Christmas is just around the corner. You know what that means. No, not Christmas carols and Santarina’s running around raising snowmen. It’s the mass exodus of money from your wallet, sacrificed to the gods of shopping in exchange for gifts. We know you love receiving but in the yuletide spirit, you’ll have to give some as well.
If you thought shopping for family is a real pain, you’ve probably not had to buy gifts for a car enthusiast. We concur that it isn’t from a lack of options because there’s a ton of car-related stuff out there but from seeing your petrolhead friends broke all the time, you might have picked up on the fact that car stuff breaks the bank… banks in fact.
This year, we thought we’d spread some Christmas cheer and come up with a list of items that’ll make great gifts. Pricing ranges from the budget-minded to mid-range and even a few that break bank. Another disclaimer, if this list is a little too technical for you, the next one is a lot easier for the average civilian to shop for.
With the mount of accidents happening on the road, having a dashcam is a necessity these days to protect yourself or an innocent bystander. As a bonus, you might even capture some on-road peculiarities or that awesome overtake at Turn 4 of Sepang Circuit during a track session. We've tried out the Mio MiVue 792 and you can't go wrong with it.
2. Phone mount
There’s a multitude of apps nowadays for your phone to log lap times or other performance numerics but you can’t be holding on to the device during high-G corners, right? A good phone mount is ideal for the petrolhead during track days or even Sunday morning cruises with friends. The iOttie Easy One Touch 4 Qi Wireless Car Mount comes highly recommended.
3. Car detailing package
Keeping their pride and joy can be a tedious affair, especially during the current rainy season. The contentment in seeing their vehicle gleaming under the sun without pesky stains or the aftermath of being target practice for birds is something you can’t put a price on… or can you? Get a detailing package to have your loved one’s car looking factory fresh and it comes pretty close.
4. Roadside emergency kit
The problem with enthusiasts’ cars is that they tend to be extremely fragile. A roadside emergency kit comprising the basics such as a safety reflector, small fire extinguisher, gloves, mini toolkit, jumper cables, tow strap, flashlight and first-aid kit will be god-sent down the road. You can find some good deals on Lazada.
5. CTek battery charger
This is a little on the pricier side but the thing with having a weekend car or project plaything is that they tend to be left parked for a period of time as the responsibilities of adulting overwhelm you. When you finally you get some free time, you try to fire it up but the battery is dead. A CTek battery charger will prevent that from happening by keeping the battery plugged in and juiced with a trickle charger.
6. Portable jump-starter
Remember how most petrolheads have a daily driver and often leave the weekend toy untouched for weeks on end? Well, if the CTek battery charger was beyond your budget, a portable jump-starter is a much more affordable option and can be purchased online easily.
7. Smart Tag alternative
RFID might be the future but if you’re swapping between multiple cars; as is the life of someone with a project car or penchant for changing vehicles like they change underwear, a Smart Tag alternative would be welcome. You can try the Max Tag unit that’s basically a Smart Tag replacement, now that the latter has been discontinued.
8. Potable tyre inflator
Getting a flat is the ultimate bummer. More often than not, it could just be a slow leak that got the tyre flat after the car has sat for a few days. Of course, most of us don’t have a tyre inflator in our homes… unless you received a portable tyre inflator during Christmas. Michelin produces some pretty solid ones that’ll surely come in handy for your petrolhead friend.
9. Basic toolkit
Working on your own car is a lost art here. But there’s truly nothing more satisfying than being able to perform some basic maintenance and work on your own car. Even an oil change at home brings pride like you’ve never seen. Get them a basic toolkit or a gift voucher to the local Ace hardware store to get that DIY spirit going. They might even be able to help you with your car in the future and save a visit to the workshop.
10. Driving experience entry
We saved the best for last of course. Regardless of how good you are, there’s always room for improvement and there’s nowhere better to finetune your heel-and-toe or master the dark art of trail braking than with a professional by your side. Get your loved one a driving experience entry or even a track day session for man and machine to do what they do best together… drive.