It seems as though picking a gift becomes exponentially more difficult as time runs out, and increased pressure leads to desperation - which results in underwhelming, last-minute gifts.
But you needn’t worry, as we’ve been stuck in the same situation before and have used that experience to compile a list of our favourite automotive-related presents. Stress not!
Humble price points have plenty to offer, and LEGO is as good a place to start as any. LEGO’s Speed Champions range of car kits transforms licensed cars into brick-based creations, and generally cost $25 for a set.
There’s plenty to choose from, and coincidentally LEGO recently released this rather tidy-looking 1974 911 Turbo.
Whether it’s just the one-off or you want to give someone the gift that keeps giving, a car magazine subscription is an awesome way to keep up to date with everything automotive. A Wheels, MOTOR or 4x4 Australia magazine subscription costs less than one coffee per fortnight.
Is your dad tired of the same old socks and jocks routine? Get them some clothing they'll actually want to wear from the range produced by Blipshift, Cure Collection or DNBK/Nowhere Fast. The range continually stocks limited runs, so there are always fresh new items popping up.
Anyone who's ever washed a car knows the real pain starts when you get to the wheels. Use this handy wheel cleaner with combination hose/brush head to save time and effort - can't really go wrong for $10 too!
HSV will become GMSV soon so there's no better time to visit the HSV Official Merchandise Store if you want products like caps, cups or stubby holders with an H on them. They will become collector's items.
Show it off
We’re forever snapping pics of cool cars, and here’s a great way to give your favourite car nut something a bit personal. A canvas print of their favourite car is surprisingly affordable, and it’s dead easy to do - even from a shot taken with a phone.
Make sure you use a shot with the car dead in the middle of the frame with a bit of room.
For the diehard petrolhead that’s bored of branded watches. This cool timepiece will mean nothing to people who see cars as a necessary evil, but wait until a fellow car nut cops a look at your 3.0-bar max-boost watch and wait for the compliments. We call that ‘praise lag’. There are other cool gifts to choose from as well.
While some tend to leave it to the professionals at a hand car wash, some blokes love to detail their pride and joy themselves. Make their task that little easier by shelling out for some quality car care products. Auto parts stores can sell car care kits that include everything from soap to waxes and towels, so shop around to find something your car lover will appreciate. Try and figure out if they have a brand preference beforehand though, lest your well-intentioned tin of Turtle Wax simply gets left on the shelf by its recipient.
For the post-Covid world
If our story about how to take your car overseas has got you thinking, you’ll love this guide to the world’s greatest drives from an undisputed travel authority. Lonely Planet’s Epic Drives of the World includes a few gems from our own shores, but if you’ve already exhausted the best local blasts, grab a copy and book a ticket for you and your car.
This one is more practical than fun, but a car phone mount will ensure your loved one can stay connected while also staying attentive to the road. It’s also a handy way of passive-aggressively telling a loved one that they fiddle with their phone too much while driving. Not only will you receive a ginormous fine for holding your mobile phone in-car, it’s simply unsafe.
Forza dad with everything
Gaming is a great way to blow off steam (and can sneakily be shared between giftee and gifter), so why not pick up the latest edition of the Forza series of racing games. Whether it is the open-world arcade-style Forza Horizon 4 or the classic Forza Motorsport, both versions supply endless hours of unproductivity (which, as we've learned this year, is sometimes a good thing).
No more lost keys
Does your dad launch into expletive-laden tirades when he loses his car keys? Put an end to the tantrums with a Bluetooth key finder tile that’ll ensure never misplaces his keys again.
4X4 = gifts
Know someone into their 4x4s? Our mates at 4x4 Australia compiled this neat gift guide catalogue with a bunch of adventurous gear from car accessories to camping gear, from across the price spectrum.
Read next: In Gear: Our pick of awesome gadgets
Larger spends can land you in the upper echelons of LEGO, which offers a number of intricate kits like the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 or Ferrari F40. Both cost around $200 and will see that whoever you give it to is occupied for at least a day.
Not a toy
If you want something like LEGO that’s socially acceptable to play with after it’s built, a Tamiya remote-controlled car is still one of the best options for kids and grownups alike, and is sturdy enough that it won’t fall apart after one crash.
A nice pair of driving gloves that don’t make you look like a try-hard are hard to find, but Autodromo has been making these quality Stringback Driving gloves for a number of years now and they’re actually something you could wear in public without being embarrassed… maybe.
Cars and watches tend to go hand in hand, and if your recipient doesn’t have a nice timepiece then a watch is a great gift that’ll be useful every day. Seiko Watches sell a number of affordable timepieces that you can buy for less than $300, but if you want to go all-out, Guards Red design creates a bunch of cool watches that resemble tachometer dials.
Still not satisfied?
There are a number of experiential gifts you can extend to your friends and family, and Adrenaline.com.au makes it easy to pick the right one with their interactive Gift Matching Generator. Simply plug in your car lover's details and you'll be connected with a number of tailored experiences that you can book through the website, making it a breeze.
We know finding the perfect gift for a car lover can be hard, but if you’re still having trouble then click through the gallery at the top for a few more ideas. If you have any good suggestions for a cool car-related gift, throw them in the comments section below.