30 Gift Ideas for Car Lovers 2018
30 Gift Ideas for Car Lovers
Holiday Season is fast-approaching and you’ve still got a bunch of gifts left to cross off your list. The team at MaintainYourRide has your back with our comprehensive list of 30 of the top gift ideas for car lovers in 2018. These suggestions work great for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations or any other gifting time as well.
Our list is based on 2017 sales trends, combined with our testing, research, reviews, and customer feedback. Some are top sellers for the recent months, while others are things that we feel every car lover should own. It is important to do some of your own research to determine what type of gift will be best for your intended recipient.
Kid car lovers are tough to buy for since they are unable to drive and don’t yet have a car to work on. However, it is never too late to get them their first tool set. There are a lot of great educational toys, books, and resources for kids that are interest in cars.
Teenage car lovers are the perfect age group for gifting some of the essentials. They are at an age where they are still building out their tool sets and gathering equipment to allow them to Maintain their Ride. A quality tool kit, set of jack stands, or floor jack would be good assuming they don’t already have them. They also enjoy accessorizing their rides: LED Light Bars, Headlights, Stereos, Wiring Kits, etc.
Adult car lovers are more interested in time-saving and money-saving opportunities. Things like portable air pumps, car vacuums, jumper cables, battery chargers, roadside assistance kits, and OBD Scanners are great gifts that will save tons of money without too much cost.
It’s hard to quantify the value of each individual item on the list as it will be relative to the person receiving the gift. Consequently, this list is in no particular order, the numbers are just there to denote the number of items. We’ll go over our 30 suggestions and try to provide some more specific recommendations of gift ideas for car lovers based on age group and budget.
If you have any questions or feedback for us while reading through these suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out to use via our Contact page.
Top 30 Gift Ideas for Gear HeadsThe Gideon Heated Electric Lunch Box is the perfect gift for a car person that is always on the go. This lunch box plugs directly into the 12-volt cigarette lighter that comes standard on all cars. With the ability to quickly heat food to a piping 300 degrees, this Lunch Box is perfect for Road Trips, Outdoor Jobs, Camping, Tailgating, and more.
It’s exterior size is 10″ x 8″ x 6″ with a surprisingly light weight of 2.5lbs. This makes it easy to pack into even the smallest cars and its convenient folding handle allows you to carry it around with ease.
While it heats up to 300 degrees, it is extremely safe due to its heat-resistant case that always stays cool to the touch and lid that closes tightly to prevent spillage. This layer of insulation also helps lock in the temperature keeping your food warmer longer.
A 6ft power cord gives you plenty of slack to place the box outside of the car while heating. It also features a non-stick aluminum surface that is very easy to clean.
With a price as reasonable as it is, this heated lunch box is a great cheap gift with plenty of good reviews. This is targeted a bit more at the adult car enthusiasts due to the potentially dangerous nature of the heated surface on the inside. It could also be a great gift for a teen driver that has an outdoor job and would enjoy a hot lunch every once in a while.
An Roadside Assistance Emergency Kit should be a requirement for all drivers on the road today. You just never know when you’re going to be stranded on the side of the road due to a flat tire, engine issue, weather, or other reason.
The Diamond Driven Roadside Assistance Emergency Kit is a 101-piece kit that includes just about everything you could possibly need to stay safe while you’re waiting for help.
First aid kit, tow ropes, safety triangle, crank flashlight, jumper cables, wrench, glow sticks, pliers, safety vest, poncho, rescue blanket, gloves, bungee cords, tire pressure gauge, whistle, tape, seat belt cutter, and more all in a 6″ x 6″ x 14″ carrying case that fits in any trunk with ease.
Roadside emergencies are unpredictable and it’s hard to justify the cost up front. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and this kit has great reviews and is very cheap for the amount of items that are included.
Modern car batteries are very reliable. However, they all have a limited lifespan that is hard to accurately determine. Unexpected dead batteries are very common and eat up hours of your day waiting on a friend to come with jumper cables to get you going again.
The DBPower Portable Jump Starter eliminates this risk. This device is small enough to keep in your car at all times and packs enough power to jump start your car on its own. What makes this device better than other similar devices is that it includes and LCD with remaining charge as well as ports for charging phones, tablets, and even laptops. They included a compass and small LED flashlight on the device as well which could potentially come in handy if you get stranded.
This thing fits in your hand about the size of an iPhone 7 Plus and can jump start your car on its own. How cool is that? No more getting stranded in the parking lot and having to chase down someone with jumper cables.
Comes with an assortment of cables including some laptop connectors and car battery connectors as well as a slick zip-up carrying case that keeps everything in one compact package that is ready at a moments notice.
Great gift for any driver, young or old. The 3-year warranty combined with the thousands of great reviews provide peace of mind that this device lives up to its reputation.
An OBDII Scan Tool is another device that every driver should have in their tool box. When the ECU detects an issue it logs a code and triggers the Maintenance Indicator Light to come on notifying the driver of an issue. Without an OBD2 Scanner Tool, you won’t be able to determine what issue caused the ECU to throw an error code.
Right now, you have the option to drive up to your local auto parts store and potentially have them use their in-store OBD Scan Tool to pull the codes from your car for free. However, having one at home is hugely convenient due to the fact that you can just plug and play.
The price is reasonable enough that the convenience factor outweighs it. Not to mention the fact that sometimes it is important to diagnose the error codes before driving the car all the way to the auto parts store. This can prevent doing additional damage if there is a serious issue detected.
The Ancel AD310 Universal OBD II Scanner is one of the most popular and highly rated on the market. It’s an easy decision when looking for a basic OBD Scanner at a reasonable price.
The Reteck Wet Dry Car Vacuum is a great gift for any age driver. Super portable and great for reaching those tight spaces between seats and under the dash board.
It actually plugs directly into the 12v cigarette lighter port that comes standard in all cars, no need to park next to an outlet or get out your extension cords. The 14ft power cord has your entire car covered no matter where you are.
Wet Dry vacuums are designed to handle liquids as well as solids which can be helpful to clean up spills of drinks as well as other debris. This package includes a hose attachment, brush head, crevice head, and a high-quality carrying bag for everything.
Includes HEPA Filtration, FC, CE, RoHS certifications for safety. While it may not fully replace a full sized shop-vac it definitely wins in the portability and usability departments. Hundreds of great reviews and a great price make this an easy gift idea.
The EPAuto 12v Air Compressor is a digital tire inflator that is portable enough to keep in your car yet powerful enough to handle almost any tire with ease. It plugs directly into the car cigarette lighter meaning you can use it anywhere with ease.
Due to the digital nature of the device, you get a real-time readout of the current pressure and can even set an auto shut off when the desired pressure is reached which can prevent dangerous over inflation scenarios.
This is one of the most popular portable air compressors on the market and comes backed by thousands of great reviews. It is also extremely reasonably priced making it a great creative gift idea for gear heads.
At MaintainYourRide, we take safety very seriously. Modern car jacks are great for getting the car off the ground, however, they are not designed to support the weight for prolonged periods of time. A quality set of jack stands is imperative for any work that is being done under or around a car that is not firmly planted on the ground.
Torin Big Red Jack Stands are easily the most popular brand available. With a lifting range from 11″-16.7″ and 2-12 tons of capacity, they provide plenty of working space while also being durable enough to support almost any car or truck on the market today.
They feature a double-locking pawl and tooth design that provides strength and security while also maintaining great usability in the garage. Thousands of high-rated reviews and an extremely cheap price make this a must-buy for any car enthusiast that doesn’t already have a set.
With growing families comes limited cargo space! The cheapest way to safely increase your cargo space is a waterproof cargo bag. The Keeper Premium Water Proof Cargo Bag is one of the most popular options available and includes thousands of high ratings.
There are options from 11-15 cubic feet of extra space which is pretty significant providing up to 50% more cargo space for things such as luggage, supplies, or other cargo. Its soft, waterproof material provides flexibility to pack odd-shaped loads while also providing the strength to protect against road grit, ultraviolet light, wind and rain.
Great for adult car enthusiasts that have families or even younger drivers that may enjoy camping or travelling.
RhinoGear RhinoRamps are a great alternative to the standard jack and jack stands setup used in most garages. These ramps are actually extremely well-priced for what they are. They definitely reduce the effort required to get underneath your car while also providing great weight capacity and safety if used properly.
Sold in pairs, these ramps can support a combined 12,000lbs of gross vehicle weight and support tires up to 9″ in width (plenty for most cars & trucks). The CoreTRAC non-skid base reduces slippage even in adverse conditions. We do recommend grabbing some wheel chocks for additional stability when using these ramps.
These are great for adult and teen drivers who enjoy working on their cars. Even if they already have a jack and jack stand setup, these can be a good addition for getting the front or rear of the car up quickly for things such as oil changes while jack and jack stands really come in handy when you need to work on the wheels or axles.
You can never have too many Microfiber cleaning cloths around the garage. This gift is more geared towards the gearhead that enjoys car detailing. They work great for cleaning windows, waxing, and cleaning the interior of cars & trucks. They can also be used around the house or garage for cleaning and dusting.
The Best brand microfiber cleaning cloth set includes 50 individual units with 5 different colors. They are scratch resistant and designed to be streak and lint-free which makes them great for detailing. They are also washing machine friendly so they can be reused for years.
Thousands of great reviews and a good price point makes this a perfect inexpensive gift for the car detailing lover on your list.
Everyone has seen the cars with ugly yellow, cloudy headlights. The majority of these cases can be easily fixed right in your garage in about 15 minutes. This 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System is awesome for quickly and easily restoring those headlights back to new.
This kit can drastically improve the look of your car and can also increase your headlight output providing more light and making night driving safer. Its killing two birds with one stone.
This super inexpensive kit can provide dramatic results. With thousands of 5 star ratings, this kit is the proven top of the line in headlight restoration kits. Check out our Best Headlight Restoration Kit Guide for some other options as well.
This is the cheapest gift on the list and acts as a great stocking stuffer or add-on gift for any car lover. The Maycom Retro style Strong Carabiner Keychain is great for folks that like to securely attach their keys to a purse or pocket with ease. Carabiner keychains offer the ability to quickly and easily secure other objects to your keys as well. Rather than fight with those tiny key rings, just pop it on the carabiner and you’re good to go!
The spring design provides some flexibility while maintaining the strength to keep your keys secure. The high-grade polished chrome plated alloy is also colored with options for silver, black, gold, and bronze.
Great reviews and a cheap price make this a great option for any age group as a stocking stuffer or something you can include to add just a bit extra.
This cable works great for car audio installations such as subwoofers, amplifiers, and capacitors. Most people don’t buy thick enough cable for their amplifier which can cause issues such as overheating and under performing. It is great for the car audio buffs out there that love bass and loud music. It also works great for replacing corroded battery cables and can improve the performance of your car (if there are issues with your ground wiring).
This cable is offered in 0, 4 and 8 Gauge which refers to the thickness of the cable and affects the current (amps) rating. An outer diameter of 0.61″ and a 250A rating at 20 feet is perfect for ground and power replacements for batteries and amplifiers. 50 feet on this spool is plenty for these scenarios as well.
While the main target for this gift idea would be teen drivers, older car enthusiasts may also have use for this around the garage.
This high-quality air tire pressure gauge is another great cheap gift that is perfect for any garage. The analog gauges are made to meet the ANSI B40.1 accuracy standard meaning that they are accurate to within 2%.
The rugged look and feel provides durability and will fit in with most garages. Hundreds of great reviews and a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee make this a safe choice for an inexpensive accessory gift.
This is targeted more towards the older driver that has a garage and enjoys the look and feel of high-quality parts and accessories.
The Veneev Sun Shade set isn’t really a car guru type gift. However, these things can be a life saver when you have children by keeping the bright sunlight from blinding them in the back seat. It also helps to block some of the UV rays that could damage the skin and is guaranteed to keep your car cooler on hot days.
While it’s not your typical car enthusiast gift idea, we felt it was important to add some of these small add-on type gifts that can provide some utility to the driver and their family. This is the most popular set at the moment and comes backed by thousands of 5-star reviews.
Great gift idea for older drivers that have kids or pets that want to reduce UV and bright sunlight exposure.
Similar to the OBDII Scanner a few ideas back, the BlueDriver ODB2 Bluetooth Scan Tool turns your smart phone into a wireless OBDII Scanner. It includes many of the same features as a standard scan tool as well as some additional features such as wireless bluetooth connectivity, free updates, and connection to a database with over 6.6 million repair reports to help you diagnose your issue.
While the price is a bit higher, the convenience factor of not having to find your device and plug it in every time you get a Maintenance light is very nice. Free app updates means you get the latest benefits of technology as they become available including saving data, interactive graphic, and live data readouts.
This is a great ‘Wow!’ gift for younger drivers that enjoy being on the cutting edge of the latest technology.
Drop Stop is one of those As Seen on TV items that seems like a gimmick. It is actually extremely useful for almost any car or truck driver. There have been plenty of instances where a phone, coin, pen, trash, food have fallen down and been saved by the Drop Stop Seat Gap Filler.
It really does make your car safer by eliminating the highly distracting action of fishing your phone out from between the seats. Everyone has done it. It’s also one of those items that is so simple and useful that you wish you’d thought of it yourself. This kit includes a set of two which can block both driver and passenger seat gaps or you could be nice and offer one to a friend or family member. Heck, keep one for yourself and give the person on your list the other one!
This is the official Drop Stop brand from Shark Tank making it easily the most popular and highly-rated option.
Every good mechanic needs a high quality creeper. It just makes working underneath the car so much easier. This Lisle Jeepers Creeper is one of the top quality brands on the market providing a low profile 7/8″ floor clearance. It also features urethane rollers inserted into steel bushings giving you plenty of freedom to roll in all directions.
The creeper itself is 18″ x 39″ x 5″ making it very easy to store upright in the garage when not in use. It also comes in multiple colors including black, yellow, and blue.
If the person on your list enjoys working on their car and doesn’t have a creeper, stop here and buy this. It’s one of those things that’s hard to justify spending the money on but comes in super handy when you need it!
You may not think something like a Siphon Hand Pump would be a good gift. Think again. Anyone that’s had to do a manual transmission fluid flush will tell you that a pump makes things 10x easier.
The Katzco Siphon Hand Pump will allow you to remove fluids such as oil, gas, even air without having to pour them dangerously. This thing can pump up to 3 gallons per minute so you’re not stuck pumping forever just to drain a little bit of oil.
It is also a great item to carry around with you in case of emergencies. If you run out of gas on a road and someone comes to help you, you can easily siphon a bit of gas from their car into yours to get you to a gas station. No need to invest in gas canisters or make separate trips to refuel, just pop the siphon in, give it a few pumps and you’re good to go.
Super easy to operate, very cheap, extremely useful, this makes a great gift for any car enthusiast or home mechanic.
Similar to a creeper, every garage needs a rolling shop seat. You may recognize the Torin Big Red brand from the jackstands we featured previously in the list. This high-quality, low-profile padded mechanic stool is great for working around the sides of the car. Think wheels, brakes, suspension type maintenance.
It features 360 degree rotating wheel casters, a large tool tray underneath for holding parts and tools, steel construction, and a nice padded seat. Again, one of those things that is tough to justify spending the money on, but comes in super handy in the right situations.
This is the most popular and highly rated Rolling Shop Seat. Backed by hundreds of 5 star reviews, its safe to say that it is a good value and a great gift for the extremely cheap price!
Fender covers are a great addition to any garage. They basically protect the paint finishes of the car while you’re leaning over working within the engine bay. One side is typically high-quality vinyl/leather while the other is a soft but sticky, non-skip backing that protects your paint while holding the cover steady.
The JEGS Fender Cover features an exclusive tool pocket as well for holding small tools and parts while you’re working. This is another great cheap add-on type gift that will come in handy for almost any car guru, regardless of age. Even if they already have one, having 2 just means more convenient protection!
This cover measures 26″ x 32″. The heavy duty vinyl resists acids and grease and is easily cleaned between uses as well.
The Chemical Guys Complete Car Care Kit is the perfect kit for any car owner, regardless of level of experience with car detailing. Beginners will get just as much benefit from this kit as experts will due to the high quality of the products included. It basically hits all of the standard car detailing needs in one easy to order package.
It includes a clay bar, Mr. Pink car wash soap (for light duty cleaning), Citrus Wash auto soap (for heavy duty cleaning), VSS Scratch and Swirl remover, Wheel cleaner, Silk Shine Dressing for Rubber/Vinyl/Plastic restoration and protection, Speed Wipe quick detailer, Butter Wet Wax for waxing, Wash Mitt for washing the vehicle, and some applicators and microfiber towels.
What more would you need? This kit isn’t the cheapest but it’s an incredible value for the quality of the products that are included. Great gift for car enthusiasts of any age, young or old.
This is a bit more of a utility gift probably better for the more serious home mechanics who insist on doing all maintenance themselves. The EPAuto Spill Proof Radiator Filling Funnel Kit makes radiator flushes significantly easier.
When filling the radiator, tiny air bubbles can get trapped in the system resulting in inconsistent cooling. This funnel kit allows you to fill the radiator and then run the car or truck until the thermostat opens up which allows the water pump to pump all of the air bubbles out. Once the air bubbles escape, you can easily plug the funnel, pop it off, put your radiator cap on and you’re good to go.
Radiator flushes and fills can be done without this, but it’s another one of those items that just makes life a lot easier. It may not be the most glamorous gift, but any true DIY Mechanic will appreciate it at some point!
This bad boy features a 5 gallon capacity and 4.5 Peak HP motor to generate plenty of sucking and blowing power for almost any situation. It stainless steel drum goes perfectly with any garage style.
It also comes with a ton of great accessories including 3 extension tubes, a 7 foot hose, 6 foot cord, and multiple attachments for different scenarios. It weighs in at 17lbs meaning its actually pretty portable especially considering the 360 degree rotating wheels. An Air Flow capacity of 175 CFM means the dirt will be no match for you!
This vacuum is often sold out because its so highly rated and reasonably priced. If you see it in stock, definitely snatch it for the car guy on your list!
Multimeters are a bit more on the technical side of things. However, they serve many purposes and can be highly useful even outside of the garage. A multimeter allows you to measure electrical current, voltage, resistance, and more which can be extremely helpful when diagnosing or troubleshooting a variety of automotive or household electrical issues.
The Neoteck Multimeter is a top selling device that includes a large backlit LCD display and all of the functions that you could need in a multimeter tool. It includes a set of cords with alligator clips as well as a set with test leads.
A multimeter belongs in every shop and garage. You never know when you’re going to need it, but when you do, there’s no replacement for it!
The torque wrench is another very important tool that should be in every mechanic’s tool box. Torque Wrenches allow you to measure how tight the bolt or nut is that you’re tightening. Who cares? While nuts and bolts are typically extremely strong steel, they can still bend, shear, and break. And when they do it can be nearly impossible to extract them.
Most automotive manufacturers release detailed specifications for the tightness of each of the bolts and nuts on the car. This is to ensure that it is tight enough to perform properly without risking over-tightening and potentially breaking the nut or bolt.
The Tekton 24335 1/2″ Drive Click Torque Wrench is one of the most popular and highly rated options available. It ships pre-calibrated to +/-4% accuracy and is ready to use right out of the box. This is another example of a gift that is extremely useful but hard to justify buying when you just spent a bunch of money on parts. This makes it a great gift!
Some mechanics refuse to wear gloves due to the perceived lack of dexterity that they feel when using them. Often this is due to improper sizing as a properly sized set of mechanics gloves can make an enormous difference in the number of bloody knuckles that every DIY Mechanic gets every time we go out to work on our rides.
These Mechanix Wear gloves feature a seamless single layer palm to improve fit and dexterity, as well as a thermal plastic rubber closure with hook and loop to ensure a secure fit. The TrekDry material is form-fitting and keeps hands cool and comfortable.
These are the most popular and highly rated Mechanix gloves. They are reasonably priced and machine washable so they can be reused for years.
We had to include some fun gifts on here as well. This one is also educational allowing you to build a working V8 Engine simulator. It includes over 100 parts that must be assembled as well as a working electric motor.
This kit is actually very cool and includes step-by-step instructions with diagrams for assembly. While it’s a bit more targeted towards young car enthusiasts and kids, many of the reviewers stated that they had as much fun as their kids did assembling this model.
Great for learning about how a 4-cycle combustion engine works as well as teaching how to assemble complex models. Hundreds of 5-star reviews prove that it’s a great gift for car enthusiasts of all ages!
Our list wouldn’t be complete without some LEGOs in it. This LEGO Ferrari is one of the most wished for car-related items by kids and adults alike. Once assembled it looks great on a shelf or in the garage next to all of the other car paraphernalia.
It is actually extremely detailed for a LEGO kit. The 1158 pieces assemble to include a functional body with a hinged, vented rear hatch that can be lifted to reveal a detailed twin-turbo 90-degree V8 engine. It also includes functioning doors, handles, seats, pop-up headlights, and even a luggage compartment with tools. The assembled car measures 3″ x 10″ x 5″.
While this isn’t the cheapest item on our list, it’s definitely the coolest. Recommended for ages 14+, I can’t think of any age car enthusiast whose eyes wouldn’t light up if they unwrapped this bad boy.
Last but not least, this Craftsman 230-Piece Mechanics Tool Set is about the best value for your money you can get when it comes to all-in-one tool sets. It includes just about every tool necessary to complete most simple jobs around a garage.
It features quick-release ratchets in 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ drive, with 116 sockets in both metric and imperial, universal joints, two extension bars, 6 combo wrenches in standard and metric, 40 different screwdriver bits, 12 nut drivers, and a driver. It also includes two sets of hex keys (allen wrenches) and a durable plastic carrying case that neatly organizes the entire kit.
This kit is great for any garage – it provides a solid foundation for starters that haven’t invested in a quality tool set while also provides some great quality tools that even seasoned mechanics use on a regular basis. Heck, this kit even works for non-car enthusiasts due to its comprehensive nature. All of these tools will come in handy around the house at some point as well.
This kit is Craftsman quality and backed by hundreds of 5-star reviews. The price is actually very good for the quantity and quality that you’re getting for this set!
Need More Gift Ideas?
If you’re still reading this far, props to you for sticking with it. If you still haven’t found the right gift for the car lover in your life, we would recommend checking out some of the Best Sellers in the Automotive Category which will include some of the best selling automotive items as well as some trending items and a collection of the most wished for items on Amazon.com which should give you more gift ideas for car lovers.
Many of the parts and accessories that DIY Mechanics use on a regular basis can be found on Amazon for significantly cheaper than in stores. Free 2-day shipping with Prime means that you don’t have to wait for your parts. Consider a Gift Card or a Prime subscription so they can get their parts, tools and other fun stuff shipped super fast!
Check out our home page for some other great Automotive Buyer’s Guides as well that may help give you some great gift ideas for the car enthusiast.
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Buying gifts can be tough, especially when trying to find the best gift ideas for car lovers. Hopefully we have provided a little bit of assistance in making a good choice for that special person on your list. Keep an eye on this list as it may be updated based on trends as we approach the holiday season. Most of these gift ideas are great any time of year whether it be birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. It’s never a bad time to upgrade your tools or add to your tool collection.
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