Aftermarket Tech to Update Your Car
Automotive technology has advanced significantly over the last few years. Believe it or not, it can be a lot cheaper to kit out a low to mid spec car with the latest technology rather than buying a high-spec car. Check out some of the gadgets that you can pick up below:
You should inform your insurers of any modifications you make to your car, as any undeclared may void your policy.
DAB Radio/Apple CarPlay
If you are able to upgrade your car stereo, there are a number of aftermarket stereos to choose from, with many less than £100. Whether you’re looking to stream your music through Bluetooth or USB, you want to expand your choice of radio stations with DAB radio, or you want to access your iPhone or Android apps, you’d struggle to find a radio that didn’t suit your needs.
There are plenty of DIY instructional videos on the Web, but we advise paying a small fee for an expert to fit your stereo to avoid injuring yourself or damaging your car. Note that you may need to buy a fascia and/or additional cables depending on the model of your car.
If your car stereo cannot be upgraded, or you don’t wish to shell out for a new one, and you want to stream your music wirelessly, there are plenty of 12V-powered Bluetooth adapters available on the market for a few quid. Most commonly these adapters plug into your 12V socket, then just tune your radio into the frequency shown on the adapter’s display. Pair your phone and enjoy your favourite tunes.
Some adapters may let you connect to the auxiliary input, if your stereo has one, which will offer better quality than using radio waves. Please note that some adapters only let you take telephone calls, but this should be clear in the product description.
Let’s face it, who actually likes getting into their freezing cold car on a winter morning? More modern cars, particularly high-spec ones, are featuring heated seats. If your car doesn’t have them, you can easily get them installed for less than £100. One can either have them installed underneath the upholstery, or you can get pads that fit on top of your seats. Some even come with massagers to make the journey evening more relaxing.
Yes, you can even get aftermarket cruise control kits! Some car manufacturers may offer to retrofit cruise control to your car, but this can be significantly more expensive than an aftermarket kit. Professional fitting is strongly advised, as it tends to involve the removal of the steering wheel and airbag and also requires reprogramming of the ECU.
Parking Sensors and Reverse Cameras
A handy feature to have, especially if you drive a large vehicle. For the best results, we would advise seeking a professional to fit them, as most kits require drilling into your bumper to fit them. The RAC Shop stocks a wide range of parking aids from as little as £25.80 and include fitting at your home or place of work. Some can include colour coding for discretion.