Many gadgets in the car are superfluous, others make life much easier: reversing cameras, speed camera warnings, head-up displays or music via smartphone. You can also easily retrofit these features. We show how to do it.
Whether it's a new car or a cult oldie: Germany loves cars. And even the old Rostlaube from the 4th generation is happily refurbished. We introduce you to cool gadgets and useful little helpers that you can use to equip your used vehicle with premium functions without having to spend a lot of money.
1. Reversing camera for easy parking
Newer cars come almost as standard with parking aids such as reversing cameras from the factory. In your older used car, however, you still have to park by feel.
But the reversing cameras can be retrofitted relatively easily – and are not even that expensive. Various manufacturers offer small cameras and a suitable display in a set at a wide variety of prices. The camera is attached to the rear license plate on most models. Finally, a cable is laid in the front and connected to the supplied monitor. The assembly is quite easy. However, you should note that most manufacturers only provide a guarantee if the devices have been installed by a specialist workshop. The Boscam K3 reversing camera, for example, is cheap but recommended for around 60 euros (on Amazon).
If you prefer it wireless, you can use the slightly more expensive alternative from AUTO-VOX (on Amazon). This also includes a transmitter that transmits the camera signal wirelessly to the monitor.
2. Traffic alarm warns of speed cameras & danger spots
With the traffic alarm from ooono (to Amazon) you will no longer end up in a storm of flashing cameras involuntarily. This co-pilot acts with the real-time data from Blitzer.de and warns of speed cameras and dangerous spots.
You connect the small device to your smartphone via Bluetooth, which receives and forwards the warnings. After a one-time connection, the traffic alarm is activated automatically as soon as your car starts moving – the only condition is that Bluetooth is switched on on the mobile phone. You are alerted while driving by visual and acoustic signals. The necessary app from Blitzer.de (to download) can be used free of charge and is available for Android and iOS. You will benefit from this helper for a whole year until the standard battery can be changed. For 50 euros you save yourself from speeding and one or two traffic tickets.
> Now taboo for motorists: What all users of speed camera apps should now be aware of
3. Cool breeze even without air conditioning
Does your car not have air conditioning? Then it can get uncomfortably hot in the summer. Retrofittable gadgets such as fans can help. They don't cool the air directly. Due to the air circulation, the temperature feels much more comfortable and the quality of the air is improved. For example, the double fan from Lescars is recommended. Simply connect the small device to your car's cigarette lighter. Then two fans are driven. You can choose the speed from two levels. Thanks to the rotatable fans, you can freely adjust the direction of the wind. In this way, the driver and front passenger can enjoy a fresh breeze. The double fan currently costs around 27 euros on Amazon.
4. Smartphone music for the old radio
Owners of older vehicles who are still on the road with a simple CD or even cassette radio can have their car modernized relatively easily: professionally installed, the Pioneer SPH-DA230DAB car radio can be connected to the smartphone via a USB port and you're on your way enjoy modern features. The device supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and, in addition to listening to music, can also be used for navigating and making phone calls.
Thanks to the integrated DAB+ receiver, you can also play many radio stations in (better) digital quality. The smart 2DIN car radio from Pioneer is very easy to operate via the seven-inch touchscreen. However, so much convenience also has its price: the device currently costs just under 420 euros on Amazon.
But you can also connect your smartphone to the radio much more cheaply. So-called FM transmitters allow this. Plug the device into the cigarette lighter socket and you can connect your smartphone to it via Bluetooth. Then select a frequency without reception and set both your car radio and the transmitter to the appropriate frequency – done! The sound quality can suffer a bit. But the principle works and is independent of your location.
For 18 euros you get a recommended model from ZeaLife, which also supplies your smartphone with power thanks to two integrated USB ports. A built-in microphone also allows the transmitter to be used as a hands-free system.
5. 2in1: charger & phone holder
To prevent your smartphone from constantly sliding around on the passenger seat or in storage compartments, Amazon has various holders that even charge the cell phone while driving. So you don't have to worry about a low battery level at your destination.
You can read more exciting topics related to cars, e-mobility and more on our expert portal e-drivers.