In need of a smoke or have to charge your dying phone? Your car probably has a socket built in. Capable of 12 volts supplied from your car’s battery, they can be found always in the bottom centre of your dash, or in more luxurious vehicles, behind seats or in the rear of the car. And here’s everything you can know about it!

Cigarette lighter era

Most common in older vehicles, they are equipped with a round 12V power socket and come with a cigarette lighter. Pressing the cigarette lighter results in current being supplied to the coil to generate heat, and you can then take out the hot lighter to light your cigarettes.

Post-cigarette lighter era

With the popularity of smartphones and the decline of smokers, people would substitute the cigarette lighter with a compatible plug that supplies power via USB, to charge their phones or power electronic devices.

Modern era

Although many cars still come with one, there are no more cigarette lighters and just come with a plastic lid over it. There are also cars who have outright omitted it and provide USB outlets instead. Some luxurious cars have even started to include wireless charging pads to use with compatible phones, removing the need of even having a socket.