In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas 2017 is nearly upon us. And that makes the perfect opportunity to give the car lover in your life a motoring related present. To help give you some inspiration, here are 10 ideas for great Christmas gifts.
Ice scraper glove
One piece of kit we should all have in our cars at this time of year is an ice scraper. Even then, being outside in the freezing cold is pretty miserable without gloves. But they’re not something all of us carry, particularly when the only thing you need them for is scraping the ice off the car. That’s where the ice scraper glove comes in. Made from waterproof cloth with a snug polyester lining and a tough ice scraper, whoever you buy this for will thank you while they’re doing the necessary on a sub-zero morning.
Where from: Halfords
Retro racing car posters
Back in the day, a serious amount of artistic endeavour used to go into the posters that promoted big motor races. Work from artists such as Michel Beligond became as famous for their characterisations of racing cars as the races they advertised. Originals of these sell for thousands but you can still buy prints for your loved one’s office, bedroom, or if you’re particularly indulgent of their passion, the living room wall.
Price: From approx. £10
Karcher Window Vac
Clean windows are vital for safe motoring. But cleaning car windows – outside and particularly in – is a pain. Not with the Karcher Window Vac. Whoever you buy this for will thank you. After they’ve sprayed window cleaner onto the glass, the Window Vac sucks up the moisture leaving windows moisture and streak free. And of course, once they’ve cleaned the car, they may be sufficiently in the mood to set about the windows in the house too…
Scalextric is 60-years old and shows no signs of retiring. The formula is exactly as it’s always been: two little electric cars that you race round a track. Gaming on screens may have amazing graphics but Scalextric is arguably more fun and definitely more inclusive. You can get a starter set including the 1/32 scale cars from £89.99. And with one gift you’ll have sorted presents for years to come with new cars and track extensions offering an endless resource of ideas.
Whether it’s the car your loved one currently owns, a car they once owned, one they want to own or one that has some significance for them, there’s bound to be a model of it. Companies such as Minichamps produce some fantastically detailed 1/43 scale models of all kinds of cars.
Price: From approx. £50
From: Trax Models
Race car simulator
If your car fan is done with slot car racing and computer games are a bit last decade, what about giving them a session in a racing car simulator? Based in Surrey, near Gatwick Airport, Lets Race offers state of the art simulators. They have 10 simulator rooms and run sessions during daytime and evening.
Price: Gift card from £20
From: Lets Race
Lego model car
Lego is a lot more than brightly-coloured building blocks for small kids. You can buy kits of cars such as the Ferrari F40 or Caterham Seven. And then there are sets that range from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes F1 team to the cars and characters from Batman. Prices vary but whatever and whoever you buy it for, they’ll be kept quiet for hours.
Price: From £29.99
Mobile device holder
The law changed earlier this year, doubling the points and fine for anyone caught using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel. But getting caught is daft when there’s a huge selection of holders designed to keep drivers legal. We like the look of the Meeaja car air vent phone holder. And the most recent Auto Express phone holder review rated the Olixar CD slot mount holder.
Whatever your loved one wants to record themselves doing, the DJI Spark mini drone is the thing to do it with. It’s controlled using an app on a smartphone and it features a camera mounted in a mechanical gimball to enable the user to shoot from any angle. It can fly at up to 30mph and in ‘follow me’ mode, it’ll even track whoever’s in control of it. They’re not cheap, but hey: how much is your car lover worth?
Cameras that sit in your windscreen and record everything that happens in front are still proving hugely popular. The sky’s pretty much the limit when it comes to the cost and sophistication of these little devices. And to quote an old cliché, you do get what you pay for. We’ve already published this handy guide to choosing the best dash cam for your money. But everyone’s got to start somewhere and Nextbase do well in a variety of independent reviews and have a wide range of cameras to suit all budgets.
Price: From £30
From: Various outlets online