Top 10: Gadgets to modernise an older car

In-car technology has progressed so rapidly the past five years that used cars just a few years old can feel like they’re seriously lacking when it comes to gadgets. But if you want the latest infotainment, parking and connectivity options in your car then take a look at our top 10 aftermarket extras.


FenSens wireless parking sensor

The FenSens is very likeable - it's easy to install (mostly), fills a gap in the market and is genuinely cheaper than manufacturer parking sensors. The sensor screen on the connected smartphone shows distance by displaying arcing red, orange, yellow and green lines from the front or back of your car (dependent on where you put the FenSens).

We had some trouble with connecting parts of the device to our iPhone, though - once it's refined for iOs software - the FenSens parking sensors would be ideal for those who want parking sensors without the faff of getting them professionally fitted or needing to drill and wire bits and pieces into your car to get them working. 

>> Read the full review


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FenSens European Smart Wireless Parking Sensor - 100% Wireless, Easy-Install, Available for iOS and Android


Sony XAV-AX100 Car Stereo with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

£300 is a lot of money – but the Sony XAV-XA100 features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality, so it can be linked to a smartphone and used to stream Spotify, make and receive calls and navigate with Google Maps. It fits a double DIN slot, so check with a car electrician if you’re not sure if it’s compatible with your car.

This system effectively replicates the same functionality you would get from a new car with the latest connectivity features, and it's very easy to use. Though installation can be tricky, so if you’re not sure about in-car electrics then ask an auto-electrician or visit Halfords.

>> Read the full review


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Sony XAV-AX100 6.4 inch Media Receiver with Bluetooth, CarPlay and Android Auto, 4 x 55 W


TomTom Go 5200 sat nav

In an effort to further combat increasing competition from other brands and mobile apps, this flagship model has been crammed full of advanced features. For starters, it packs a five-inch screen, worldwide maps with free updates, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, speed camera alerts, integrated live traffic updates and voice control.

And if you connect your phone to it, it can also read out your text messages and provide hands-free calling - it’s compatible with Siri and Google Now, so your electronic personal assistants can be used while on the move. It's also continually updated and has worldwide maps, it should last you a long time.

>> Read full review here

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TomTom Car Sat Nav GO 5200, 5 Inch with Handsfree Calling, Siri, Google Now, Updates via WiFi, Lifetime Traffic via SIM Card and World Maps, Smartphone Messages, Capacitive Screen


TomTom - Sat Nav - GO 5200 5 Inch - EU Maps & Digital Traffic


Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

The Erayak TPMS provides visual and audible warnings when the tyre pressure and temperature exceed your chosen alarm value. The LCD is compact and easy to read, showing the pressure and temperature of all four tyres at the same time to give you sensor data every three seconds.

The device has two mounting options; either in your car's 12v socket (adjustable angle) or with an adhesive mount. There's also two USB sockets on the side of the display to charge other devices - like your phone - while the lighter socket is in use. It isn't the cheapest TPMS on the market, but it's cheaper than replacing a tyre because you didn't know it had a puncture.


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TPMS Tyre Pressure Monitoring System with 4 IP67 External Sensors and Dual 5V USB Ports, Built-in Visual and Audio Alarm System


Anker 24W dual USB charger

If your car has a 12V socket rather than USB ports, this charger adaptor should be extremely useful. Cheap, but very well-reviewed, this Anker-made adaptor has two USB outlets capable of rapidly charging modern, power-hungry devices like phones and tablets.

It also has safety circuitry to prevent surges or overheating, plus it’s sleek and neat, so won’t clutter up the cabin. Factor in the price of less than £10 and the 18-month warranty and it’s about the best buy a technology-lover can get for their car.

>> Read the full review


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Anker 4.8A / 24W 2-Port Rapid USB Car Charger with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge, Nexus, HTC M9, Motorola, Nokia and More (Black)


YI Smart dash camera

YI's Smart dash cam packs in all the most important features at a reasonable price of £40. With a maximum resolution of 1296p @ 30fps, an 'Advanced Driver Assistance System' and WiFi, it's one of the most cost effective dash cams we've tested.

The YI doesn't have GPS, so it won't be able to map your journey or, more importantly, show your speed - if you want that feature then you'll need to look elsewhere. But it does have WiFi so you can review footage on your phone, edit it if you want, and then download it.

>> Read the full review




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Nextbase 312GW Full 1080p HD In Car Dash Cam, Black, 87 x 58 x 19 mm (37mm inc lens)


Pure Highway 600 DAB radio

The Pure Highway 600 is an aftermarket DAB/DAB+ radio receiver for your car that connects to your existing radio. If you pair it up to a phone you can also use it for music streaming services like Spotify, or as a hands-free system for making and receiving calls. At £150 it isn’t cheap, but it packs lots of features and it’s easier than installing a whole new audio system.

DAB+ is a newer version of standard DAB and has been used in some European countries for some time, meaning this device will work when you're abroad. DAB+ is also more efficient than DAB, allowing more stations to be broadcast and in higher quality. Though DAB+ sets are ‘backwards-compatible’, so you will receive both DAB and DAB+ stations.

>> Read the full review

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Pure Highway 600 Car DAB Radio Adapter - Bluetooth Hands-free calls - Wireless Music - Spotify Control - Personal Assistant - FM to Digital DAB+


Rewire Security Spytrack Nano

The Spytrack Nano is a small tracker device for keeping tabs on any particular thing of your choice - be it a car, an object or a person. And it’s very cost effective indeed, when you consider that prices for car tracking by Tracker (the UK’s leading company in that field) currently start at £249.

The app integrates Google Maps and the topography can utilise satellite imagery if you choose. Using the desktop site you can set up ‘geofence zones’ that allow you to place markers on the map, so that if the tracker goes outside of them you’ll be alerted.

>> Read the full review


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SpyTrack Nano - Real Time Portable GPS Tracker - Personal Locator and Vehicle Tracking Rewire Security (Spytrack Nano)


EE in-car WiFi

EE’s in-car WiFi leaves nothing to the imagination in the name department. Buy this widget for your car and you’ll have the luxury of WiFi wherever you go, as long as there’s signal of course.

You can also pay monthly – pay an upfront cost of £39.99 and choose from 2GB for £13 a month, 4GB at £19 a month and 15GB at £24 a month, all on a rolling 30-day contract.

>> Read the full review



Magnetic smartphone holder

Smartphones used to be small and manageable, but these days they’re almost too big to fit in a pocket, let alone an old-style, suction-mounted cradle. Fortunately, there’s a neat solution – magnetic mounts which let you easily and conveniently attach and detach your phone.

This YOSH magnetic air vent mount keeps your phone firmly in place when driving, plus it's only £6.


Buy it now

YOSH Car Phone Holder Magnetic Air Vent Phone Holder for Car Cradle Mount for Cellphones for iPhone XR XS Max X 8 7 6s Plus Moto G6 Samsung S9 S8 Note 8 J5 Huawei P20 MI Xperia Blackview Nokia etc.


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