• February 19, 2014

Gifting a car-lover: a short guide

Picking the right gift for someone mad about motoring, whether that is a family member, friend or a partner, can be a somewhat stressful endeavour.

It’s difficult around Christmas, Valentine’s Day and other seasonal celebrations not to conform to traditional options pushed at you in every shop window, such as jewellery or toiletries. However, picking a thoughtful, useful or original gift for someone is the whole point of giving gifts in the first place. After all, it’s the thought that went into choosing a gift that really counts.

With this in mind, here is the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to buying a gift for your motor-mad friend.

The good

A good sense of humour is key to being able to give a suitable gift. A reference to a private joke is clever, personal, and usually pretty cost-effective, so bear this in mind when choosing. Consider a useful attachment for their dashboard, such as a car charger or an auxiliary cable to play music from a device – people often neglect to replace these when broken or lost.

It is also becoming increasingly popular to buy gift experiences, where the sky is the more or less the limit. These could include a test-drive of a supercar, a guided tour of a famous circuit such as Silverstone, top of the line merchandise, motorsport tuition and of course, race day hospitality packages. The packages are perfect for a car-lover, who can arrange their own appointments at their leisure.

The bad

Rear window stickers – the UK’s answer to the American bumper sticker – are a gift commonly given to motorists. These are harmless enough when used to endorse a brand or business, but certain rear window stickers can come across as obnoxious or smutty.

Avoid buying cheaply made merchandise for your loved one advertising high end brands, such as Ferrari or Lamborghini, unless they actually own something that company manufactures. It doesn’t make any sense.

If you are leaning towards gifting them hardware such as a decorative bonnet vent, try and remember that most kinds of aftermarket part that do not improve the performance of a car are not a good idea.

The ugly

Fuzzy dice. Non-ironic novelty car alarms. ‘Mum’s taxi’. Leopard-print decals. Any animal print decals. Eyelashes that fit onto a car’s headlights. Neon under-lighting. Exhaust mufflers. Aftermarket accessories such as a spoiler that serve no tangible benefit. Racing seats (if not needed). Excessively large novelty key-rings. Excessively large novelty key-rings that make sounds…

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