If the wall-to-wall adverts, tacky decorations and sound of Wizzard on a loop aren’t enough of a clue, let us point out that it’s nearly Christmas and you need to start sorting out those presents.
The car landscape might be changing but wherever you go there are still men, women, boys and girls obsessed with all things automotive.
With that in mind we’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for car fans, whatever their age, with choices for every budget from pocket money to, well, an awful lot more.
Up to £25
Lynx in-car air fresheners – From £2.99, Halfords
If someone you know longs for their car to smell like a high school changing room Halfords has just the thing for you. The new range of Lynx in-car air fresheners cost between £2.99 and £7.99 and come in Gold, Ice Chill, Black, Dark Temptation, and Africa scents. You can choose between hanging discs, vent-mounted fresheners or a gel can full of scent.
Top Trumps – £4.99
The classic car comparison card game is as addictive as ever. As well as modern decks covering Sports Cars and Formula 1 drivers, this year there new retro packs of “Crazy Cars” and exotic sports cars of 1992. As well as the data these even recreate the classic looks of old decks, allowing players of a certain age to relive their youth.
Lego city Desert rally racer – £9.99, Amazon
One for the younger car fan in your life, this 75-piece mini racer is suitable for ages 5+ and features an opening roof, large front air intake and an adjustable rear spoiler. The set also includes a racing driver minifigure and a scorpion figure.
Seat heater -£18.99, Amazon
Ideal for frosty winter mornings, these aftermarket seat warmers simply slip onto your existing car seat and offer two-stage heating to take off the chill. Powered by a 12V adaptor there’s not need for fiddly wiring and if you’re feeling generous there’s even a rear seat option available as well.
Lamicall headrest tablet – £14.99, Amazon
Spend £100,000 on a Range Rover and you’ll get TV screens built into the headrests to help keep rear-seat passengers entertained. If that’s a little out of your price range but you know a driver who would benefit from something to keep passengers distracted on long journeys then a cheap aftermarket tablet mount is ideal. This spring-loaded unit clips quickly to the headrest supports of most cars and holds devices from 4.4 to 13 inches in its rubber-coated grips.
Haynes car hacks manual – £12.99, Haynes
Haynes is famous for its incredibly detailed workshop manuals but in recent years has branched out into other car-related areas. This little book, just right for fitting in a glovebox, contains advice on everything from how to make a simple phone holder and how to keep kids entertained on long journeys to dealing with road rage and using toothpaste to give your headlights a new lease of life.
How Not to be a Professional Racing Driver, by Jason Plato – £15.99, Waterstones
Touring car stalwart, TV presenter and all-round motormouth Jason Plato is a fairly controversial but always entertaining figure in motor sport. In this irreverent book he traces his hugely successful career from his early days of karting to setting records in the BTCC via swearing at royalty, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, getting drunk with James Hunt, and being arrested in Monaco for stealing a JCB.
Up to £50
Citroen 2CV wall lamp – £25 (€30) Citroen Boutique
One of the world’s most iconic car shapes, you can now hang a 2CV from your wall thanks to this lamp. Part of a huge range of Citroen products available during the car maker’s centenary year, the steel lamp features 10 battery-operated LEDs arranged to highlight the 2CV’s lines.
Car-themed Christmas jumper – £29.99 Rear View Prints
What’s better than a cheesy Christmas jumper? A car-themed cheesy Christmas jumper. Motoring art company Rear View Prints has branched out this year with a selection of festive pullovers, available with a host of different models from Audi R8 and VW Golf to Tesla Model S and Jeep Wrangler.
Spanner cutlery set – £30 MeandMyCar.co.uk
You can’t undertake any serious car maintenance without a brew on the go at all times so this set is ideal for any tinkerer/tea-fiend. It contains four 12cm stainless steel tea/coffee spoons with authentic spanner heads on the non-business end and comes packaged in a presentation box.
Scuderia Ferrari Red Red Rev watch – £39 Scuderia Ferrari Store
Something to suit any teenage Tifosi, this official Ferrari timepiece features a honeycomb texture to its casing to echo the chassis of a racing car. The strap features a similar texture in the team’s familiar red while the watch face and rear casing feature the iconic prancing horse logo.
Michelin tyre pressure checker – £39.95, Fit2Go
A handy little gadget for keeping track of tyre pressures at home without getting your hands dirty. This kit consists of four NFC-enabled dust caps that measure the pressure of the tyres and a neat key ring reading device. Simply fit the caps and whenever you want to check the pressures tap the reader against them for an instant readout on the digital display.
AlcoSense Lite 2 breathalyser – £44.99, AlcoSense
The new entry-level model in the reusable range from home breathalyser firm AlcoSense features an upgraded sensor and simpler operation than the original Lite. This basic semi-conductor unit can be set to the English, Welsh and Northern Irish limit or to the lower limit for Scotland and much of Europe. It features a simple warning to tell you if you are over the legal drink-drive limit and boasts industry-leading accuracy for the price bracket.
Up to £100
Ryobi R18ALF-0 ONE+ Folding Area Light, £59.99, Amazon
A versatile work lamp which uses the same 18V battery as the rest of Ryobi’s extensive One+ range. The light features 20 high-power LEDs in two separate, independently switchable banks. The flexible frame allows you to stand, fold or hang the lamp almost anywhere and the battery offers up to six hours of continuous use.
Handcoffee Auto 12V – £67 (€79), Handspresso
Travel mugs are so last year, for the caffeine addict on the go you can now have your own in-car coffee maker. The Handcoffee Auto plugs into a car’s 12V power socket and slots into most cup holders to keep it secure. Using Senseo coffee pods (like many kitchen coffee machines) it heats the water and lets you choose your size of drink, preparing it in just four minutes.
Under-17s driving experience – £70, Trackdays.co.uk
TrackDays is one of the country’s biggest driving experience providers, offering everything from supercar passenger laps to drifting lessons. Among its packages this Christmas is an under-17s driving experience that allows children aged 10-17 to learn driving skills such as starting and stopping the car, moving away and changing gears along with road position, sign recognition and more advanced skills like bay parking, driving in two-way traffic and dealing with roundabouts, all under the watchful eye of a fully qualified instructor.
Autoglym Perfect Bodywork, Wheels and Interior Gift Collection, £72, Halfords
A gift for the truly car-proud, the Autoglym Perfect Bodywork, Wheels and Interior Gift Collection features a tonne of cleaning tools and products to keep everything looking spick and span. It includes exterior and interior shampoos and resin, wheel cleaning and protecting fluids, plastic and rubber cleaners plus the cloths and sponges needed to get a spotless finish.
Garmin Dash Cam Mini – £99, Garmin
Dash cams come in all shapes and sizes but this must be one of the smallest out there. From established navigation and camera specialists Garmin, the Mini is a car key-sized camera that still manages to fit in a 1080p sensor, 140-degree lens, built-in Bluetooth and wifi, smartphone app connectivity and a parking mode.
Up to £150
Citroen Origins ride-on La Petite Rosalie – Price: £118 (€140) Citroen
This retro-style La Petite Rosalie ride-on is the result of a collaboration between Citroën and the French pedal-car specialist Baghera to celebrate Citroen’s centenary. With its steering wheel, metal body and rubber wheels, La Petite Rosalie speedster evokes the classic lines of early Citroens and is suitable for children under the age of three.
VioFo A129 dash cam – £139.99, Amazon
A dual-channel dash cam that provides full HD, wide-angle cover front and rear for a reasonable price. Rather than worrying about useless driver assistance systems, this dash cam focuses on offering an excellent image from both its cameras and easy connectivity to a smartphone app. An optional Bluetooth controller for locking recordings is a smart addition. Review
Five Supercar Blast, £130, Trackdays.co.uk
If your loved one can’t settle on just one supercar they’d love to drive this experience gives them the chance to get behind the wheel of five different models. The package includes laps with an instructor explaining the cars and track, a passenger ride and four laps of the circuit in each car. Among the models to chose from are the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Bentley Continental GT, Audi R8, Porsche 911 GT2, TVR T350C, Mitsubishi Evo X, Subaru Impreza WRX STI, BMW M3, Lotus Evora, Maserati GranTurismo, Nissan R34 Skyline.
Lotus F1 gear ratio clock – £130 F1 Store
There are a lot of F1-themed presents out there but to really make your gift stand out you can buy an actual piece of a racing car. This official FIA Formula One clock is made from a genuine race-used gear ratio from a Lotus F1 car. Having done its duty in the gearbox, this cog has been stripped out, polished and mounted with a working clock mechanism and features a unique part ID number to prove its authenticity.
Racing number holdall – £150 MeandMyCar.co.uk
Made from hard-wearing car seat fabric this is a pricey but eye-catching piece of luggage for the travelling car fan. Designed for short breaks or use as a sports bag, the bag is made from reclaimed car seat material, the straps are upcycled seat belts and the recycled leather stripes and racing roundel all add to the overall motoring style.
More than £150
Lego Technic Land Rover Defender – £159.99, Lego
Know a Land Rover fan who can’t wait for the real thing to arrive in 2020? Then this complex kit could help keep them going. The 2,500-piece Technic set is definitely one for older car/Lego fans and features everything from a working high/low-range sequential gearbox to a winch, adventure roof rack and moving pistons. Be warned, if you buy a loved one this kit expect to lose them for days. Review
Pure Highway 600 – £159.99, Pure
Pure is most famous for its home and portable DAB radios but it also produces a line of Highway in-car adaptors to bring digital radio to older vehicles. The Highway 600 also brings hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and voice control for smartphone assistant apps. Using either a line-in or FM transmitter it connects to your existing stereo and features station presets and service following, all controlled from a small wireless that can be mounted anywhere in the car. Review
MINI JCW Go-Kart – £160 Mini Store
MINIs are often praised for their go-kart-like handling so what better way to get your youngster used to that experience than with a John Cooper Works pedal kart? The JCW Go-Kart is suitable for children over three years old and features an adjustable seat, a sporty steering wheel with integrated horn and a handbrake for added safety.
The Outlierman Gran Turismo Driving Gloves – £235 (280 euros), The Outlierman
For the gentleman driver in your life come these luxury driving gloves. Hand-stitched in Naples the exclusive gloves are made from Nappa lambskin and cotton crochet and designed to evoke the world of the 1960s grand tourer whether you’re at the wheel of a classic car or one of today’s super continent crossers.
Halfords Advanced 200 Piece Socket and Ratchet Spanner Set, £260, Halfords
This massive set includes pretty much everything the budding home mechanic needs to get started. The 200-piece set has been engineered by professionals to last and includes 100-tooth socket ratchets and 72-tooth ratchet spanners, with surface drive plus to provide up to 28 per cent more torque before rounding. There are also extension bars, Allen keys and a screwdriver with swappable heads.