Have you gotten bored of your vehicle? Do you wish you could get more from out of it? Do you look at newer vehicles and all their neat features in envy? If you answered yes to these questions, have we got some good news for you. Just like how people have their homes renovated instead of always buying new, there are several nifty and practical accessories you can buy to update your ride. You can make your vehicle feel like new by incorporating some of the best vehicle accessories of 2018.
Here are a few of our favourites.
#1 Dash Cam
Even if you’re camera shy, a dash camera is a smart investment to make these days. As the name implies, a dash cam is a camera that you fix to your dashboard. It’ll record everything you see out of your windshield.
Imagine that you get into an accident with another vehicle and there’s some dispute as to who is at fault – check the dash cam! It’ll be your witness when there’s no one else around. Or imagine that you come across something interesting while driving, with a dash cam on board, there’ll be no need to risk a distracted driving ticket to take a picture with your smartphone.
There are plenty of reasons to get one: avoiding the legal headaches accompanied by car accidents; protecting yourself from insurance-scamming pedestrians; recording your road trips; and capturing the unexpected on film.
Your own legal protection is the best reason to get a dash cam. Just take Russia as an example. Due to sporadic driving conditions and some famously corrupt police officers, drivers have had to resort to attaching dash cams to their cars to protect themselves with video evidence.
#2 Pet Seat Belt
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54, and most crash-related deaths occur to passengers. They also say that seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in the event of a crash. The Government of Canada echoes this position, because seat belts worn correctly can reduce the chances of death in a collision by 47% and the chances of serious injury by 52%.
If seat belts help so many human lives, doesn’t it stand to reason that they would do the same for your furry friends? Subaru thinks so, and they’ve even commissioned a full report to test car harnesses for dogs. According to Michael McHale, Subaru’s director of communications, “The thing people don’t think about is that [having a dog in the car] is like carrying an 80-pound sack of spuds behind your seat.” In a crash, a sack of potatoes can do some real damage. Also, the potatoes themselves could be damaged, and nobody wants that to happen!
It’s become second nature to us to strap ourselves in once we get seated in our cars, so why not apply the same standards to our pets?
But be careful when buying your pet’s seat belt. Not all pet harnesses are created equal. Be diligent, do your research, and buy the best pet seat belt so you can cruise with your pet with more peace of mind.
#3 A New Connected In-Dash Car Audio Receivers (Translation: Fancy Car Stereo System)
Let me paint a picture for you: you get into your friend’s brand new car and your eyes shoot to the dash where there’s a shiny, futuristic infotainment system. You then remember your own infotainment system and feel a pang of jealously, because yours consists of a cassette player and a clock. Now, you may feel an urge to ditch your rust bucket for a brand-new ride, solely for stereo system. But before you do, hear us out: there are some high-tech car stereos out there you can install in your car for a fraction of the price of a new vehicle.
Nowadays, car stereos are as advanced as the most expensive smartphones. By incorporating the latest trends in digital tech, most new car stereos are capable of smartphone integration, Bluetooth connectivity, and so much more. From Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible units to the simpler, more affordable stereos with USB charges and Bluetooth integration (which have become something of a standard), there are hundreds of advanced car stereo systems available that can elevate your driving experience.
Say goodbye to boring commutes and upgrade your ride in a meaningful way by replacing your outdated stereo with a newer, high-tech one. You won’t be disappointed by the results.
#4 Ski and Snowboard Roof Rack
Skis and snowboards are tough to load, especially if you have a small car. They’re lengthy, awkwardly shaped, and were designed to take you down the mountain. They were not designed to be neatly packed in a trunk of car.
With a good ski or snowboard rack, you can secure your skis and snowboards to the roof your car. This leaves you and your passengers more room to breathe and more room to pack road snacks. Besides, skis and snowboards are more securely fastened with a good rack. This avoids all the scratches and nicks that can occur from them bumping around in the trunk.
#5 Tablet Headrest Mount
Road trips with the family are unforgettable experiences. But let’s face it, your kids can be annoying as hell. There are only so many rounds of “I spy with my little eye” you can play before you want to jump out of the car. Keep your kids quiet, keep them entertained, and keep them from bickering by investing in a tablet headrest mount.
You’ll be able to go hours on the road without hearing a peep while your little ones watch movies. Just imagine the drop in the number of times you’ll hear the phrase “are we there yet?”
#6 Jumper Cables
No matter the year, jumper cables are cheap and essential to own. There’s nothing worse than finding out your car battery has petered out and died in the morning before work, and then finding out there’s a three-hour wait for AMA on top of that. The good news is, you can avoid a headache by picking up a set of jumper cables – they’re $20. The only other thing you’ll need is a running vehicle to give you a boost should your battery die.
Don’t think you’ll be exempt from experiencing a dead car battery. It’s incredibly easy to leave a light on in the car or to leave the door open. It’s best to cover your bases and keep a set of jumper cables handy.
Aside from having your own back, there’s also an altruistic reason. With your jumper cables and just five minutes of your time, you could brighten someone’s day by being there for them when their battery dies.
#7 Tailgate BBQ Set
Tailgating season is indeed over, but with good weather a few months away and all the picnics and camping trips that come along with it, you might as well prepare yourself by getting a tailgate BBQ set.
We never said this was a list of accessories you needed to have. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself.
#8 Rubber Floor Mats
Rubber floor mats are a must-have for Canadian drivers. You can do all the preventative maintenance in the world to keep your car in peak shape, but if you don’t have good, rubber floor mats to keep the mud, snow, and spilled food and beverages off the carpet mats, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.