The Best Holiday Gifts for Car Lovers Under $100

Discover great gift ideas for the car geek in your life without breaking the bank.

byBrian Smyth|
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This article was updated on December 22, 2020 with new products and deals

You know who they are. Those people on your shopping list who cannot get enough of cars and can even exhaust other gearheads with their enthusiastic interest in anything automotive. Maybe they spend every weekend tinkering, dropping entire paychecks on new parts and other upgrades. Maybe they only use personal care products that smell like grease, gasoline, or burning rubber. Whether they fit these molds or one of the countless other gearhead variations, here is your one-stop shopping guide to find them the perfect car gift.

For the car geek who notices even the smallest of details, look for something to simultaneously satisfy both their OCD and their octane obsession. Car wash kits with everything from chrome cleaners and carnauba wax to dirt traps and pressure washing wands are an absolute hit. For less than $100, you can make their year.

That couple with an addiction to mud-covered 4x4s? They have plenty of items on their wishlist as well. Whether it's a new lightbar to see the trail better, or a new gear rack for secure storage on overland trails, you can get them the ideal gift while safely staying under $100.

Grease monkeys can always use more tools. When they’re not upgrading their old exhaust system, they’re probably switching out tires or fine-tuning the trim. Whatever the case may be, consider giving them a set of impact sockets or a top-of-the-line OBD2 scan tool. 

Regardless of your gift selection, you can put a smile on your favorite car lover's face without emptying your pockets. Here are some top gift ideas for less than $100. (Prices were valid at press time, but deals expire and prices can change.)

Off-road enthusiasts are always hunting the perfect way to secure their gear, so the MaxxHaul 70115 Steel Roof Rack is sure to earn you some big brownie points this year. This rack has everything the outdoor adventure on your list wants in a roof rack. This rugged steel rack was built to withstand even the toughest weather conditions. It features a weather-resistant and rust-resistant finish and a rubber gasket to preserve its structural integrity for years to come. It installs easily on most factory and aftermarket crossbars with the included U-bolts, and the U-bolts use rubber caps to prevent marring and other damage. This year, get that special someone ready for the outdoor excursion of their dreams.

More Great Gifts under $100!

Automotive tinkering and repairs do require some muscle, but tools like the Husky 1/4-Inch Drive Torque Wrench are themselves plenty capable of precision work as well, making them the perfect gift for serious gearheads. This little torque wrench is a great choice for that special someone. With its steel alloy construction and sealed head, this tool was built to last, and with a torque accuracy of plus or minus three percent, it has precision to boot. It boasts a torque range between 40 to 200 inch-pounds and a 1/4-inch drive socket, both ideal for small, intricate adjustments for just the perfect tune. Of course, this tool meets or exceeds ANSI standards and comes with a limited lifetime warranty, the perfect Christmas accessories.

Even More Great Gifts under $100!

For the consummate DIY mechanic on your list, the BlueDriver is the perfect gift, the one tool to rule them all. This OBD2 scan tool manages to stay under $100, but the return on investment for this bad boy makes it more than worth it. With this smartphone-compatible, Bluetooth scan tool, your home mechanic can save tons of money with accurate at-home diagnostics using the free BlueDriver OBD2 Scan Tool app. This Bluetooth device pairs perfectly with both Android and iOS devices, and using the BlueDriver app, users can scan their vehicle for codes, read and understand those codes, find common repairs for the codes, then erase the codes once the repair is complete. In short, this Bluetooth OBD2 adapter will turn your DIYer into an automotive expert.

Finding presents for practical people can be the biggest holiday headache, but the FrostGuard PRO is sure to please the most pragmatic car lover. This guard is made with heavy-weight polyester and a weather-resistant PVC lining, ideal for easily shrugging off snow and ice. The nine-inch wiper flap at the bottom prevents snow from collecting just below the windshield, saving drivers from the frustration of wind-induced whiteouts. The Fit-Fast straps allow it to fit any vehicle and allow the guard to be installed or removed in seconds, and the quick-dry storage pouch is sure to put a smile on any face.

Ever wondered how to make your gift stand out among all the rest? The DeWalt 23-Piece Combination Impact Socket Set is sure to grab the attention of any tool-loving autophile. (No, we didn’t make that word up.) This set includes both metric and SAE sockets, ranging between 13 and 24 millimeters and 7/16 and one inch, as well as a 72-tooth 1/2-inch drive ratchet, a five-inch extension, a drill adapter, and a lifetime warranty. Each piece in this impact socket set consists of tough, durable heat-treated CR-440 steel and is laser-etched with high-visibility markings for easy identification. This set is sure to be a hit!

For the overlander on your list, you can never go wrong with Autodrive LED Combo Light Bar and Brackets, a must-have accessory for any off-road outdoor adventurer. This 21.5-inch light bar includes a double row of 40 total LEDs situated inside a durable waterproof housing, perfect for shrugging off mud, water, ice, and snow all year round. The bar puts out a spotlight and floodlight combination pattern, giving your favorite adventurer an excellent view ahead with great peripheral visibility for safety. It puts out a whopping 5650 lumens and is compatible with both 12 volt and 24 volt systems, making this a can’t-miss gift at under $100.

Some families love to travel and get outside, so give them a MaxxHaul 4-Bike Deluxe Hitch Mount Rack this Christmas so they can make the most of great weather. This rack is perfect for family outings thanks to its ability to accommodate up to four different bicycles at a time. It fits all two-inch hitch receivers, and the padded, adjustable bike cradle uses hook and loop straps to keep bikes safe and secure while on the move. The all-steel construction is tough and durable and can support up to 150 pounds, and the top bar folds down for easy storage. Kick summer off early with this MaxxHaul bike rack.

Lots and guys (and gals) love a great set of tools, so end the year a winner by giving the Husky 105-Piece Mechanics Tool Set to the mechanic in your life. For only $99, you get over 100 tools, including 66 sockets, 10 wrenches, four ratchets, and 25 accessories, and can equip anyone to make just about any repair anywhere, anytime. This set comes with both SAE and metric tools for increased repair versatility and both standard and deep sockets for reaching just about any nut or bolt. Each of the ratchets includes 100 teeth for working in tight spaces, and the combination wrenches cover anything between 3/8 and 3/4 inches and between eight and 15 millimeters. 

Time to end your brother’s frustration with dropped tailgates with the Dee Zee Tailgate Assist. This truck-specific tailgate assist eliminates wear and tear on factory tailgate cables without requiring the removal of said cables. Due to its controlled natures, this hydraulic assistant also eliminates concerns of smashed fingers, making it safer to use by pros and noobs alike. To sweeten the deal, a single tailgate only requires a single unit, making it easy to cover both his truck and hers. Dee Zee’s extensive tests and obsessive pride in quality will give you peace of mind when you give this gift.