Anyone who has ever broken down or been in an accident knows that when it comes to stocking up your car, it pays to be prepared. Though it is difficult to plan for every eventuality, there are a number of things that you should consider putting in your car so that you can be ready for most situations.
We have sorted a list of important items that are popularly stored in cars into priority order, so that whether you want to be prepared for anything, or just want to have the most essential items to hand, you can stock up your car and travel happy.
More for comfort than anything else, having a few packs of tissues in the glove box is always a good option. These are of particular importance during the winter months when it comes to driving and managing a nasty cold simultaneously.
Pencil & paper
Though having a mobile phone negates some of the necessity for a pencil and paper, having one handy means you can jot down directions or instructions in a jiffy and you have something available to keep young passengers busy if you want to play a travel game.
Almost all of us have been in the situation where we have decided not to bring an umbrella with us in the morning and then been soaked through by the temperamental British weather. Storing an umbrella in your car means you are always prepared for any spontaneous spring showers.
Avoid getting to the check out on an impromptu shopping trip and having to buy more plastics bags to add to your growing collection at home by storing some in your car.
It always pays to have a little bit of extra money in your car, especially when it comes to paying for parking, toll booths or if needed in an emergency.
Change of clothes
For added convenience you could chose to store a set of clothes in your boot, so that in the unfortunate event that you get soaked in the rain, you have something to change into rather than be uncomfortable.
Yet another essential item of yesteryear which has now been rendered unessential thanks to the popularity of increasingly sophisticated smart phones and satnavs. Regardless of how good your phone or satnav is, if it runs out of battery, you will be endlessly appreciative that you chose to keep a physical map lying around.
Keeping a phone charger in your car is a good option. It means that you can avoid the chance of being stuck in the middle of nowhere without a phone, or being unable to make an emergency call if you need it.
Many people swear by the multi-use capabilities of duct tape, which makes keeping a roll in your car a must have option. If you need to stick a mirror on in a pinch or need to fix something temporarily to see you home, duct tape is an easy and effective way to do it.
If you have a puncture you will be able to save an enormous amount of time and money if you are fortunate enough to have a spare tyre in your boot. Keep a tyre jack and tyre iron in your boot and you will be able to perform repairs yourself, and save the hassle of waiting for roadside assistance.
Tyre pressure gauge/inflator/sealer
The AA recommends checking tyre pressure once every few weeks. This will not only give you a more comfortable, fuel efficient trip, but you will be able to spot any problems with tyres before they become a big issue. Keeping an inflator or something to seal the tyres means that you maybe able to remedy the situation temporarily if you need to, and help make sure your tyres are kept in their best condition.
There are a huge number of satnavs on the market that you can choose from. With such a huge range and increasing sophistication of models, and plenty of smartphones with similar functionality, many people have one. Having one means that getting lost during your travels should be a thing of the past, and stops you shouting at passengers over dodgy directions.
Sometimes you can be the most careful car owner in the world and still have your battery die, particularly if your car is older. In these situations, or if you want to be a good samaritan if you see it happen to someone else, you can leap into action and save the day.
Emergency breakdown kit
It is a good idea for you to keep a basic first aid kit, reflective triangle, spare water bottle, blanket and torch in your car so that you are completely prepared in the unfortunate event of you breaking down. Having this simple set of comforts will go a long way if you do have a breakdown and should be definite additions to your car.
Car manuals have a lot of important information about your vehicle which could be incredibly important to know if you have an accident or breakdown. Most people keep this in their glove box anyway, and that is where it should stay, just in case you need it.
Insurance and breakdown documents
Having a few contact numbers along with insurance and breakdown details are really handy in case of a breakdown or accident. These take up very little room, and you can save time and stress by keeping them somewhere close.
Although winter is now behind us, having an ice scraper or anti-freeze to hand are essential for the colder months. There is little worse than coming out of your house to a frozen windshield when you have somewhere important to be.
Checking your engine oil and coolants should be one of the main things you check in your car on a regular basis. Keeping these in your car is not essential, but if you need to use them urgently having them in your car will mean you can tackle your problems on the go, rather than waiting until you get home or having to call breakdown cover.