7 January sale gifts you completely deserve
On the third day of giftmas…
Right, the bit of the festive season where you have to pretend to care about others is over, and now's the time to treat your good self. We're in that weird bit between Christmas and New Year where barely anybody's working (I say barely…), you don't know what day it is, which way is up or why that bottle of whisky is so empty.
It is, as they say, time to spend lots of money on yourself.
Here's the DriveTribe guide to the January sales – a beige platter of easily-bought consumerist nibbles to keep you entertained until you go back to work.
1. A new car
Roll into 2020 like an absolute baller
Well we may as well start big and work backwards, right? Well now isn't such a bad time of year to go car shopping – many dealers will be offering extra money off their stock to clear space ahead of the big March registration rush. There's a load of sites through which you can browse used cars, but our current favourite is Heycar, simply because it makes it easy to browse loads of UK main-dealer used car stock. My money's on a tidy BMW M135i – you can get one for about £12,000, which is a bargain for a six-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive hatchback. Hopefully you'll have a bit of money left over for a limited-slip diff and a remap. Then you can go into the new year terrifying M3 drivers…
2. Light up your life
Turn it on while looking at it like this and you'll be seeing stars for hours. Ask my brother how I know.
Santa was kind enough to bring me a wonderful new torch/handheld work light this year. Actually, it was from my brother, who is utterly obsessed with getting as many lumens as he can for as reasonable a price as possible. This Nebo BigLarry 2 can be used as a retina-searing torch, or you can activate the larger side-mounted LED panel for an even brighter constant work light. A powerful magnetic base means you can plonk it down and it'll keep you lit up – perfect for those fiddly jobs on the car. It's made like a brick too, and it's easily one of my favourite presents. It's yours for just £13.50(ish).
3. Don't screw up in 2020
You may think that you're pretty well covered for screwdrivers, but believe me – you 100-per-cent need a set of ratchet screwdriver bits. This Bosch kit only costs £13.50, and it's an absolute lifesaver. You can use any of those screwdriver handles you have laying around (probably from IKEA toolkits, we won't judge) but replace the heads with high-quality screwdriver bits that won't round off the first screw they come into contact with. The included ratchet handle also means you'll be able to unscrew tricky-to-reach bits of trim or brackets. It might not be something you use every day, but it's a lifesaver for those odd jobs that leave you stumped. Grab yours here.
4. Make 2020 the year you take better car photos
True, the secret to taking better photographs is practice, but sometimes you just need to buy some new camera gear to give you renewed inspiration. I'm a keen photographer, and a couple of years ago I ditched my giant full-frame Canon DSLR for a tiny Fuji mirrorless camera. It took photos that were actually sharper than the Canon, and the fact it's a small and light system means I take it out with me whenever I'm in the car or on a bike.
Fuji's system of lenses is among the very best out there, and their cameras are damn satisfying to use. The Fuji X-T30 is a small APS-C mirrorless camera that packs the same image quality and technical gubbins as their more expensive flagship camera, the X-T3. For just over a grand you can get the X-T30, complete with the totally-awesome 18-55mm kit lens, which is the sharpest kit lens you'll have ever used – it even has image stabilisation, so it's perfect for making the most of the X-T30's pin-sharp 4k video capability. Join me in my Fuji loving.
5. Try the best racing game of 2019
Way back in August I started playing a fairly niche demolition derby game called Wreckfest. Mike and I even did a video about it. It's been out on the PC for a year or two, but it really comes into its own on PS4 and Xbox. It has ultra-satisfying driving and crashing physics, and it's one of those games where you're actively encouraged to use your opponents as your brakes into turn one. Cars crumple, drivers fly off their lawnmowers (yes, there's lawnmower racing) and there's a bevy of cool countryside tracks on which to wreak havoc. Our favourites are the 12-lap races on figure-of-eight tracks, which become a real test of endurance and timing to make sure you're not T-boned into oblivion on lap two.
It may not have grabbed the headlines like Forza Horizon, but I've ploughed north of 40 hours into Wreckfest this year. It's perfect for dip-in, dip-out racing, and I implore you to give it a go. It's utterly fantastic, laugh-out-loud fun. Just wait until you unlock the school bus and have to duke it out in an arena of destruction with 20 Reliant Robins. It's just £28 on Xbox One, or £30 on PS4.
6. Build the most anticipated car of 2020
This wouldn't be much of a self-gifting guide without some Lego, would it? Arguably the best way to treat yourself is to lock yourself in a room with a big box of Lego and some fine wine. You'll need to head over to FoodTribe to talk wine, but we can help you out with the Lego. Undoubtedly the hottest kit of the moment is the new Lego Land Rover Defender. It's a supremely detailed kit, and once you're done you can argue you've got one of the first Defenders in the country. It's £160, but in terms of £ per hour of enjoyment, it's right up there.
7. Kill your moisture
This isn't an especially sexy treat, but it's one worth having, especially if you have an older car. It's a de-misting pad for your car. You leave it on your dashboard and it'll stop your windscreen misting up on damp mornings by absorbing the moisture in the air. Once it's saturated you can bung it in the microwave for a few minutes to 'reset' it, then it's good to save your view for another few weeks. For just £7 you can have the gift of dryness. It's a bargain!
What have we missed?
I'm sure we've missed some corking deals for petrolheads – drop your favourite deals in the comments!