12 must-have accessories for your car

1 June 2022

For Australians who travel to and from work, the average commute time is about three and half hours per week, or about 40 minutes per day1. That’s a lot of time driving. Whether you’re commuting to work, taking the grandkids out for the day or going on a weekend escape, you’ll want to ensure you’re comfortable every kilometre of the way.

There’s a huge number of car accessories available on the market today, offering an improved driving experience. And the best part? Most of these accessories will work with any car, new or old, as long as you have a smartphone on hand. 

1. Phone mount

Gone are the days of installing a bulky GPS on your dashboard – now our smartphones can get the job done. In Australia, it’s illegal to hold and use your phone while driving, so having a dashboard mount helps you find your way safely. There are different mounts available, from the more traditional cradle with suction cups to magnetic holders that attach to your air vents.

2. Multi-charger

Not all cars come equipped with USB chargers, and if you only have one 12-volt port it’s difficult to charge more than one device at a time. Look out for multi-chargers that have two or more USB ports, so none of your devices run out of juice.

3. Car emergency kit

Having some basic supplies on hand can help you get back on the road quicker if your car ever breaks down. If you’re not venturing far from home, it’s useful to have:

  • a spare tyre
  • your vehicle user manual
  • first aid essentials
  • a torch, and
  • blankets or towels.

If you’re travelling long distances or into remote areas, you’ll need a more comprehensive emergency kit.

If all else fails, GIO Roadside Assist can help 24/7, Australia-wide.

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GIO Roadside Assist is an optional extra only available with GIO Platinum and Comprehensive Car Insurance. Cover available 24 hours after adding to policy. Limits, exclusions and conditions apply.

4. Car locator

As car parks and shopping centres expand, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember where you parked. If this concerns you, consider getting a car locating device that pairs with your phone, so you can pinpoint your car’s location from the palm of your hand.

5. Heads-up display

Using technology initially developed for fighter jets, transparent heads-up displays enable you to keep your eye on the road while viewing your GPS, speed or phone screen. These displays are standard in some newer cars and can also be installed separately.

6. Wireless tyre pressure monitor

These handy wireless sensors attach to the inlet valves on your tires. When your tyre pressure drops below its recommended level, you’ll get a notification on your phone. If you have a smartphone, you can even monitor your tyre pressure on the go with a dedicated app.

7. Dash cam

Dash cams can offer great peace of mind. You can install them to the front or back of your vehicle and record your surroundings. If you’re ever involved in an accident, you can easily share the footage with your insurer or the police.

8. Car performance monitor

Car performance monitors offer you the ability to keep track of your vehicle’s data by recording it from its onboard computer. The monitor plugs into the OBD-II port, which is a feature in most non-electric cars post-1996. These devices often work with in tandem with a mobile app, allowing you to examine data like acceleration, fluid temperature and fuel consumption.

9. Back seat organiser

Heading away on a road trip with the grandkids? A back seat organiser can be attached to the front seat headrests, and will usually have a bracket for a tablet as well as room for snacks and cups.

10. Anti-slip car dashboard grip

These dashboard grips are made of silicone and require very little effort to install – simply place the adhesive side down on your dashboard and you’re good to go. This is great for organising small items in your car, such as your phone, sunglasses and spare change. If you’re storing any valuables in this way, be sure to remove them from sight when you leave the car.

11. Extra cushioning

If you work at a desk all day, you might find sitting behind the wheel particularly uncomfortable. Car seat cushions are a great way to soften your commute, and provide extra support for your spine. There are many different options, including cushions made with gel pads and memory foam.

12. A car cover

Last but not least, remember to have a car cover on hand. If you can’t keep your car in a garage or carport, a car cover can help to protect it from bird droppings and harsh weather. Depending on the type of car cover you choose, it may even help to protect your car from more extreme weather events like a hail storm.

Think about your car insurance

Perhaps the most important car accessory to have is the right car insurance! Depending on the level of cover you opt for, you might also find that your insurance will cover your car accessories (provided they don’t enhance the performance or change the structure of your car).

When your car is stolen or damaged in an incident covered by your policy, GIO will cover accidental loss or damage to your personal property (e.g. clothing, electronic and telecommunication devices) in the car at the time of the incident (up to $1,000). After an insured incident we also cover:

  • reasonable costs for emergency repairs to make your car roadworthy or safe in order to get your car to your destination (e.g. to a repairer or to your home); and
  • reasonable emergency accommodation costs if your car is not roadworthy or safe to drive and you are more than 100km from your home.

GIO provides four levels of car insurance - Third Party Property Damage; Fire, Theft and Third Party Property Damage; Comprehensive; and Platinum.


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1. Australian Institute: Off to Work – Commuting in Australia: https://australiainstitute.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/DP78_8.pdf

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. Go to gio.com.au for a copy. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.