You might be wondering why this story is published with more than a week ahead of the big day. The answer is simple – some of these suggestions require further research on your part, and you might want a few extra days on your side for shipping, and packaging.
All enjoy some Christmas or birthday gifts, but car-related (or motorcycle-related) items are tricky to buy. It will be impossible to get your partner an upgrade for their vehicle, and the same might go for various accessories they might desire.
There’s also a chance they already have them, and nobody wants two sets of an item that is supposed the last. The worst possible scenario would involve buying something cheaper than they got for themselves.
We decided to help you get the best possible gift for your petrolhead special someone, who might be your spouse, partner, best friend in the whole world, or a treasured relative. Whatever the case, each of these gifts will be appreciated, but you must be sure they do not already have an identical item.
A small portion of this list is also suitable for the dreaded “Secret Santa” thing at the office, but most of the items have a price that prohibits most from offering them to a co-worker. For a special someone, they will fit the bill, which might be hefty in some cases. We set a maximum budget at about $500, but some gifts are significantly less expensive.An RC Car
Petrolheads love cars, and this passion comes straight from their childhood. Some have begun admiring cars in their teens, but most of us have been living for vehicles since they first saw them in real life. Almost all of us have owned an RC car at a point in our lives, which is why this suggestion is not for those battery-powered toys in your local supermarket or department store.
Instead, we are referring to the hobby category of radio-controlled cars, which are reserved for those above the age of 14. These things are not toys, as they can be dangerous in young hands because they can exceed 30 mph, and some of them use easily ignitable fuel.
Since your significant other is a “petrolhead,” and not an “electric head,” we do not suggest getting them an electric version of an RC car. Instead, you can find a gas powered model from about $100, but they can go up to $500 or more.
Please note that “Nitro” models run on nitromethane, which is an easily flammable substance. Those models have troubles starting up in the cold, so try to find a gasoline-powered one instead. A big LEGO kit depicting a real vehicle (preferably one they like) an alternative.A Track Day/Driver Training Voucher
If your significant other has a car that is suitable for track driving, and there is a local track nearby, here’s a no-brainer. Get them a subscription or a voucher for access to that circuit. An enjoyable day at the track is like a vacation to a petrolhead.
Another excellent option is getting them a driver training package, which could come in the form of a course at a local racing school. If there isn’t one in your area, you can search for something in a nearby city and plan a wonderful trip together to make it a vacation. Evidently, do not go across the country for this, and be aware that your partner might have already followed that course.
This suggestion also has two other options – the MSF course, which is designed for those interested in discovering how to ride a motorcycle. The second option is an “experience voucher,” which refers to getting that person driven in a racing car by a professional driver on a closed course. The latter option only goes if your friend does not have a car that is suitable for the track, but you have a track nearby.Automotive Apparel
You have probably thought about this option. We are talking about clothes, hats, shoes, and whatever car-related clothing you can imagine. Evidently, it goes without saying that you should know the size of the type of garment your friend wears. Make sure you get one with their favorite brand, and one that they do not own.
Do not buy knock-off merchandise as a gift, and be sure not to choose something from the brand/racing team they hate. If you are unsure about that aspect, it is best to choose something else, or get them a garment that is not unique to a brand, but related to a form of motorsport (WRC, NASCAR, Formula 1).
We provide another important hint here: the brand of car that someone drives might not be their favorite. You must get something from the brand that they love. You should know what that is when your friend is concerned.For the gearhead
This kind of gift is suitable for that special someone that loves fixing things, but is always shy of the right tools. Get them a nice set of tools, but beware of knock-off brands. Make sure it is the kind of tool that will fit their needs, and that they do not already own a similar set. Feel free to inquire with their closest friends to find out what would they like.
If you special friend is already working on their car, you can help without getting duplicate tools. Our first suggestion is a set of overalls, because we bet they might be using old garments (possibly failed Christmas/birthday gifts) when working on their cars. A nice overall will fix that, and make them feel like a professional mechanic.
If the overall with large pocket seems like not enough for a gift, fill the pockets with sweets, and add a work mat/car cover protector so that the precious body of their favorite ride does not get scratches when they are working in the engine bay. Another great idea is to get them the FuelTech FT600 EFI System, this is their most advanced engine control and monitoring system.
A video camera
This is also a tricky gift, because you must be aware of the preferences and desires of the recipient. There are two types of cameras you can buy to use with a vehicle – an action camera, and a “dash cam.” The first of them is more suitable for things that happen on the track, or while off-roading.
The idea is that an action camera is great at filming fast-paced footage, with decent quality sound in most situations. It is a great option for capturing special moments like wind surfing, kite surfing, and even riding a bicycle.
Meanwhile, a dash camera is something that any driver can use, but you must make sure they will be interested in one of those items. If they have a short commute, or they are always in a hurry, this might not be the most appropriate gift, because it must be removed from the vehicle when leaving it parked, because people might try to steal it. This does not go well with people that are in a rush.A ticket to an extraordinary motorsport event
This depends on where you reside, and how much you are willing to spend. If your friend is not necessarily interested in driving on the track, but enjoys motorsport, you have the option of getting them a ticket to an upcoming event. Make sure that event is something relevant, and that the branch of the sport is appealing to your friend.
If your budget exceeds $500, and you think that motorsport is deep in the heart and soul of your friend, you can plan a trip and watch a race together at a more distant track. In the happiest scenario, where money is not a problem at all, we suggest the Isle of Man TT, which is a famous motorcycle race held on the island with the same name. You need to get tickets many months in advance just for the contest, and the same goes for accommodation.
A cheaper option is organizing a trip to a rally in your area. Make sure to include snacks in your luggage, and do your best to find a pleasant and safe spot to watch the rally cars as they pass. NASCAR, drifting, and monster truck events are also enjoyable, but it depends on your friend’s preferences.Motorsport-inspired watch
This is another category that can get you in front of a gift that starts at about $100, but can easily reach astronomical figures. When buying a racing-inspired watch, make sure you know your friend’s preferences in the field. Some people love metallic wristbands, while others prefer leather or rubber. Make sure you know before you buy.
From there, choose a design and style that you feel that best fits that person. You can purchase a watch that is branded with the name of an automaker, or chooses a watch that is promoted by motorsport icons like racing drivers.
Evidently, this category of gift varies on your budget, so avoid it if you cannot afford anything over $100. The idea is also no longer interesting for those that prefer smartwatches of any kind, as they might not want to wear an analog unit again.A car care voucher
What better example that you understand your friend’s passion for cars than a voucher that enables them to take it to an intensive detailing session? This is the kind of gift that requires some research, because you need to find a quality-oriented workshop in your area that does more than wash the exterior, follow by a vacuum of the interior.
We are referring to detailing, a process that takes several hours for a single car, and that costs over $100. It will make almost any interior shine like new, and it will also smell fresh. The exterior also gets handled for a proper waxing.
This gift is not as personal as others on the list, and you are left with a car that is now clean and shiny. The benefits will be enjoyed for awhile, but that is about it. A gaming setup
If your petrolhead friend is also a gamer, we have a suggestion. We must note that it applies for those that do not own their simulation rig, but to your friend that only have a racing wheel, a few games, and a place to play in peace.
We suggest a better chair, if they like to play while sitting at a desk. The best gift of this category costs almost $500, and it is called a “Playseat.” It is a racing-inspired chair that features a stand in front of it, which are designed to fit a racing wheel, along with its corresponding pedals.
If your friend already has something similar, you cannot top that, so just get them one of the other gifts on the list, or a gift card to allow the purchase of in-game credits. The latter is an impersonal gift, which might offend some people, so be careful with that.A car-themed office/home gift
Last on our list is that car-themed gift most petrolheads have received over their lives. Often the cheapest thing you can buy, car-related day-to-day objects for petrolheads can be fun. Just like with the other things on the list, you should know a few things about the recipient of the gift.
You could get them a nice coffee/tea mug, which features their favorite brand. That gift could be matched with a set of shot glasses, a belt, or a suitable t-shirt. This type of gift can be something that is personal and very sweet, but it can become impersonal and upsetting if it is not researched properly.
A nice desk clock, a wall clock, a motorsport calendar, or a travel bag with inspiration from their favorite brands in racing could make an excellent gift. Get it wrong, and you will have to see them deal with the disappointment of a poor choice. Double-check with another close friend of theirs if you are not sure.