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Top Car Accessories for South Africans | Must-Haves for 2024

Car accessories are a must. But, of all the add-ons, which makes the most sense for South Africans? These accessories will add value and help with your resale.
Lance Branquinho
Top Car Accessories for South Africans | Must-Haves for 2024

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Car ownership is a significant investment, but even after purchase, some drivers need more accessories. But what are the intelligent and silly accessory trends? And of all the add-ons, which makes the most sense for South Africans?

All vehicles, from city cars to large 4x4s, have become safer and more sophisticated. Many features that were add-ons in the 1990s are now standard features. You would never think of going on a search for sourcing an aftermarket air-conditioning or car alarm system nowadays because they are standard, which wasn’t the case in the 1990s.

You would never think of going on a search for sourcing an aftermarket air-conditioning or car alarm system nowadays because they are standard, which wasn’t the case in the 1990s.

The market for car accessories remains strong, and South African buying habits for vehicle add-ons reflect the country’s predisposition for adventure travel. And outdoor activities. This is our list of what you really need…

Carrying More Stuff – Smarter

Car Thule Accessories

Even the most rational and logical car owners become wildly obsessive when packing for a vacation or weekend away. We all take too much stuff along, but it’s a symptom of human nature and road-tripping. You feel less anxious and more confident when you’ve taken ‘everything’ along.

But where does it all go? The habit of overpacking has created a demand for external cargo-carrying ability. Towing a trailer is awful, hence the popularity of roof boxes.

Automotive engineers all sigh when owners want to pack anything on the roof of their vehicles. Whatever goes on the roof, adds aerodynamic drag, increases noise and heightens the vehicle’s centre of gravity. These issues increase fuel consumption and fatigue-inducing wind noise.

But there are smarter ways of carrying additional gear on the roof of your vehicle. You could strap eventing onto your vehicle’s roof rails and cross bars, but that’s untidy and foolish. South Africans who regularly journey long distances with stuff on the roof, use an aerodynamic roof box.

These slick roof boxes are shaped to have the least negative influence on fuel consumption and wind noise at cruising speeds. They are lockable, too, so you don’t have to worry about any roof box items going awry, when you stop for a convenience or snack break, and wander around a local market.

Bikes Go On The Back – Not On Top

Car Bike Accessories

Off-road cycling is hugely popular in South Africa. And whether you are a committed rider, or your kids want bikes along for the vacation to enjoy their own transportation autonomy, a proper bike rack is required.

When you need to transport bikes, there’s only one way: on a robust towbar-mounted bike rack. The simpler tailgate or boot racks are too light-duty. They can’t handle heavier e-bikes, and tend to move about dramatically if you hit a bump at speed.

When you need to transport bikes, there’s only one way: on a robust towbar-mounted bike rack

Roof-mounted bike racks generate a lot of aerodynamic drag and wind noise, and the best towbar mountain bike racks have an integrated intelligent tilt system. This allows easy access to your load bay, even when the bike rack is fully laden with mountain bikes.

The other issue with roof-mounted bike racks is that you need considerable strength and skill to heft and mount a mountain bike, overhead. And if you decide to roll into a covered parking area at the fuel station or mall while travelling… Well, you have a problem with bikes mounted on the roof.

Better Tyres – Not Fancy Wheels

Car Accessories tyres

Something worth investing in, aftermarket, are better tyres. South African road conditions can vary greatly. Potholes and dirt roads can be very severe on tyres. A lot more severe than European or Asian engineer plan for when scenario planning a vehicle.

If you want better ride quality and less anxiety about a pothole strike, or traversing a very rough section of dirt road without puncturing, it’s worth upgrading your tyres. With bakkies, crossovers and SUVs dominating the South African vehicle market, local drivers who do a lot of adventure and rural travelling, regularly upgrade their tyres to a more robust specification.

If you want better ride quality and less anxiety about a pothole strike, or traversing a very rough section of dirt road without puncturing, it’s worth upgrading your tyres.

The idea is to increase tyre profile by a bit, which allows for more air volume and a cushier ride on rough surfaces.

Microfibre Is A Big Deal

Microfibre Car AccessoriesThere is a cheap car ownership accessory that works a treat at making your driving environment a lot more pleasant.

South Africa has a lot of dust. It’s part of the country’s amazing geological legacy, with its abundant mineral resources. The combination of naturally occurring fine dust and perpetual urban infrastructure upgrade projects, means that South African car interiors are a nightmare to keep clean.

Modern car interiors feature many piano black panel finishes and large LCD screens. And like your Smartphone, any LCD screen attracts dust. And looks awful when it’s speckled with dust. The same issue applies to those piano black dash and front panel surfaces – they can be madding to keep clean.

What to do if dust on shiny surfaces triggers your OCD? Many South African drivers have done the smart thing and invested in a quality microfibre cloth. Keep it in the centre console and get into the routine of a few quick wipes and dabs before you start driving. The difference in cabin cleanliness will be remarkable.

Quality Doggy Blankets

Car Pet AccessoriesDogs are family. And that means they should never be left at home, especially if you are journeying to visit the park or beach.

But dogs shed, no matter how meticulously you groom and comb their coats. And although they might be clean driving to the park or beach, they rarely return in the same state. That’s when you need a quality doggy blanket or seat cover to prevent premature wear of a vehicle’s interior.

There is a broad selection of doggy blankets and seat covers available. The most important feature is adjustability. You want a cover or blanket with adjustable loops, which can secure around the headrest supports of your vehicle’s seats.

The most important feature is adjustability. You want a cover or blanket with adjustable loops, which can secure around the headrest supports of your vehicle’s seats.

Material composition is important, too. Doggy blankets and seat covers need a reasonably untextured finish, to prevent fur and muck from embedding in the material surface. A robust synthetic material doggy blanket or seat cover will be hardwearing and easy to clean. Which means you’ll use it more often.

If you're planning a holiday and would like you furry friends to join you, why not book a professional pet transport service. They'll get there in style, rested and ready for some fun!

Cabin wear is one of the most annoying and avoidable repair bills for car owners. The investment in a doggy blanket or seat cover is negligible compared to the money it will save you long-term. And is there a calculable price to the happiness of your dog each time you reach for that dog blanket, knowing it’s going for an adventure? Exactly. Get two.

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