It’s common knowledge that car dealers will try to saddle you with a bunch of extras and car add-ons you really don’t need when you buy a new car to pad the sale (‘Etch’ is not nearly as useful as they’d have you believe.) This experience is made even more frustrating when you’re car shopping with a limited budget.
So are there ever any car add-ons that are genuinely worth the extra money? Yes, actually – particularly when they’re features intended to improve your safety while on the road. Here are some car add-ons that are definitely worth the extra cost when you buy a new car.
Back-Up Camera and/or Back Up Sensor
This is a good idea regardless of how well you drive. It’s definitely not recommended to rely on the back up camera completely and you should still look over your shoulder when backing up. That being said, the camera can be incredibly helpful when parking and when backing out of a spot (or your driveway) to prevent hitting another car, a forgotten bicycle or god forbid a child who’s running across the street and not paying attention.
Some cameras also come with a sensor that makes a noise to let you know when you’re about to hit something.
Built in GPS
Yes, every smartphone nowadays comes with a GPS system (or google maps) but that doesnt mean its safe to look at it while you’re driving. Studies have shown that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving drunk, and while checking your phone’s gps while on the road might not fall into the same category it can be just as distracting and unsafe.
A built in dash GPS system makes it much easier to see exactly where you are and where you need to go without distracting you or forcing you to squint at your cell phone. The screen is often much bigger than that on your phone or on a portable GPS system too which means you can glance at it and get the information you need in a way that’s both safer and more efficient. It also helps conserve your phone battery and cell data which is always a plus.
Blind Spot Detector and Collision Avoidance System
Another safety feature that’s absolutely worth the extra cost is the blind spot detector. Failure to properly check your bllind spots is one of the biggest reasons for collisions. Again, this is not meant to replace the act of physically check your blindspots while driving but it should help you stay alert in case you miss something or if someone else makes a dangerous move that you’re not aware of.
Collision Avoidance Systems take the concept of the blind spot detector to the next level and cover your whole car. By using a combination of radars, cameras, and lasers, this system monitors both what’s going on around your vehicle as well as what’s going on inside to forewarn and alert you whenever a potential accident or dangerous situation arises. The more advanced systems will even apply the brakes for you should you be too slow to react.
While they might be the least exciting and low tech item on the list, making sure to invest in a good pair of weather appropriate tires is the best way to ensure your car is able to adequately handle the road conditions wherever you live.