From bike carriers and pressure washers to wheel protectors and Bluetooth phone mounts, there are numerous ways to get more from your car.
1. Parrot Minikit Smart Universal Bluetooth Car Kit
The Parrot Minikit Smart is an in-car mobile phone holder with built-in Bluetooth connectivity. It affixes to your car's windscreen with a suction mount and then holds your phone in place with a spring-loaded clamp.
To activate the handsfree, you use your, erm, hand to press the button at the base of the unit and then say who you want to call. Now, voice recognition functions in cars vary hugely in quality, but this one works pretty well, although Parrot recommends mounting the bundled microphone on the rear-view mirror or sunvisor. What's more, the 2-watt speaker is clear and loud, and if your phone has a satnav function you can even play directions through the Minikit Smart.
2. Breffo Spiderpodium Original
Under the Breffo Spiderpodium's soft rubber "skin" is a steel skeleton that can be bent into all manner of shapes. Strictly speaking, it's billed as a smartphone mount/holder. However, it's big enough to get a grip on most satnav units too, which makes it an ideal in-car companion.
To use it, you just hook four of the Spiderpodium's eight legs around your phone or satnav and use the other four to attach it to the airvent. Clever, cheap and simple.
3. TomTom GO LIVE 1005 5" Sat Nav with World Maps (66 Countries)
This all-singing, all-dancing satnav from TomTom is just the job if you like a few extra features to dabble with on your way from A to B. The 5in touch screen is bright, if slightly fiddly to use, but the live traffic updates (for Europe, not just the UK) are brilliant and the online functions, such as searching for restaurants and shops using Expedia and Trip Advisor, are useful too.
Best of all though (and what you're paying a premium for) is the worldwide map database, which works as well in Cape Town as it does in Camden Town.
4. Karcher Chassis Cleaner
Through the winter months it's just as important to keep the underside of your car clean and safe from corrosive road salt as it is the paintwork. And for that job, it's hard to beat the Kärcher Chassis Cleaner. Just attach it to a Kärcher pressure washer and use it to clean the underside of your car with the supplied shampoo and a high-pressure rinse. The Chassis Cleaner can then also be used to add a layer of treatment that for six weeks will protect your car from corrosion caused by road salt.
5. Halfords Exodus Rear High Mount
Transporting bikes on the back of your car can be a nerve-wracking business. You need a bike carrier that is sturdy but not too heavy, and the Exodus Rear High Mount from Halfords fits the bill. Capable of carrying up to three bikes (with a maximum load of 45kg), it is particularly useful if you regularly ride off road and don't want to get the interior of your car covered in mud.
The Rear High Mount comes fully assembled and, of course the best bit, leaves your car boot free to fill with other clobber. It also folds flat when not in use.
6. CD Slot Mount Car Organiser
The CD Slot mount consists of a piece of plastic that slips into a car's CD slot, and a (washable) sticky pad upon which you can attach a satnav so that it doesn't need to be mounted on the screen. It'll also hold a smart phone, meaning that if you use your phone for satnav you can quickly and easily mount it in the car.
With the caveat that you have to consider where the CD player in your car is located to work out if the CD Slot Mount will place your device in a convenient place, this is a clever little gadget, and good value too.
7. AA Road Atlas Britain 2014
While we can't resist the latest in-car gadgets, there's still a lot to be said for a decent, printed map. The AA's Road Atlas Britain is just that.
Spiral bound so it's easy to keep it open on the desired page, it is A4 in size with a 3 miles to 1in scale and, as a nod to modern times, even includes locations of static speed cameras.
Ah, a proper road atlas. Your children will think it so quaint.
8. Halfords 12V Car Vacuum
This little unit from Halfords might be at the cheaper end of the car vacuum market, but it's a great performer. It runs from your car's cigarette lighter socket (so no need to run an extension cord from your house) and includes three attachments to get into all those hard-to-reach places.
Over recent years there has been a trend of fitting new cars with big alloy wheels and low profile tyres. While this might result in more grip and better residual values, the downsides can be poor ride quality and an increase in tyre noise. Plus, of course, there's more risk of damaging those big wheels on a kerb.
That's where AlloyGators come in. Made of a super tough nylon, they sit between the alloy wheel and the tyre, and protect the rim should you accidentally hit something. AlloyGator claims you can fit them yourself in one hour, but you might be just as tempted to take advantage of its nationwide fitting network.
Worth noting for some, if you want to stand out you can order your AlloyGators in one of nine colours.
FROM: The Telegraph