33 Must-Have Items for Your Car
33 Must-Have Items for Your Car
You can never go wrong by keeping your car in top condition and well maintained. To complement this, you need to ask yourself some important questions like- ‘What if my car develops a fault or I find myself in the middle of nowhere? Would I have the necessary tools to cope with it?
Take a careful look at the 33 must-have items for your car, some are not needed all year round but you can never rule out the need to use them at any time.
During the compilation of this lengthy list, we realised that it’s a subject which generates a lot of argument. Thus, I would like to state that, there is a possibility that you may not need all the items outlined in the list. Moreover, the majority of readers would probably not be able to find the space for such large number of articles.
Personally, the size of my car would not afford me space to store every item on the list without occupying almost all of the back seat. However, I mostly drive around a city with the garage not far away and with plenty of petrol stations close by. The only exception is when I venture outside of the ‘Shire and further a field.
In a nutshell, regardless of how detailed the list is, note that it all boils down to what you require and how dangerous your routine journeys are. Thus, you have to analyse your situation and pack the essential things.
In cases of Urgent Repairs & Emergencies on the Motorway
A little and quality sealer for tyres such as Slime can fix a puncture on a busy roadside quicker than changing the wheel.
Tools for Changing Wheel
Most newer cars come equipped with the basic tools needed to change your wheel, such as a socket and leaver set and also a jack.
Driver or Owner’s Guide
This refers to the manual which was included in your car which you probably haven’t given a second look ever since. You can place it in the separate space for gloves because you may need it at any time. If you just can’t locate yours, you can usually get one for free by searching online and downloading a copy.
Battery Jumper Cables
You may be surprised by a dead battery at any time particularly in extreme weather, and you do not have to bank on someone coming to your rescue.
Duck / Duct Tape
This item has multiple uses and as such is an obvious necessity. It can come in handy for urgent repairs or emergency first aid also. There are articles about various ways of employing the duck tape to fix something in your car. On a serious note, the duct tape is probably one of the essential items in cases of emergencies.
Tyre Pressure Gauge
We often have to feed our tyres with air at times with the aid of an air compressor at our separate stations. However, we are required to know when the air we added is sufficient or in excess. This is where a pressure gauge comes in. We came across a Pressure Gauge from just a few pounds on Amazon. This particular measure is more affordable than digital types, and it is not at risk of being dead when needed most because it does not have a battery.
Wiper Fluid for Windscreen
Experiencing spray during winter is not a great experience especially if you have trucks throwing sludge and road dirt all over your windscreen. It is very frustrating to find out you do not have enough wiper fluid in such a situation.
Extinguishers for Cars
Nobody prays for any car fire incidents, but the truth is, it happens. On a positive note, you need not go after the huge extinguishers used in different companies as there are more petite extinguishers around now. A small portable extinguisher can be picked up on Amazon for less than £15, even though it looks quite small it would be useful to help stop a small fire, of course anything big you should get away from the car and call the emergency services.
Items for Medical Safety when Stranded
Torch/Flashlight or Little Lantern
Those of us who have had to look for something under a car seat or replace a tyre when it is dark know how valuable a flashlight can be. We often suggest you buy a classy crank light one that does not use batteries because batteries mostly wear out with time although a head lamp will free up both hands to work.
First Aid Kit
A first aid box is the very first thing that you should have, from minor cuts to helping out at road accidents until the services arrive. Make this a priority for your glove box.
There is very little that cookies or any other snacks can do if one finds himself in the middle of nowhere. If moving along a path not too familiar, it is wise to go with some durable food items such as dried fruit, energy bars or any other calorie dense and melt-proof food item. I do not support the idea of peanut butter as recommended by some as one would need some dining tools and sufficient water to digest it down.
As you can’t predict which tool you would need on your way, a multi-tool offers you different solutions on the necessary things, and it doesn’t take as much space as the standard heavy toolbox. Apart from the famous Leatherman, there are a lot more choices available around like the Multi-Function Pocket Tool from Max which can be bought for less than a tenner.
Water Containers (bottles)
There is always a high risk of dehydration when one is stranded, so it’s wise to carry around water bottles which are resistant to excess heat and extremely cold environments. Having essential fluids available is more important then food in the short term.
Detailed Printed Maps
There are lots of natural things which can affect a GPS service or signal, and there is also the possibility of your battery running down. You can solve this potential issue by keeping a UK Road Atlas in your car if Sat Nav ever lets you down.
On days when things are not just going right for you, and you need to pull over too quickly fix things, you often worry if other drivers would easily spot you. A reflective warning triangle will help out and ensure you are seen in such situations.
One may need an emergency trash can or something to collect rain water at any time, and as such, a bucket is useful addition to your car kit, you can also store a lot of the other items in it to keep things tidy in your bot.
Obviously, this would help keep you warm when the weather is cold. You can even model it into a sort of sun shade in situations when the weather gets too hot. A Mylar blanket has several uses like the use of its reflective surface to dry up clothes that are wet.
Specifically For Winter
Car Snow Shovel
It has been a while since we have had heavy snowfall in Gloucester itself but up in the Cotswolds most winters cause havoc. Keeping a snow shovel in your car can help clear your way on a country lane or can help get your car out when you have been parked up whilst visiting perhaps.
Helper for Traction
When the roads are icy or covered in snow sometimes you find yourself going “Off-Piste”. Having a helper to gain traction under your tyres can be of real use. There are contrasting views on which of the cat litter, sand and carpet remnant works the best. The wise thing is to keep whatever rocks your boat with you. From experience cat litter works well in a frozen parking spot, and is cheap to come by.
A Second Winter Coat
In a situation where the weather suddenly changes, this additional coat will prove very useful. There are also instances where you find yourself somewhere much cooler than your home town, the last thing you want is to be caught off guard in a storm with no coat.
Snow brush and Ice Scraper
This helps to quickly clear windows that are covered with frost. It is particularly important for those going through snowy winters. A snow brush also helps to clean off snow from the roof of a car. It is actually illegal and dangerous to drive a clean car around while the roof is covered with snow. In most cases, the top layers are blown off by the wind, and this affects the person driving behind you potentially causing an accident.
Breaking down or getting caught out in a blocked road during the winter can leave you stranded, a good set of walking shoes or boots will be more comfortable when going to look for help or trudging back up the road to that pub you passed.
Empty Coffee Can, a lighter and Candles
These items work hand in hand which is why I listed them together. In cases where you are driving during winter and get stranded, you can stay warm by placing about three tea candles in an empty can. You should position the can on a surface that resists heat and is stable. This is sure to keep you warm for about four hours and will preserve the battery life of your vehicle for when it’s really needed.
Other Useful Items
Solar Powered Phone Charger
Being stranded in the countryside at any point can be a nightmare but none more so than when the device we use most has gone flat, a solar charger can sit on your dashboard and quickly give you enough power to make that all important recovery call.
Car Phone Charger
Most cars still come with a cigarette lighter port and some newer ones even come with USB so keeping your phone charged for those emergency calls is easier than ever, its good practice to ensure that your phone has a good battery % before setting off on a long journey.
Throw one pack into a box in your car. You will be glad you did.
You can use these for a rapid cleaning session. It can dust off things like food or spillage’s, even splattered insects from windscreens.
Apart from its traditional use of keeping one dry during the rain, it can also serve as an excellent sunshade (not that we ever get that much sun).
Writing Pen and Notebook
Useful for taking down details at an accident amongst other things.
These come in handy for unplanned trips to the supermarket.
Change / Money
A lot of car parks are pay as you leave or have a text to pay operation but some especially independent car parks still operate a Pay & Display method which can leave you caught short if your wallet or purse is empty. Keeping a few pounds in change inside the car means you will always be ready.
I have an old blanket in my car which has offered me more than any other thing on this list. I remember using it to cover up the seats at the back in cases where I have wet passengers such as my kids who usually happen to be covered with mud as well.
Plastic Made Grocery Bags
Unlike the tote bags, you can use this to clean the vehicle on the road or to gather shoes covered in mud which should not touch your car mats.