Car gifts for nonenthusiasts

Any good American owns a car. But not every good American is also into cars. That’s OK. There are still plenty of great gifts out there for you to buy them, whether they want car related gifts or not. 

Accordingly, I’ve put together a guide with some of the niftiest car-related gifts for your non-car enthusiast on your holiday shopping list.

Automatic Link ($100)

Automatic LinkThe Automatic is just downright cool and can be enjoyed just as easily by non car enthusiast as it can by gear heads.

Summarizing the Automatic succinctly isn’t easy, as it does many, many cool things. Plug it into your car’s onboard diagnostic (OBD) port, sync it with the Automatic iPhone app and you can monitor miles driven, time driven, average fuel costs, and fuel economy.

That’s not all the Automatic does, though. It’ll monitor your driving style and alert you if you do things that lead to inefficient driving like accelerating too fast, decelerating too fast, or exceeding 70 mph.

Then, should your vehicle give you a ‘check engine’ light, you can pull up the warnings and even clear the warnings yourself.

This makes the Automatic perfect for average, workaday people who want to avoid needlessly taking their car into the dealership and drive more efficiently and those who wish to geek out on the inner workings for their car. Excelsior!

LifeHammer ($15)

LifeHammerThis product, aside from being really useful in an automotive jam, has one of the best product names … ever. I feel you could apply it to so many products and it would be just as compelling.

Essentially, this is a two-in-one tool. You have a sharp, pointy hammer designed to breakout a window. And on the other end is a knife for cutting pesky, stuck seatbelts.

LifeHammer was designed by the Dutch – and certified by the German test lab (TUV) whatever that is. When it comes down to it, the tool is there for when you drive into a frozen lake and can’t open your door, or if your car flips and your belt won’t unlatch.

Problem with giving the LifeHammer as a gift is that it speaks volumes of what you think of the recipient: 1.) You see them as a very, very paranoid person, always expecting the worst. Or 2.) The person is very bad at not driving into frozen lakes.

Either way, if you need the LifeHammer, remind me not to ride in your car anytime soon, OK?

WeatherTech DigitalFit FloorLiner  ($80 to $620)

WeatherTech DigitalFit FloorLinerIf you want to keep your loved one’s car in tip-top shape, get them these floor mats. Unlike most aftermarket floor mats, these DigitalFit units are an exact fit, measured with lasers to perfectly contour to the floorboards of the recipient’s car.

I love these things – I even have them in my own car. Often cheaper than the mats from the dealership, the WeatherTechs often come in complementary colors to match the car’s interior. The ones in my Toyota Land Cruiser, for example, are brown.

Yes, these mats might tell someone that you care but also that you don’t care too much. So if you come from a cold, emotionally repressed British family like mine, these mats are the perfect way to say, “I was thinking about you and your muddy car this holiday season – but not too hard or for too long.”

Swift Hitch Portable Backup Camera ($220 to $320)

Swift HitchSwift Hitch was designed specifically for hooking up a hitch on your lonesome. With a magnetic base, it quickly hooks up to you truck’s tailgate for a quick view of your reversings.

I wonder, however, couldn’t it be just as useful in a non-towing scenario, too? With a massive 2.5-inch color-ish screen, you can what’s going on behind your vehicle on the fly. The Swift Hitch makers brag that with the built-in night vision, you can even see up to 15 feet behind your vehicle as well. Neat-o!

Stanley Portable Jump-Starter ($65)

Stanley 500 Amp Jump StarterHere’s another gift idea that both hugely useful but also mildly insulting to receive. Everyone has needed a jump now and again but there’s not always someone around to help. That’s where the Portable Jump-Starter comes in handy. If you can remember to keep this thing charged, it could very well save you in pinch.

I’m trying to think of what else to say about this thing. But there’s really not. So get this for your loved one if they either A.) Drive a jalopy. Or B.) Can’t remember to turn off the dome light.

Accutire Talking Digital Tire Pressure Gauge ($12)

Accutire MS 4441GB Talking Digital Tire Pressure GaugeSure, everyone has heard of a digital tire pressure gauge, but what about one that talks to you? Whoa! Crazy! The future is now.

Yes, this tire gauge, aside from its nicely formed pistol grip and easy-to-read digital readout is a must-have in your chariot of choice because it’ll read to you – in English or Spanish – the last tire pressure reading.

So if for some reason your eyes don’t work so good, but you’ve been able to pass the driving test and then also find the tiny tire valve, this bad chicken will keep you up-to-date on the internal tire pressure.

Yes, a regular, non-speaking tire pressure gauge works just as well. But why get one that doesn’t talk? It’s almost 2014, after all.

Ram Drink Cup Mount ($40)

Ram Drink Cup MountI thought this thing was cool and then I noticed it’s also self-leveling. Now I really want one.

Every major automaker – whether they like it or not – includes dozens of cup holders throughout their numerous models. That is, if they want to sell any of their cars in the drink-obsessed U.S. If you have a loved one who happens to own a car that’s old or European enough to not include a cup holder, this is your best possible gift option for them.

Sure, putting your drink in your lap – or in the lap of your child – might be priceless. Unless you want to get rich sewing McDonald’s for genital scalding, you’re better off dropping the $38.00 on the RAM Drink Cup Mount.

Just suction cup this bad-boy to a window and you’ve got yourself one mean cup holder ready to take on whatever sort of wild, fully hydrated excursions you might have planned.

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