Tech hype is all around us, and whilst this may be a geek’s paradise, it is often a challenge to separate genuinely useful gadgets from gimmicks. As devices multiply and diversify each year in terms of how and where they can be used, the “internet of things” edges ever closer.
For drivers, there are plenty of apps and accessories designed to modernise your journeys. We’ve picked ten of our favourite gadgets that we believe truly enhance the driving experience by improving safety, journey planning and of course providing entertainment. When compiling the list we looked for a range of devices and applications that have everyday use cases and won’t break the bank. Not got a car to put them in? You can rent from a person in your area with easyCar Club. Ideal for flexible and affordable rentals.
Parrot Minikit Neo 2
UK outfit Parrot are leaders in “in-car infotainment” offering a range of smartly designed and reasonably priced devices for your vehicle. The Minikit Neo 2 is an upgrade from the successful Minikit+. It acts as a voice controlled Bluetooth station that plays music, whilst also allowing you to answer phone calls and dictate messages hands free using its “Magic Word” functionality. It’s a stylish, simple and safe way to get more out of your time at the wheel.
An excellent app for the frugal or environmentally conscious among us. DriveGain links your driving style to your fuel consumption by providing clearly displayed real time data on acceleration, braking and recommended gears for optimum fuel conservation. That means no more prematurely empty tanks!
AmazonBasics Dual USB
Chargers may not be the sexiest gadgets on the market, but being stranded with no power is no laughing matter. E-commerce giant Amazon offer a no-nonsense dual USB charger that neatly plugs into your car’s battery port, allowing you to power two devices on the go (perfect for the indecisive user who needs both iOS and Android!).
You may have used their computer speakers or mice, but accessories experts Logitech now offer a range of in-car accessories too. Their slick [+]trip smartphone holder neatly clips onto the air vents of your dashboard and has a universal magnetic surface for any smartphone to attach to. Gone are the days of fiddling your phone into its holder, now all you need to do is tap and go.
Waze has long been a favourite for drivers, as its crowd sourced information gives real time traffic and closure updates from a friendly user community. Although sometimes prone to inaccuracies that come with user generated data, it’s a great way for you to adapt your travel plans on the go and save time by working around traffic and closures that offline sat-navs couldn’t detect.
This speakerphone is a great solution for older cars without integrated calling capabilities. At just under £60, the Jabra Freeway clips onto your dashboard and provides high volume and high quality audio, so you can stay connected for business or pleasure whilst on the move.
Real time information is invaluable when planning your route. JamCam taps into over 2,000 CCTV cameras on UK motorways, bringing live views of traffic direct to your smartphone. Now there’s no reason to get caught up in another never-ending queue on the M25.
Breet Bluetooth 4.0 FM Transmitter
The AUX cable will always have sentimental value, however often it got tangled up with the gearstick and made driving that little bit more cluttered. Breett’s elegantly designed Bluetooth transmitter allows you to wirelessly connect your music to car speakers, and doubles as a phone receiver too. Its functionality is similar to some of our other featured gadgets, however its conveniently small design (and price!) make it stand out from the crowd.
Aimed at long haul road trippers, inRoute gets you from A to B to C to D by offering users the chance to plan multiple stops on a long journey. Ideal for field workers who need to visit multiple locations in one day, or for friends planning an epic road trip!
This road safety app offers a range of features designed to minimise accidents and keep drivers aware of their road positioning. Safety features include headway monitoring and video recording, allowing drivers to keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of them. iOnRoad also has a useful parking location feature so you never have to waste time wandering multi storey car parks in despair!
Now all that’s left is the car. Sign up as a driver or the easyCar Club today and you can bring all these accessories to cars you rent.