Bringing technology in our rides has never been easier, thanks to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integrating your phone into your infotainment system. You probably always your phone with you when driving around.
And just like it’s a good idea to keep some emergency items in your car, you should keep some phone accessories in your car too. From the fun to emergency backups, here are eight items everyone should store in their vehicle.
1. Cell Phone Phone Holder
If you use Android Auto on your phone’s screen, you’ll definitely want the display in clear view. Looking down at your device in your lap to follow directions or change music while you’re driving is dangerous.
Thankfully, you have a variety of phone holders to choose from. We’ve laid out your phone set choices in a separate article. Whether you prefer to mount your phone via a CD holder or vent clip, with a magnetic mount or mechanical one, you’ll find an option for not much money.
2. Car Charger
Most modern cars have at least one USB port for you to charge your device or connect it to your infotainment system. But what if you don’t have one, or you want to charge more than one device at once?
That’s why you should have a car charger. These inexpensive devices plug into the cigarette lighter/power outlet in your car and let you charge any device. You’ll find a range of options, from ultra-slim models to hubs that have several ports. Make sure you find one that outputs enough power for the device you want to charge.
Having one in your car makes sure you always have a way to charge your (or a passenger’s) device.
3. Spare Charging Cables
Of course, if you don’t have a charging cable, you can’t plug your device in! You should always keep at least one spare cable for your phone in your car. That way, if your primary one stops working, you can still charge your device.
If you have some extra space, you should also stock different types of cables. If you’re an iPhone user, for instance, keep a micro USB cable and a USB-C cable around. You might never need them, but they could be a lifesaver to friends with a dead battery.
4. Spare Battery Pack
There’s one more item related to charging you should consider keeping in your car. As you’re probably aware, battery backup packs allow you to charge a big battery at home, then carry it around to recharge your devices. Unless you buy a tiny one, you can recharge your phone several times over with these.
While a car charger is great when your car is working, you’ll be out of luck if your car’s battery dies. Thus, adding a battery pack to your emergency kit gives you an extra charge anywhere. As a bonus, many models include extras like flashlights too.
We’ve recommended some great battery backups if you need a recommendation.
5. Bluetooth Radio Transmitter
If you have a newer car, you don’t need this one. But anyone who doesn’t have Bluetooth built into their car should definitely pick up a Bluetooth radio adapter. These devices plug into the lighter/power port in your car, and connect to your phone via Bluetooth. Tune them to an unused radio station, and you can play media from your phone through your car’s speakers.
After you enjoy your favorite music streaming service in the car, you’ll wonder how you ever lived with the radio. The model below has a screen that displays call and song information. It even has a USB port on the front, making charging your device convenient.
6. OBD Device
Every car made since 1996 has an onboard diagnostic port (OBD), usually located somewhere underneath the steering wheel. Mechanics have special devices they can plug into these ports to read all kinds of information about a car, but you can take advantage of them too.
You can buy an inexpensive OBD device, plug it into this port, then connect your phone via Bluetooth. Certain apps can read the information these devices pick up. The handiest feature is displaying codes for check engine lights, but there’s all sorts of other information if you’re interested.
7. Selfie Stick
Everyone’s obsessed with taking selfies. You never know when you’ll need to grab a photo of you and your friends in some wild location, so it pays to keep a selfie stick around.
If you don’t, you’ll have to either designate someone to take your pictures (and thus they won’t be in the photos) or trust a stranger with your phone. Neither of those are worth the few dollars a selfie stick costs, so throw one in your trunk and forget about it until you need it.
Just don’t forget to consider if you should take that selfie.
We conclude with another photography accessory. If you’re a fan of taking pictures with your phone, you never know when the right light or moment could lead you to take a photo. Keeping a tripod around will help you get the best shot, no matter how spur-of-the-moment it is.
What Smartphone Accessories Do You Keep in Your Car?
We’ve looked at eight accessories that are great to keep in your car, and they’re all fairly inexpensive. You might not need every one of them, but chances are you’ll appreciate having at least a few of them when you need them.
For more car goodies that aren’t smartphone accessories, check out the best car gadgets.