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Handy hacks every driver should know

Stephen Wright, 1 year ago

4 min read

  • Advice
  • tips
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When it comes to ‘useful information’ for motorists, you can often find yourself in a mine field full of conflicting information.

Any nuggets of information we can access that will make our lives easier is a big yes from us.

We want to help you, whilst not inflicting several headaches. Therefore, we have scoured the net for the best, most useful and truthful car hacks that you really ought to be doing. From ulterior uses for cat litter to drinking out of a boot we have compiled all car hacks – from the weird and wonderful to just plain savvy.

1. Bungee cord to stop shopping falling over in the boot

We all know that dreaded feeling on the drive back from the big food shop, carrier bags are loaded up in the boot, you turn a corner and BANG. There goes the wine, eggs etc. money has been wasted and you’ve got one hell of a mess to clean up. Fitting a bungee cord can resolve these problems by hoisting your shopping up on this.

2. Heated car seats to keep your takeaway warm

There is no feeling quite like collecting a takeaway, giving it pride of place on the passenger seat and like a proud parent before taking into your home… and devouring it. Although there is no sense of defeat like carrying it over the threshold then opening its packaging to discover it’s FREEZING. Perils such as this can be avoided by turning on the seat heating feature, if you of course have one.

3. Old sock with cat litter to absorb moisture

Not a lot of people know this, but cat litter is multi-purpose. Beyond its main function, it can be used to absorb moisture. This last function is incredibly useful to motorists driving in the winter months. Stuffing a load of kitty litter in an old sock will reduce moisture on your windscreen, meaning no foggy windows.

4. Socks on windscreen wipers to stop them from freezing

Now to reuse another pair of old socks. Popping socks on your windscreen wipers and keeping them super toasty will prevent the leg-like components from freezing up during those cold winter nights (even if you do get a few odd looks from the neighbours). This will not only make your frosty mornings easier but also prevent windscreen wiper damage.

5. Spare change in a gum container

Even in today’s plastic world where card reigns supreme, you still need a little cash to get by. From shopping trolley’s to pick’n’mix you never know when a coin might come in handy, but locating spare change is half the battle.

Scraping the bottom of your bag for 5p is somewhere we’ve all been but you can make life easier today by storing change in an empty gum container. If you have the space clearer, you can even store this container in your cup holder.

6. Use toothpaste to clean your headlights

Never mind pearly whites, how about sparkling lights. Toothpaste doesn’t have to just be for your teeth, and mucky headlights can affect their effectiveness to alert oncoming drivers and improve your own visibility of the road at night. Grab a tube of the good stuff and scrub away at your headlights for a speedy cleaning solution.

7. Use shoes as cup holders to avoid drinks spilling

If your car doesn’t have cup holders (or not enough), worry not. Prevent drinks from falling over and major spillages from occurring by sorting any drinks inside of a shoe to keep them upright!

8. Nail polish for scrapes and chips to bodywork

Small scrapes and chips in your car’s bodywork can be covered up efficiently and cheaply with a nail polish of the same shade. It will save you a whole lot of pennies and look almost as good as the real thing.

9. Mesh bungie for extra space

Struggling for space to hand your suit? Fit a mesh bungie on the car ceiling and hang the hook from there. It is also a great place to store coats on long journeys.

10. Plunge those dents

Minor dents can be fixed with the use of a plunger. Yes, really. Place the plunger on the dent and pull, and you may have just found yourself a quick fix solution and an excellent car hack. It won’t work for all dents, but it is certainly worth a try.

11. Hand sanitiser to de-ice key holes

We all know that the best way to tackle windscreen ice is with a scraper and/or the helping hand of a de-icer can. However, key holes can seem impermeable, you can’t exactly scrape’em. The easiest way to tackle them is with a squirt of hand sanitiser.

12. Boost range of your key remote by holding it against your chin

Forgotten where you have parked again? Wandering the car park helplessly? You can actually boost the range of your remote alarm key by a fair amount when you hold it up against your chin.

Don’t ask why, it’s something scientific to do with fluids and stuff, but you won’t have to ask us if it actually works. Because weirdly, it really does.

13. Use a shoe organiser on the back seat

The back seats of a car can quickly descend into chaos when travelling with kids. What started as some neatly packed bags and snacks can transform into a scene from Hoarders UK.

A quick car hack to create (at the very least) organised chaos is fitting a shoe organiser or shower caddy to the back of the front seats so that your children can stow their stuff away in a tidier manner. These are inexpensive, easy to clean and fit well.

14. The IParked Here app 

As mentioned previously, locating your car in a car park can be an absolute nightmare. If it’s busy you probably won’t want to click your keys to check, as it might increase your risk of theft. The iParked Here app is a simple solution to your car park woes, telling you exactly where you left your vehicle, with no safety hazards.

15. Cupcake holders to reduce grime

Car cup holders quickly become a hot bed for grime, grease and dirt. They’re a part of the car that you would not immediately think to clean so are barely given any attention too.

By placing cupcake cases into the bases of the cup holders you make cleaning easier, just pop the case out and into the bin before replacing with another! Maybe reward yourself with a cupcake too for being so clever!

16. Inflatables for sleeping in your car

It’s a fact of life that most of us will at some point end up spending a night snooze in our car. Whether that be the result of a rainy camping trip where a soggy tent can no longer be stomached, or a planned road trip.

However, you don’t want to wake up with an aching back and a seat-belt mark imprinted across your face. The answer to your comfort woes comes in the form of a lilo. Pool inflatables make a good impromptu bed and are obviously easy to transport, taking up little time in your boot during the day.

17. Tumble dryer sheets instead of air fresheners

Air fresheners are expensive to replace and have a fairly short lifespan. Cut costs massively and score long-lasting freshness with tumble dryer softening sheets.

They give off a deliciously warming scent and will make your car feel as fresh and cosy as newly-washed sheets.

18. Clean your dashboard with Vaseline

No specialist cleaning products are required to tackle the depths of your dashboard. A quick and affordable car hack to tackle a dirty dash is with a pot of good old petroleum jelly.

Vaseline is something nearly all households always have at hand and believe us when we say that it works miracles on more than just dry skin and chapped lips.

19. Use a tennis ball as a parking guide

If you are not the most comfortable when it comes to parking and often end up missing the mark or indeed knocking into something when pulling into your garage, tennis balls can act as a handy guide.

Hang the ball on some string where your windshield should land when parked up, that way you will know exactly how far you need to drive before coming to a complete halt.

20. Always take photos of rental cars before driving

This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s surprising how many of us can forget in the moment especially if we are at the airport and in a rush to get to your destination. Taking the images can act as evidence if the company tries to charge you for any pre-existing damage to the bodywork when you return the car.