Few things in life are as exciting as buying a new car, especially after burning through used cars your entire life. Despite that excitement, you need to keep a level head when adding accessories and packages. Don’t listen to the salesman: he or she will assure you it’s in your best interest to upgrade to the luxury-ultra-primo package on that new car, but I promise it’s not. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion car salesman care more about your money than common sense.
Here are three useless car accessories you should guard against.
In-dash GPS Navigation Units
GPS is fantastic, especially on vacations or road trips. But, like all technology, GPS has improved dramatically since first introduced to the consumer market. A new Garmin unit costs $200. Or you could use your phone’s GPS for free. Either way, that super cool on-board GPS unit will look super-ancient in a couple years, and replacing it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, not to mention the original cost. Wait ten or twenty years, and they’ll be the electronic equivalent of the eight-track.
Proximity Warning Systems
These baffle me. When I first saw these proximity warning systems advertised for BMW luxury cars, I thought it a Saturday Night Live spoof, but it wasn’t. Quite simply, you pay thousands to have your car’s computer tell you something is behind you. Without dwelling on the hundred things that can go wrong with such a feature mechanically, let’s be pragmatic: If you feel you need one of these proximity systems, you need to stop driving. No bit of engineering can replace the efficient act of turning your head to look or adjusting your mirrors properly. Not even German engineering.
Ever drive down the road and see those blinding blue-white bulbs blaring at your eyes? Those are xenon bulbs, and I cannot believe they are still legal. I doubly cannot believe auto manufacturers offer them in customization packages. They are ridiculously expensive, ridiculously extravagant and ridiculously dangerous. If you can’t resist buying them, for the sake of my family, please stay off the road at night. If anyone knows of a petition to sign to make these illegal, please let me know.