[Baltimore Sun] 12 best gifts for your teen’s first car

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What gifts are best with a teen’s first car?

It’s an exciting time when your teen starts driving. They’re growing up, taking on new responsibilities and there’s a ton you want them to be prepared for when they get their first car. There’s maintenance to consider and gas money, as well as making sure they are prepared for emergencies. If you don’t have a tire inflator at home, now might be the time to get one. It can be scary watching your teen drive around in their car for the first time. You want them to be safe, and you want them to have everything they need to be off on their own. So, what exactly does a teen need out on the road?

Tools for teen drivers

LE LED Small Tactical Flashlight ]

It’s always good to keep a flashlight in the car, and this little water-resistant flashlight will go a long way no matter where your teen goes. It’s long-lasting with a zoomable focus and can light the way up to 492 feet ahead. It requires three AAA batteries that come included.

Mallory 26-inch Snow Brush with Foam Grip ]

Depending on where you live or where your teen is going, a snow brush can be a must-have item. This one features sturdy brushes on one end and a 4-inch wide scraper blade for ice on the other side. The foam handle makes it easy to hold without fumbling.

JACO ElitePro Digital Tire Pressure Gauge ]

Whether your teen is driving a used car or a new one, a tire pressure gauge is always good to have along for the ride. This one provides a precise read on a screen that is easy to see, and batteries come included.

COOGEO Roadside Assistance Emergency Kit ]

This 22-piece tool kit comes with all the tools your teen could need out on the road. Buying each of these items individually can get pricey, so the set is a more affordable option. It includes jumper cables, gloves, tweezers and more all in one convenient carrying case.

Tech for teen drivers

Anker Car Charger ]

A car charger ensures that their phone won’t die while they’re out. This one is lightweight, durable and features two USB ports so that you can charge more than one device simultaneously.

Thopeb Self Defense Keychain Siren ]

Available in six colors, this little keychain features a pull pin that will set off a loud alarm and a flashing LED light in case of emergencies. It’s durable, lightweight and can be stored anywhere. The battery is included, but you might need to change it over time.

Vyncs 4G LTE GPS Tracker for Vehicles ]

This GPS tracker requires no monthly fee and can help you keep track of your teen while driving in real time. This might be more of a gift for you than your teen, but if it makes you more comfortable with them being out on the road, everyone wins.

Garmin Drive 51 USA LM GPS Navigator System with Lifetime Maps ]

If you’re worried about your teen getting distracted by their phone while they’re using it as a GPS, consider getting them an actual GPS. This one is portable, easy to use and useful if a phone dies, but the driver still needs directions.

Accessories for teen drivers

Rand McNally 2023 Large Scale Road Atlas ]

A spiral-bound map can’t lose power like a phone can, so it’s always helpful to have it in the glove box just in case. This 2023 road atlas is up-to-date with large maps of every U.S. state plus over 350 city and national park maps.

InnoGear Car USB Essential Oil Diffuser ]

This 2.75 by 5.11-inch essential oil diffuser fits in a car’s cup holder and is easy to operate. There’s a continuous mode and an intermittent mode, plus it comes with a USB charging cable. It comes in a black or white casing, and water is required for operation.

Thrive First Aid Kit ]

Hopefully, your recipient will never need this, but it never hurts to have a first aid kit on hand. This set comes with 291 basic first aid tools like bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, tweezers and more in a red fabric carrying bag.

Red Rain Universal Seat Covers ]

Available in 13 jewel-toned color schemes, these leather seat covers fit in just about any car and are stitched beautifully. They are comfortable, water-resistant and durable, plus they are nonslip. Each set comes with four backrest covers for the backseat and four headrest covers with two front seat covers and one bench cover.

Why practical gifts are the best for new drivers

Extras like steering wheel covers and dashboard lights have become pretty popular with teens over the last few years, but those are probably things your new driver will want to pick out themselves. It’s a unique opportunity for them to personalize their own space. However, when it comes to practical items, chances are not all teens will know what they should be keeping in the car until they suddenly need it. That’s where these gifts can come in to save the day. Teens might not necessarily love them right from the start, but they’ll be glad to have easy access to them over time.

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Emily Verona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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