Teenagers can be hard to understand, much less shop for. But almost every 16-year-old, even the ones who have somehow built a six-figure social media presence on a platform you didn’t know existed, can appreciate the freedom of being able to operate a motor vehicle. Scoring a driver’s license will always be one of the significant milestones on the way to adulthood. (Well, at least until someone ruins that with self-driving cars.)

Below are some practical and affordable gifts to help a teenager celebrate his or her newfound autonomy, whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer or a significant investment. Each is guaranteed to go down better than that not-so-hilarious “Caution: New Driver” t-shirt you found online.

Anker Powerline II 3-in-1 Charging Cable

ABC: Always Be Charging. This 3-in-1 cable with Lightning, micro-USB, and USB-C attachments has every device covered.

AstroAI Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

A tire pressure gauge should be in every vehicle. This affordable, digital version is precise and easy to store in a glove box.

The Driving Book: Everything New Drivers Need to Know but Don’t Know to Ask


$7.89 (39% off)

What’s better than learning from experience? Having someone else’s experience on hand to consult. Karen Gravelle’s book is a helpful resource for both teens and parents answering their frantic phone calls.

Energizer Jumper Cables

Every driver should have some jumper cables on hand. These 16-foot-long ones from Energizer are simple, functional, and provide more than enough slack.

Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag

MOSO NATURAL amazon.com


Let’s be honest: carting around sweaty lacrosse or field hockey gear can make a car smell a little…funky. These charcoal air purifying bags absorb odors, rather than overpowering them with a full-court press of fragrance.

iOttie Magnetic Dashboard Phone Holder


$24.99 (17% off)

Every teen driver has a smartphone. A phone that is mounted is one that’s not in their hands sending texts. 

Uncommon Goods Recycled Hockey Stick Snow Brush

Winter is coming in many parts of the country. You could get your teen a generic scraper/brush…but here’s a cooler one made from a recycled hockey stick.

Yeti Black Rambler Chug Bottle

School starts stupidly early in the morning. This Yeti rambler keeps their caffeinated beverage warm and is designed to fit in a standard cupholder. 

The Best Winter and Snow Tires You Can Buy


We picked the best tires to help you stay mobile through the winter months.

Meguiar’s Classic Wash & Wax Kit

What’s the best way to get your teen to wash their car? Buy them everything they need. 

LeeKooLuu Backup Camera and Monitor Kit

Backup cameras are wonderful. If your teen is driving an older used car, it may not have one. This LeeKooLuu kit is plug-and-play and super-affordable — and if it avoids one incident, it’ll pay for itself. 

$50 Visa Gift Card

Once teenagers get cars, they need gas to fill them. You could head to the station and fill up a can for them, but this Visa card would be a bit more convenient. If it ends up getting used for takeout or mobile gaming add-ons, well, teenagers have done worse. 

L.L. Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

A blanket is great to keep in the car for the odd picnic or fall football game. In the winter, it could be a life-saver.  

Aukey Wi-Fi Dash Cam

When you hear “dash cam,” you probably think of Russian YouTube videos. But there’s a reasonable chance your teen may become involved in some form of fender-bender. Video evidence could come in handy. This Aukey camera has the basic functionality you need for a very low price.

VSSL Compact First Aid Kit

You never know when your teen will need a first aid kit. Ditch the huge box you have to keep in your trunk and get this sleek, waterproof VSSL kit that fits in the glove box. 

Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses

Not all carmakers put as much thought into sun visors as they should. Ray-Ban aviators have a timeless style and polarized lenses to reduce glare while driving. 

Black Stirling Card Holder

Once your young driver gets a license, they need something to carry it around in. This matte black leather card holder from A-Cold-Wall would be a fashionable way to do that. 

The 16 Best Cars You Can Buy in 2020


Kelley Blue Book released their best cars to buy awards for 2020. The results may surprise you.

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