1. Keep it clean with a car-sized leakproof trash can
Protecting your car with a trash can may help you avoid those hard-to-handle stains that end up lowering your car's value. This example easily hangs off the back of the headrest and holds up to 3 gallons of waste.
2. Get a Seat Gap Filler and stop chasing after hard-to-reach crumbs
You know that little space between your seat and the center console? The one where loose change and the best fries go to die? This seat gap filler is designed to fit tightly and prevent small items from falling into oblivion. This one was featured on Shark Tank — and if Lori Greiner is in, so are we!
If your furry friend is your co-pilot of choice, you’ll want to consider springing for some extra protection for your upholstery. This hammock-style seat cover hooks over the back and front headrests to stay firmly in place, and features pockets to store all your doggy essentials, too!
4. When all else fails, whip out the cordless car vacuum
For those moments when a trash can and seat gap filler aren’t quite enough, a cordless vacuum comes in handy, especially if you have children — or messy adults. We know, spillers come in all shapes and sizes.
5. Track your car’s health with a connected car assistant
Plugin the adaptor then download the connected car assistant app, and you have access to crash alerts for emergency services, car location tracking and roadside assistance. Plus, get insights on your driving history and expense tracking — which is great if you drive a lot for work! Selected service is free for three years, or you can choose a premium upgrade for $5/month.
7. Shine brighter with a headlight lens restoration kit
Over time the sun can damage your headlights, causing haze to overtake the glass and reducing your total light output. This lens restoration kit will restore your headlights to like-new condition and includes a UV block clear coat for a longer-lasting repair. Plus, it received Popular Mechanics’ seal of approval.
8. Store a portable jump starter in your car and never get stranded again
Old-fashioned jumper cables are always an asset in your trunk, but this portable jump starter will give your dead battery a boost. The device works without connecting to another vehicle and includes a built-in emergency flashlight.
9. Stock up on fix-a-flat to get you from point a to point b without destroying your wheels
Fix-a-flat inflates and temporarily seals small holes in your tires so you can safely drive to a location and get the tire repaired. Fix-a-flat works in seconds and saves your rims from further damage if you are forced to run on a flat.
11. Never be without a witness with a mirror dashcam
If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of a rear-ended collision (or worse), a dashcam will be all the proof you need to assign responsibility. This dashcam is built into the rearview mirror and comes equipped with automatic motion detection to record if it senses an incoming collision. As a bonus, you can use the camera for parking assistance.
By now, we should all know that holding your cell phone while driving can be detrimental to your safety and the safety of those around you. These magnetic phone mounts click right into your air vents so you can use GPS, blare your favorite show tunes (we don't judge), or take important calls while keeping your hands where they belong.
Merging into heavy traffic can be stressful, so why not help yourself by making those blind spots a little more visible with this blindspot mirror attachment. It increases your field of vision, is easy to install with adhesive tape and durable enough to handle any season.
14. Plan for everything with a roadside emergency kit
If you're not sure what you should get as a gift for that new driver in the family, this roadside emergency kit is perfect. It includes jumper cables, toolset, bungee cords, flashlight, window breaker, seatbelt cutter, emergency blanket, tow rope, safety vest, warning triangles, whistle, first aid kit and more.
15. Get an extended auto warranty, for what you don't see coming
Even the best-laid plans go awry, and sometimes cars can be unpredictable. For those moments, an extended auto warranty can save the day. When your vehicle has outlived its manufacturer’s warranty, an extended warranty can help cover expensive car repairs. If well researched, an extended warranty often pays for itself in one use.
As a member of the ConsumerAffairs research team, Jessica Render is dedicated to providing well-researched, valuable content designed to help consumers make informed purchase decisions they can feel confident making. She holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University.