25 Best Gifts for Car Enthusiasts and Gear Heads

By vukasin

Everybody loves getting gifts and the old saying it is the thought that counts is true when it comes to car enthusiasts. When you are shopping for a gift for a car lover, it isn’t about the size, price or usability of the item. It is about the thought, idea and design. Car fans love it when somebody understands their passion and those small but thoughtful gestures that remind them of their favorite car, brand or model.

And most driving enthusiasts love to have something they can wear, display or enjoy that will connect them even further with their passion. So keep reading to learn about the 25 best gifts for any car fanatic. They are guaranteed to put a smile on their face and make their birthday, Christmas or any occasion memorable and fun. The gifts on this list are in no particular order.

Rather, they are included for their uniqueness, usefulness or coolness. And best of all, there are interesting car gifts for every budget.

  1. Car Magazine Subscription

Magazine subscriptions are among the fundamental gifts for car enthusiasts. Even though the internet revolutionized the way you discuss, read and learn about cars, car magazines are still an institution among car lovers. And car magazines will survive in some shape or form, even in these digital times.

That is why a subscription for their favorite magazine is still a cool thing for a car fan to have. There is still a large selection of automotive publications nowadays. Also, some car magazines are collectible and they look good on a coffee table or desk. Since the prices for the average yearly subscription range from $30 to $50, this is an affordable yet cool present.

  1. Racing School Voucher

A racing school voucher is an extremely cool gift for any active car enthusiast. For years, there have been numerous racing schools all around the country. They offer different levels of learning and can teach driving on different tracks, surfaces and forms of motorsport. The most famous like the Skip Barber Racing School focus on big and well-known racing tracks.

Also, people can experience several cars and driving conditions. Also, they can drive extremely fast in a proper vehicle and in a controlled environment. In fact, there are many manufacturer-backed racing schools. And if you want to concentrate on a specific brand or model, you can do that as well.

For example, the BMW M Power Driving Experience voucher will include a plane ticket to Europe, accommodations for a few days and a choice of several M cars, along with professional drivers as mentors. This level of education is expensive, but well worth it since it will be forever cherished as one of the best weekends in mind of any car enthusiast.

  1. Car-Inspired Wrist Watch

Cars and watches go a long way. From the early days of motorsports, watch manufacturers produced chronographs to help measure lap times and perfect a driver’s performance. Over the years, several iconic wristwatches became synonyms with motorsports, worn by some of the biggest legends of the car world. As you can imagine, those legendary watches like a Tag Heuer Monaco or Omega Speedmaster are expensive.

But there are some affordable alternatives. Almost all manufacturers sell wrist watches with their logo and design cues to their legendary models. So, you can buy a watch they made out of recycled steel from a Porsche 911, for example. There are numerous items to choose from and the prices for some watches are around $100, which is quite affordable.

  1. Radar Detector

Radar detectors first appeared in the 1980s. And, they have been a popular choice for those who like to drive above the speed limit ever since. The basic purpose of a radar detector is to warn drivers about a police radar down the road. Some can even jam the radar signal, allowing you to go unnoticed by the authorities.

However, for years there has been a constant battle between lawmakers and radar detector manufacturers. And that has resulted in sales bans in some states. Either way, this is a cool gift for a guy or a girl who owns a performance car and loves to put their right foot down. They are not expensive and could save some money on tickets. However, they encourage reckless driving, so talk to the recipient to make sure that speeding is not their goal.

  1. Tool Kit

Even if the person you want to surprise isn’t a mechanically- inclined car enthusiast with an urge to work on their cars, a quality tool kit is always a good gift. Although a small tool kit with the basic components could be useful to have in your trunk, the real treat is the big, professional one.

The prices vary, but you can find a brand name tool set with 450 pieces guaranteed to cover all their needs. Having such a thing in the garage means they are a serious car enthusiast. With the right tools, they can perform maintenance and repairs by themselves. And although those big tool sets are expensive, they last a lifetime.

  1. Racing Games

You are living in a period when computer graphics and animation has reached impressive levels, which means driving games are unbelievably realistic and fun. In fact, there is a vast selection of great driving and racing games to provide endless hours of fun for car enthusiasts of all ages.

The racing game genre is so good that professional drivers use the latest ones to learn the tracks and to prepare themselves for real races. All you need to do is order a copy and you have the perfect gift. You will also be glad to know that most computer games are affordable, so it won’t hurt your budget.

  1. Build Your Own V8 Kit

There are numerous interesting kits for the younger car fan, but the most interesting are the ones for building your own engine. Of course, they wouldn’t build a real working motor, but a plastic scale version with all movable parts, see-through valve covers and moving pistons.

You can find these products in car magazines and online, but the V8s are the most interesting and popular. There are simpler and more advanced kits. This is a perfect gift for kids, so they can learn basic mechanics and assemble the engine by themselves.

  1. Lego Speed Champions

In the last several years, Lego, the legendary toy manufacturer, has come up with numerous kits dedicated to motor racing. They sell the products under the Speed Champions edition but as always, Lego offers lots more cars.

The kits are affordable, easy to come by and great fun, not just for kids, but also for adults. The cars closely resemble real-life racing models. Players can combine their imagination and skills to create something else after finishing the kits by instruction in the box.

  1. Haynes Manuals

If you know a car fan who is happiest when they are working on their car, get them a legendary Haynes manual. For decades now, Haynes books on repairs, how-to guides and in-depth mechanical instructions for almost all relevant cars are a must-have in the car world.

The prices are affordable, and they are available online. Even if your enthusiast is not planning on working on the car themselves, a manual on their bookshelf is a helpful resource to have.

  1. Car Books

Although there is a wealth of information on cars online and in car magazines, car books are still the best way to learn specific details and have proven information on the subject. Car books are a perfect gift for a historian type of car enthusiast or a person who wants to gather information on their favorite car or brand.

You can find a book on almost any topic. Also, most of the books you can find online are affordable and easy to read. Some older and more historic books can be harder to find or more expensive to buy, but they are worth the investment in everlasting knowledge.

  1. Dash Cam

Dash cams are the perfect tools for recording accidents and making less skilled motorists famous, but they are much more than just that. A good dash camera can record perfect laps on a track day outing or beautiful landscapes on a road trip.

There are dozens of great choices out there. Every car owner would love to have one of these on their windshield. When choosing the right one, be sure to buy a product with a big internal memory, good resolution and multiple functions. Expect to pay around $100, which makes this gift relatively inexpensive, but still fun and usable.

  1. Complete Car Care Kit

There is no better way to spend a Sunday morning than washing and detailing your four-wheeled pride and joy. That is, if you are a car fanatic. However, for that ritual, you will need a proper car care kit. Luckily, there are dozens of good products on the market.

You can find some effective brand name car care kits for around $50, which is quite affordable. They include various shampoos, brushes, cloths and car wax. Basically, they offer everything you need to make a car shiny and looking like new.

  1. Die Cast Models

The model of a car is one of the most common gifts for car enthusiasts, so you can find practically anything at any price. You can find inexpensive but still collectible 1:43 or 1:18 scale models which will look good on a desk, or a shelf. On the other hand, you can look for exclusive collector`s edition models which can cost up to $1,000.

Despite the fact it is kind of obvious, a die-cast model is always a welcomed gift. Most car collectors have shelves full of scale replicas of their favorite models. So, one more is always a nice thing to have.

  1. Car-Themed Clothing

All car enthusiasts love to have car inspired T-shirts, jackets, caps or even socks, so there are numerous such items for sale. You can find T-shirts with the logos of their favorite brand, special edition baseball caps or racing team jackets for sale. There is even a big market for the authentic apparel race team mechanics or drivers own, but as you can expect, those items are quite expensive.

However, for as little as $15, you can find T-shirts online. Better yet, there are endless choices, colors and designs. A hat or T-shirt is the perfect gift for a proud car enthusiast who likes to promote their love for cars.

  1. Revell Kits

For decades now, one of the most popular gifts has been those Revell plastic kits you assemble yourself. The kits feature small plastic parts you put together with glue to build your favorite model. Most kits come unpainted, so you can apply the paint yourself to create your own version of any car.

Revell kits are not expensive and they come in several levels of difficulty. A novice can enjoy kits with fewer parts which just need the basic assembly. But the more skilled enthusiasts can use those precision kits that take days or even longer to complete.

  1. Car-Inspired Furniture

You have probably seen interesting furniture pieces they make from or are inspired by cars or car parts. This trend has been a hot thing among car enthusiasts for some time, so there are more than a few cool designs that are quite popular. Everything started when you could buy a couch consisting of the rear end of a ‘57 Chevrolet or similar model.

Next, those crafty designers came up with pool tables made from ‘65 Mustangs. Now you can find coffee tables they built out of engine blocks or lamps made from old crankshafts. However, car-inspired furniture is expensive. But, in most cases, it is well worth it since the idea behind it is timeless. Indeed, every car lover would enjoy having something like that for years.

  1. Leather Driving Gloves

If you know somebody who owns a classic car and enjoys driving it on sunny weekends, leather gloves are the perfect gift for that person. With the classic look of a bygone era and the feel of real leather, this pair of gloves transforms any drive into an epic cruise from a ‘50s movie.

You can find numerous styles on the market. And in most cases, a quality pair of real leather gloves isn’t that expensive. Best of all, car lovers cherish leather driving gloves, so they will remember and use this gift for years.

  1. Jump Starter

A battery jump starter is an extremely practical and thoughtful gift for any motorist. A jump starter kit is a lifesaver when you find yourself unable to start your car due to a dead car battery. With just a few simple steps, you can get your car running in no time and save yourself from stress and loss of valuable time.

There’s a vast selection of quality jump starters at affordable prices but be sure to buy the right one. They come in several sizes according to power levels, so always buy the one your manual recommends for your car’s specific engine size.

  1. Computer Steering Wheel

This is a must-have gift for any car lover obsessed with driving games. The truth is, you can never have the same experience racing on your keyboard or joypad compared to a steering wheel. The market for such items is huge, so you can find a basic model at a relatively small price.

Also, if you are buying a gift for a racing game super fan, you can invest in the full set up. It consists of multiple monitors, pedals, a racing seat and a steering wheel with force feedback. This is the closest a car fan can get to driving a real race car without leaving the house.

  1. Portable Espresso Machine

This is a convenient gift for the coffee-loving car enthusiast with a long morning commute or who likes to take long road trips. The portable espresso machine is an innovative way to enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee behind the wheel.

There are a few choices on the market, but they all work on the same principle. Some advanced ones even have USB ports for uploading recipes and getting the flavor just right. But whatever you chose, any coffee loving car fan will be pleased.

  1. Car Movie DVD

Every car enthusiast is probably also a car movie buff, so surprise them with a classic car movie DVD. The choices are numerous, and the prices are low, so search online for a copy. Even if the movie is well-known, everybody loves to watch Bullitt, Smokey and the Bandit or Herbie the Love Bug.”

Some car enthusiasts collect movies that feature their favorite models. So, what is a better way to enhance their passion than buying them a DVD to help them complete the set?

  1. Racing Helmet

Every car lover has the dream of being a race car driver. The first step in that direction is equipment, so a racing helmet is a good start. You can buy several types and versions, regarding the type of racing. The professional ones can be expensive, but the less pricey ones look just as good. So, they are a great gift for a future racing driver and champion.

  1. Tickets for the Races

If you are a complete car fanatic, you probably have attended a big motorsport event. Big races like NASCAR, the Indy 500, Daytona or the 24 Hours of Le Mans are fantastic events filled with numerous things. In fact, they are unique experiences that can be interesting, and not just to hardcore gearheads.

So, buying tickets for a big racing event like the Indy 500 is a fantastic way to spend the weekend in perfect motorsport heaven. Tickets to any car race can make any car enthusiast happy.

  1. Project Car

This item is an interesting one since it is not an expensive gift, but still big in terms of size and commitment. You can find project cars costing from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on the model, condition and rarity. Buying and gifting a project car to somebody is the ultimate sign of respect for their hobby.

Also, the expectation of seeing the finished car is a thrill. It is the perfect father-offspring project or a way of keeping somebody busy. Of course, in order to keep the project car, they will need a garage or a driveway that is big enough.

  1. RC Car

For those enthusiasts who want to drive their model cars, the solution could be an RC car. Those fast little cars are always immensely fun to race around the house. You can find some budget-friendly ones for a few dollars. But, if you want a fast and capable RC car, be ready to pay several hundred bucks. Recently, RC cars have become popular, so there are even championships for various races and types of cars.