For many teenage guys (including myself at one time), the experience of customizing and protecting your first car is something really exciting.
I’ve personally purchased dozens of car care products over the years in starting Carwash Country and can tell you firsthand some are better than others.
More importantly, my favorite car care products and accessories are typically a blend of practical (those I use often), with some sort of cool factor.
In this post, I’ll outline 10 of my favorite products for teenage guys related to driving, and where you can purchase them.
1. Foam gun
With convenience being everything, washing with a bucket and wash mitt is only one of the many ways this task can be accomplished.
One of my favorite alternatives to traditional bucket washing is to use a foam gun like this one on Amazon. I personally own one very similar to this one and can tell you that I now wash my truck in about half the time.
Instead of dealing with dirty buckets and not enough suds, a foam gun essentially sprays the foam on the vehicle, making it a much more efficient way to wash.
For any teenager, it’s one of these accessories that will make washing vehicles easier and a bit more fun.
2. LED cupholder lights
One of the more fun accessories I’ve seen lately are these LED car cupholders. These are rechargeable, and while they are functionally coasters, they really do light up the interior of the vehicle at night.
It’s a great accessory for prom, and you can find these in a ton of different designs on Amazon.
This set I found (similar to the image above) is just one example, but you can generally find these with sports team/automotive logos as well.
3. DeWalt portable wet/dry car vac
Vacuuming out a car is one of those tedious tasks no one likes to do (including myself), but one factor that I’ve found to be really important for teenagers is the portability of the vacuum.
For teenagers, I highly recommend a portable vacuum like this one by DeWalt you can check out on Amazon here.
The reason I like this vac for beginners is that:
- It’s super portable and has a handle like a toolbox
- It doesn’t have wheels, so you don’t have to worry about it tipping over
- It’s convenient for automotive use and easy to empty.
I personally have a Shop-Vac brand vacuum and can say that while it’s plenty powerful, it’s not really ideal for lugging around in and out of cars. It also tips over fairly easily.
For beginners, this would be a much better choice and contains a 5 horsepower motor, all you really need.
4. Digital tire pressure gauge
One of the main reasons I believe more people don’t check their tire pressure is because the manual gauges are just sooo annoying to use and read.
This digital tire pressure gauge is a good option for teenagers because it really takes the guesswork out of using a manual gauge which can be tricky at times.
5. Custom detailing kit
When it comes to detailing kits, you have a bunch of options. The obvious choice for many people is to simply pick up any old kit from Walmart or Amazon, but all car wash or detailing kits aren’t created equal.
The one pictured above you can check out here is actually one of the better kits you can buy for beginners. That being said, you can assemble one yourself.
When it comes to many ‘kits’, many of these products are simply average at best and aren’t what professional detailers use.
If you do decide to add a few items to your cart, here are a few of my favorites you can pick up on Amazon:
- Detailing bucket with grit guard
- 3-pack of auto detailing interior brushes
- Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash and Wax
- Wheel woolie wheel cleaning brush
- Long handle fender and tire brush
- Ceramic detailing spray
Every item in this bucket is in here for a reason, because I really do believe the right products can make a huge difference for beginners getting into car care.
As a teenager, it’s important to know what these various products do, and why detailers use them in the first place.
6. Portable car jump starter
If there’s one product I wish I would have had at 18, it’s this.
A cold battery on a winter day is bound to happen at some point, and one of the best devices you can provide any teenager is a portable car jump starter like this one by NocoBoost.
At 2,000 peak amps, this one is worth the extra money. Whether or not you are buying it for a large truck or small vehicle, anything over 2,000 peak amps is good.
I’ve made the mistake of purchasing a jump starter in the past that didn’t have enough peak amps (only 600), so make sure you don’t purchase one of the weaker ones.
7. Car trunk organizer
Jumper cables, flares, a first aid kit…all super important for any teenage guy. My first car at 16 had a compartment to store the spare, but not much room for anything else.
That’s why this car trunk organizer like this one on Amazon I think is a great idea.
For any car with a trunk, it’s one of the most practical items you can get a teenager that they actually will likely appreciate over time!
From textbooks to groceries, these car trunk organizers are super portable nowadays, and can even be collapsed when not in use.
Some models like this one even are designed to stay out of the way by attaching to the back seat and out of the way.
8. Steering wheel desk
For any student needing to get a quick study break-in before class, a steering wheel desk is one of those clever contraptions that I personally love.
It’s also ideal for eating in certain circumstances and can actually help keep your teenager’s vehicle a lot cleaner.
Since you can easily wipe these off outside, crumbs are much less of an issue most of the time.
I picked mine up online here, and is one of those items that I always have with me. Behind the front seat!
9. Waterproof outdoor car cover
For most teenagers, parking their car outdoors is the only option, which is why I think an outdoor car cover like this one on Amazon is a good choice.
Depending on the make and model of the teenager’s car you’re buying, you can find one that fits.
From ice and winter weather to rainstorms and autumn, these do come in handy and can obviously help keep things clean.
After washing and waxing a car all day, it can be discouraging for anyone new to washing and detailing to see leaves or water spots hours later.
While I generally don’t recommend covers for new cars, if the vehicle is 4-5 years old, typically the pros outweigh the cons.
10. 100 Cars That Changed the World
If the teenager in mind is a history buff or just loves cars, this book on Amazon is a #1 bestseller and one of those items that can really spark interest in anyone new to cars.
From the American-made Corvette to European exotics by Ferrari or Lamborgini, each played a critical role in automotive history.
This book really helps to paint a picture of the industry as a whole, and explains why so many people fall in love with cars to begin with.
“The teen I gave this to who is really into cars, really enjoys this book” —C & R on Amazon.
So there you have it! While the possibilities are endless, it’s always important to make sure whatever you give them (as cool as you think it is!) will actually get used.
Brands like Meguiar’s and Chemical Guys are generally good choices for beginners and have a great community of users that love their products.
For even more gift ideas, get your copy of my free eBook, 25 Essential Auto Detailing Products for Beginners.