Whether you're stuck in traffic or taking your car on holiday, here are some tried and tested auto gadgets to make your journey go that little bit more smoothly
Diono Easy View Plus (TM)
Travelling with your new baby in-tow is nerve-wracking enough, and it can be tough to keep an eye on them in their rear-facing car seat, when you're focused on the road ahead. That's where this gadget is handy. The 360-degree rotating mirror is easy to install - simply attach it to a head rest - and ta-da! You can see your baby smiling back at you in your rear-view mirror. Where this product differs from others on the market is it comes with a remote control, so when it's dark, you can turn the mirror's very own light on and easily see your little one - even better, it lights up gradually so if your baby's in the land of nod, they won't wake up.
Draper Tools 12V DC Vehicle to Vehicle Booster
OK, hands up, if your car ran out of battery and you had to give it a boost, would you know which jump leads go where? If not, this gadget could be your saving grace. The vehicle-to-vehicle booster works in a similar way to common jump leads - in that it transfers battery power from one car to another. However, instead of lifting up the bonnet, you can just connect this device to both cars' 12V DC sockets (the cigarette lighter socket) and a few minutes later your car will be raring to go. The lead itself is six meters - easily long enough to stretch between two cars.
Three times the power
Olixar Triple USB Super Fast Car Charger
When you're going on a long journey and your passengers are using their phones/tablets, it can be helpful to be able to charge them en-route. However, with a charging port popped into the 12V DC socket (or 24V if you're in a larger vehicle), if you have more than one passenger it can lead to arguments over whose gadget is more in need of a boost. The Olixar Triple USB Super Fast Car Charger can eliminate those car-journey squabbles. It comes with three USB ports - including two that are strong enough to charge tablets (2.1amps each) - the other is a 1 amp port for Smartphones. It's worth noting the 1 amp port is on top (with the two 2.1 amp ports sitting below) as it's not clear on the actual device.
Nextbase InCarCam DUO
Popular dash-cam company Nextbase have just launched the DUO, said to be the UK's first dash-cam which comes with both a camera for the front and rear of your car. While the front records in 720P HD, the rear camera lens comes with a 50m zoom. The screen even playbacks the synchronised footage at the same time. If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to supply footage to an insurance company, you can rest assured the camera will have recorded the whole incident - it comes with g-sensor technology that will recognise an accident and store footage safely for insurance purposes. While you'll need to invest in a Micro SD card for it, everything else comes with the camera - including the window mount and power cable. It gives a good, clear view and is worth the money.
The right direction
Garmin nuviCam LMT-D
There are plenty of satnavs out there and one of the market leaders, Garmin, has a great one. The nuviCam is a two-in-one satnav. In addition to the usual easy-to-read maps and clear directions that you'd expect, it also comes with a built-in dash-cam that automatically records if your car is involved in an incident. The device also comes with two great safety features, a lane departure warning - so if you're driving and drift out of your lane you'll quickly be alerted, and forward collision warning notifications so if you get too close to a car in front you'll know about it too. You can even use the Bluetooth enabled device to connect to your Smartphone so you can talk safely. We say, two-in-one? It's actually more like a five in one.
Buzzard 2 from EE
One to use on home soil rather than abroad (where you'd be at the mercy of roaming charges), this will keep the whole family entertained on long car journeys without using up your internet data. EE's Buzzard 2 provides in-car 4G wi-fi - which up to 10 devices can connect to. The Buzzard 2 comes with either 6GB or 24GB of data (the latter currently costs £99 on Amazon). Before you set off on your journey, you'll need to register the sim, but then you're good to go. Useful if you want to keep the kids busy watching an online film or use your smartphone as a satnav.