Holiday gifts for drivers and auto enthusiasts
From a first-time driver to a long-time auto enthusiast, there's bound to be someone on your holiday shopping list itching for an upgrade to their vehicle experience. Here, you'll find the perfect gift for that person.
Compiled by Adam Fusfeld
GoPoint GL1/BT1 iPhone Connector
From $99, GoPoint.com
The GoPoint GL1 connects your iOS or Android device the onboard diagnostic port on any vehicle. The BT1 model offers wireless bluetooth connectivity. Pair either one with the GoPoint application, available for free, and your smartphone becomes a virtual mechanic, keeping track of your fuel economy and monitoring the status of other vehicle systems. It even diagnoses problems when the dreaded check engine light turns on and thereby reduces unneeded calls to the mechanic.
WeatherTech All-Weather Floor Mats
From $99.95, Weathertech.com
These floor mats are customized to fit precisely in any car make and model, and ensure that snow, mud and sand stay off a car's floors. To clean the floor mats off just remove them from your car and hose them down.
$425 - $875; Autodromo.com
Any sports car aficionado would appreciate these watches, each inspired by the dashboard gauge of a 20th century European sports cars. The pieces, with perforated leather straps and stainless steel cases, boast minimalist designs that recall the "golden age of motoring, when driving required style, panache, and perhaps a little bit of danger," according to their maker.
Craftsman 154 Piece Mechanic Tool Set
$99.99, Craftsman.com; Sears
This set is perfect for the do-it-yourself auto enthusiast. It comes in a briefcase small enough to fit easily in the trunk of any car, but comprehensive enough to make any job seem possible. Best of all, the reasonably priced set is made by Craftsman, which promises a lifetime guarantee on all of its tools.
Retro Heated Travel Mug
Sure, your favorite driver could fill a standard coffee, but on those longer drives, it's only a matter of time before that beverage turns lukewarm. Grab a Retro Heated Travel Mug. The stylish container connects to your car's 12V cigarette lighter and can heat drinks to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At that rate, you can even turn your iced coffee piping hot.
Autonet Mobile CarFI
For the person on your list that loves driving but can't seem to keep their passengers entertained, pick up this wireless Internet router for cars. It works with all vehicles and leverages cellular data networks into Internet connectivity for any WiFi enabled device.
AAA 77-Piece Warrior Road Kit
$69.95, Amazon.com; Walmart
For the new driver on your shopping list, this kit has all the essentials in case of an emergency breakdown. Keep this in the trunk, and when something goes wrong your loved one will be equipped with everything from an air compressor and a booster cable to a three-piece fleece set and a 45-piece first aid kit. It also includes AAA brochures, manuals and driving guides.
These books are perfect for the aspiring weekend mechanic and provide all they need to know to become fluent in auto repair and maintenance. Best of all, giving this to your loved one may pay for itself the next time it's your car that breaks down.
Cole Haan 'Air Grant' Driving Loafer
For the person on your list who combines a love of driving with a serious sense of style, pick up these Cole Haan driving shoes. They ensure the heel of the recipient's regular shoe doesn't get worn from constant pedal-maneuvering while keeping his or her foot fashionable and flexible. (Women's models are called 'Air Sadie.')
Power Bullet Charger
It's not necessarily the most advanced product of this type, but at less than $15, the Power Bullet charger makes for a great stocking-stuffer. Plug it into any vehicle's cigarette lighter and turn that into a charging station for two USB devices.
The multi-function vehicle monitor keeps track of a vehicle's performance, including its acceleration and braking ability, to help diagnose issues early. It's also perfect for the fuel economy-obssessed driver, as it tracks the car's distance per gallon and can train a consistent user to improve efficiency.
Koolatron Car Cooler/Warmer
$129.95 to $189.95, lentek.com
Koolatron makes a wide-range of coolers that run on power from a car's cigarette lighter, but our favorite is the compact model, pictured above. Small enough to fit between bucket seats but large enough to fit 23 12-ounce cans, the cooler function cools them to 40 degrees below the exterior temperature, while the heating function can warm food to 140 degrees. Larger models contain room for 80 12-ounce cans.
Klutch 7in. Ultimate Car Polishing Kit
Know someone on your shopping list that just can't get enough of his shiny new car? Well, help him or her ensure it stays shiny with this polishing kit. The set is anchored by an 11 Amp, 7-inch polisher and comes with a carrying case, polyfoam pads, a high-quality polishing pad and a wax applicator. It works with all standard seven inch polishing accessories.
iOttie Easy Flex 2 Car Mount Holder
Why bother buying a dedicated GPS when just about every smartphone these days has a maps function with turn-by-turn directions? Use the iOttie holder to mount a smartphone to your car's dashboard and take advantage of its GPS and entertainment applications without taking your eyes off the road.
Subscription to Motor Trend magazine
12 issues for $10, 24 issues for $18; MotorTrend.com
A great stocking-stuffer for a lover of all things cars, the glossy magazine arrives in the mail once a month and is stuffed with car reviews, features on the auto industry, glimpses into the future of vehicles and tantalizing photos of the hottest sports cars. A print subscription also provides access to the magazine's iPad edition, which boasts additional content.
Everblades Heated Windshield Wiper Blades
Starting at $120, Everblades.com
While these souped up windshield wipers may not make for the most exciting gift, they do make for a useful one -- especially if you're wishing for a white Christmas. Customized for your make and model, these wipers emit heat with the flick of a switch and make visibility a cinch on even the worst winter days.