Whether you are driving a brand-new vehicle or your ride’s new-car smell wore off long ago, adding an accessory or three can go a long way toward making your car feel fresh and personalized. The gadgets we’ve sourced here will make your vehicle a little more fun to be in. Some add modern functionality to an older car, while others are useful in vehicles of any age. What they all have in common is that they’re less than 50 bucks. Check out these cool items and see if there’s one that’ll make your time behind the wheel even more enjoyable.
Wsiiroon Multicolor Interior LED Lights
More and more new vehicles are offering interior ambient lighting, and some even feature the option of choosing the lighting hues you’d prefer. These multicolor LED strips will provide the same result in any car with a 12-volt power outlet. You can cycle among eight colors using your voice or the included remote control, or you can have the lights automatically change color based on your music. Double-sided tape from 3M is included to secure the lights.
Mpow Bluetooth Auxiliary Jack Adapter
If you have a car with an auxiliary jack but no Bluetooth audio streaming, this $16 adapter can transform your music-listening experience. Simply charge it (or connect it to your car’s power outlet), plug it into your aux port, and pair your phone. Not only is the adapter good for high-quality audio streaming, it can also be used for phone calls using its built-in microphone. Who needs a fancy, expensive, Bluetooth-enabled radio?
Ampper Exterior LED Light Kit
For many drivers, a vehicle’s outward appearance is just as important as its performance. Others want additional exterior lighting to help their car be seen at night. For either of those needs, we recommend exterior LED lights like these from Ampper. Available in packs of two, four, or six, these waterproof lights can be placed anywhere on a vehicle and are designed for all weather conditions. They’re not intended as driving lights but do work well as puddle lights. They come in blue, green, red, white, and yellow. The lights must be wired to your vehicle’s electrical system, so you should see a knowledgeable installer unless you’re sure you can handle the job yourself.
Shynerk Rear-Facing Car-Seat Mirror
Hauling precious cargo? Baby on board? This nifty mirror lets you peek at your kiddo in their rear-facing infant seat without straining your neck. The convex, shatterproof-glass mirror mounts easily on the rear-seat headrest and swivels so that you can watch over junior from the rearview mirror. It’s simple, clever, and inexpensive.
ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum
Whether you have children or pets or you’re just plain messy, an in-vehicle vacuum cleaner makes it easier to keep your car clean. This model from ThisWorx plugs into your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet and has a 16-foot-long cable, making it useful for tidying a sports car or a minivan. It has multiple attachments, a spare filter, and a cleaning brush. Now get out there and vacuum up that mess!
Foval 110V AC Power Inverter
While some new vehicles come with a wall-style AC outlet in the interior, virtually every car has a 12-volt outlet. This inverter turns that common 12-volt outlet into the 110-volt kind for only $17. This model provides one plug and up to 150 watts—other models have more plugs and power output at added cost. We also like that this inverter includes two USB ports capable of fast charging, at 3.1 amps. That’s usefulness on a budget.
Depstech Wireless Endoscope
Losing something important in one of your car’s many dark nooks or crannies can turn a 10-minute repair job into a frustrating hour-long affair. Not only will this wireless endoscope from Depstech help you locate that dropped 10-millimeter socket, it can also help retrieve it, thanks to its multiple attachments. For the more mechanically involved, the scope can also be used for inspecting cylinder walls or hidden electrical connections. This device works wirelessly and projects the image from its tiny camera onto your cellphone screen.
Drop Stop Car Seat Gap Filler
If you’ve ever lost something in the abyss between your front seats and the center console—and who hasn’t—you’ve likely thought, Why doesn’t someone do something about this? The folks at Drop Stop have. The Seat Gap Filler’s name says exactly what it does. This inventive product promises to prevent many future hand contortions—as well as the occasional skinned knuckle—due to lost change, pens, phones, keys, or anything else prone to falling into the no man’s land between the seat and center console.
Airo Phone Mount
While you should never let a phone distract you from driving, a well-placed phone holder can make it much easier to play music or operate the navigation app from behind the wheel. There are hundreds of mounts to choose from, but we picked this Ario model because it doubles as a wireless charger and, unlike many others, includes the requisite 12-volt adapter.