2015 has been a great year for car tech and accessories: we’ve seen the launch of some mega innovative new gadgets, but also many new takes on old hat accessories.
With this in mind we’ve compiled a list of our top 5 car accessories of 2015, some we’ve been lucky enough to test, other we simply admire, but all of which are available from most decent car accessories retailers, in particular our friends over at Auto Tronix. Without further ado, here they are.
We’re not all great at parking, in fact, I’ll be the first to admit that my parking skills leave a lot to be desired. However, with the availability of reasonably priced parking aids there is a credible solution for those who park in fear of hitting a post or even another car. The reality is you can now pick a decent set up for under £140.
For added peace of mind you could even take things to the next level and install a rear view camera with a dash board mounted display, bank balance permitting, of course.
Okay so you’re going to have to stick with me on this one: yes they can be a sign of poor taste, or even cause others to stereotype you as a tasteless boy racer, but if done tastefully, vehicle wraps can add massively to the aesthetics of a vehicle.
There more often seen on supercars, but can look equally as good on something as modest as a VW Golf. Popular iterations include a carbon wrapped roof and even a full body wrap, which can be a less costly alternative if you’re looking to change the colour of your car.
GPS Vehicle Tracking
GPS vehicle tracking units are the ultimate bit of kit for theft-prevention and vehicle recovery. They can also come with the added benefit or reduced car insurance premiums, though the discount on offer will vary from insurer to insurer.
Generally speaking, tracking devices enable the recovery of a vehcile in the event of theft, but given the addition of window stickers can also aid in theft prevention. Some devices are even able to detect if a vehicle is being towed and then use this information to alert a 24 hour colour centre who can then liase with the police.
One of the latest addition to high end vehicle tracking kits is a function that allows the tracking company to remotely disable a vehicle, thus massively increasing the chances of a successful recovery. This can be rather pricey though, expect to pay £500 – £1000.
App based navigation tools have risen massively in popularity over the past couple of years. However, the stand alone, dedicated devices still have their worth and given advancements in technology and a reduction in manufacturing costs you can now pick a credible sat nav up for under £100.
Perhaps one of the greatest aftermarket driver aids of all time, sat navs prove popular year in year out and we’ve been lucky enough test a couple dozen of the past couple of years.
Not only do such devices aid you in navigating todays maze like road network, but some also provide realtime traffic data, speed camera alerts and more recently some have been enhanced with built-in dashboard cameras.
Dashboard cameras were once the reserve of the police, mainly due to cost, but given their tremendous rise in popularity coupled with mass manufacturing, they are now available for as little as £50, though picking the right device can be tricky so you’d be well advised to check out the Auto Express dashboard camera guide, here.
The idea behind them is to arm you with video evidence if you are at some point involved in a road traffic collision and need to prove exactly what happened. It’s inevitable that such kit will one day be fitted as standard, but for now the aftermarket devices are an invaluable addition to any car.