5 Horrible Car Accessories

Andrew Koole
· 5 min read
Our cars are also our
second homes
. Between bringing us to where we want to go, they often act as impromptu kitchen tables, bedrooms, and even music studios. They are more than transporters.
Like our homes, we like to fill our cars with stuff. Whether functional or aesthetic, accessories are bought to make our vehicles our own. An adapter lets us play music off our phones in our old model. A bumper sticker combines our humor and perspective in just the right way.
It might seem subjective to judge
car accessories
. But some examples are objectively bad, in that they don’t do what they’re intended to do or they do more damage than good. The following five products shouldn’t come anywhere near your vehicle.
Car accessories come in all shapes and sizes, but not all are created equal.

Cupholder trays

Car trays are generally unnecessary, but of all them, the worst design is the cupholder tray. In its D-List series,
Donut Media
tested one of these, and the results were obvious. 
First off, anything that takes up a cupholder in your car that isn’t a beverage is a bad idea. Whether we’re talking phone mounts or trash cans, you can always find another option that doesn’t deprive you of a place to safely store your drinks.
But the tray is an especially foolish thing to lose beverage space over. For one thing, it doesn’t perform the one potential benefit of having a tray in your car—keep your lap free of crumbs. Also, its flimsy, bendable arm will probably send your food flying.
Let Jerry find your price in only 45 seconds
No spam · No long forms · No fees
Find insurance savings

Bullet-hole decals

We’ve all seen these before. What do people think they do? Do they think pretending to have driven through a shootout will make people think twice before crossing them? This is not why people avoid these drivers.
Jokes aside, you should think twice about slapping any sticker or decal on your car. What might seem nice or funny at the time will likely lower your vehicle’s resale value and make other drivers think less of you.
Bullet-hole decals are also part of another category of accessories you should avoid: anything cheap that’s meant to make you look tough. Truck nutz, skull- or death-themed material, or any explicit products are generally ill-advised additions to your car.

Aluminum valve stem caps

Valve stem caps are tiny, so it’s no surprise that they can go missing. But a warning to the wise: do not replace them with aluminum caps. 
says that because stems are made of brass, any humidity will cause a reaction between the two metals, galvanizing them and making it near impossible to take the cap off next time you want to top up your
tire pressure
A pair of pliers might do the trick, but you’ll likely damage your tire stems in the process, forcing you to replace them as well. On top of all that, a quick stop at a tire shop will get you regular plastic ones for free.

Cotton candy scented air fresheners 

MORE: 5 Pumpkin Spice Car Accessories Perfect for Fall
Donut Media gave us another hand with this one after D-List host James Pumphrey went through the torture of smelling all 42 scents offered by classic air freshener brand, Little Tree.
I’ll take Pumphrey’s word for it and say cotton candy is the worst scent available. But honesty, there’s always a better option than buying an air freshener—just clean your car.
If there is something funky that won’t go away, no matter how many shampoos and vacuums you do, James says the best Little Tree scent is “Moroccan Mint Tea.”

In-car toilets

Essentially an expensive funnel, in-car toilets promote unsafe, unsanitary behavior. If the first word that popped into your head after reading the term wasn’t “gross,” there’s something wrong with you.
Besides having to unzip while driving (please don’t), you are then tasked with the impossible feat of avoiding any spillage. Think of the upholstery, people!
Maybe a passenger would have more success, but the folks at
Which Car?
have some simple, sage wisdom for all drivers of the world. Just pull over. 

More advice for car owners

There are thousands of other options of terrible car accessories—from the disgusting to the
outright scams
—but warning you of these five seemed to save you a lot of trouble and, in the case of a couple of them, avoiding them could potentially save your life. I felt it was my duty.
I also feel it is my duty to share a little secret about buying
car insurance
. You can save hundreds every year by shopping for
quotes online
Jerry is your ultra-talented car insurance broker for life. No need to sit across from him at a desk—Jerry is an app! It takes less than a minute to sign up and you’ll be presented with competitive rates from up to 50 top providers. Don’t lose coverage, find savings with Jerry.

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings