The best Christmas gifts for drivers

Carlton Boyce / 30 November 2017

Saga Magazine motoring columnist Carlton Boyce picks his top ten Christmas gifts for the petrolhead in your life



A decent socket set

Every tinkerer needs a good socket set and the quality of the Halfords Advanced range is excellent. It comes with a no-quibble lifetime guarantee, and I can vouch that Halfords will honour that without question in the unlikely event that you break one of the tools.

There's a huge range to choose from at, but I’d be tempted by the 90-piece set, which includes a full complement of spanners, for the bargain price of £60.

A high-speed driving experience

For someone who’s been very, very good, how about the chance to drive a single-seater racing car around the world-famous Silverstone track? Virgin Experience Days start from £119. 

Five of the best driving films

A good book

The Story of the Car by Giles Chapman, £12.99, is lavishly illustrated, makes a great stocking-filler and is perfect for showing your grandchildren the sort of cars you grew up with. Order at a discount from wordery.

The gift of peace and quiet

It may reflect my inner humbug but nothing beats being given permission to disappear for a while when the stress of entertaining all those rarely seen family members gets too much. A car-cleaning kit gives the curmudgeon in your life the perfect excuse to escape the festive hurly burly for a couple of hours.

Autoglym makes some of the best car-cleaning products in the world and while its Perfect Bodywork and Wheels Gift Collection isn’t cheap at £48, it contains everything they’ll need to spruce up the family jalopy.

Seven tips to get your car properly clean

A portable coffee maker

The caffeine addict in your life will love a Minipresso espresso maker from ProAdventure. Ideal for brewing up a roadside or campsite coffee, you’ll save the £47.95 purchase price in no time as you won’t have to detour into one of the coffee shop chains when the need to re-caffeinate strikes during a journey.  

Know your coffee varieties

Personalized cufflinks

The paper tax disc might have gone the way of the dodo but its ghost lives on in Me and My Car’s funky personalized cufflinks, £40. You can have them with the date, car and registration number of your choice, a lovely way to evoke memories of a much-missed favourite car. 

Five of the best starter classic cars 

Clothing

No, I’m not talking about buying your loved one a pair of socks! Petrolthreads has a vast range of high-quality T-shirts, featuring everything from Ayrton Senna to the Vincent Black Shadow motorbike.

However, my favourite is the one featuring the mighty Ford GT40. Never has £16.95 been better spent.

Limited edition art posters

Mark Fairhurst might be best known for his art deco-inspired cycling illustrations – and his book P is for Peleton: The A-Z of Cycling comes highly recommended – but he’s turned his prodigious talent to limited edition posters with a motoring slant, too. There really is something for everyone. Prices start at £65 for a signed, limited-edition A2 print.

How to save £100s when you decorate

A calendar

Everyone needs a calendar and The Art of the Formula 1 Race Car is one of the most delightful I’ve seen in a long time. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the cars were photographed by James Mann, one of the most talented automotive photographers in the world.

It costs a ridiculously reasonable £8.21 from Amazon – a small price to pay to give the motorsport enthusiast in your life a daily reminder of how much you love them.

Stirling Moss on the 1955 Mille Miglia

Picnic rug

I know a picnic rug might not sound like a terribly glamorous present but Holden Vintage and Classic has a wide range to suit all pockets, and one of its Welsh wool blankets, £39.99, would suit me very well indeed. They measure 54-inches square, and have a waterproof backing and an integrated carrying handle, making them ideal for the sort of foul-weather picnics we British seem to enjoy so much…

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.