While there is often little to differentiate one new car from another when they roll off the production line, nothing says that drivers have to keep it that way. The right accessories can make any car feel more like home. And seeing as inside the car is one of the places you’ll spend the most time each day, it might as well be as pleasant as possible. To assist in this endeavor, we’ve compiled our list of five must-have accessories that anyone can easily incorporate into their own vehicle’s setup—all without breaking the bank.
For some drivers, nothing will help make a car stand out more than a good window tinting job. While tinting is worthwhile for a host of reasons (U/V protection being one), many choose to tint their car’s windows for purely aesthetic reasons. A cool mirrored finish can offer both a distinctive look and an additional amount of privacy for drivers. Colored options are also available. Of course, for many, the most popular option is probably a simple black tint.
Keep in mind that the regulations governing tinting can differ from locality to locality. Laws for window tinting in Grapevine, TX, for example, might be to a different standard than another municipality—even one in the same state. For this reason alone, it is always worth consulting with a local auto detailing professional who should be familiar with all local rules and regulations.
Those looking to inject a welcome jolt of personality into their car’s rear should look no further than the tried-and-true bumper sticker. The possibilities for creativity when using stickers or decals are nearly limitless. And while some may find them passe, many count themselves as bumper sticker devotees. Heck, even Mathew McConaughy is a fan of them.
Classic options include jokes about tailgating, the favorite local sports team’s emblem, boasts of personal athletic achievements, and stick-figure tallies of ever-expanding families. In short, there is certain to be something for almost anyone. Just try to use good taste and avoid anything overly profane or political. Driving can be infuriating enough as it is—and no one wants to have to explain a crude joke when picking the kids up from school.
Cell Phone Holders
Let’s face it: a good cell phone holder is pretty much a necessity these days. As peoples’ smartphones have developed into defacto music players and navigation tools, they’ve also become indispensable tools for drivers everywhere. That means being able to operate a smartphone safely—in a hands-free manner—is often of the utmost importance.
Luckily, the options for cell phone holders these days run the gamut. From holders that attach to windshields to those that fit snugly inside cup holders, there is sure to be an option that fits both requirements and tastes.
The classic pine tree air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror is basically a first car rite of passage. After all, no one wants a stinky car. Yet, odors do tend to stick to the porous materials found in most cars. Is there any way to combat that musty old car smell?
Well, if a thorough washing and shampoo of all fabric surfaces haven’t made a difference, it may be time to take more drastic measures and deploy air fresheners. While some may find certain air fresheners overly powerful or chemical-smelling, for others, they may be the only thing that provides relief from a musty vehicle. Personal preference, as always, will prevail.
Extra Seat Comforts
Long gone are the days of having to suffer from the poor support found in most standard car seats, as drivers today have plenty of options for adding both style and comfort to a car’s existing seats. Aftermarket options for seat heating and cooling exist, as do massage chair attachments and covers that are purely decorative.
While some options can be quite expensive, simpler covers for popular makes and models can often be found for less than $20 and can be an easy way to personalize any car’s look.
Car Emergency And First Aid Kits
While you shouldn’t drive around with too much junk in the trunk, be sure to always have room for a basic first aid and emergency road safety kit. Such kits are readily available online and can be put together easily enough on your own. Common items to include are a portable cell phone charger, bandages, an ice scraper, a flashlight, and some other basic hand tools.
You will obviously hope that you’ll never have to use it, but having essential items on hand can make all the difference in an emergency. And if you’re really old-school, don’t forget to pack a map.
Accessorize Your Ride How You Want
At the end of the day, add whatever accessories to your car that will make you the happiest. If that means adding a Hello Kitty bumper sticker, slap that sucker on there.