Top 10 things you should always have in your car
Our cars can often end up as dumping ground for random bits and bobs, shoes, air fresheners, week-old receipts and that one coffee cup you keep on meaning to recycle but just keep on forgetting. However, there are some things that you should always have in your car to help keep you safe and prepared for any eventuality.
1. High-vis jacket
If you’re in a crash, your car breaks down or you have to change a tyre, it’s best to be visible so people know where you are at all times. If you’re on a motorway or a busy country road, you’ll be much more visible and safer. A high vis jacket is also useful for things like impromptu slings, a flag or something to cover up your mate with after a crazy night out.
A torch is handy if you break down at night, or need to do a repair. Try and get a LED torch, as the batteries will last a lot longer in one of those compared to a standard torch. Keeping a spare set of batteries in the car will also help, in case it runs out. Having a torch in the car is also useful when you drop something in the car at night and can’t find it.
3. Mini first aid kit and any medications
While it may seem slightly over the top, having a mini first aid kit with the necessary supplies such as plasters, anti-bac, a triangular cotton bandage, alcohol wipes and some gloves will mean that if you do ever need first aid in the middle of nowhere, you’re prepared. If you take any prescribed medications or need an EpiPen, keep two dosages in the car in case you forget it or are stuck at someone’s house and have to take the meds. Make sure that it is written what they are clearly on them, just to make sure that the police don’t find them suspicious.
If you suffer any medical condition that could potentially be serious, keep a copy of your emergency contacts in the car and make sure your phone has all the information stored on the lock screen in case something happens.
4. Water and food
Before you leave the house, especially on a long journey, pack some water and food. While this will keep the kids happy, if you get stuck in a load of traffic or breakdown, having both water and food will keep you healthy and awake for driving, especially if it’s hot.
5. Blankets/warm clothing
Especially when the weather starts to get a bit nippy, so August for the UK, having blankets and warm clothing in the car is a good idea. If your heating breaks, you’re doing an all-night drive, or you break down, then having blankets will help to keep you both warm but also adds a layer of protection against animals like spiders.
Having a UK roadmap in the car will help if you’re lost, but even if your SatNav runs out of power or your phones died, then you have back up. Before you go on a journey, printing out the directions from an online route planner will also help to prevent any worries if the SatNav goes kaput.
7. Weather appropriate items
While the weather in the UK doesn’t really seem to change that much and seems to be in an eternal state of confusion, we can just about get seasons, it’s worth keeping things in the car that are appropriate for the supposed season. In the winter months having a snow shovel, de-icer or scraper, antifreeze, waterproofs and a tow rope might come in handy at some point. In summer, keeping sunglasses, suncream and a spare bottle of water will be useful in those super sunny days we have in the UK.
8. Emergency triangle
If you break down, much like the high-vis jacket, having an emergency triangle will be a great help to stop any further collision. They pack relatively small and can be stored in the boot to keep it out of the way. You can get them online or from a car parts shop.
9. Insurance details
Having a photocopy of your insurance cover and any additional policies that protect you or the car should be stored neatly in a plastic wallet. This way if you’re in a collision or are pulled over by the police, everything is ready and you don’t have to send it in at another point.
Finally, having your mobile phone in the car is vital in this day and age where the number of public phone boxes is dwindling and a decline in people having home phones. Keeping a phone in the car, along with the relevant charger, will undoubtedly come in useful. Whether it’s for music, navigation, calling out in an emergency or using it as torch, smartphones these days have numerous uses.
Do not use a phone while driving, it’s against the law and can cost you £200 and 6 points on your licence.