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20 Car Accessories That Will Change the Way You Drive

No matter what kind of car you own, you can improve your driving experience with these awesome gadgets

Radar laser detectorvia amazon.com

Escort Long Range Radar Laser Detector

There’s a lot to be said for observing the speed limit—first and foremost, that it can help keep you and everyone you’re sharing the road with safe. But for those times when you’re not paying close attention to your speed—and don’t want to get pulled over—a good radar detector offers a “superior level of confidence and more freedom on the road,” according to automotive site simplemechanic.com, which rates the Escort iX top-of-the-line, boasting superior sensitivity and the earliest possible warning of speed monitoring. But please note these things besides speeding that can get you a ticket.

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Radar laser detector with mountvia amazon.com

Beltronics RX65 Red Professional Series Radar Detector

To save some dollars, you can get the Beltronics RX65 Radar Detector for less than half the price of the Escort iX. Simplemechanic.com named the Beltronics device the best radar detector in its price range:If you only have a small budget to spend, this is the best detector to buy.” Don’t miss these 17 secrets that traffic cops aren’t telling you about avoiding speeding tickets.

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Dash Cameravia amazon.com

Owl Car Cam

In the event of a crash, you could lose—or break—your phone. The Owl Car Cam eliminates that worry by providing an automatic connection to the Owl Crash Response team, which is trained to provide high-quality, rapid assistance. As soon as a crash is detected, Owl calls you to see if everyone is OK and sends emergency services if you need them.

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Alexa enabled USB car chargervia amazon.com

Anker Roav Viva

The Anker Roav Viva may look like a car charger for your phone, but it’s much more: Powered by Alexa, the Roav Viva will connect with your phone to give you directions, allow you to shop online, play music, listen to books, and more—all you have to do is ask (“Hey, Alexa … “). Find out from a car salesman how to outsmart a car salesman.

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Rapid car charger USBvia amazon.com

RapidX X5 Car Charger with five USB ports

With the RapidX X5 Car Charger, featuring five USB ports, you’ll never have to worry about having enough USB ports to charge all your devices (and those of your driving companions). It even detects your device and delivers the fastest-possible charge accordingly.

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Car power convertervia amazon.com

Bestek Power Inverter

If you need to bring along a laptop or other device that uses a standard household plug, try the Bestek Power Inverter: It converts your car’s cigarette lighter into an actual AC plug. Check out these 13 things your mechanic really wants you to stop doing.

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CD slot magnet phone holdervia amazon.com

Koomus Pro CD Slot Phone Holder

If you live in a state that doesn’t permit phone mounts on your dashboard, then you’ll be happy to know that Koomus makes this phone mount that slips into the slot of your CD player. Simply push a button and slide it into the CD slot, attach your smartphone (it attaches magnetically), and you’re hands-free! Drivers–this one-second tire test can save your life. 

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Air vent magnet phone holdervia amazon.com

WizGear Universal Air Vent Phone Car Mount Holder

If you don’t have a CD player in your car for the Koomus, no worries. You can use the WizGear Universal Air Vent Car Mount Holder, which retails for under $10 and takes up barely any space at all. Make sure your car is ready for the winter with these 8 fixes.

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Pour over coffee cupvia amazon.com

Coffee Gator Pour Over Coffee Maker

If you’re looking to upgrade your travel mug and you’re tired of using paper filters, this all-in-one gadget is for you. Make coffee right into the travel cup itself using the specially designed metal filter. Then pop on the lid and go—no pots to clean or paper filters to toss.

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Portable expresso machinevia amazon.com

Cisno Portable Espresso Machine

Make espresso in your car? It’s possible with the Cisno Portable Espresso Machine. This self-contained, fully enclosed device boils the water for you using a rechargeable lithium battery you can plug into your lighter; it fits your favorite Nespresso capsules. Be sure you never do these 10 things to your car.

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Heated smart travel mugvia amazon.com

Tech Tools Travel Mug with temperature control

Maybe making coffee on your commute isn’t your dream so much as keeping your already brewed coffee hot. In that case, you’ll love the Tech Tools travel mug, which plugs into your cigarette lighter to keep your beverages warm and even heat up lukewarm drinks. Check out these 11 crazy things people have done while driving.

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Igloo iceless coolervia amazon.com

Igloo Iceless Cooler

Traditional coolers are great for road trips, but this Igloo Iceless Cooler is really a game changer. Forget melting ice and warming sodas; this cooler stays cool because you plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter.

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Portable car vacuumvia amazon.com

ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum

The ThisWorx Portable Car Vacuum comes equipped with three different nozzles, a carry bag, and a powerful 106-watt motor (which plugs into your cigarette lighter and runs off your car battery) to help you give your car a professional-grade detailing. Even better? It’s available for under $30. Don’t miss these 74 car maintenance tips that will extend the life of your car.

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Tile Matevia amazon.com

Tile Mate Bluetooth Locators

With keyless remote starters being the industry standard these days, it’s easier than ever not only to start your car but also to lose track of your keys. The Tile Mate trackers can be used with four different keys/keyless remotes or other items you tend to lose (hey, where’s my wallet?). Sync the trackers with your smartphone and you’ll never have to ask “Where was I when I last had them?” again. You can set off an alarm on the Tile Mate to locate your keys—or you can press the locator on your keys to find your phone.

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Car jump startervia amazon.com

Bestek Jump Starter

Ever tried to start your car, only to discover that you need a jump start? Ever needed a jump start when there were no other cars in sight to give you that jump start? Well, with the Bestek 400A 12000mAh 12V Portable Auto Battery Booster Pack, you’ll have peace of mind: You can jump-start your vehicle up to 20 times on a single charge with 400 amps peak current. Find out the 13 weird car features you may not realize you have.

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Car safety tool, hammer window breaker seat belt cuttervia amazon.com

Ran Car Escape Tool

Some car accidents can leave you trapped, and for those situations, there’s a simple and inexpensive solution: a car escape tool like this one by Ran. It includes a window-breaking hammer and a razor-sharp seat-belt cutter. You never know when you’ll need it, but at roughly $10, it’s a good thing to keep in your glove box. Make sure you don’t fall for these car-repair scams.

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Garmin speak plus alexa and built in dash camvia amazon.com

Garmin Speak Plus Alexa-powered dashcam

Having a dashcam can keep you out of a jam in a car crash. The Garmin Speak Plus goes one step better: It’s powered by Alexa. With one device you get a dashcam along with the ability to create to-do lists, check your calendar, turn on navigation, and do everything else Alexa can, just for the asking.

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Rear view backup cameravia amazon.com

ERapta Backup Camera/Parking Assist Monitor

If your car is a little older, there’s a good chance you don’t have a backup cam. Fix that—and get parallel-parking-assistance technology—by installing the eRapta Backup Camera/Parking Assist Monitor in your ride. Check out these 11 scary driving scenarios and exactly how to handle them.

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TireMinder smart transmittersvia amazon.com

TireMinder Smart Tire-Pressure Monitoring System

You could try to remember to check your tires, or you could screw TireMinder Smart sensors onto your tires’ valve stems and get warnings on your smartphone when your tires are losing air. You can monitor up to 22 tires. The system warns you of leaks, temperature issues, and potential blowouts, too.

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Car seat gap fillervia amazon.com

Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler

Yes, the Drop Stop may be low-tech, but consider how annoying—not to mention dangerous—it is to drop your phone, glasses, or wallet into that black hole of despair known as the car-seat gap. This is the original, patented seat-gap filler featured on Shark Tank; one size fits most vehicles. Keep in mind that you should never leave these 15 things in the car.

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Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.