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A buyer's guide to cup holders

The original cup holders were only useful when a vehicle was stationary, but when driving in cinemas and fast food restaurants became popular, the need for a different type of car cup holder became apparent. Car manufacturers started to build cars with built-in tray tables to hold mugs and plates. This article guides you through the choice of cup holders which you would prefer in your car.


History of cup holders Drink cup holders in motor vehicles were first seen in the 1950s, but they really became widespread with the emergence of drive-through restaurants. As people's lives became more fast-paced, the popularity of fast food establishments increased. People found themselves with longer commuting times to get to their place of work, so they realised it was more convenient to drink their morning coffee on the way to work. During the 1960s, vendors selling beverages also adapted their mugs by selling drinks in containers with wider, flat rubbery bases that would stick more to a car's dash board. Around this time, plastic cup holders became available that could be attached to the door windows of cars. Other styles could be placed between the front seats and the centre section of a car.

Recent times

Adapting to the trend
Car manufacturers noticed the trend for fast food and convenience, and began to build their vehicles accordingly in the 1980s. They started to make cars with built-in mug holders with minivans being particularly suitable for this type of accessory. Since the 1980s, cup holders have been made in larger, and also multiple sizes. Many of the types these days are spring loaded so they can hold cups of various sizes in a secure fashion. The contemporary world
Now, with so many fast food chains and convenience stores, designers of cup holders have faced some difficulties. Some drinks now are sold in measurements of more than one litre. This in turn has made cup makers produce cups that can fit into most cars' cup holders. These types of cups have a narrower base, and flare out more at the top. Legal cases have also increased the need for more, sturdy in-car cup holders. In New Mexico, a lady spilt a cup of hot coffee onto her lap and, subsequently, sued the fast food chain who had sold her the beverage for over two million dollars.

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