Best Christmas gifts for car lovers 2017
Stuck for Christmas gift ideas to give to a petrolhead you know? We've got this year's best options for all budgets...
Best Christmas gifts for car lovers 2017
We all know that buying Christmas presents can be stressful. But, luckily, if you are buying for someone with even a passing interest in cars there are plenty of interesting options to choose from. Here are our picks for every budget.
Pure Highway 600
For anyone who'd tired of that crackly signal on their FM radio and having a limited number of stations, Pure has a solution. This DAB adaptor gives you full access to the huge list of digital radio stations available in this country in (pretty much) crystal clear audio quality. It isn't too complicated to set up, and works through an FM transmitter or an aux cable. The signal through the FM transmitter is good, but it is clearer through the aux connection. It's a brilliant product and will be very happily received by anyone who listens to the radio in a car without DAB. A three-year warranty is included.
Metal Ride on Racing Car
This is a great toy for a young child and is a piece of cake to put together. It comes with everything you need to construct it, the whole process takes less tha 20 minutes and it feels durable when you're done. It is quite small, so isn't for older children. But even when your child is no longer small enough to ride (or drive) it, it makes a nice ornament.
Carrera slot car racing
Almost every petrolhead will have fond memories of a Christmas Day spent slot car racing in a family living room. A set that has caught our eye this year is the Carrera Digital 132 Night Race that allows you to pit Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes Formula 1 car aginst Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari. It's very simple to set up and play. The sections of the track easily slot together, no screws or tools are needed, however you'll need a pretty big space to use the whole track as it's a massive 7.2-metre circuit that even allows for lane changes at certain points, but you can easily adjust the size to make it smaller if needed. The only slight disappointment is that the cars themselves feel a little bit flimsy - high-speed exits off the track could easily result in some cosmetic damage. But on the whole it's a great slot car racing set that's easy to set up and play, even if it is pricey.
Ferrari: Under the Skin tickets at the Design Museum
Price: Adults £18
Is there a Ferrari fan in your life? If so, a trip to the Design Museum's Ferrari: Under the Skin exhibition in London is a surefire winner of a gift. This exhibition features some amazing displays, including original books which belonged to Enzo Ferrari himself and fuelled his technical know-how; engineering drawings of classic Ferraris; original design bucks and wind tunnel models; and of course, several real-life example of the cars themselves, including one-off specials and classic racers. Adult tickets cost £18, while children under 16 years get in for £9, and there are family tickets available, too.
Parrot Minikit Neo 2 HD
This is a quick and easy solution for someone whose car doesn't have Bluetooth connectivity. The palm-sized device is designed to slot onto your sun visor and, once you've connected it with your phone, enables you to make and receive calls hands-free. It also uses voice recognition to help you call your contacts without picking up your phone. It can even act as a speaker, allowing you to play music and podcasts through it, although the sound quality for this is quite poor when the volume is turned up loud – which it will need to be on the motorway.
The McLaren documentary is a must-see for petrolheads. Released earlier this year, it traces Bruce McLaren’s life from New Zealand to setting up the McLaren Motor Racing company and taking on the elite of the motorsport world. It’s a moving and engaging documentary that’s beautifully made and contains lots of enlightening interviews with the family and his old teammates.
Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin remote control car
As remote control cars go, the Midnight Pumpkin from Tamiya isn't exactly subtle. It gets a 1950s style pick-up truck look with massive tyres and an eye-catching metallic paint finish. Depending on the version you opt for, you don't have to construct it yourself so it will work straight out of the box and all you need is some batteries for the speed controller. It's very easy to set up and use and, thanks to the rear-wheel drive layout, it won't be long before you're popping wheelies in it. Those huge tyres are a big benefit to the car as well, because it means you can use it on a variety of different surfaces without much fuss. It's a great no-nonsense remote control car.
Autoglym Aqua Dry Hi Tech Synthetic Chamois
This is a long name for a simple product. The Autoglym chamois leather is a great gift for absolutley anyone who cleans their car. It's made from a very absorbent material that helps leave a smear-free finish after a wash. And while it might not be the most exciting gift on the list, it's a practical and helpful stocking filler.
CTEK CT5 Time To Go
If you know someone who owns a car with a dodgy battery, this gift will be a blessing. Connect it up and it can actually display how long is left until the battery has enough of a charge for you to drive. It's also a small size so can be stored away easily in a garage and comes with a five-year warranty.
Audi in-car espresso maker
The Audi in-car espresso maker delivers a coffee shop drive-through experience to the driver's seat. Simply put 50ml of water into the top of the machine, pop in an espresso pod, plug it in to your car’s 12-volt charger, press a button, and wait for your espresso to prepare. It’s very simple to operate and is also a handy size that fits in your cup holder. It's a particularly great camping accessory, although it is on the pricey side.
Transitions Drivewear sunglasses
Despite the British weather's best attempts, every driver would benefit from having a good pair of sunglasses. The Transitions Drivewear sunglasses are a different proposition from your standard pair of sunglasses by having lenses that subtly change colour depending on the light conditions to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun and help visibility. They are certainly more effective and versatile than fixed tint sunglasses, and are helpful in all seasons.
Christmas and novelty ties go hand in hand. This 100% silk Paul Williams tie is a slightly classier take on the normal trashy stocking filler, with a blue background and a racing car pattern.
What Car? subscription
Price: £16.99 digital subscription for 13 issues
Every car lover should have a subscription to Britain's biggest and best car buying magazine. It gets you access to the very latest car news and reviews, in-depth comparisons tests of the most important models, and industry leading advice for car buyers and owners. Right now you can get a fantastic deal on a digital subscription at £16.99 for 13 issues, or for £50.59 you can have the print copies delivered to your house in addition to having access to the digital copies.
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And don't forget, our previous product test winners would also make great presents: