The Best Father's Day Gifts Under $100 for a Dad Who Loves Cars

These eight brand-name automotive gifts won't break the bank.

Man handing gift to his fatherShutterstock

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Considering the tumultuous economy that's weakening our purchasing power by the day, dad might prefer to celebrate Father's Day on a tighter budget this year. We've gathered eight gift ideas for your car-enthusiast father that are no more than $100 and entirely brand-name. No cheap knockoffs—Dad deserves it.

Meguiar's New Car Kit, $69.99

A professional exterior detailing and wax job runs around $150. However, you can get dad's car at least halfway to a concours-ready shine with a detailing kit. Meguiar's makes a good-quality product at a reasonable price. This kit includes car-wash soap (Meguiar's calls it shampoo and conditioner) and liquid wax made of a synthetic blend that applies easily and quickly (as opposed to harder carnauba wax blends that can take all day). A four-pack of foam applicator pads and a three-pack of microfiber towels will get the paint sparkly clean. For casual detailing, there's a spray wax that doubles as a quick cleaner for removing dirt and bird droppings. There's also an interior spray and a spray can of tire shine. Be a good kid and don't make him detail his own car.

WeatherTech CupFone, $36.95

Older cars rarely offer a good storage spot for a modern phone. The most ingenious solution is the simplest, and it's made in the U.S. by the floor-mat specialists at WeatherTech. The CupFone is a phone holder that fits into any size cup holder. There are multiple cup sizes that can be removed or added for a secure fit, plus the holder can be adjusted to accommodate even the largest smartphones, and tilt the display at the desired angle. WeatherTech offers twelve colors for the adjustment knobs. Other CupFone models offer a higher viewing height and the option to hold the phone in landscape orientation.

Mercedes-Benz for Men Cologne, $64.00

Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to provide in-car perfume that automatically distributes one of six available scents through the air-conditioning. If dad isn't driving a late-model Benz with this feature, you can recreate it in his bathroom. Seriously—we bought one of these eau de toilette products while visiting Mercedes headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, and the scent is just as high quality as the logo stamped into the heavy, chrome cap and thick glass jar.

Porsche Lifestyle Martini Racing Belt, $95.00

Most branded apparel sold by premium automakers is either dowdy or kitschy. Instead of wearing a big logo on a plain white polo, go for something subtle and smart like this Porsche belt. Only people in the know will recognize the colors and stripes from Martini & Rossi, the Italian vermouth company that sponsored some of the most famous Porsche racing cars. Everyone else will see a bright pop of color on dad's outfit that can't be purchased at any department store. We love the woven feel and blue leather accents. Plus, it's so slim that dad can wear a tighter-fitting untucked top without the belt showing through the fabric.

Grand Touring Art Retro Automotive Posters, starting at $25.00

Peter Jedrzejuk is a left- and right-brained kind of man. In Poland, his main job revolves around IT and project management. His passion is art. Jedrzejuk creates colorful and dramatic car posters showcasing the finest American cars in the most iconic American cities, roads, and landmarks. With permission from copyright owners, he references existing photography to create unique images that look like promotional ads from the early half of the twentieth century. Jedrzejuk has a stamp-worthy collection of a few dozen artworks and sells them on his website, Grand Touring Art, in four sizes. If you ask nicely, he'll probably commission one just for dad.

SiriusXM, $60.00 per year

In the days of streaming music apps, a satellite-based service like SiriusXM seems unnecessary—until you actually hear what's playing. It's the difference between human DJs and AI algorithms; we'll bet dad would prefer hearing music and exclusive talk shows from the convenience of his existing car radio. Make sure to get on a promotional deal—and expect to have to renegotiate the price when the year is up. Still, the programming is hard to beat.

Race Weekend, varies

What better way to spend time with a car-loving dad you love than at a racetrack? Plenty of small-time oval tracks have entry-level NASCAR races that can offer a full weekend's worth of fun for less than $100. For road courses with sanctioned professional series such as IMSA, you'll pay about $70 a ticket. A track like Lime Rock Park in Connecticut is a scenic getaway in and of itself—and oftentimes there are historic festivals and other special lower-level races at tracks like these that allow fans to walk the paddock. There are race tracks everywhere; all you need to do is check each track's calendar. Chances are, you'll find a race with cars he'll want to watch for hours.

Forza Horizon 5, $50.49/Gran Turismo 7, $59.99–$69.99

If attending a real race is out of the question, launch a virtual race in dad's living room. This assumes he (or you) has a big TV, speakers loud enough to reproduce the authentic engine sound of a Lamborghini V10, and either a PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, or Xbox One/Series X. Forza and Gran Turismo are entirely different in feel (the former is an open-world arcade; the latter is a hardcore simulator—both have impeccable graphics that will leave you breathless in their detail). You can probably find these at your local game store, Best Buy or GameStop & on Amazon. Careful: Racing games as good as these are highly addictive, so make sure dad doesn't have anything to do for the next week or two.

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Clifford Atiyeh
Clifford Atiyeh is an independent writer, photographer, and creative consultant. He has reported for dozens of websites, magazines, and newspapers in his 20-year journalism career, during which he has tested more than 650 new vehicles. His automotive expertise focuses on product development, market analysis, and the litigation and legislation affecting the industry. Clifford is vice president of the New England Motor Press Association and runs a marketing consultancy.