Confused.com takes a look at the top 10 most pointless – or most hideous – car modifications and accessories.
A lot of time, money, effort and research go into building a car. And this care is all too frequently offset on the driver’s part by crimes against taste and sense.
Some of the modifications and accessories that people choose to inflict on their poor vehicle in the name of “enhancement” are unforgivable. Here are Confused.com staff’s least favourite, in no particular order:
1. Headlight eyelashes
You’ve presumably seen false eyelashes on a car by now. For making a car pretty. Why stop at eyelashes? How about draping your car with a massive wig? Perhaps you can chisel some dimples into the bodywork? Maybe you could disguise your car by buying an enormous pair of glasses, false nose and moustache?
We think these are likely to get old fairly quickly.
Photo by DaveOnFlickr
2. Fake turbo dump valve
Do you want your car to make a “phsssst” sound? Of course you do. And for the eyewatering price of £129.99, your car can make that wonderful dump valve noise. So your car will give the impression of a turbo, without the associated hike in your car insurance premium.
And if you upgrade to the XL version (just £184.99), you can have two speakers making the sound instead of one. Twice as loud! Who wouldn’t want that?
3. Bad alloys
You know those horrible alloys that keep on spinning even when the wheel isn’t? Well, you may be surprised to learn that they’re not the most disgusting alloys available. Brace yourself... for these. Unbearable.
4. Fluffy dice
The classic. Quite an obvious choice this, but when someone says “Think of a useless car accessory”, fluffy dice are likely to be what first spring to mind. No-one really knows their origins or meaning, which arguably makes them the most pointless objects on the list.
Speaking of pointless, there was a study in 1993 to see if there’s a correlation between the use of fluffy dice and the degree to which a driver’s behaviour is reckless. There isn’t. Obviously. There’s a good reason why you’re not asked whether your car contains fluffy dice when applying for car insurance.
5. My other car is...
Bumper stickers that say “My other car is <name of other (usually much more expensive) car>”. Why not just cut to the chase and have a sticker which reads “The owner of this car is completely hung up on the notion of status”?
Alternatively, there are the “humorous” variations. Take, for example, “My other car is also a piece of junk”, “My other car is out of fuel” and “My other car is a TARDIS”. Perhaps all bumper stickers should be banned?
6. LED smiley face
The Drivemocion LED car face costs a cool £25, and has divided opinion in the Confused.com office. Some seem to really like it. But most of us think it’s inexcusably rubbish.
One thing is beyond dispute though. Check out the “flirting” face in the video below at 1.25. Creepy, yes?
7. Little princess on board
A fad that went on for far too long (and still does in some quarters) is the ”Baby on board” notice phenomenon. This has been almost universally mocked. And if someone tells you a blood-chilling story about a baby coming to a grisly end as a result of being left behind after an accident, it’s not true. The original intention was indeed to influence nearby road users to drive more sensibly. As ever, The Simpsons lampoon this perfectly when Marge buys such a sign in the hope that it will stop other drivers “intentionally ramming our car”.
And so a thousand “amusing” variations were born – including “Little princess on board”, “Cheeky monkey on board”, “Babe on board” (this sign is usually estranged from the truth), and even “CEO on board”. The net result of displaying such a sign is that nearby cars will have a queasy person on board.
8. Plastic cup holders
Cup holders that you clip to your window or dashboard obviously aren’t useless in theory. It tends to be the execution that renders them useless. The same fate could be in store for your crotch if you choose unwisely, as that large cup of hot coffee is unlikely to stay upright for long.
9. Nodding dogs and other parcel-shelf soft toys
At Confused.com, we don’t take objection to soft toys per se. But cluttering your parcel shelf with them? The thing is, you don’t really get to appreciate them as you drive, so they end up being entirely for the driver behind’s benefit.
And some people clutter their shelves so heavily with soft toys that there can be no way they’d even know there was a driver behind to appreciate them. Who needs to know what other traffic is doing anyway?
Here’s one for nostalgia fans: remember when every other car had a Garfield stuck to the window? Or even an ALF? Well, it’s with a heavy heart that we must inform you that they were rubbish too.
10. Fake bullet holes
A special mention
Not included on the list as you don’t really see them anymore, but worth a mention are the windscreen stickers with people’s names on them (“Dennis & Vicky”). You saw these a lot in the seventies and eighties. And trends have a habit of being cyclical... So why haven’t they been brought back (yet)?
What do you think?
Do you agree with the choice of awful modifications and accessories? Maybe you think there’s something important we’ve missed?
We want to hear from you! Share your views on our message board below.
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