Just about everyone's got someone on their holiday list wo drives a lot and I bet you want to get a gift to make that a little less tedious.
I've got exactly that for you and by the way my list does not include any car.
If you're going to give someone a car for Christmas, I think you're good to go and don't need my little advice from this list.
Instead, I'm going to rank accessories for the driver on three critical criteria.
Number one, Things that are useful.
There are a lot of things that you can give the driver that are just dorky junk.
No brokestone crap here.
Number two, is it affordable.
You've seen the stock market this year and I bet you haven't seen a raise this year.
So I'm keeping all of these in a compact price band of a few hundred bucks Or a lot lower and is it installable either by the recipient or pretty easily by an auto stereo store.
That's kind of my outside edge, we're not gonna do any suspension kits here or anything that requires heavy engineering.
Number five is the AB-II Dongle
The only thing on my list that sounds dirty.
And it's a little bit wonky to be honest, not every driver is gonna really care about what this does but it exposes a wealth of information about the car's system, tells you what that check engine light is actually signaling, may let you clear trouble codes and can give you a bevy of additional gauges and other information about driving.
On your smartphone.
I do rank it at number 5, though, because while it is affordable and highly installable, it may only appeal to the car geek on your list.
Number 4, an Android Auto or Apple Carplay aftermarket head unit, a new car stereo.
This answers the question that I get from more auto owners than any other.
Which is, why can't I just have my smartphone as my car's dash?
At least in the center stack.
These do exactly that.
Units from Sony and Pioneer and others do Apple CarPlay or that and Android Auto, depending on what your recipient uses.
I'm putting this pretty low at number 4 because they tend to be pricey, they are few hundred bucks, the most expensive thing on my list.
And of course, the installation can be a chore.
You've gotta match up all the wires electrically.
And you've gotta make the things physically fit in what today can be a very proprietary looking dashboard without an obvious hole for one of these.
It can be done, it's a delight but it's a chore But I do love it.
[SOUND] Number three is a backup camera.
We're entering home run territory now.
This is one of those things that until you have one you don't know how you lived without one.
Now your recipient may already have one in their car if it's relatively new.
But if they don't, they'll love this.
So why do I rank it only at three?
Affordability is good on these but the install can be a pain.
You go to put a camera on the back of the car and typically run a wire to the front of the car.
That alone can be a chore, and then it has to send that picture to a screen somewhere.
See the head unit we just talked about, or maybe something in a new rear view mirror, or maybe it can go wirelessly to a smart phone.
A lot of choices but this is one of those things that they will use Every day, and hopefully in a way that has really serious positive consequences.
Number 2 may seem like a stocking stuffer, but I think it's an essential, a really good phone mount.
I can't believe how many people I see on On the road using these awful phone mounts, that have these big wonky arms that are suction cup in the middle of the windshield, and all kind of wonky with all these plastic cheesy universal fit parts.
Get a nice slim elegant magnetic mount.
Typically, that mounts to the vent vein on the front of the dash.
And has a magnetic attachment so there is no clips that are reaching around the phone and making it look horsey.
That's so easy to do and it's so elegant when you are in and out of the car all the time.
You can also look for custom mounts for a given car panovice makes a bunch of these.
For specific making model that can be very slick or just google the making model or your recipient's car and phone mount and you make up with a really cool solution that is custom built for that exact interior.
Before I get you to my number one tech gift for the driver A couple of gift basket ideas.
How about you get them a headlight restoration kit like we showed one of our recent videos?
Polish up those hazy gross yellow headlights that make their car look bad and are reducing the visibility of their headlights.
Now they make look at you and say thanks, you gave me the gift of a dirty weekend and elbow grease But they're gonna like the results or black trim restoration kit.
Everybody who's got a car that lives outside has black trim that is turning into gray trim.
Give them a kit with a few of my favorite products and a link to my video and they'll be able to make their car look a lot better, quicker.
Bonus points if you add a certificate for you to do the labor.
My number 1 tech gift for the driver is a dashcam.
These things are just starting to get red hot in our market, and it's time to give your driver something cool so they'll be ahead of the curve.
Plus they'll use it all the time, plus it's affordable, super easy to install, suction cup it to the windshield, run the cable down to the cigarette lighter 12 volt outlet.
You're good to go.
These things work all the time, including when the car is parked.
Detecting in many cases if it's been bumped or vandalized while the driver's not around it.
It's the gift that keeps on giving, even if it's giving you evidence of some rat bastard ruining your car.
It's still something really cool, really tech and hits to all of my buckets.
This is your odds on crowd pleaser.