If you are someone who owns a vehicle, there are a few things you absolutely need to have in your car. Depending on where you live in the world, those items can vary but some things are universal. Below are a few of the essentials you need in your car.
1. Items To Change A Tire
Don’t assume your car has a spare tire. Check to make sure your car actually has one. If it doesn’t, go out and get one immediately. Even if your car does have a spare, make sure you also have the tools required to change a tire. Odds are, you can’t lift a car by yourself so you need to make sure you have a jack, tire iron, and a lug key if your car requires one.
2. Jumper Cables
Jumper cables are also important. They can sometimes be the difference between driving your car to a repair shop and having to get a tow truck. Plus jumper cables mean you could potentially help someone else who finds themselves in a jam.
3. First Aid Kit
You don’t need to bring your medicine cabinet with you, but a first aid kit is recommended. Something that has the basics like bandaids, tweezers, wipes, and more. If you’re someone who travels a lot, and for long distances, you might want to invest in a heftier first aid kit to put in your car.
4. Car Manual
This essential sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have their car manual with them. If a light comes on or your car starts making a strange sound the manual probably will tell you what’s happening.
Flashlights are important, if you’re stranded on a dark road at night it will be your only light source. Depending on what you think you need, there are a few flashlights you can choose from. A normal one with batteries, which means having spare batteries. You could get a wind-up one that you’d use for camping or in emergencies. There are also ones that are designed to wind around your hand, making it easier to look under the hood without losing light if you’re alone.
6. Spare Shoes
They don’t need to be fancy they just need to be shoes you can walk in. It isn’t advised to leave your car if something happens. Walking along a busy road is dangerous, but on the off chance you have to, you don’t want to walk miles in flip flops.
7. Rain Jacket
This is something else you want in your car because you never know when you might need to walk somewhere. You can keep a rain jacket or get disposable rain ponchos and keep them tucked away.
If you find yourself stranded during a blizzard the inside of your car, you will only manage to keep warm for so long. Be sure to have a blanket or two that will keep you warm while you wait for help.
This might sound extreme but it’s better to be safe than sorry. This is especially important if you drive in remote areas like the mountains where it might make it hard for other cars to see yours pulled over.
10. Tool Kit
Besides having the tools for changing a tire you might want to consider having a small tool kit. It could come in handy fixing something under the hood that you would otherwise be unable to do without it.
11. Phone Charger
Odds are, you already have a phone charger in your car but if you didn’t invest in one, it is a pretty smart idea to do so. Most gas stations sell them for under $10. Smartphones have nearly all the answers, but if they’re dead, they’re useless.
This is a simple item but one that is important. If you have a runny or bloody nose driving, you’re going to want some tissues nearby.
While this isn’t as important as others on this list, you don’t want to show up to an interview or a date with dry cracked hands. Find a travel-sized lotion and put it in your middle console. Just be sure it isn’t a pump or it’ll get all over.
14. Water Bottle
If you’re really concerned about the possibility of getting stranded one day, this is probably one of the only situations where plastic water bottles are acceptable. Keep a few of them in your trunk. If you’re not that worried, it’s still smart to keep a reusable water bottle in your car.
If you can’t see you can’t drive. Keep a few pairs of sunglasses in your car to ensure you’re never going to be driving and squinting.
16. Seat Belt Cutter
This is another one of those car items you really don’t want to think about but it’s important. If you get in an accident and are trapped in your seatbelt this can be life and death. If you’re also worried about smashing windows, there are tools designed to smash car windows. Although in some vehicles the headrests can be pulled off and used to smash windows. Check your manual for what your car can do.
Nobody likes a sticky steering wheel. Keep some wipes for your hands and that are okay to use on parts of your car to wipe up sticky or icky messes until you can actually clean your car completely.
18. Ice Scraper
If you don’t need an ice-scraper you’re lucky. If you’re one of the many that do live in a place where winter happens, this is a no brainer. You need an ice-scraper. Never try driving with your vision impaired.
Scraping ice can be miserable and it can be even more miserable without gloves. Get a pair of gloves specifically meant for your car.
20. Tire Gauge
While this can go along with your tire changing tools it might not come with it, which means you need to invest in it. Tire pressure is something some people never think to check and that can lead to flat tires or even blowing a tire out on an interstate.
21. Trash Bag
If you don’t want people turning your car into a dumpster get a trash bag. There are trash bags, like the one below, designed to be used in a car. Just don’t try reaching it while driving.
22. Tampons Or Pads
If you’re someone who menstruates keep tampons/pads everywhere. Be like a squirrel and stash them everywhere you can find, especially your car. Road trips are long and nobody wants to bleed through their pants during one.
Even if you have a phone charger you might find yourself somewhere without service. If that’s the case, you’re going to be glad you have maps. Depending on where you frequently drive you might only need one for your city. If you’re driving cross country, I’d suggest finding maps for all the places you’re be driving through. Don’t let yourself be a character in a horror movie.
24. Phone Numbers
If you can’t access Google Maps, chances are you can’t call anyone either. Write down some emergency phone numbers you don’t have memorized to ensure you can get help wherever you are.
25. Roadside Assistance
Technically, this isn’t something to have in your car. It’s more something you should have for your car. Check with your insurance or do some research. Some cars come with roadside assistance like OnStar or you can pay for something like AAA.