How to make the most of your journey with the latest car gadgets

03 January


Driving has become such a mainstay of modern society that people are spending more time in their vehicles than ever before

According to a study by traffic analysts, Inrix, UK drivers spend up to 32 hours a year on average stuck in traffic. Naturally, this can be quite stressful, so many drivers turn to the latest car gadgets to ease their journey.

If you rely on your vehicle on a day-to-day basis, or perhaps drive as a part of your job, stress can be an inevitable outcome. To ease the tension that driving sometimes brings, there are a plethora of car gadgets that enable you to drive well, ease stress, and above all, arrive at your destination safely.

Of course, these accessories can be essential and non-essential, so we’ve outlined some of the best car gadgets on the market, to give you enough choice to make those longer journeys more interesting and your overall driving experience a breeze.

What are the best stress-busting car gadgets?

Whether or not you drive for a living, the commute can become quite stressful. With that in mind, you should consider investing in some stress-busting car gadgets to help make your journey easier. These include:

· Satellite navigation systems

·  Air fresheners

·  Portable vacuum cleaner

Satellite navigation systems

If you drive long distances as part of your job, you need a robust and reliable satellite navigation system to help get you to your destination on time, as well as give you consistent information about mileage.

Check out our article on the best five commercial sat navs for company fleets to help give you a better idea.

Most sat navs can recalculate your route if there are busy roads up ahead, which means you don’t have to sit in lines of traffic. This decreases your journey time, keeps your mind on the drive ahead, and ensures that your passengers don’t become agitated or annoyed.

Knowing you have an efficient satellite navigation system before you embark on a journey can put your mind at ease. A sat nav may also make you feel more in control on the roads, with the confidence of knowing how long your journey will take and where exactly it will take you.

In fact, according to Department of Transport’s National Travel Survey, over 50% of UK drivers now use a sat nav. Today, as part of their test, learner drivers must successfully use an electronic navigation system to follow directions. Without these clever systems, many of us would be lost – literally!

Air fresheners 

There’s nothing worse than embarking on a long journey with the smell of your fast food breakfast, mingled with your latest fuel top-up. An electric in-car air freshener lasts longer than regular car air fresheners, allows you to choose from different scents to keep your nose guessing, and prevents that stale smell from lingering any longer.

Aromatherapy has been shown to provide many benefits in terms of wellness and stress relief, with certain smells working wonders to relieve stress. Particular scents, such as rosemary and lavender, are associated with feelings of contentment and improved cognitive thinking, helping provide positive effects on both performance and mood.

If you’re not keen on air fresheners and their aroma, why not try an in-car air purifier? This can clean the air inside your vehicle, reducing pollution, eliminating bacteria, and providing you with a hygienic atmosphere for the rest of your journey, without any overpowering floral smells.

Portable vacuum cleaner 

If you’re used to eating on the go, then you’ll know full well the mess that this can cause. Perhaps not one you’ve thought about before, but a portable vacuum cleaner can be extremely useful in these situations. Maintaining a crumb-free and hygienic environment on long journeys will help you to feel happier and healthier.

The process of decluttering your vehicle can be an extremely therapeutic, because when we perform the physical act of cleaning it reinforces order, efficiency and good hygiene. When decluttering physical elements that affect us, it can provide peace of mind on a mental level too. A clean work environment, albeit a vehicle, allows employees to focus their full attention on the road and the job in question.

What car gadgets are best for long drives?

If you drive for a living, you’re probably spending tons of time behind the wheel. After a while, these journeys can become tiresome and monotonous. With this in mind, here are some of the best car gadgets for long drives:

·         Smartphone accessories

·         In-car WiFi

·         Business Mileage Monitor (BMM)

Smartphone accessories

It’s vital that you do not use your phone while driving. However, having access to the technology on your phone is often essential to completing a long journey, as well as keeping you entertained and informed along the way.

Keeping a USB cable or portable phone charger in your vehicle can ensure your smartphone is usable and ready for whatever you need, whether that’s playing music or a podcast to take the tedium away from a long journey, or in case of emergencies, such as breakdowns.

Having a smartphone holder or mount can ensure you’re not tempted to keep your device on your lap throughout the drive. Also, if you use your smartphone as your sat nav, having a mount or holder can mean you’re only looking at one area on your dash, rather than needing to lift your phone up and down or listen intently for the next direction.

Since they’re so easy to misplace, it’s also beneficial to keep more than one charger cable for each different device that you plan on bringing along on your journey.

In-car WiFi

Some of the latest car gadgets include in-car WiFi, which is extremely useful if you’re driving through areas with poor coverage or do not wish to use your mobile data for prolonged periods of time. This will make connecting to the internet cheaper, as well as helping improve the battery life of mobile and laptop devices.

This is particularly good for long journeys because it enables you to stay connected, as well as enabling you to transfer your data traffic through an internet link instead of your device’s network. Furthermore, having a WiFi link can help with employees who carpool as it enables the passengers to complete work while in transit.

Business Mileage Monitor (BMM)

If you’re a fleet manager or drive for a living, keeping an eye on your mileage and fuel costs is essential for ensuring you’re not overspending on one of the most expensive parts of driving.

Having an automated online process for managing your fuel expenses effectively is a great way to integrate fuel management and cost. Our Business Mileage Monitor is a simple and efficient way to account for all your business fuel expenses, as well as being completely HMRC-compliant.

Not only is this great for long journeys, it also relieves the stress of admin time to fill out mileage forms and processing claims.

Which car gadgets should I use for safer journeys?

The longer you drive for, the higher your risk of having an accident. Whether you become more complacent or fatigue kicks in, it’s important that you are prepared for this eventuality. With that in mind, here are the best car gadgets for safer journeys:

·         Dash camera

·         Speed detector

·         Seatbelt cutter and window glass breaker

·         Smart steering wheel

Dash camera 

Whether you’re a motorcycle driver or a haulage driver, having a dash cam can be a huge asset if you are ever involved in an accident. Although this piece of kit can’t protect you or prevent a collision, the gadget can record exactly what happened, which could help with insurance claims.

Dash cams are also extremely helpful for fleet managers, as they can help ensure their drivers are using the roads safely.

Speed detector 

Most modern satellite navigation systems can indicate the speed limit of an upcoming road, but a separate gadget for this can provide you with peace of mind that you won’t be speeding at any given time. This is also useful for those who drive larger vehicles that are limited by speed, helping them to position themselves in the correct lane on a motorway or avoiding fast roads.

Seatbelt cutter and window glass breaker

If you’re in an emergency and it’s safe to use, having a seatbelt cutter and window glass breaker to hand could potentially save a life. If you find yourself in a situation when you have to free yourself from your vehicle, this gadget can provide a quick and easy way to get to safety.

Smart steering wheel

With so many distractions on the road, as well as inside your vehicle, utilising technology that can help you stay focused, such as a smart steering wheel, is a great way to help. The wheel works by sensing when a driver becomes distracted, or is about to become distracted, helping drivers to learn about their behaviour and make the right changes.

Patented sensing technology within the device helps encourage safe driving, while lights and tones alert the driver in the event of an accident. The data can then be tracked via a smartphone app, which can help fleet managers identify the driving habits of their employees.

Investing in gadgets and technology for your vehicle(s) or fleet is a great way to improve driver experience and save on fuel costs. If you’re looking to take control further, take a look at our Allstar fuel card services, as well as our Business Mileage Monitor to cut down on admin time.

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