Can't-Miss, Last-Minute Father's Day Gift Ideas

June 18, 2011

Looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift idea for a dad who may or may not love to drive? Do you have a dad who’s hard to shop for? While a 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera Black Edition is an outstanding choice for Father's Day, it's probably beyond most of our budgets. Besides, you don't have to spend a fortune to nail the perfect Father's Day gift, so following are five suggestions that your dad will love, even if he doesn’t have 10w 30 flowing through his veins.

 

 

Smartphone Navigation

 

Navigon MobileNavigator

Navigon MobileNavigator

 

No matter what age demographic your dad’s in, chances are better than average that he has a smartphone. My father-in-law, for example, is north of seventy, but he is never seen without his trusty iPhone. Navigon offers MobileNavigator GPS solutions for all smartphone platforms, and the app is available by U.S. East, U.S. Central or U.S. West region for $24.99. Want national coverage? That’s just $34.99, and navigation for the U.S. and Canada can be your for just $44.99. We’ll warn you in advance, though: using your smartphone for GPS navigation will drain the battery pronto, so make sure your dad owns a twelve volt adapter for his smartphone (hey, there’s another gift idea).

 

New Tires

 

New Tires

New Tires

Unless your dad is a racer or car enthusiast, we’ll go out on a limb and guess his car needs new tires (unless, of course, it’s only a few years old). Guys don’t buy tires unless the tread is completely gone, and the latest recommendations say you should change tires when the tread is down to 4/32 of an inch (not 2/32 as was previously the case). Tires may not be an inexpensive gift, but they’ll help keep your dad safe behind the wheel, a feat that no silk tie or dress shirt could hope to pull off. If you know the year, make and model of dad’s ride, The Tire Rack can help you choose the best tire for his car and your budget.

 

Rearview Camera

 

Rear View Camera

Rear View Camera

Rearview camera systems used to be found exclusively on high-end luxury sedans. These days, you can find them on cars in the under-$25,000 price bracket as well, but you don’t need to buy your dad a new car to get him a rearview camera system. Wireless systems, which typically use a license-plate-frame mounted camera linked to a GPS-like display, can be had for less than $100 if you shop carefully.

 

OnStar Subscription

 

OnStar Subscription Services

OnStar Subscription Services

If your dad drives a GM-built vehicle that came with OnStar, why not think about renewing his subscription to the service since you know, like satellite radio, he let it lapse after the free trial period. Their Safe & Sound plan will get him automatic crash response, emergency services, hands free calling, the OnStar MyLink mobile app, vehicle diagnostics, stolen vehicle assistance,  roadside assistance and remote unlocking, all for $199 per year. Step up to the Directions & Connections plan, and you get the features of the Safe & Sound plan, plus unlimited turn-by-turn navigation for $299 per year. 

If your dad doesn’t own a GM vehicle, there’s still a chance to give him OnStar when the OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle) kit comes out later this summer. The OnStar FMV mirror replaced the existing rearview mirror, and gives you many of the same fee-based services as the standard OnStar system. Look for OnStar FMV to show up at Best Buy stores this summer, so you’ll have to give your dad an IOU for now.

 

A Day On A Race Track

 

Your dad is never too old for a track day, and we’ve never seen a student leave a well-run track day event without a permanent grin on his face. He’ll have fun, it will improve his driving skills and it will give you additional bonding time, since you can help him change his brake pads after the event.  The National Auto Sport Association runs instructor-led track days from coast to coast, and even non-NASA members can participate at a slightly higher cost.  A one day event will cost around  $289 depending on the track, but a two day weekend driving event is the better deal at $399.

 

Don't like our suggestions? See what our writers at All Car Tech and All Cars Electric have to say about Father's Day gifts.

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