Top 8 Christmas gifts for petrolheads: Cool gifts ideas and 'no-go' zone items


Cape Town - Shopping for petrolheads can either be exciting or a daunting task if you're not a car enthusiast yourself.

The cool guys at Autostyle SA, an aftermarket car accessories store, have picked out the best-sellers from their showroom floor in Johannesburg and Durban. 

We thought we'd share some great gift ideas in case you're still racking your brain trying to get your partner/dad or mom something really cool for his or her car.

Wheels24 also takes a look at what would leave a frown and are not such favourable items to get for carnuts.

As a petrolhead, what kind of car gift would you like to receive under the Christmas tree this year? Or, what would make your heart break? Email us

Wheels24 team Christmas picks

Janine Van der Post: 
I would love a service kit for my Toyota Corolla 20V RSI which includes a 5-litre Shell Helix HX7 can, original Toyota filters and some spark plugs. I'd also like a major service done, have all the necessary belts, tensioners and checks to be done. That would the the ultimate gift.

What would make me have to put out a plastic smile is a car-cleaning kit because frankly, we don't have any water in the Cape to even worry about that!

Rouel Van Nelson: A gift of any sort or for any occasion should be a memorable one; hence ideal car gifts would be ones that are practical for everyday use. Perhaps a friend of yours has a bad habit of flipping out his or her phone while driving, why not gift that person with a mobile phone holder for the car.

Also, automotive clothing items will always make good gifts, like a Ferrari cap or a Ford or BMW t-shirt.

As for bad car gifts… I think we’ve seen enough ‘eye lashes’ on headlights and those hanging male genitalia at the back of vehicles.

Top gifts for petrolheads

1  Jeep Grilles

This might come as a it of a surprise, but apparently aftermarket Jeep grilles are all the rage. There's a really funky Matt Black 'Angry Bird' grille available for the Wrangler and another mesh grille version.

2 Ford Ranger upgrades

Persnally, the Ford Ranger bakkie is one of the best-looking bakkies available in the local market. There are loads of OEM kits you can purchase, or you can go the aftermarket route and pick up some headlight or tail light trims to enhance your vehicle's looks even more for less than R500. Or, if you want to make a big difference and have more cash to spend, you can buy a set of gloss black wheel arches for R3000.

3 Headlight globes

According to the Autostyle guys, Philips CrystalVision halogen headlight upgrades the style of your car with 4300K bright white light. With the blue coating and the silver top finishing, your car will look more stylish. Be warned though, blue-shining lights might get you in trouble with the law, so make sure the lights you purchase are white shining lights. 

4 Audiobank DBL-Din for Toyota

This Audiobank DBL -Din device for Toyota includes GPS nvigation, Bluetooth capability, rearview function control, CD/DVD/MP3 plauback, video and audio output, steering wheel control function, USB port all for about R4000.

5 Rims for his or her 4X4

Bakkies are very popular in SA, and naturally motorists want their vehicles to look good too. These rims EVO MOD 17" rims are suitable for heavy loads /off-roading too. For a more stylish look, there are also the EVO Ambush rims. 

6 Rims for VW Polo

With the Volkswagen Polo and Polo Vivo being the most sold passenger cars in SA, it's no surprise that special VW rims are on the best-selling list. These 17" Matt Black machine polished wheels for a 5/100PCD, 35' offset are pretty spectacular. This would have to be a Chriistmas gift to yourself at R6000 a set. Or perhaps you have a partner who loves you enough to spend that kind of money on some cool alloys.

7 'Safety harness' backpacks

I totally love these new backpacks. There are various styles and colours, but they're based on Sparco safety harness belts. It's something different and make great kit for a day at the track, or at work or even school. Prices start from R750.

8 Tyre lettering

Apparently this is one of the new 'it' things in the aftermarket car custom scene.... displaying the make of your really cool tyres in bold white lettering on all four tyres. The kit comes complete with bonding glue and protective tyres and protective gloves. A bit pricey at almost R1000 a pop. 

What not to get

Since water resrtictions are pretty strict down in the Western Cape, I'd strongly advise against car wash kits this summer. However, you do get items such as detailing enhancers such as interior shine products or tyre shine, or even some car polish. Those would be great if you live anywhere else in SA.

I beg, unless your girlfriend /wife/mother thinks these are adorable, please do try to convince them that these carlashes are the cruelest thing you could do to your car.  

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