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The best car-related gift ideas

By Tom Fraser, 29 Nov 2019 Car Advice

The best car-related gift ideas

Still struggling to find the perfect gift? Fear not, here is WhichCar’s ultimate automotive gift guide

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!

Under $40

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 has just released a rather tidy-looking 1974 911 Turbo, ripe for the Christmas-time rush.

Is your family 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 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 fro $10 too!

Read next: Last-minute Christmas gifts for blokes

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 or MOTOR magazine subscription costs less than one coffee per fortnight.

In the same vein, a car book like Adrian Newey’s How to Build a Car is another entertaining read that chronicles the life of the F1 genius and his efforts in racing. While it annoyingly doesn’t provide a step-by-step guide on how to actually design a car (what’s that about judging literal books by their covers?), we're sure it'll be enjoyed all the same. 

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 around the outside, and give yourself a little bit of postage leeway time, too.

Under $75

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 bit 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.

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.

Read: Christmas gift guide for car enthusiasts

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’.

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.

Under $150

Stepping up your gift game into a higher price point will see you offering a gift that lasts a lifetime, with a Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. While it mightn’t have much to do with cars immediately, it’s one of those tools that becomes invaluable when out on a road trip or when camping.

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 is sometimes a good thing).

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.

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

Under $300

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.

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 have 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 then Guards Red design create a bunch of cool watches that resemble tachometer dials.

Over $300

As far as Formula 1 homewares go, you probably won’t find anything cooler this side of a full-size F1 simulator. Don’t be fooled though, the tyre supporting your latte will not reveal closely guarded Pirelli secrets and is in fact a perfect replica made by the Italian manufacturer. Offered with a certificate of authenticity and eye-watering pricetag.

Now this will get someone’s heart rate moving! Based at Wakefield Park in NSW, Trackschool Trackdays offers coaching and tuition in the art of track driving, either in your own car or in one of the school’s variety of cars. The school also runs V8 Hot Laps, which allows punters to take to the track in a properly prepared Commodore or Falcon alongside an instructor, before swapping seats and going for the ride their life.

Get a special WhichCar discount too! Use the code ‘Whichcar10’ to get a 10 percent discount on a gift for someone you love – or for yourself!

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.