Reviews

Best Car Accessories: Add Your Own Personal Style

Upgrade your car’s look and make it your own with these car accessories

With decades of combined experience covering the latest news, reviewing the greatest gear, and advising you on your next car purchase, The Drive is the leading authority on all things automotive.

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BY Scott Roepel / LAST UPDATED ON October 23, 2019

When you own a vehicle, you can upgrade its look, make it sound more aggressive, or buy a much-needed phone charger or practical jumper cables for convenience. Enhancing the ride of your car can make it more powerful and durable, while other accessories, like phone chargers and seat warmers, can make it more comfortable. Check out some high-quality accessories to consider if you want to add value and style to your car

Best Overall
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum for Car
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Summary
Summary

This lightweight cordless vacuum has a bagless dirt bowl, a motorized upholstery brush, and a charging indicator light.

Pros
Pros
  • Comes with two attachments
  • Has good suction
Cons
Cons
  • Noisy 
  • Slow to fully charge
Best Overall
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum for Car
Best Value
Ainope Car Charger
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Summary
Summary

The device features dual USB connections, and both include fast 2.4A charging power with a combined power of 4.8A that can fully charge a dead phone in two hours.

Pros
Pros
  • Sleek and durable metal body
  • Charges quickly
Cons
Cons
  • Sits loosely in the socket 
  • Lights aren’t bright
Best Value
Ainope Car Charger
Honorable Mention
Drop Stop Car Seat Gap Filler 
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Summary
Summary

With this seat gap filler, you’ll no longer lose things between the seats. It provides 100 percent coverage with a seat belt buckle catch and slot. Each package comes with two Drop Stops. 

Pros
Pros
  • One size fits most vehicles
  • High-grade neoprene casing
Cons
Cons
  • Doesn’t fit all vehicle seat gaps 
  • Can move around
Honorable Mention
Drop Stop Car Seat Gap Filler 

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Car Accessories

  • Personalize your car. The car accessories you put in your car are an extension of yourself. For example, a cigarette lighter doesn’t just improve your car’s functionality, it makes a personal statement.
  • Improve safety. Some accessories—like a smartphone car mount, seatbelt cutter, or high definition dash cam—help you to be safer on and off the road. 
  • Better performance. Accessories like mass airflow sensors can reduce fuel consumption. A cold air intake increases the torque and horsepower. The right car accessories can increase your car’s performance. 
  • Enhance aesthetic appeal. If you want your car to look stylish, you can get car accessories like plush leather seats or a steering wheel cover. 
  • Maintain or improve resale value. Cars normally depreciate in value. However, aftermarket features like Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, and GPS navigation boost a car’s resale value. 

Types of Car Accessories

Performance-Enhancing Accessories

These accessories help improve your car’s mileage, make it easier to control, and even monitor fuel consumption. There is a wide range of performance-enhancing car accessories, including after-market tires, cold air intakes, and tachometers. Performance enhancers, however, may have a negative effect on the car. For instance, they may affect insurance premiums.

Safety Car Accessories

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of safety accessories. Accessories like cargo liners protect the car’s exterior. A first aid kit can come in handy in the event of an accident and is one of the most important accessories you should have in your car. In our opinion, safety car accessories should come first.

Car Accessories for Organization

These are add-ons you install in your car to make it easier to organize stuff or to enhance your comfort. Tools such as car racks, sunroofs, and tow hooks are extremely helpful in organizing items and saving space. Most car accessories for organization can be quickly installed and removed, depending on your needs. 

Protective Car Accessories

Protective car accessories safeguard your car from harm. It could be window tints or car covers that protect your car from harsh weather. Or it may be bull bars that prevent serious damage to the front section of the car. Other protective accessories include specialty screens, after-market locks, and dash cams. 

Entertainment Car Accessories

No road trip is fun without a bit of entertainment. Cars come with their own entertainment features; however, there are car stereo systems that surpass OEM systems, like those made by Boss, Sony, and JBL. You can complement your car’s sound system with a DVD player.

Top Brands

JBL

When it comes to car audio accessories, JBL is a standout company. It was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the U.S. The brand has become synonymous with high-quality sound equipment for personal and commercial use. One of its highly-rated products is the JBL GTO629 Co-Axial Speaker.

3M

3M was founded in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. Situated in Maplewood, Minnesota, it boasts a wide array of products in various sectors. In the automotive accessory space, it is known for products such as protective window films, headlight restoration kits, and adhesives. Products such as the 3M Headlights Restoration System are a testament to the company’s innovative spirit. 

Brembo

The Italian powerhouse Brembo is a household name in race car circuits. It is known for its braking systems and was founded in 1961. Most sports cars around the world feature Brembo brakes. The Brembo P28059N Front Disc Brake Pad is an example of the company’s engineering ability. 

Car Accessories Pricing

  • $5-$50: This range covers a lot of accessories, from LED lights to gear shift knobs. If you’re looking to spruce up your car on a budget, you can get accessories here.
  • $50-$100: In this range, you’ll find accessories such as car racks, doorstep protectors, and custom gear shift knobs. Plenty of premium products are found here. 
  • $100-$200: This is where accessories that boost your car’s performance are found—like tire safety monitors and car vacuum cleaners.
  • $200-$500: This price range features high-end accessories designed to significantly improve your car’s appearance or performance. Brakes, engine additions, and security features are found here.

Key Features

Comfort and safety

When shopping for car accessories for a car’s interior, you need to make sure they enhance your comfort and safety. If you are uncomfortable, you won’t be able to drive well and may be irritable. This puts you and those around you at risk. Safety features make you feel more confident as you drive.

Power Draw

If the car accessory you’re thinking of getting uses the car’s power, it’s crucial to consider its impact on the overall consumption. This will help you to plan accordingly and avoid additional costs associated with battery replacement and servicing. If you get an accessory that drains your car’s battery, you may get stranded when you least expect it.

Low Maintenance 

The last thing you want is for a car accessory to increase the operating costs of your car. This defeats the purpose of buying it. The best car accessories might require you to shell out a little bit more money; however, they will be easy to maintain. 

Other Considerations

  • Ease of Use. A car accessory should improve the state of your car. The best car accessory might have cool features such as Android or iOS compatibility, LED backlights, or plug and play functionality. If it’s for the exterior, it should be easy to install and uninstall.
  • User-Friendly. The best car accessories should be user-friendly. There’s no sense in buying an accessory if you won’t be able to use it. It should be easy to use and not take long to install.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: After Wi-Fi, Bluetooth is the most popular wireless technology. Car accessories with Bluetooth connectivity, like tire pressure gauges and radar detectors, keep you safe on the road. 

Best Car Accessories Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum for Car

This cordless car vacuum sucks up dirt and debris using a motorized upholstery brush with rubber tines. It features a clear, bagless dirt bowl, so you can see the dirt and know when it is full so you can empty it. The device also features an indicator light that alerts you when it's fully charged.


This vacuum comes with two attachments and is great for cleaning seats and removing pet hair. It's lightweight, holds a charge for a reasonable amount of time, and the suction is good. In addition to your vehicle, you can also use it in the house for sofas, stairways, and other areas.


One downside is you have to clean the filter and empty the compartment with every use. It's also a little noisy, and it can take a while to get a full charge.

Best Value
Ainope Car Charger

This handy little car gadget keeps your devices powered any time you are on the road. It is a 4th Generation upgraded version that offers more protection and better charging capabilities than its predecessors. Thanks to its 2.4A dual USB connectors, you can charge two devices at the same time.


The charger is made of high-quality zinc and has a sleek silver finish. You can also get it in burgundy or gray colors. It charges most Android phones, iPhones, and iPads in a very short time. Its blue illumination blends with any car interior. It also doesn’t overheat and is resistant to scratches. 


Unfortunately, in some car models, it won’t go deep enough. This means a small section will be exposed, so it won’t be stable. It also doesn’t work with Android’s Qualcomm fast-charging feature. The illumination could use some adjustments as it’s not enough in some circumstances.  

Best Car Seat Gap Fillers
Drop Stop Car Seat Gap Filler

This two-pack of car seat gap fillers will fill the entire space between your front seats and the center console. They have a slot for attaching the filler to the seat belt and it will then move and adjust with the seat for a set-it-and-forget-it design. It has a durable outer neoprene casing that’s easy to keep clean. It comes in black for a low-profile look that blends in with the rest of your car’s interior. 


The downside of these fillers is that they are a universal design. While they fit most vehicle gaps, they won’t fit all gaps. Some tight sport-style seats have too small of a gap, and some SUVs have too large of a gap. This can cause the filler to move around once you put it into place.

Best Floor Mats
Motor Trend Black FlexTough Contour Liners

Protect your vehicle’s interior with this set of heavy-duty rubber floor mats. Choose from burgundy, beige, black, brown, charcoal blue, or light grey. This lets you pick the perfect color to match the rest of your car’s interior. The mats are constructed of flex tough, an advanced performance rubber polymer that’s designed to last in extreme conditions. It won’t crack, split, or deform. The underside of the mats has a non-slip nob design to keep them in place. Ergonomic ridges on the top side give your feet better traction. The front mats measure 30 x 21.5 inches, and the rear mats measure 58 x 18 inches. The trimmable design lets you use a pair of scissors to trim the mats for a custom fit in your car. 


The downside of this rubber mat set is that you’ll have to trim them, making for a more complicated installation. The mats also lack holes for the factory mat hooks to anchor the mats in place.

Most Decorative
Govee LED Interior Car Lights

Brighten up the look of your vehicle’s interior with an aftermarket LED light set. This kit comes with two lines that connect a total of four LED light strips. This lets you easily install the light strips in both of the front footwells. It comes with strong adhesive to attach the lights to your car. You can then use the smart app control to choose from 16 million colors. It also comes with a built-in push-button controller for simple operation. You can even have the lights flash in time with the music. 


Unfortunately, the included adhesive isn’t very durable, and the lights may come unstuck over time and in heat. However, you can fix this with the included zip ties. They also plug into your cigarette lighter, taking up a plug in your car.

Tips

  • With heated seat cushions, make sure it is unplugged and turned off when you leave the vehicle because it can drain certain vehicles’ power. 
  • Many accessories, such as shock absorbers or engine components, can be installed yourself. However, you should consider having a professional install them to ensure they run properly and efficiently.
  • Covers are a great accessory to have if you don’t have access to a garage to park your car in. They offer protection against thieves and debris while you’re away.
  • Car vacuums aren’t necessarily loud, but you may want to wear headphones or earplugs when using them in your car. The tight and compact space might increase the noise they create put out.

FAQs

Q: What car accessories should I invest in?

A: This depends on your personal style and choice. If you want to focus on changing the exterior look and style of your car, consider wrapping your vehicle. If you want to upgrade the sound or interior, you may want to invest in various components for the engine, such as new air intake, exhaust manifolds, or seat covers.

Q: How can I find out if an accessory is right for my car?

A: Consider ones that fit your specific model car. There may be some that are only equipped to fit trucks, jeeps, or SUVs. Check with the manufacturer to see if it has a list of vehicles its accessories are compatible with.

Q: Are there packs or kits for car accessories?

A: Some simple car accessory kits include a phone charger, first aid kit, and a flashlight. However, you should consider buying accessories separately. That way, you can choose the exact accessories you want and need. 

Final Thoughts

To leave your car looking brand new and clean on the inside, consider the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum for Car

Or there’s the Ainope Car Charger, which features two charging ports for more convenience and a quick charge.