The best car accessories 2018: car tech you never knew you needed

From dash cams to key locators, we’ve put together a list of the best car accessories for your wheels

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This isn’t going to be a list of Pimp My Ride-worthy super sonic sound systems, hot tubs in the back of the truck, aquariums, or even chandeliers, but a practical list of all the car accessories that may actually improve your driving experience.  

From dash cams that will prove your innocence in an accident to wireless Bluetooth transmitters for car sound systems that predate smartphone connectivity, the car accessory market is certainly a variable one. 

But before we get into the cool gadgetry, there’s one necessary item that clinches the top spot. Dog hair, crisp crumbs, mud, hairpins and the odd 1p coin; by the end of the month, your car probably looks like a detritus dumping ground, which means the clever and convenient Dyson V6 Car & Boat is a no-brainer when it comes to ‘need to buy’ car accessories. 

The others? We’ll leave the ‘need to buy’ decision up to you – they are all pretty cool, though. 

Nextbase 612GW Dash Cam

1. Nextbase 612GW Dash Cam

Catch drivers in the act with this 4K dash cam

Specifications
Resolution: 4K
G sensor: Yes
LCD screen: 3 inches
Reasons to buy
+ Wide viewing angle + Polarising filter reduces glare for the best picture 

There’s nothing more annoying than trying to explain to the insurance company that the accident wasn’t your fault, no matter what kind of tangled web of lies the third party is trying to weave. Well now, the proof is in the camera. 

Recording in 4K quality, this smart dash cam allows you to record and easily transfer footage from the device to your phone or home PC. It uses a magnetic pad to secure itself to the dashboard and it tracks your GPS and speed to ensure everything's fair and square whenever you happen to have an accident.  

Tile Mate

2. Tile Mate

‘Where me keys, where me phone?’ Don’t know? Tile Mate’ll find them

Specifications
Connection: Bluetooth
Type: GPS locator
Battery life: 1 year
Reasons to buy
+ Use your phone to find your keys+ Use the Tile Mate to find your phone 

While the bloke from Britain’s Got Talent may have enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame (can’t remember ‘where me keys, where me phone’? Look it up on Youtube, it’ll blow your mind), we know only too well the frustration of actually misplacing them. 

This handy gadget attaches to your keys; you can ring it from your phone or consult the app to see when they were last seen. You can also press the button on the Tile Mate itself and it’ll ring your phone… and it’ll even make a noise on silent mode – handy, eh?  

LDesign Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter

3. LDesign Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter

Whack on the tunes with this handy Bluetooth transmitter

Specifications
Power: 5V
G sensor: Bluetooth Transmitter
Phone call compatible: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Hi-fi sound quality + Comes with charging port 

When the radio jingles literally make you want to blow a gasket, hook up your phone to this transmitter and play your own tunes through your car stereo. With an in-built microphone, echo cancellation and noise suppression, this transmitter handily doubles up as a hands-free calling device and triples up as a charger. 

Plugging right into your cigarette lighter socket, this transmitter is easy to use and, according to people who’ve already bought it, provides oodles of performance qualities, too.  

iOttie

4. iOttie

Go dotty for iOttie – the perfect accompaniment to a charger or Bluetooth transmitter

Specifications
Mounts: Sticky gel pad
Type: Phone mount
Compatible with: All Android and iOS phones
Reasons to buy
+ Easy to lock and release + Includes telescopic arm 

If you’re buying a transmitter or a charger, it’s handy to have a mount to stick your phone on while it’s doing its thing. Compatible with phones of all sizes, the iOttie is a convenient go-to that can adapt with a push of the finger. 

It sticks securely to your dashboard, can be easily removed and features a telescopic arm so you can keep your device just where you want it. With users saying it blows other car mounts out the water, we’re pretty sure you can expect decent quality from this iOttie.  

Scosche USB Charger

5. Scosche USB Charger

Don’t miss out on a valuable opportunity to charge your phone

Specifications
Power: 12W
Type: USB charger
Compatible: All devices
Reasons to buy
+ 12 watts of charge + Low profile design 

If you’re on the go for work, taking phone calls every five minutes while browsing online spreadsheets can take its toll on your battery, so if you’re driving in between clients, it’s a great time to give your phone a boost of charge. 

This Scosche USB charger is small and fits neatly into your cigarette lighter socket. It works with all smart phones and devices, and there’s two ports so you can charge up your tablet and your phone at the same time.  

The best car accessory

6. Dyson V6 Car & Boat

On the road or on the water, this hoover has you covered

Specifications
Power: 21.6 volts
Type: Handheld vacuum
Battery life: 20 minutes
Reasons to buy
+ Small and light + Mini motorised tool for picking up pet hair 

Combining Dyson’s powerful cyclone technology with accessories specifically designed to clean your car, this one is a no-brainer if you’re always cursing at stray dog hair and crumbs in the back seat. 

From the crevice tool to the mini motorised tool for picking up dog hair, this small and light hoover is versatile and offers up to 20 minutes of charge, so you can quickly clean your car without forking out any extra at the local hand car wash. 

Chill Tots Back Seat Car Organiser

7. Chill Tots Back Seat Car Organiser

Avoid an audience with ‘are we there yet’ with this car seat organiser

Specifications
Material: Polyester
Type: Child entertainment organiser
Features: 5 storage pockets and a tablet holder
Reasons to buy
+ Easy to install + Space for snacks and drinks bottles too 

Favourite film downloaded – check. Snackage – check. Colouring pencils – check. Silence in the back seat? – check. Yep, this handy organiser will keep the kids quiet for ages, especially during that three hour drive to the grandparents'. It’ll keep your back seat tidy (in theory) but you’ll probably need to bring out your Dyson V6 Car & Boat hoover to get rid of all the crumbs once you’ve arrived at your destination.