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10 great automotive stocking stuffers, each for $25 or less

Thoughtful and practical, these gift ideas are also super affordable.

Craig Cole Former reviews editor
Craig brought 15 years of automotive journalism experience to the Cars team. A lifelong resident of Michigan, he's as happy with a wrench or welding gun in hand as he is in front of the camera or behind a keyboard. When not hosting videos or cranking out features and reviews, he's probably out in the garage working on one of his project cars. He's fully restored a 1936 Ford V8 sedan and then turned to resurrecting another flathead-powered relic, a '51 Ford Crestliner. Craig has been a proud member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).
Craig Cole
4 min read
Stocking Stuffer Gifts

You can give great gifts without going broke.

Star Flare/Hussell/Friencity/Foval/Leather Honey/Tile/SDBAUX

The holiday season is fast approaching. Have you finished your shopping? If you're looking to buy something for the car enthusiast(s) in your life and haven't yet maxed out your credit card or depleted your checking account, you're in luck. We've compiled a great list of affordable gearhead gift ideas.

Every item here is priced at $25 or less, making them perfect stocking stuffers. That means you won't have to spend a fortune, raid the kids' college fund or otherwise jeopardize your retirement to give something cool.

Read more: Best affordable gifts for car lovers and gearheads in 2019

First up, an item tracker from Tile. This gadget is ideal for more absent-minded car enthusiasts, the sort that's always misplacing their keys. Simply attach this little fob to your key ring or anything else for that matter, and it communicates via Bluetooth with your phone, allowing you to find or keep tabs on whatever it's attached to. Tile should work at a range of up to 300 feet and it even integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for greater flexibility.

This next gift idea is perfect for the car enthusiast that's also a techie. Grab them a power inverter and they can keep all their mobile devices fully charged while on the go. This unit is only the size of a passport and costs less than 21 bucks. It offers 200 watts of juice and comes with two 110-volt household plugs, which are perfect for powering laptop computers or other small electronic devices. Thoughtfully, it also has four USB ports.

If you grab that power inverter, you might also want to purchase this, a two-pack of multi-USB device chargers. With a retractable 4-foot cable and three different plugs on the end, you can easily keep your phone and your friends' mobile devices fully charged without having to swap cables or search for adapters. USB Type-C, Lightning and Micro-USB plugs are all supported.

Are you prepared for an unexpected breakdown, especially at night? Improving visibility and safety while stopped on a roadside, this three-pack of LED flares is the perfect gift to give nearly anyone that owns or operates a motor vehicle. Not only are these babies visible from up to a mile away, they're also rain-, crush- and shatter-proof, plus they come with a convenient carrying case and run for up to 36 hours.

Keep distracted driving to a minimum by giving a magnetic phone holder. This is a gift that's not only great for gearheads, but for anyone that drives. Naturally, there are myriad design variations on the market, but this particular unit attaches to a vehicle's air vent. A corresponding metal plate gets affixed to the handset or slid underneath its case, allowing said phone to magnetically -- and easily -- attach to the mount, no fumbling required.

Oh, boy. Your car just threw a check-engine light. What to do now? Naturally, there are several options. You can take it to a dealership or independent garage and potentially pay big bucks for a simple diagnosis, or you could buy your own OBD II scanner and get to the root of the issue for potentially much less, in this case, a mere 15 bucks. This neat little tool plugs into a vehicle's diagnostics port and communicates with a variety of different operating systems including Android, Windows and iOS. It should have no trouble pinpointing the source of a wide range of faults, helping you correct them more quickly and, hopefully, with less hassle.

If someone you know frequently works from their car or truck, this gift right here could be perfect for them. A steering-wheel tray makes it so much easier to eat a quick meal or edit a Powerpoint presentation while on the go. It simply clips to a vehicle's tiller and provides a flat working surface. How brilliant is that? Obviously, this product can only be used while parked, so don't attempt merging onto the highway with it deployed. Seriously, you know better than that.

A great stocking stuffer for any car enthusiast that owns a vehicle equipped with leather seats is a product designed to clean and condition cow hide. As its name suggests, Leather Honey is a leather conditioner that penetrates deeply to restore and protect even the crustiest old leather. Used by millions of customers, one treatment lasts six months or longer. Naturally, this product can be applied to more than just seats. Try it on other leather goods like shoes or handbags. But perhaps best of all, Leather Honey is made in the USA and backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Another wonderful gift idea for any car nut is a scratch-remover kit. Abrasions and other paint defects happen. Unless you never drive your vehicle, they're basically unavoidable. But these little flaws don't have to ruin your day as they can be reduced or even eliminated with relative ease. Meguiar's is the gold-standard in vehicle care and it offers a scratch-removal kit that should make it a snap to revitalize your car or truck's weather-beaten finish. This product contains a special polishing compound and a foam pad that attaches to a drill. Use this stuff as directed and you should have more-than-satisfactory results with minimal effort.

Finally, one item that can dramatically improve the look and feel of a car is a new steering-wheel cover, which come in a vast array of styles, colors and materials. If your vehicle's tiller is a little worse for wear or otherwise grimy, grab one of these genuine-leather covers and wrap the rim in luxury. Super affordable, this kit comes with thread and a needle so you can firmly attach the cover to the steering wheel. Oh, and that contrast-color stitching looks cool to boot.