We all know that beloved person in our family or group of friends. You know, the one who didn’t show up to so-and-so’s major life event celebration because their rusty old E30 BMW 325e broke down on an on-ramp 20 miles away. And you can’t imagine them ever swapping the ol’ Bavarian heap for something more reliable. Or, that person who, when you ask them how they’re doing, one of the first things out of their mouth is how far along they are with tracking down all of their old Land Rover’s oil leaks (I’m being self-deprecating here, by the way). People who are, and I’m saying this with all the love, total automotive dorks. Extra-nerdy types. And the kind who appreciates doing big things on a tight budget.
You want to get this person a very nice, thoughtful gift for the holidays, but you’re not sure where to start. Plus, you’ve already beaten your wallet into submission buying gifts for folks with other expensive hobbies, and you’re not comfortable with throwing down another half-a-note or more on more material goods.
Well, I’m here with good news: there’s a vast selection of inexpensive gifts out there under $30 that will definitely put a smile on this person’s face. Some are more brand-specific, some speak to certain automotive subcultures, but all are totally worth considering as much appreciated gifts.
This one might not be terribly creative, but it’s going to be much appreciated by any enthusiast, especially one who loves to wrench. They know that $20-$30 makes a big dent in the parts and fluid cost for a coolant flush, oil change, etc. Or, maybe the special tool or rare socket size they’ve been meaning to purchase to make their life easier would be covered by this gift card’s dollar amount.
In my own experience, I finally bought a spring compressor after going through the annoyance of renting and returning over the years. It cost me $30, and I’m stoked to have it on the ready for many more inevitable suspension jobs.
This doubles as a good last-minute gift idea, too.
Posters are a good general interest item, meaning if someone’s into motorsports, buying them a poster with any kind of motorsports content on it would be a cool addition to their garage, bedroom, living room, etc. Or, you can totally get brand-specific—I couldn’t ever imagine a 986 Porsche Boxster owner not being stoked over a $15 Porsche 917 poster. Or, maybe they’re also into travel as well, so some cross-pollination of interests in poster form could be especially, well, special, like one that prominently says “Paris.”
This one might not sound terribly imaginative, but please, use your imagination here. A huge selection of car-centric films are for sale or rent on YouTube, from the Fast series to lesser-known cult favorites like King of the Mountain. There’s a massive catalog to behold. Imagine getting creative with the card, too, like making a collage of vintage Porsche and Los Angeles photos, along with “You should totally watch this corny-yet-excellent film about racing on Mulholland in Los Angeles in the ’70s and ’80s” and a link to King of the Mountain.
The great thing about Hotwheels, is they’re incredibly cheap, and they never get old. Or rather, people who dig cars are never too old to own, display, or play with them. $30 will buy a really nice, well-rounded little collection, which can either be assembled by spending a rousing afternoon visiting toy sections, or pin-pointing specific makes and models that the object of your present-giving would dig on the internet.
Cars and coffee go together like, well, cars and coffee. The two are a wonderful combination, whether it’s sipping a fine brew while on the road, or while walking around a car show with friends admiring some handsome hardware. They each have their own extensive network of nerddom, too, so there’s a good chance that the coffee snob in your family or group of friends, who’s also into cars, will really appreciate this as a gift. Drive Coffee (no relation to our pals at The Drive, by the way) sells a wide assortment of blends, and the packaging is quite slick to boot.
There’s a good chance that there’s a sticker on this site for the car dork in your family. Or, even over at this site, or this one. Honestly, there are so many companies to choose from, and thirty-whole-dollars will buy a bunch of ’em. Plus, if they’re sporting some old jalopy that rips to sixty in somewhere north of nine seconds, you’ve got the perfect chance to include a comical note like “I heard stickers add 5 horsepower each, so here are ten to double your car’s output.”
Both Car Bibles and The Drive have some excellent wares for sale! There’s a wide selection of gear for that special person in your circle to proudly display their, well, pride in these two excellent, top-notch news, review, and culture websites!
Our new Recurrent Media sibling Donut Media has a bunch of great gear for sale as well! Their graphic design skills and jokes are top-notch, as is the variety of products. Stickers, accessories, air fresheners, hoodies, tee shirts, they’ve got ’em all! Personal favorite items: the Trucks hat, the simple grey tee, and the Give It The Beans tee.
All forms of motorsports gear is expensive, which is a bummer because their application involves some of the most fun you can have behind the wheel. Even a modest track day or autocross event is an epic amount of fun, and allows you to drive your car as quickly and to the best of your ability that you can muster. $30 might not seem like much if the object of your gift-giving is after a $340 helmet, but hey, every bit counts. Or, if their order doesn’t qualify for free shipping because it’s expedited, this could really help in a financial pinch.
This, my friends, is a lifesaver. It’s amazing how hard it can be to find an inexpensive yet quality USB charging station, and this one appears to have some pretty hearty reviews. It might seem like a bland gift at first, but rest assured anyone who’s ever been a pickle where they need to charge their phone, a GoPro, a lap timer, someone else’s phone, etc., and all at the same time on the road, the more charge ports the better.
This is handy for road trips, or really just for anyone who needs to charge in transit. Any leftover scratch could go towards a sturdy cable, too!
So go forth and shower those who are beloved to you with useful, thoughtful gifts such as these.