By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

January 9, 2023

After years of driving and purchasing dozens of accessories for my cars, I've distilled the best accessories for your vehicle and must-have items. These items are ALWAYS in my cars as these are staple things that help ensure that my family and I are prepared.

I'll cover other items like tools, good things to have in an emergency, and other new products worth investing in.

These items will keep your cars clean and save you money at the gas station. We won't cover car seat covers or driver bling to dress up your vehicle, but things that keep you focused on the road and running in tip-top shape. 

 Let's get started and hit the open road in style!

1. Portable Tire Inflator Pump

BCB Editor's Choice: 

best accessories for your car - portable tire inflator

VacLife AC/DC 2-in-1 Tire Inflator


  1. Easy to use with auto shutoff inflation
  2. Detachable power cord with accessories
  3. Reliable (used dozens of times)


  1. No storage bag or case
  2. A little noisy but has a good fill rate

portable tire inflator pump in your car is essential for any vehicle. These portable devices are used to inflate tires to the correct air pressure. Instead of spending $1.00 - $2.50 at the gas station, you can keep this inflator in your trunk.

As the weather changes, you will want to ensure that your tire pressure is optimal. Your car's Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors (TPMS) might be beeping to alert you that your tire pressure is low. To learn more about the proper tire pressure, check out the article "What is the Best PSI for Car Tires?

It is essential to ensure that your tires have the correct air pressure. Otherwise, they can be prone to premature wear and tear. This can lead to increased fuel consumption and a decrease in your car's performance.

A portable tire inflator pump is easy and convenient; select the right setting for your tire pressure and connect it to a power source such as a cigarette lighter or adapter plug.

TIP: Look for a unit with an auto-shut-off so you can set it and forget it. Once the pressure is reached, the unit will stop pumping. 

In addition, digital displays give you an accurate reading of tire pressure, so you can be sure your tires are inflated correctly. There are analog versions with a gauge, but digital versions are more convenient to use. 

Prices of Tire Inflators 

How much should you pay for a tire inflator? The units can range from $15 - $250, depending on the brand and model. 

I paid around $35 shipped from Amazon for a digital tire inflator. This cool car accessory comes in a variety of brands and styles. I have a version with a detachable power cable to help store the unit. 

Some units are more expensive and are built more robust. From my experience, this would be good if you do off-roading and need to inflate and deflate your tires on the trail. Plus, these units can handle drops better. 

Other Features of Tire Inflators

Many models come with additional features such as LED lights or alarms, which alert when the desired air pressure has been reached. Some even come with an emergency flashlight setting if the power runs out unexpectedly in darkness or foggy. Many pumps can also be used for other forms of inflation too, such as beach balls, bike tires, and more.

TIP: Look for a version that can be powered by your lighter port. I was tempted to purchase a Ryobi Tire Inflator since I have a cordless drill and impact wrench. However, I realized that the battery would drain under storage, and it would be better to have a power adapter to plug into the car. 

The battery pack's battery life is about 4 months, ideally in the car. 

Easy to Store

Portable inflators are easy to store in any vehicle. Slip it into any glove box or storage compartment securely and have peace of mind that if ever needed, you will be able to tackle a flat tire promptly and efficiently.

2. Magnetic Phone Mount

BCB Editor's Choice: 
Bestrix Magnetic Phone Car Holder Air Vent

best accessories for your car - phone mount Bestrix Magnetic Phone

Bestrix Magnetic Phone Car Holder Air Vent


  1. Slim design fills across many of my car vents
  2. Easy to install and remove. No adhesives
  3. Strong magnet that holds my large iPhone.
  4. Very affordable


  1. Blocks the vent 
  2. Not adjustable in 360
  3. Requires a metal plate to be installed on the case or behind the case.

A magnetic phone mount is a great companion for any car.

Whether you're commuting, taking a road trip, or just running errands, it makes it easy and convenient to keep your smartphone within reach. With virtually any phone, including iPhones and Samsungs, magnetic mounts offer an effortless way to secure your device.

There are different mounts, but my favorite is a magnetic mount. Previously, I had the clamp mount to the CD player slot, but the clamp was not as convenient as the magnets. 

These mounts attach easily and quickly to any air vent (horizontal or vertical). It can firmly stick to the dash for secure positioning or the air vents. They are made from solid plastic with a ball mount. 

Using strong magnets and a metal plate attached to your phone, you can quickly mount and adjust based on your driver's position.

How to Install:

After securing your phone in place, the included adhesive steel plate sticks onto the back of the device with 3M double-sided adhesive tape, which won't leave a residue when removed. Its unique design allows flexibility as you can rotate 360 degrees while adjusting its angle up and down while on your air vent.

The mount's powerful magnet offers an incredibly strong grip that keeps your cell phone safe while driving around tight turns or bumpy roads. It is lightweight, discreet, and sleek, blending in with your vehicle's dash. 

With its slim profile, ultrastrong magnetism, and versatility, this accessory has proven to be a game changer in my family. In addition, it's universal to most phones. You have to attach a metal plate to each phone. 

Prices of Phone Mounts

Depending on the brand and features like wireless or mag-safe charging, the phone mount might be priced on the higher end at around $40. However, for under $20, you'll be able to purchase a good mount for your needs. 

TIP: Decide the best place to mount your phone by trying a few different areas on your dash. Read the reviews to ensure that the magnets are strong enough to hold your phone securely. You also need to check that the mount does not block any air vents.

There are plenty of options, and I'm confident you will find the right one. 

3. Baby Wipes or Microfiber

BCB Editor's Choice: 
Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Amazon Basics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths


  1. Affordable, soft, and absorbent
  2. Color coordinated for glass, interview, and surfaces


  1. Note as plush as other brands
  2. It can be difficult to clean dirt if dropped on the floor or tree leaves

When you're detailing your car or just cleaning up a spill, baby wipes or microfiber towels are essential accessories to have on hand. Whether you're simply wiping down surfaces or tackling more in-depth tasks like polishing chrome, these items are invaluable. They're also easy to store in the car and can be used repeatedly.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes contain a mild alkaline cleansing agent, perfect for removing dust and dirt from surfaces without scratching them. Plus, they have a pleasant clean scent most of the time. You can get it at your local dollar store

baby wipes

Microfiber Towels 

As an alternative, you can use soft microfiber towels. For example, use more oversized microfiber towels to wash windshields and windows with a water solution for better driving visibility. Make sure to use a lint-free cloth if any small particles remain after drying.

In addition, colored microfiber towels can be used to dry off your car at the car wash. I always keep a few in the trunk for any last-minute touch-ups. I can also wipe dry any water on the paint from the car wash.

TIP: After use, it is essential to remember that all microfiber towels should be washed as they get dirty. You want to leave out the fabric softener. You can either hand wash it or throw it in the washing machine with mild soap. Wash separately on a cold cycle using a chemical-free detergent/water mix.

Baby wipes are affordable and super easy to store in the door or glove box. They only cost $1-$3 per pack and are as effective as name-brand car detailing products. In addition, they are gentle on most surfaces. 

4. Umbrella and Snow Brush

BCB Editor's Choice:
totes Titan Automatic Open Close Windproof 

best accessories for your car - umbrella

totes Titan Automatic Open Close Windproof


  1. Easy to open and strong 
  2. Trusted brand and easy to store


  1. A little small since it's not as large as a golf umbrella

No matter what time of the year, it's important to be prepared for possible weather changes. The most common nuisance during the winter is snow—if your car isn't prepped, you could find yourself stranded in unexpected winter storms. To equip yourself against this, make sure to have a sturdy, dependable snow brush and ice scraper in your trunk. A must-have accessory for any car is an umbrella and a snow brush. With these two tools, you can quickly de-ice or remove excess powdery snow and avoid any delays on your morning commute.


An umbrella can also be extremely useful year-round, not just when there's a chance of rain. It's easy to forget that the sun can be blinding while driving—especially if you are stuck in traffic or waiting at a red light—so an umbrella can provide shielded vision until you're back on the road again. And if the worst should happen and you get caught in a downpour, your trusty umbrella will come to the rescue again!

Umbrella comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.

TIP: I personally like to keep a full-sized one or a golf-type of umbrella in the trunk. I've had compact versions of the umbrellas that fit in the palm of your hand, but they were less durable and stronger than the larger versions.

Price of Umbrellas

Umbrellas are very affordable. You can purchase between $7 - $30 for large branded ones. I suggest getting one full-sized, costing around $29, on Amazon

BCB Editor's Choice: 
AstroAI 27 Inch Snow Brush and Detachable Ice Scraper

best accessories for your car - snow brush

AstroAI 27 Inch Snow Brush and Detachable Ice Scraper


  1. Strong and very affordable
  2. Perfect size for most passenger cars and crossovers


  1. Not as long as other options for SUVs and Trucks like a snow broom
  2. Bristles are not super soft but suitable for heavy snow

Snow Brush

Another essential item is the snow brush. This is especially true as the temperatures drop in the winter. There are fancy snow brooms that are good on soft snow if you have an SUV or truck, but I typically like the traditional plastic handle. 

The plastic handle versions will not break or collapse on you. I suggest looking for one with an ice scraper on one end to help remove the ice on the windshields. We tested the metal handle that extends but during heavy snow, the handle would collapse on itself. 

Price for Snow Brush

The cost for snow brushes is $20 or less for the simple versions. Depending on the brand and the style, look to spend $10 - $15. They are reasonably priced, and you can purchase more than one at a time.  

Though small and often forgotten about, umbrellas and snow brushes are essential accessories for car owners who want to stay prepared for whatever comes their way during their travels. Investing in one quality piece from each category will ensure that you are ready no matter what Mother Nature throws your way!

5. Air Freshener

BCB Editor's Choice:
PURGGO Car Air Freshener

best accessories for your car - charcoal

PURGGO Car Air Freshener


  1. Easy to mount
  2. Very effective in neutralizing odors
  3. No chemicals


  1. No strong against smoke or heavy moisture
  2. Priced more than other brands

Air fresheners are a great way to make your car smell nice and fresh. Whether you're looking to get rid of foul odors or add a pleasant scent to your car, the right type of air freshener can transform your driving experience. There are many different kinds of air fresheners on the market, so it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is best for you!

Air fresheners come in various forms, such as:

  • Aerosol sprays allow you to control where and how much fragrance is given off in your vehicle.
  • Liquid sprays offer a more subtle scent option than aerosol sprayers.
  • Hanging pieces are usually attached to the rearview mirror, making them very accessible and easy to use while driving.
  • Fabric refreshers emit their scent via natural evaporation from fabrics like carpets and seats rather than being sprayed directly or used as an aerosol sprayer or liquid sprayer.
  • Stick-ons, or clip-ons, are placed in the vehicle to help disperse the scent throughout the cabin.

No matter what type of air freshener you choose for your car, always remember that most of these are chemicals, and you don't want to breathe too much in. Having proper ventilation is vital for keeping any indoor area free from dangerous chemicals that some may emit with incorrect usage or misuse/overuse of air fragrances/fresheners.

Non-Fragrance Solution

The other popular option is to use charcoal to help absorb odors and moisture in the car. I use this in my vehicles to help maintain a neutral smell in the interior cabin. 

TIP: If you have a musty odor in your car, please check for water or moisture in the carpets or trunk area. This might be caused by clogged drains or a failed vapor barrier in the doors. You can use Damprid to help manage in the meantime. 

What not to keep in your car?

Do not keep plastic water bottles in the car. Plastic water bottles can leach as the car heats up and cools down. I advise you to keep the water in the house and bring a bottle or two when you leave. 

In addition, do not keep your gym bag or sneakers in the car. Sweat and bacteria can grow and multiply quickly. It's best to air out the gym and workout clothes to avoid contaminating the cabin with an awful pungent smell. 

How can I make my car feel luxurious?

There is no perfect car accessory to make it feel more luxurious. However, keeping your car spotless and clean will help provide an enjoyable driving experience. There is nothing more luxurious than an ultra-clean and fresh-smelling car. 

Remove any trash or items from the car and keep the dash clean by wiping down with baby wipes and a microfiber towel. 

In addition, a wider rear view mirror is a great and simple addition to add more safety and reduce blind spots. Unlike exterior blind spot mirrors, the read view mirror provides you greater visibility in the rear and surroundings. 

Final Thoughts

While this list is not a fully comprehensive post about every accessory, this is a perfect list to start with. I can personally attest to the function and peace of mind with all of these in my car, truck, or SUV. 

No matter what kind of car you drive, these accessories will help keep it looking and performing its best. 

Not only do they improve the experience and look of your car, but they also protect it from damage and keep it in tip-top shape for years to come. With the right accessories for your car, you'll ensure that it's always running safely and effectively on the road. 

Stay tuned for more must-have lists to check out.

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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