19 Useful Car Accessories That You Actually Need In 2021

I remember how psyched I was to get my first car. It was synonymous with “absolute freedom,” even if the thing had a cassette player. Years later, I’m still grateful to have something with a working motor, but I’m all about the awesomely useful car accessories that you actually need — because you bet I’m still rocking that ’05 Hyundai, cassette player and all. After all, if you don’t necessarily have the funds for new wheels, you can always dress up the one you already have with the coolest car gadgets and other essential vehicle accessories.

No matter what you drive, though, there are a few things that just about any car could use. An awesome gel-padded cushion can make your daily commute go a hell of a lot more smoothly (anyone up for some immense comfort?) — but there are also some brilliant products that ensure you’re always safe, prepared, and ready for anything that gets thrown at you while you’re on the road. If you’re looking to dress up your car with some of the coolest and most useful car accessories out there, look no further than these epic gadgets.

1. A Smart Car Charger That Helps You Locate Your Car In The Busiest Of Parking Lots

Everyone has lost their car in a parking lot, and most have embarrassingly walked back and forth beeping their keys in an attempt to find it. This smart car locator and USB charger has two USB ports to charge your phone while in the car (faster than other cigarette-lighter chargers, too), and it also doubles as a Bluetooth tracking device that you can access from your phone to hunt down your car.

Promising review: “By remembering my parked location, the Zus charger has saved me from wandering around a large parking lot many times. The double reversible USB ports charge my devices in very little time. The USB ports are reversible. […] The ports are subtly lit which enables you to see the ports in [the] dark. Three small lights on the top industry that your Zus is connected. Those is a very well made item and is a necessity for every vehicle.”

2. A Car Mount That Doesn’t Require Any Installation

To conveniently view your navigation without making any permanent additions to your car, there’s this air vent smartphone car mount. It hooks onto your air vents without any installation, attaches to your phone with a super strong magnet, and swivels all different ways, so you can see the screen from any angle. This one even comes in a pack of two, so you can cover two different vehicles.

Promising review: “This product is great. This is one of the strongest magnets for cellphones i have encountered. The only drawback and it’s not really for their product, it’s that when you have a piece of metal attached to your phone or case you will not be able to charge your phone with a wireless charger. […] If you don’t use a wireless charger, then there’s no problem. Just charge your phone with the cable it came with or another manufactured one. Other than that. It’s a great item and and a great price. […] Buy this!”

3. A Dashboard Grip Pad That Holds Your Phone, Keys, & More

This silicone grip pad requires zero installation — just place it on your dashboard, where you can store sunglasses, keys, and cables in dual compartments. You can even use it to mount your phone, thanks to the smart tab that props it up at an angle.

Promising review: “Very happy with my purchase. I have leather interior and was looking for something that would keep my keys and phone within reach on the dash. It has not moved since I put it in place. It is an odd size but very nice quality and it stays put, no matter what kind of roads that you drive.”

4. A Bluetooth Key Finder So You’ll Never Lose Your Keys Again

Now that you’ve got a way to track down your car in a crowded lot, you need a way to track down your keys when they’re buried in the laundry. This Bluetooth tracking tag attaches to your keys and syncs up to your phone, so you can find them anywhere. The actual tag is lightweight and modern enough to look awesome on your set.

Promising review: “It works! It helps to find things! I am very happy with my purchase, and I will buy for my daughter another one – she always looks for her keys. Very nicely packaged, tracker itself is very cute (I bought orange), easy accurate instructions – this is a perfect gift for many occasions. Highly recommend!”

5. A Car Trash Can That Contains Messes On The Go

Keep the granola bar wrappers out of the cup holders for good with this waterproof organizer that can double as a cooler. Hang it from the door, the seat back, or behind the center console, and never let gum wrappers and the like find new homes in your car’s corners again. This is especially great for long road trips, where frequent garbage disposal stops are slim, and you’d rather not store fast food containers at your feet.

Promising review: “Granted, its just a trash bin. But unlike other brands and types around, i like how it was thought out for the consumers.Extra velcro to secure the bottom of the bin, magnet top to cover up when needed, useful pockets… and the CLIPS. It really makes a huge difference when securing the plastic bags in place, and is very easy to attach/remove the bags.The XL is quite big, but is a great size for large cars like our Mazda cx-9.”

6. A Car Vacuum Cleaner That Keeps Your Car Clean & Fresh

Ah, the inescapable layer of dust and the shredded tissues in your cup holder. This car vacuum cleaner plugs into your cigarette lighter to give you loads of cleaning power anywhere in your car. It’s got a long wire (over 15 feet) and several interchangeable tools, so reaching under the seat or cleaning your upholstery isn’t an issue. Reviewers love that it’s compact, reliable, and easy to use.

Promising review: “It’s quite powerful for its little compact size and did a fine job of sucking up dirt and using the bristle attachment I have no problem picking up dog hair. It’s the perfect vacuum to have in the car for quick cleanups and keeping things looking nice.”

7. A 3-Pocket Net That Keeps Groceries & Bags From Spilling Everywhere

How did shopping trips work before this three-pocket net? No clue, but now you won’t be stressing over the sounds of spilled vegetables as you pull out of the parking lot. Three pockets keep items from shifting, and its built-in hooks make temporary installation in any car pretty easy.

Promising review: “I have used these Pocket Nets in each of my last three cars. One being and SUV.I wouldn’t be without these. […] The reason I bought this one is the SUV I bought was larger than the last one and the one I had wouldn’t fit so it went to the new owner of my Jeep Suv. My wife wouldn’t let me take the larger one out of her car so another purchase was required, Wouldn’t be without one !”

8. An FM Transmitter That Makes Any Car Bluetooth-Friendly

For anyone without a Bluetooth hookup in their car, there’s this Bluetooth FM transmitter. Not only does it have a super fast USB charging port, but it can also be used to play music from your phone or MicroSD card. The built-in microphone allows you to make hands-free calls, and reviewers are raving because it’s compact, looks great, and works really well.

Promising review: “This device is like my own personal high quality radio station to play anything I have on my phone, and thanks to its integrated microphone, I can also use Android Audio (for when driving) to use cool features by just saying “OK Google” +Command, such as navigation, send/read text messages, make/receive phone calls, play music.This is a great product, I recommend to anyone who has no Bluetooth in their car and want a wireless transceiver to do so.”

9. A Console Insert That Keeps Things From Falling Between The Seats

Bring a little organization to your car with this KMMOTORS console side pocket. Not only does it come with a coin pocket and slot to collect all that loose change, but it has an extra cup holder and a thin pocket to hold your phone, wallet, keys, glasses, or anything else. It fits right between the seat and the console, and it’s sleek and convenient.

Promising review: “I read a lot of reviews on this product before purchasing, and am thrilled with the actual piece. I have a 2005 BMW X3 that I love, but cubby space is scarce. This gave me that little extra space I had been looking for, plus a cupholder, without being clunky or in the way. It slipped right in on the passenger side and has been the perfect place to drop my phone, change, and other little things. It has a sturdy build and stays in place even without the foam inserts it came with. I would highly recommend this item.”

10. A Bamboo Charcoal Air Freshener Keep Your Car Smelling Naturally Fresh

This PURRGO car air freshener is one of the most effective options for getting rid of smells in your car. It’s made from 100% natural bamboo charcoal, which soaks up odors, moisture, and allergens quickly and efficiently. This one’s also got a slim shape and a built-in cord, which is designed to hang from the headrest. Last but definitely not least, it’ll work for over a year straight.

Promising review: “This thing works! I bought a used truck with a really strong cigarette smoke odor inside. Every time I opened the door of the truck I got a strong whiff of cigarette! It got to the point I would cringe each time! I put on this PURGGO Car Air Freshener and within 48 hours the smell was completely gone! There is no longer ANY odor inside my truck.”

11. A Seat Cushion That’ll Improve Your Ride Tenfold

To make your daily commute just a tad less miserable, there’s this Kieba Coccyx seat cushion. It’s particularly innovative because it’s got a cut-out for your tailbone, which helps to align your spine and promote great posture. Since it’s made from memory foam, it keeps you supported and comfortable the whole ride.

Promising review: “This is a wonderful tailbone pillow! It’s beautifully made and contoured perfectly, making for a very comfortable place to sit. […] Someone in the question section asked if this has a non slip bottom and was answered “No”. I beg to differ. The one I received has small grippy dots all over the bottom of the pillow. The cover is soft and plush with a zipper for washing the cover. I see some found this hot, I do not, but I think that’s going to fluctuate by individual. I’m completely satisfied and comfortable […] If [you’re] suffering as well I wish you luck and relief.”

12. A Car Jumper Set That’s A Must-Have For Emergencies

The portable power bank might just be your absolute best friend in emergencies. Thanks to its powerful lithium polymer battery, it has the ability to jumpstart your car, charge your phone, and power up your tablet. It also has a built-in LED flashlight with several modes, and since it’s totally rechargeable, it’s one of the best things to keep in your trunk at all times.

Promising review: “I work mostly on nightshift and there have been times in the past where my car has died and I had no one around to jump it. This gives me [extra peace] of mind. It is especially nice to not ever be worried about being stuck.”

13. A Brilliant Net That Secures Your Bag & Other Essentials

I know it sounds dramatic, but my life changed when I got myself a center console net; they stretch between your seats and provide a sling-like holder for your bag, so you can keep your passenger side empty, access your wallet in a second, and stop worrying that your purse will go flying every time you hit the brakes. The AMEIQ mesh organizer also has three built-in pockets for other essentials — plus it doubles as a way to keep your pet in the back seat while you drive.

Promising review: “I’m an Uber/Lyft driver, this is a must-have if you don’t have a lot of space or want to keep things accessible without placing items in cup holders or the floor. Easy to install, looks great.”

14. A Windshield Treatment That Repels Water For Better Visibility

Even when your wiper blades are brand new, rain and snow can still limit your visibility. Rain X is an easy-to-use treatment that causes moisture to bead up and roll away effortlessly, so you can see much better in poor weather conditions. This pack of two has a 4.5-star rating overall and gives you enough formula for years of use.

Promising review: “Liquid magic. […] On misty mornings the water will bead up the windshield and you won’t even need wipers. Heavy rains…no problem.”

15. A Steering Wheel Desk For Your Lunch Or Laptop

Some people use their cars to drive — and others use them as an impromptu cafeteria, workspace, and lounge. If you belong to the latter group, you’ll seriously appreciate this steering wheel desk. It’s a best-seller because it attaches to most standard steering wheels to give you a sturdy surface for eating, working, or playing around on your laptop. It’s also double-sided (one side has a pen spot and notebook board, while the other has a built-in cup holder), and it’s thin for easy storage.

Promising review: “Where has this been all my life!? […] This thing is so handy, easy to install, and lightweight. It’s also large enough for my purposes but small enough to stow away in the seat pocket behind my seat.”

16. A Genius Gel That Makes It Easy To Clean Dust & Crumbs

Gunk, crumbs, and dust all have a habit of accumulating in the hard-to-reach nooks of your car. No worries — this satisfying cleaning gel slime was specifically designed for detailing. Just squish it into your vents, cup holders, door handles, or media console, and it’ll pick up all the stuff that you can’t get with a rag or vacuum. It’s also reusable and smells like lavender.

Promising review: “I was skeptical about this product, but it worked really well! Especially on the little crevices around the emergency brake and gear shifter.”

17. A Set Of Cheap Blind-Spot Mirrors That Are A Breeze To Install

According to a few of the more than 11,000 reviewers, these little mirrors have prevented “many accidents” and “really help” with blind spots while merging or changing lanes. Just stick them on to your existing side mirrors using the self-adhesive pads, and their convex shape will help you to see a much wider range of objects behind and around your car. They’re also thin, frameless, and rotatable for different angles.

Promising review: “These blind spot mirrors are super helpful with parallel parking, blind spots and seeing if you are in between the lines of the space you parked in. Love them.”

18. A Snow & Ice Cover That Seriously Cuts Down On Scraping Your Windshields

If you live in a place that gets snow and don’t have a garage, reviewers swear the Laptom windshield cover is a “serious winter time game changer.” Using its elastic straps and built-in magnets, it securely fastens to most cars, trucks, and SUVs. It then uses three layers of temperature-resistant fabric to protect your windshield from snow and ice, so you won’t have to scrape or defrost nearly as much.

Promising review: “I always put this on each evening when I get home and in the morning I just remove it and don’t have to scrape ice or wait for a defrost! This has saved me a ton of time and effort in the morning before my commute since my windshield is clean and ice-free!”

19. A USB-Powered Humidifier/Essential Oil Diffuser For Your Car

Finally, there’s this ultrasonic gadget from One Fire. It’s a humidifier and an essential oil diffuser in one, so you can add moisture into the air and reap the benefits of aromatherapy while you’re on the go. Unlike many other top-selling diffusers, though, this one is designed for the car. It’s USB-powered, leak-resistant, and shaped to fit inside most cup holders — plus, it has a few mist settings and a color-changing mood light.

Promising review: “This was a life-saver on our recent trip to Florida. Car heat is so ridiculously drying. This made for a much more pleasant trip. Easy to operate. Love it!”

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