Cars nowadays have more equipment than they ever had before. And that equipment costs money…a lot of money. The difference in prices between entry-level and top trims can be more than 40% for some models. Moreover, many of the most beloved features are available only on luxury cars which cost a real fortune in Singapore.
What if we told you there is a way to get some of those cool features for a lot less money?
Some of the must have car accessories listed below are just smart, some are very useful and some of them are life-savers that you probably haven’t thought about before. We are here to help!
1. Dashboard Cam
If you get into an accident and need to explain how it happened, there are not many better ways that using a dash cam.
Even if for some reason it does not record the actual accident, it should give enough information about the context, speed, direction in which you were going and similar.
Moreover, dash cams often catch some strange, funny or even dangerous incidents. Most of the traffic accident videos online were made by dash cams.
If you really want to make the most of the dash cam, make sure you get one that is high definition which allows for clear night recording.
Price differences aren’t significant for most models, so make sure you get one with a wide angle and a frame rate and resolution good enough to record license plates of moving cars for example.
2. Parking Coupons
Sure we mostly use EPS nowadays, but there are many places that require the old-fashioned coupons. They are easy to get, take up a tiny bit of space and can be very useful, especially when we park in areas known to have very active traffic wardens.
3. Parking Sensors
Parking sensors are standard equipment in many modern cars, but even the ones that are not equipped with them can get an aftermarket upgrade.
They can be used for the front and rear and they are essential for covering blind sports and getting really close to other cars around you without hitting them.
If you are going with aftermarket parking sensors, make sure you have a professional install them and make sure you test them out first. They measure the distance to obstacles so they do not always take into account the peculiarities of the car you are driving.
For example, if you have an SUV with a spare wheel mounted on the tailgate, you should check and see if parking sensors cover that extension to your car’s length as well or you may hit your wheel cover.
4. Blindspot Mirrors
These little convex additions to your side mirrors are just awesome. They give you the view of places that are usually not covered by the position of the standard mirror and can really help you navigate through tight spaces. Or spotting vehicles caught in your blindspot when filtering lanes on the road.
They are also very basic in design, cheap and easy to install, so they are actually the perfect accessory – affordable, trouble-free and very useful.
5. Car Back Seat Organiser
We were thinking of including various car storage enhancement accessories, but there are so many of them that they alone can comprise a whole new list. There are additional cup holders, seat gap fillers, clips for sunglasses, smartphone and tablet holders and even trays where you can put your food on. For that reason, we decided to go with one that combines most of the features of all other options in one product.
Car back seat organisers make use of a storage surface that is usually left unused or adorned only with a lowly map pocket. Depending on the type, they can serve a wide array of storage purposes including literally all of the above-mentioned storage products and add a few more.
What you should think about before buying is if there is enough legroom in the back for the passengers you often take in the rear seats. These organizers take just a little space but if it is already tight, they are going to make things a bit worse.
Secondly, make sure you shop around. Price differences between competing models are not too big, so it makes sense to spend a few dollars more for a product that has more storage options, is made of better materials and is water-resistant, for example.
6. Battery Jumpstarter
In all honesty, you will not need this often, but when you do, it is irreplaceable. Batteries don’t die unexpectedly very often and even when they do, there is usually someone near you to help you jump-start the car by connecting it to their car battery.
However, when this is not the case or you are parked in a tight spot so the other car cannot come close enough to help, a portable jump starter is a lifesaver.
They are usually very small and not very expensive, so there is no reason not to have one in your car at all times.
7. Rooftop Cargo Box
If you want to buy a good one from a renowned manufacturer, this is probably the most expensive accessory on the list. However, it is also a way to save much more money when buying a car, especially having in mind our car prices. Rooftop cargo boxes are a godsend for people who need large boots a few times a year only for work or if you do road trips to Malaysia.
Instead of limiting your vehicle choice to cars with huge boots for the sake of those two family holiday trips you make each year, you can buy a far more affordable family hatchback and just slap on a rooftop cargo box when you need extra cargo volume.
There are loads of shapes and sizes to choose from, so you can even keep your car stylish while increasing the volume of your boot.
8. GPS Navigation
Another thing that is very common in modern cars, but also not often present on parallel import vehicles is an infotainment screen that usually includes GPS. If you don’t have one, you can either have it installed or simply use your phone’s GPS apps.
Even if you know the streets you drive very well, GPS can be very valuable. Versatile solutions such as Google Maps can help you find specific shops, restaurants, businesses or other points of interest. They can also offer real-time traffic reports and automatic rerouting.
Just make sure you do not set it up while driving.
9. Tyre Repair Kit
So, why is it a good idea to have one especially in you live in a small developed country like Singapore?
First of all, it is small. If you have one of these modern small cars that have no spare wheel, adding a spare wheel in the back will take up most of the boot. A tyre repair kit is usually a simple small tube that you can carry in the car and completely forget it is there until you actually need it.
Secondly, even if you have a spare tyre, it is not always easy or possible to replace is with a spare one. Maybe you need to get to an important meeting and the only thing you need less than being late is being late and sweaty from changing a tyre; maybe you are in a tight spot and you don’t have enough manoeuvring space to change the tyre. Maybe you haven’t checked your spare in a while and you find that it is not inflated when you really need it or maybe you are simply in a hurry.
A tyre repair kit should be your last choice if you have a proper spare car tyre but there are times when it is the best solution.
Moreover, aftermarket repair kits are usually much cheaper than the ones made by manufacturers, so they are an affordable way to get some peace of mind.