The 2022 UK Guide to Accessories for your car

  • Parkers pulls together a comprehensive list of the best car accessories
  • Get gift ideas, tips for travelling and tools to keep you safe and comfortable
  • From phone mounts and seat covers, to bike racks and blind spot mirrors

Car accessories; they’re the quickest way to make life more convenient and put a unique stamp on your motor. There’s a wide range of accessories from things to help the family, to those that’ll keep you safe and accessories that can be helpful when you travel.

Even though you’ve missed Prime Day, we thought you’d appreciate a guide on all things accessories to see if you could grab a bargain when it comes to November’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday or the January sales.

Just to be clear, these aren’t the options you select when buying the car. Those factory-fitted options differ from these third-party products you bring into the vehicle. Aftermarket products can not only help bring an older car into the 21st century, but also make sure you keep the cabin of the car as pristine as possible to protect its resale value. 

Let’s take a look at the most important and most popular accessories for your car:

Accessorise for safety

Among the accessories needed for safety, first up, we’d recommend phone charger, phone mount, USB adapter for your 12V port and decent USB cables. Since the rules on driving in the UK with a mobile phone have changed, these can not only save you fines, but even your life by minimising distraction and forcing you to keep your eyes on the road.

Adapter plugged into 12V port on dash of car, with a mobile phone charging cable connected

It’s also worth investing in blind spot mirrors. While rear view mirrors are standard fayre in any car, other mirrors and camera systems are quickly becoming the next tech thing. We like these mirror dash cams as they double up as reversing cameras —another accessory we’d never be without. You can of course opt for a regular dash cam, some of which have a recording trigger when the car is parked.  

Useful essentials like an emergency kit, tool kit, small first aid kit and torch are savvy and affordable investments that easily stow away for any emergency. Investing in a wheel lock is also a worthwhile exercise. Deterring would-be thieves is the quickest and most effective way to make sure your day isn’t spoilt with the unwanted discovery that someone’s broken in. You can also looking to put on your own wheel clamp too.

Picking the right car seats for toddlers is done based on age and is legal requirement for maximum safety. 

Accessories for repair

If you have an older car, or a penchant for fixing things yourself, a solid jack and wheel brace, puncture repair kit and jump start pack won’t go amiss. Since some of the latter double up as a power packs to charge mobiles and laptops, they’re even better value. 

Might seem a stretch (pun intended) for some, but for other drivers out for playing the hero to themselves or others, a tow rope isn’t a bad thing to keep in the boot.

Emergency car kit in red bag with all items spilling out

Accessories for cleaning

Keep a clean car not only makes you feel better behind the wheel, but also helps maintain the resale value of your vehicle. If you’re time-poor, handheld vacuum cleaners are one of the most efficient ways of making a massive difference in just ten minutes. Car covers are a good way to protect your paintwork if you don’t have a dry-store garage or you wish to store a vehicle for a longer period i.e. over winter. 

Air fresheners and screen cloths are easy and cheap ways of keep day-to-day smells and smears at bay. Car scent bombs can tackle really funky smells like damp dog.

Seat covers and floor mats are a must for anyone looking to protect the upholstery of your car. We especially like these heated seat covers in winter. 

Accessories for convenience

Close up of person's stone coloured deck shoes, wearing jeans and standing against railings

Given the glorious weather we’ve been having, your glovebox wouldn’t be complete without spare sunglasses, pen, paper, sweeties and water. And if you’re a fan of heels or flip-flops, you’d be best invest in a pair of driving shoes too. 

Navigation is most easily done from your mobile phone, yes. But with a combination of strict mobile usage while driving laws and less than ideal battery charging options, you might want to consider a separate sat-nav upgrade.

Accessories for the seasons

Driving the different seasons of the UK needs a more targeted approach too. In winter, we’d highly recommend de-icer and/or an ice scraper. In more rural areas with high snowfall, a snow shovel could be a good shout.

In summer, a foil screen protector will help manage the melting point of your cabin before the air-con kicks in. 

Accessories for travel

Three vehicles with bike racks shot together in a wooded area

Getting away from it all needs extra storage, so roof bags and roof racks will be top of the list. 

Cyclists will need bike tow bars or a bike roof rack (we’ve done a bike rack comparison too).

And those looking to hit the road and go camping, should take a look at portable air-con units, BBQs, cool boxes and upgrades to their sound system.

Entertaining the kids is a sure way for a smoother, more enjoyable journey and overall holiday. Finally, you might be (quite literally) lost with a magnetic car tracker