Best Gifts for Car Lovers: Top Picks for the Gearhead in Your Life
Car lovers will go crazy for the gifts on this list
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
What do you get for someone who already has what they want sitting in the garage? Something to remind them of it, of course. These gifts are perfect for the car lover in your life, as they can spice up their next outing behind the wheel, make the drive more comfortable, or simply broadcast their hobby to the world. Just don’t be mad if your present makes them want to spend even more time with their car.
Made with the car company’s iconic colors, this sleek timepiece has been sculpted to remind users of memorable features from the classic Scuderia Ferrari single-seater.
- Stylish enough to be worn as evening attire yet durable enough for everyday wear, it boasts precise quartz chronographs that let you easily determine just how quickly you went from 0 to 60
- A little on the heavy side
- Lack of an included user’s manual can make learning how to use its various functions frustrating
With two spacious compartments—and the ability to create a third using the removable divide—this organizer offers plenty of room for the gear in your trunk. It comes with removable hardened base plates and folds up when not in use.
- Securing straps have built-in metal hooks, ensuring the bag doesn’t slide around in transit
- Stout handles allow you to carry it around without fear of it breaking
- Has a strong chemical odor out of the bag that takes some time to wear off, so you may not want to keep it inside the cabin
- May not come with straps as promised
This product bundle has everything a driver needs to keep his or her car looking clean and polished, including a foam cannon, fabric cleaner, and stain remover.
- Foam cannon and hand mitts can work up an incredible amount of lather, allowing you to quickly knock any accumulated dirt and grime off your car’s exterior
- You’ll need to be careful with all the parts. Many are made with fragile plastic, which is surprising because they’re not cheap
- Products may start to leak after a short period of time
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Gifts for Car Lovers
- Appreciation. In today’s world, sometimes we don’t take the time to make sure the ones we love feel appreciated. Buying a gift for the car nut in your life helps them feel like they matter to you. You’ve put some thought into what they love most.
- Usefulness. Some gift ideas for gearheads are extremely useful and practical. Once you purchase a gift for a car lover that they can use often, you know they’ll be thinking of you every time they use it.
- Understanding. Some car lovers think that no one understands their passion, and that can be a challenge in relationships. Purchasing an automotive gift for a car lover shows them you understand and appreciate their favorite hobby.
Types of Gifts for Car Lovers
Novelty gifts for car enthusiasts can be a lot of fun and show friends and family you think their hobby is cool too. Gifts like T-shirts, watches, model race cars, and posters related to their favorite brand or racing series are often highly appreciated. While some would consider a model car on a desk just a trinket, a car buff sees it as a work of art and enjoys it every time it catches his or her eye.
Let’s face it, as far as hobbies go, cars are expensive. Between the cost of parts, tools, and maintenance, a car can be a real money pit. Car people will save money specifically for one item or another until they can afford it. If you can figure out what part or tool they’ve been saving for and purchase it, you’ll win some points. They’ll know the gift was from the heart but also has a practical value, like helping them go fast or look cool.
Sometimes the greatest gift ideas are the ones that we don’t think to buy ourselves. Purchasing gift certificates for things like car washes, full detailing jobs, and oil changes is a great way to show a car lover that you’re thinking of them and you want their baby to look like a new car. It saves them money and allows them to pamper their prized possessions. Find out where they like to take their car for these services and give them a gift certificate.
Turtle Wax has long been a favorite of car gurus when it comes time to making their rides shine. The company launched in Chicago, Ill., in 1944, and it creates car care products that make excellent gifts. This Turtle Wax Ultimate Car Care Kit would make any car lover happy.
Haynes manuals have been a staple in garages for a long time. The first Haynes manual came out in 1965, and the company has produced millions from its Newbury Park, Calif., headquarters since. Repair manuals, like this Haynes Chevy Silverado & GMC Sierra Repair Manual, make excellent coffee table books or references in the garage.
It doesn’t have to be Christmas to get your car guy a LEGO set. LEGO offers tons of kits for auto enthusiasts. With a history that stretches back to 1932, LEGO has been creating toys everyone can recognize. Check out this LEGO Speed Champions 1974 Porsche 911 Turbo 3.0 Building Kit.
There are a lot of toy car companies out there, but Kinsmart is the leader in accuracy and realism. This Hong Kong company was formed in 1992 and offers fun products like this Subaru Impreza WRC 1:36 Scale Diecast Car. We think it would look great on an office shelf.
Gifts for Car Lovers Pricing
- Up to $50: There are a lot of gift ideas for gearheads in this price range. Car care kits, Bluetooth gadgets, T-shirts, model cars, and gift certificates can all be found for under $50.
- $50 to $100: This could be the sweet spot for auto enthusiast gifts. High-quality coffee table books, diecast models, and race car memorabilia are available at this price point.
- $100 and up: Gifts in this range will make a car lover jump for joy. Limited-edition memorabilia, auto parts, and even race-day tickets might be a great choice at this price point.
Most car nuts have at least a few favorite brands that they’re loyal to or lust after. When you’re shopping for the perfect gift, start by figuring out one or two manufacturers that you know they love. A Volkswagen T-shirt would be a great gift for a Beetle lover. Gifting that VW t-shirt to a Ford person won’t resonate as well as a Mustang hoodie or a Thunderbird coffee mug.
If you’re purchasing something for a car lover to use in or install on their car, it’s important that the gift fits. Find out what make, model, and year their favorite car is so you can buy the right item the first time. Leather seat covers for a 1990 GMC pickup are a great gift, but not if your beloved car enthusiast drives a 1997 Ford F-150.
- Style. Think continuity here. Car lovers all have a distinct style, and it’s important to consider the individual's taste before purchasing a gift for their car. A bright yellow steering wheel cover won’t complement a camel-colored leather interior in their classic car, but a pair of camel driving gloves would.
- Knowledge of Their Vehicle: If you don’t know the difference between a ball joint and a valve cover, that’s okay. Just don’t purchase anything for their vehicle. Choose a novelty gift for them instead. They’ll be happy to receive a book, clock, or shirt branded by their favorite manufacturer, and you won’t have to worry about knowing what year their Porsche is or what engine they have in their Camaro.
Best Gifts for Car Lovers Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- Not all car nuts are created equal, so take into consideration what you know about the intended recipient before making a purchase. Someone who tools around in a Porsche will likely have very different tastes than a person driving a jacked-up F-150.
- Ask yourself if the gift recipient is more likely to prefer something for the car itself or an accessory that reminds them of it. If it’s the former, you’ll need to have a pretty good idea of what they already own, so you don’t buy a duplicate accessory or give them something that’s not compatible with their vehicle.
- If your loved one enjoys performing required maintenance themselves, think about buying them toolsets or other items for the garage. However, if they prefer to outsource all the necessary upkeep, those kinds of gifts are less likely to be appreciated.
Q: What do I do if I don’t know the first thing about cars and want to buy a car gift?
If you’re not a gearhead, steer clear of any gifts that require intimate knowledge of the vehicle. Instead, focus on car-related items like apparel, accessories for the interior, or relevant books and other media.
Q: Do I need to know what the intended recipient drives?
If the gift you’re considering is only compatible with certain makes and models, yes. But be careful, as this can quickly become confusing. If you feel lost or overwhelmed, it’s better to buy something that isn’t as specific, or you can ask your loved one for that information. Of course, that might spoil the surprise, so be careful.
Q: Should I buy someone a gift if they just got a new car?
If you want to, sure. “Car-warming” gifts are becoming more common, and they represent a great opportunity to buy a car lover something they’ll enjoy. It’s less likely that the recipient will have already purchased accessories for a brand-new ride, so car-warming presents make life easier for the gift giver as well.
Your loved one will feel like a racecar driver with the Ferrari Race Day Watch strapped to their wrist as it’s stylish, functional, and reminiscent of classic sports cars.
The FORTEM Trunk Organizer is a more functional choice, but it should nevertheless be appreciated as it has plenty of room to help drivers tame the mess inside their vehicles.