ON THE ROAD
10 must-have accessories for your car
3 April 2019
For many of us, a car is much more than just a way to get from point A to point B. And between the commute to work, the school run or a weekend escape, we spend a lot of time behind the wheel.
So how can you make the driving experience even better? With the best accessories and gadgets, of course. Automotive accessories are advancing quickly, which means driving is a better experience than ever before. The best part is that you don’t need to have the newest or fanciest car – these handy additions will work in most vehicles, provided you have a smart phone.
1. Phone mount
Gone are the days of needing to have a dedicated GPS on your dashboard; our smart phones can do basically the same thing – and more. In Australia, it’s illegal to hold or touch your phone while driving, so having a dashboard mount for your phone is the perfect way to make sure you can still view maps while you’re behind the wheel. There are different mounts available, from the more traditional cradle with suction cups to magnetic holders that attach to your air vents.
Not all cars come equipped with USB chargers, and if you only have one 12-volt port it becomes difficult to charge more than one device at a time. Look out for multi-chargers that have two or more USB ports so that none of your devices are left with a drained battery.
3. Car emergency kit
It’s never convenient when your car breaks down, though if you have a few basic supplies you may be able to get back on the road more quickly. If you’re not venturing far from home, it’s useful to make sure you have:
- A spare tyre,
- Your vehicle user manual,
- First aid essentials,
- A torch, and
- Blankets or towels.
It’s important to note that you’ll need a more comprehensive emergency kit if you’re going to be travelling off the beaten track. If all else fails, GIO Roadside Assist can help if you’re no further than 20km from a mechanic in a metro area or 100km in a regional area.
4. Car locator
As car parks and commercial centres, like shopping malls, expand, it becomes increasingly difficult to remember where you’ve parked. If this has happened to you, or you’re worried that it might, you could consider a car locating device that tracks your car using your phone and wireless technology.
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 starting to be included as standard in some newer cars, but if you’re looking to try one for yourself there are plenty of options available.
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 letting you know that it’s time to add some air. If you have a smart phone running iOS or Android, you may be able to monitor your tyre pressure on the go with a dedicated app.
7. Dash cam
Dash cams can be a great security device. They record the road in front of you, and in the event of an accident or a hit-and-run you can share the footage easily 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 so, depending on the model, you can easily examine things like acceleration, fluid temperature and fuel consumption.
9. Back seat organiser
Heading away on a road trip with the kids? You won’t be a stranger to what’s required to keep them occupied. A back seat organiser will hang from the front seat headrests and hold their sources of entertainment. Different brands and models boast various features but generally they’ll have a bracket for a tablet, and room for drinks and snacks.
10. Tried and true must-haves
Anti-slip car dashboard grip
These dashboard grips are made of silicon and require very little effort to install – simply place the adhesive side down on your dashboard and you’re good to go. These grips are great for organising small items in your car, such as your phone, sunglasses and coins. If you’re keeping valuables on the tray, be sure to remove them from sight when you’re not in the car.
If you work at a desk all day, it’s possible you might find being seated behind the wheel 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.
A car cover
Last, but certainly not least, is a car cover. If you can’t keep your car in a garage or carport, a car cover can help to protect it from bird droppings, the sun and 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.
Don’t forget car insurance
You never know when the unexpected might happen, regardless of how safe a driver you are. Car insurance will often even include any car accessories, provided they don’t enhance the performance or change the structure of your car. If you need to organise cover, be sure to research what car insurance policies are available and ask someone you trust about their experiences.
GIO Car Insurance provides four levels of cover, so that you can choose the right insurance option for your needs. From Third Party Property Damage – not to be confused with Compulsory Third Party Insurance or Green Slip – to Platinum Car Insurance, our policies can cover you, and your car accessories, in the event of the unforeseen.
Get in touch with our knowledgeable insurance specialists today on 13 10 10 to discuss your Car Insurance needs and stop thinking you’re covered – know with GIO.
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as GIO.