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Top 13 Most Essential Car Accessories

Car accessories can make a huge difference in how much you enjoy being in the car, plus they can help you keep your vehicle in excellent condition, keep your kids entertained, and keep you safe in an emergency. We’ve rounded up our top car accessories below by category; let us know which you already have and which you can’t wait to get.

How We Chose Our Ratings

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First, here’s a quick note to explain how we chose our ratings: accuracy and honesty are important to us, so we’ve scoured the internet to find the reviews and customer testimonials that will add value to your selection process.

We’ve evaluated all of our car accessories with these questions in mind: is this well made? Will it add value to someone’s life? Who will benefit the most from this accessory and who will not?

With all this in mind, we’ve selected the best thirteen car accessories that will make your life better.

Best Car Accessories For Parents/Families

Kids do a number on a vehicle, and they can also be less-than-ideal traveling companions. The following car accessories, however, get top marks from parents for keeping car trips clean and as pleasant as humanly possible.

1. Black + Decker CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum

Sure, you can lug your vacuum cleaner out to the garage and switch attachments, but how much easier would clean up be if you had a handheld vacuum cleaner hanging out in your minivan? Even better, what if you could hand it to the kids and have them vacuum while they drive?

This cordless handheld vac from Black + Decker fits the bill perfectly. It’s lightweight but strong and the perfect size for getting cheerios out from under car seats. It’s also an inexpensive option that gets terrific reviews from customers.

Want a more permanent option? The Dyson v6 is a powerful tiny engine that will handle the toughest jobs with style. Either way, make sure you also purchase a car adapter so that you can keep your vacuum fully charged, even when you’re on the go.

2. California Home Goods Naturally Activated Bamboo Air Purifying Bag

Sweaty soccer gear piling up in the back and the remnants of on-the-go meals can make for a stinky car. That’s why we love these charcoal filters so much! Housed in eco-friendly, permeable bamboo, the all-natural charcoal soaks up the bad smells instead of just covering them, leaving you with a fresh-scented vehicle again.

When you’re done, you can open up the packets and dump them into your compost. Reviewers report these work even for teenage boys, which is saying something.

One packet is enough for a mid-size or compact sedan, but if you have a large suburban or minivan, you might want to get an extra to hang in the rear.

3. KNGUVTH Backseat Organizer

These backseat organizers are so awesome you’ll want them even if you don’t have kids! They’re made from a high-quality, durable, wipeable material that hangs from the headrest and attaches to the seat at the bottom with a clip. This bottom clip is essential; without it, the organizer and its contents will go flying in the case of an accident.

The organizer itself runs the full length of driver or passenger seat and has large, see-through pockets to stuff water bottles, snacks, and games. It also includes a large plastic sleeve perfect for holding an iPad.

Finally, the organizer also acts as a kick stop, protecting the front seats from mud and scuffs from small shoes. Cars never seem to have enough organization, but this makes driving much simpler.

4. BDK Polypro Easy Wrap Seat Covers

Let’s face it: kids leave their mark on vehicle seats, and one of the best ways to prolong the life of your vehicle and keep it looking nice is to cover the seats. We love these BDK polypro seat covers for a few reasons. First, they’re made from durable material and come in a wide variety of colors so you can match your interior.

Second, they’re designed to handle everything from benches to captain’s chairs to 60/40 splits and lots of other configurations, so you can find what you need for your unique vehicle. We will note that some people have problems with these, something that’s to be expected considering the wide variety of vehicles people want them to fit.

Most newer model vehicles, however, should not have a problem and if you’re worried, make sure you go through a reputable online dealer like Amazon who will cover your return shipping.

Best Tech Car Accessories

Today’s vehicles have more tech floating around inside than the latest space shuttle; make sure you have the latest accessories to make your commute more enjoyable!

5. Apeman Dash Cam

It used to take hundreds of dollars to outfit your vehicle with an outstanding dash cam, but thanks to this one from Apeman, you can do it for around $. With almost 1,000 online reviews, this camera still manages to garner an outstanding 4.4 out of 5 stars thanks to a combination of affordability and smart features that enable it to compete with much bigger, more expensive cameras.

Here are are the details:

  • 170 degree super wide angle lens means you get the maximum amount of details
  • Built-in G-sensor means your accident scene will be immediately locked and not overwritten
  • 1080P super high-resolution lens

The camera doesn’t have night vision, but the high resolution means you won’t need it. It will loop continuously unless files have been locked–and the easy-to-understand instructions will make that process a breeze.

Whether you want to protect yourself in the event of a vehicle accident or traffic stop or simply want a record of your vehicle’s activity, this dash cam is one of the best.

6. Vanmass Wireless Car Charger

Nothing eats up your phone’s battery life like running your GPS or even just listening to a podcast so if there’s a way to eliminate extra wires and gadgets in the car and charge our phones; we’re all in!

The wireless car charger from Vanmas has a powerful suction cup that allows you to mount your phone on the dash or window, so that’s it’s eye level (you can also mount it on your console) while also providing phone power for your iPhone. It uses a strong clamp to hold onto your phone that’s easy to operate.

Reviewers love that it handles vibrations easily and still rotates 360 degrees while also mounting firmly, making it an easy choice for us to recommend in best our car accessories list.

7. Parrot MK19200 Bluetooth Hands-Free Kit

At over $$, this is one of the priciest car accessories we include in this article, but it’s certainly one of the most useful if you find yourself in an older vehicle that doesn’t have factory-installed Bluetooth options.

With the MK19200 from Parrot, you can sync your contact list and music via Bluetooth and use the optional voice commands so that you can make phone calls and listen to audiobooks, podcasts, and music without taking your hands off the wheel.

While this kit comes with instructions for installation, most reviewers recommend getting it professionally installed. This adds to the cost but might be necessary unless you have four or five hours to devote to installation or have professional-level skills.

Once it’s installed, however, users report that Parrot keeps its firmware updated regularly so that even the latest iPhones and Androids can sync without a problem.

Best Car Accessories You Never Knew You Needed

Without a doubt, the most fun car accessories are the ones that are so awesome you wondered how you got along without them!

8. The Drop Stop

There’s a good chance you saw this ingenious little device on Shark Tank when its creators were interviewed. It’s a marvel of an invention, because who among us hasn’t lost french fries, phones, and quarters to the dark void between the front seats and the center console?

If you’ve ever struggled to fish something out after you’ve dropped it, you’ll love this extremely simple gadget. It’s a sort of cushion that fills that gap and fits perfectly around your seatbelt. 88% of its nearly five thousand reviewers give it four or five stars, citing the fact that it fits any car and is washable.

One reviewer even points out that the Drop Stop blocks vomit. Gross, but we could see how helpful that might be.

9. Comfitech Heated Car Seat Back Massager

What if your seat cover also heated your seat, keeping you warm during the cold winter? And what if that heated also massaged you, making your commute fly by?

It’s hard not to love the Comfitech Heated Car Seat Back Massager for all those reasons–and at quite a bit less than $100, it’s a no brainer! Turn on the heat when you’re cold and the massager when you feel sore and stiff, and you’ve got a match made in heaven! Reviewers note that this seat plays double duty (you can place it on any chair) and that it has five different massage modes, so you have lots of options for comfort.

Plus, it comes with a one year warranty. Sounds like a winner to us!

10. French Fry Holder

The french fry holder is a French fry-shaped mount that sits directly into your cup holder, allowing your french fries to stay within easy reach and keeping them from ending up on the floor or in the gap between your seat and console (though, if you nab the Drop Stop, you won’t have that problem!).

It’s so funny it could easily work as a gag gift, but if you’re a french fry lover, the laughter stops as soon as you realize how useful this inexpensive gadget is. No more trying to find a place to hang on to your fries–keep those hot, salty strips easily within reach!

Best Car Accessories For Safety

Car accidents can be deadly, but these car accessories can help you avoid crashes and keep you safe in the event of an accident.

11. VicTsing Safety Hammer

This small, hand-held hammer has two purposes: two carbon steel pointed hammers at each end serve as glass breakers while at the other end of the hammer is a razor-sharp tool for cutting seat belts. Both of these enable quick exits in the event of entrapment inside your vehicle after an accident and can save your life or the life of a loved one in the car with you.

The hammer comes with a mount that you can use to attach it somewhere visible in your vehicle, or you can stow it away in a center console or glovebox. Either way, it’s a small, high-quality tool suitable for both men and women. Reviewers report that it’s very high quality and provides a tremendous piece of mind and also appreciate the glow in the dark strips and neon colors which make the tool easy to find in the dark.

12. Papago! Bluetooth Tire Pressure Monitoring System

If you have a new vehicle, it likely comes with a tire pressuring monitoring system already. But if your vehicle is older, installing such a system can help you monitor your tires, one of the most helpful things you can do to avoid an accident.

These four tire gauge fit sensors screw onto your tires and take about two minutes to set up. They’ll monitor the pressure of your tires and report via your smartphone. They are dust proof and water resistant and couldn’t be easier to install.

If you’re serious about avoiding a blowout and potentially losing control on the road, taking good care of your tires is vital–and these little pressure sensors will do the job!

13. 250 Piece First Aid Kit

You never know what life’s going to throw at you, whether you’re on a long-distance road trip or a short commute to the corner store; wherever you go, however, it pays to be prepared. And that’s exactly why we love this first aid kit. With 250 pieces, it serves as incredible 50 people while still managing to fit easily under a seat or in your trunk.

Like many of the car accessories we’ve recommended here, this one serves double-duty as a camping companion, sports companion, and in the event of any kind of accident. It’s optimal for family use, no matter the ages of your children, and it meets or exceeds ANSI 2009 and OSHA guidelines.

Its practical carrying case is water resistant and compact and has an airtight rubber seal so the contents won’t be compromised.

Buyer’s Guide

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People have lots of reasons for choosing new car accessories. Maybe you’re looking for help with a problem you can’t solve (spoiler alert: if you’re losing your french fries we have not one but two great car accessories just for you!) or maybe you simply want something to make your commute more fun and interesting.

Whatever the case, here are some questions that can help you make sure you’re buying the right accessories for your car:

1. Is This Too Complicated?

Take it from us–the worst gadgets are the ones that have too many straps, too many wires, and take too long to install. As fancy and exciting as some of the most fun accessories seem, they’ll quickly become expensive doorstops if they’re too complicated to be used all the time.

2. Does This Do Double Duty?

Even in the largest vehicle, car space is limited. That’s why it’s important that your car accessories go the distance, like the VicTsing Safety Hammer that’s both a glass breaker and a seat belt cutter or the KNGUVTH Backseat Organizer that works as an iPad or tablet mount, a seat protector, and an organizer.

3. Does This Need Power?

Keep in mind that all that awesome tech gear needs a power source. Do you have any power sources to keep them all running? Will all those cords start to drive you crazy after a while? Sometimes too much of a good thing is simply too much.

Whether you’re keeping your french fires within easy reach or organizing the backseat chaos or helping to prevent an accident, car accessories can make car life easier and more fun.