Christmas car gifts 2022: the best presents for car lovers starting under £10 - LEGO, Gran Tourismo, Hot Wheels
From tools to toys and clothes to coffee tables, here are our picks of the best car-themed gifts for the petrolhead in your life
Choosing a Christmas present for a car-obsessed loved one might seem like a daunting task. After all, the world of cars and car enthusiasts is wide and varied, and one person’s cherised classic is another’s old banger.
The great news is that the world of car-related gifts is just as eclectic, so it’s not too hard to find the perfect present for the petrolhead in your life, whether they’re into reading about cars, driving them quickly or taking them apart and rebuilding them.
To help make thing even easier we’ve pulled together a collection of some of the best car-related gifts for this Christmas. From the practical to the outlandishly lavish there’s something here to suit every interest and budget, from £10 to £100,000.
If the car lover in your life delights in every minute and obscure detail of the automotive world then this self-proclaimed book of tedious trivia should be right up their street. Written by Evo columnist and Top Gear and Grand Tour script editor Richard Porter, this third instalment in his boring series includes titbits on the Bond girl who helped to develop the Volvo XC90, the last place you could buy a tank of leaded petrol and why engineers snuck a top secret Range Rover prototype out of the back gate of their engineering centre in the dead of night?
Many a petrolhead’s passion for cars has been fuelled by this timeless stats-based game, making it the ideal gift for car fans young and old. Whether you’re into the latest sports cars, Formula 1 or the Fast and Furious movie franchise, there’s a Top Trumps set for you.
Many modern cars feature so-called keyless entry systems. These are great for unlocking the car without fumbling for a key fob but can leave your vehicle at risk of relay attacks where thieves intercept the signal from the fob to unlock and start a car. Thankfully, it’s easy to stop this with a simple and cheap shielded key pouch like these.
Hot Wheels is constantly expanding its range of more detailed Car Culture models, aimed at the more discerning car enthusiast. Among these is the recently launched limited edition set featuring cars from the garage of renowned car fan Jay Leno. These models include the TV star’s own Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, McLaren F1, ‘66 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger, Lamborghini Countach LP 5000 QV and his Tank Car. Each features metal chassis, more tampo print detail and Real Rider tyres.
Any car enthusiast will likely build up a decent collection of tools, so this sturdy little carrier is a great way to keep those most-used items close to hand, with space for up to 12 tools, a zip compartment and special slots for those pesky pencils that like to go walkabout.
The Defender’s iconic silhouette has been turned into a neat little pocket tool by the creative folk at Land Rover. Available in black or limited edition red, the credit card-sized device features various spanner sizes, a screwdriver, tyre gauge, cutter and bottle opener plus a handy conversion table.
Whether your nearest and dearest is mad for American muscle cars, has been bitten by the VW bug or has a passion for classic Italian machinery, Petrolthreads has a T-Shirt to suit them, with a range of designs spanning everything from classic F1 posters to stylised images of Ford Escorts.
Giles Chapman’s latest book is an enthralling look back at the halcyon days of crazy car design. Car lovers can revel in the mix of obscure production models and wild concept cars - from the FSO Polonez to the Ghia Action - feeling smug about the “lost” cars they remember and learning a thing or two about some of the truly forgotten wonders of the decade that taste forgot.
This neat little night light brings a touch of 50s glamour to any bedside table. Using LED lights and clever laser cutting of the acrylic frame it creates a striking 3D-effect version of a classic Chevy, complete with a solid wooden base.
Perfect for younger car fans in the family, this cute wooden police car from Amazon Handmade can be engraved with a name of your choice to make it more personal. Suitable for 18 months-plus, the 13 x 7 x 10 cm toy is designed to be easy for small hands to hold and has quiet-rolling, rubber-finished wheels.
While it’s fun to admire and read about cars, nothing beats getting hands-on with some DIY maintenance, which makes this kit from Autoglym ideal for the more practical car fan. The set includes all the pads and chemicals you need to bring clarity and brightness back to headlight lenses that have become cloudy, yellowed, scratched or dull with age.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without someone getting socks as a present so you might as well make them a bit special. This gift pack features a set of three jacquard knitted socks with embroidered designs featuring the Jaguar C, D and E-Type models and the iconic Jaguar Heritage lozenge logo.
The ESR HaloLock is a compact and clever mounting and charging solution for anyone who relies on their iPhone for entertainment or navigation while driving. Designed to lock onto a suitable air vent the mount’s built-in magnets firmly hold compatible iPhones (12/13/14) in place and allow for a full range of movement for perfect positioning. The wireless charging allows you to keep your device topped up on the move while ESR’s clever CryoBoost system uses air flow and heat dissipating materials to reduce the risk of overheating.
Perhaps not the most thrilling gift but this is another of those garage tools that any dedicated driver will welcome. This neat unit features a digital LCD readout with multiple unit options, a wind-up power cord and hose storage space to keep things tidy and can inflate a completely flat tyre in less than two minutes. It’s also got a handy storagebag and a bright LED for nighttime use.
Kids young and old love Lego and in recent years the Danish brand has fully embraced licensed tie-ups with major car and motorbike makers. Among the new kits out in time for this Christmas is the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 which is aimed at builders aged nine-plus. The 544-piece kit recreates the lines of the famous muscle car and features twin pull-back motors for hours of kitchen floor drag races.
Responsible motorists would never dream of driving after a few drinks but it’s surprisingly easy to still have alcohol in your system the next day. The AlcoSense Lite 2 is designed to take the guesswork out of knowing whether you’re fit to drive and can be set to the drink drive limit in England and Wales or the lower limit in Scotland, to ensure you stay the right side of the law.
Whether you own a Jag or not, this neat little card fold is a tasteful alternative to a chunky wallet. Made from 100% real leather, the understated car holder and billfold features the classic Jaguar lozenge badge on the outside and a stylish Jaguar Mark II dynamic graphic inside.
Gran Tourismo on the original PlayStation was one of the games that spawned the now massive demand for realistic but accessible racing games. After a couple of missteps, the seventh instalment of this legendary game is back on top form, offering plenty of fun for the new or casual player but a dizzying level of fine tuning nerdiness for the seasoned gamer. As ever, this PlayStation exclusive is packed with licensed car models, from mundane hatchbacks to iconic supercars, and brings a handful of new features to add to the action.
The Cobra SC100 is a smart little dash cam that strikes the right balance between budget and performance. Despite costing less than £100 its Full HD image quality can put more expensive units to shame and while it lacks the features of more expensive units its simplicity is ideal for drivers who want a fit-and-forget recorder.
It’s every petrolhead’s dream to drive a supercar and with a driving experience from Trackdays.co.uk you can make that dream come true. There is a host of packages from as little as £35 but triple legends experience lets drivers get behind the wheel of everything from a Ford Escort rally car to Lamborghini Gallardo and even Kitt from Knight Rider.
£100 and over
Tamiya’s Lunch Box is probably one of the most famous remote control car kits from the 1980s, with an appeal that’s held strong down the decades. So it’s no surprise that the brand is selling an updated version of the famous monster truck more than 30 years later. This 1/12 scale model features massive suspension and a wheelie bar for ridiculous stunts, plus the iconic minivan body. Perfect for budding young car fans or older ones who never grew up.
Limited 100 print, from £119
As the name suggests, Limited 100 specialises in limited run artwork, specifically high-end car photography. Working with award-winning photographers, the firm commissions bespoke images of everything from vintage racing cars to the latest hypercars then sells just 100 copies, tailored to each buyer’s requirements in terms of size and format, ensuring a truly rare gift for any car lover.
Taking the car maker tie-ups a step further, this Lego Technic set sees fans given the opportunity to recreate McLaren’s 2022 Formula 1 car. Designed in collaboration with McLaren’s own engineers, this 1,400-piece set features a V6 engine with moving pistons, steering, suspension and differential and is designed for more “mature” builders.
A car enthusiast can never have too many tools and Halfords is sticking to that mantra with this bumper socket and spanner set. Including pretty much everything the home tinkerer could ask for there’s a full range of stand and deep six-point sockets with 100-tooth ratchets in ¼, ⅜ and ½ drive, 14 spanners, an 18-inch breaker bar and full range of long and short reach bits, in hex, torx and spline. As a bonus, the whole lot comes with a lifetime guarantee.
The Nextbase 622GW is simply the best dash cam we’ve tested this year, making it an ideal choice for people who spend a lot of time on the road. Its 4K image quality is among the best in the business and it comes with smart features such as on-board what3words and emergency call function, plus a decent smartphone app. The Elite Package, which is currently on offer, adds a rear-facing external camera for better coverage, plus a 256GB memory card and carry case for £349.
Money no object
We’re into the realms of ridiculous indulgence now but if you’ve got money to burn then why not drop a cool £450 on a fitted cover for your loved one’s 911? Inspired by the famous 917/20 Pink Pig racer of the 1970s the cover is made from breathable, antistatic and dirt-repellent material and is cut specifically to fit either the 992 Carrera or 992 Turbo model.
If a Lego replica of a Formula 1 car won’t cut it, how about a part of an actual F1 car? Part of an array of engines and components available to buy direct from Ferrari, this con rod and piston set comes from the F2001 race car which took Ferrari to the 2001 Constructors' and Drivers' Championships. Presented on a carbon fibre base, it comes in a branded gift box and with a certificate of authenticity signed by the Ferrari team principle.
It stands to reason that if you have an authentic Jaguar E-Type, you’re going to want the right tools to keep it in tip-top condition. Thankfully, Jaguar Classic has you covered with this brand new recreation of the original tool roll that came with Series 1 and 2 cars. Highlights include a full set of imperial spanners, a valve timing gauge, points screwdriver and brake bleed tin and tube.
Here’s a proper conversation piece for your sitting room, if you’ve got a spare £1,200 knocking about. Built from the engine block from an original V8 Lotus Esprit, the glass-topped coffee table with Sahara Gold accents is one an exclusive run of just six, so you’ll need to be quick to snap one up.
What do you get the kid who has everything? Their own James Bond car, obviously. The Little Car Company specialises in lovingly crafted large-scale replicas of classic cars, powered by the latest EV technology. This version of the DB5 Junior is inspired by the tricked-out Aston in the latest Bond film, complete with its own rotating number plate, smoke screen, skid mode and headlight-mounted miniguns (inactive, we hope). The 21.5bhp motor will take this mini-motor to 45mph and despite being scaled-down it’ll still accommodate an adult driver. At £90,000 it’s hardly cheap but compared with an official Goldfinger DB5 continuation car, it’s a snip.