars are designed to fit seamlessly into your vehicle’s interior, often integrating with the dashboard, center console, or cup holder.

I usually am quite careful to have enough battery. But for that damn occasion when I was in a hurry, this was amazing. (I have an Anker one) And the missis loves it too!

Top Picks

Here are some of the best wireless charging pads for cars available on the market:

  1. Anker Wireless Car Charger
    • Pros: Fast charging capabilities, secure and adjustable mount, compatible with a wide range of devices, easy installation.
    • Cons: Slightly bulky, may require additional USB port for power.
  2. iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless 2
    • Pros: One-touch mounting system, fast charging, adjustable viewing angles, dashboard or windshield mounting options.
    • Cons: Larger footprint, higher price point.
  3. CHOETECH Wireless Car Charger
    • Pros: Affordable, fast charging, air vent mount, secure grip, wide compatibility.
    • Cons: Air vent mounting may not suit all vehicles, basic design.
  4. Mophie Wireless Charging Pad
    • Pros: Sleek and compact design, fast charging, non-slip surface, easy to use.
    • Cons: Limited mounting options, higher price.

Installation and Usage Tips

  • Placement: Choose a location in your car where the wireless charging pad will be easily accessible but not obstructive. Common locations include the dashboard, center console, or cup holder. My Laguna has a spot below the radio, so it fits perfectly over there.
  • Power Supply: Connect the wireless charging pad to your car’s power source, typically through the cigarette lighter socket or a dedicated USB port. Ensure the power cable is neatly routed to avoid any interference with your driving.
  • Secure Mounting: If the charging pad comes with a mount, ensure it is securely attached to prevent it from moving while driving. Adjustable mounts can help position the pad at a convenient angle.
  • Compatibility Check: Ensure your device is compatible with the wireless charging pad. Most modern smartphones support wireless charging, but it’s always good to double-check the specifications.
  • Avoid Overheating: Be mindful of the temperature. Wireless charging can generate heat, so avoid placing the pad in direct sunlight or near heat sources. Some pads come with built-in cooling systems to manage heat.

8. Car Air Purifier

A car air purifier is a compact device designed to improve the air quality inside your vehicle by removing pollutants, allergens, and unpleasant odors. Using advanced filtration technologies such as HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, and ionizers, car air purifiers can effectively capture and neutralize particles like dust, pollen, smoke, and bacteria. These devices are particularly beneficial for drivers with allergies, asthma, or those who spend a lot of time in their cars.

So I don’t have one yet, but I want one. So I cannot recommend something right now but I am looking at one from Philips. I’ll edit here if I manage to get one. But if they work half as good as room air purifiers, I think it would be worth it.

9. Portable Car Refrigerator

A portable car refrigerator is a compact, travel-friendly appliance designed to keep your food and beverages cool (or even frozen) while you’re on the go.

These mini fridges can be powered by your car’s cigarette lighter socket (12V DC) and sometimes by a standard household outlet (110V AC), making them versatile for both in-car use and other settings like camping or picnics. They come in various sizes and capacities, allowing you to choose one that fits your specific needs.


  • Convenience: A portable car refrigerator provides the convenience of having cold drinks and fresh food available at all times. This is particularly useful during long road trips, camping adventures, or picnics.
  • Cost Savings: By bringing your own food and beverages, you can save money on eating out or buying snacks at gas stations and rest stops.
  • Temperature Control: Many portable car refrigerators offer adjustable temperature settings, allowing you to keep your items at the perfect temperature. Some models can even switch between cooling and freezing modes.
  • Preservation of Perishables: Keeping perishables like dairy products, meats, and fruits at a safe temperature helps prevent spoilage and foodborne illnesses.
  • Versatility: These refrigerators are not limited to car use. They can also be used in boats, RVs, and even at home during power outages or for extra storage during parties.

Top Picks

Here are some of the best portable car refrigerators available on the market:

  1. Dometic CFX3 35
    • Pros: Dual-zone cooling and freezing, Wi-Fi app control, energy-efficient, rugged design, large capacity (36 liters).
    • Cons: Expensive, larger size may not fit in smaller vehicles.
  2. Alpicool C15 Portable Refrigerator
    • Pros: Affordable, compact size (15 liters), digital control panel, energy-efficient, can cool down to -4°F (-20°C).
    • Cons: Smaller capacity, limited to cooling or freezing (not both simultaneously).
  3. ARB 50Qt Fridge Freezer
    • Pros: Large capacity (50 quarts), durable construction, advanced cooling technology, battery protection system, quiet operation.
    • Cons: Premium price, bulky.
  4. Cooluli Mini Fridge Electric Cooler and Warmer
    • Pros: Versatile (cooling and warming), compact and portable, affordable, multiple power options (AC/DC and USB), eco-friendly.
    • Cons: Smaller capacity (4 liters), not suitable for long-term storage of large quantities.

Installation and Usage Tips

  • Placement: Place the refrigerator in a stable and secure location in your car, such as the trunk or back seat. Ensure it is not obstructing any safety features like seat belts or airbags.
  • Power Supply: Connect the refrigerator to your car’s cigarette lighter socket (12V DC) or use an adapter for a standard household outlet (110V AC) if available. Some models also support solar panels for off-grid use.
  • Temperature Settings: Adjust the temperature settings according to the items you are storing. For beverages, a cooler temperature is sufficient, while for perishables, you may need a colder setting.
  • Pre-Cooling: For optimal performance, pre-cool the refrigerator at home using a household outlet before placing it in your car. This helps maintain the desired temperature more efficiently during your trip.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean the interior and exterior of the refrigerator to prevent odors and maintain hygiene. Check the power cables and connections for any signs of wear or damage.

In the summers we’ve been having lately… something like this is almost a must-have for any great road trip or camping trip. Enough said.


Investing in these must-have gadgets not only improves your daily commute but also prepares you for unexpected situations, whether it’s a dead battery, a flat tire, or simply the need for a refreshing beverage on a long trip. These devices bring modern technology and innovation right into your car, offering benefits that range from increased safety and better performance to enhanced comfort and convenience.

As you consider which gadgets to add to your car, think about your specific needs and driving habits. Whether you’re a road trip enthusiast, a busy commuter, or someone who loves to stay connected on the go, there’s a perfect gadget out there for you.

By integrating these tools into your vehicle, you can transform your driving experience and enjoy the many advantages that modern automotive technology has to offer. I have to tell you, having my 2007 Renault that came without a Bluetooth-equiped radio be able to just play songs from my phone is a blessing. I don’t care about a big upgrade to it, but I wanted some modern solution. Bam! Long live gadgets! 🙂

So, gear up and get ready to take your driving experience to the next level. With the right gadgets, every journey can be a smooth, safe, and enjoyable ride. Happy driving!

Car enthusiast. I am dedicated to maintaining my cars as best as I can. I love things that work, and I love keeping them in a good state.

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