15 things you should always have in your car, but probably don’t 37



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Some of us have nothing in our car boots, while others have piles of useful junk and rubbish we dread to sort throw. But if you don’t have these 14 things on hand, you mightn’t be prepared if you’re in an emergency situation.

Here’s the most useful items to have on hand to deal with anything that happens on the road, aside from the typical bottle of water and jumper cables.

1. First aid kit

This one’s a bit obvious but all drivers need a first aid kit in their car!

2. Duct tape and WD-40

Duct tape is the most useful tape on earth and has so many uses, as does WD-40. You’ll be glad you put it in.

3. Torch

I have a mini torch on my keyring but if you prefer, buy a battery operated one from your local hardware store and keep it in the glove box.

4. Multi-tool/Swiss army knife

You never know when you might need a screwdriver or some scissors.

5. Tyre inflator and sealer

If you’ve just had a blow out and are losing air fast, this tyre inflator and sealant will help you until you can get to a mechanic.

6. Food 

Even if it’s just a muesli bar and some other non perishables, if you’re broken down for a while with screaming grandkids, an emergency supply can be worth the trouble.

7. Solar powered radio

this one’s a bit obvious but so many people don’t have one in their car.

8. USB electric blanket

Need to spend a night in the car in the cold? No problems… just plug in your blanket!

9. Poncho

You never know when you might need a poncho – even if it’s for outside the car i.e. a musical festival or concert.

10. Pencil and paper

If you’re car is bogged or needs to be left somewhere illegal or on someone else’s property, you’ll thank your lucky stars you had a pen and paper.


12. Reflective triangle

In the UK, all drivers must carry a reflective triangle and position next to the accident or breakdown. Why not employ this logic here and put one up to warn other road users?

13. Spare key 

A tip from one of our Starts at 60 writers: duct tape or very safely secure a plain spare key (without the special lock) to the chassis. You never know when you might need it.

14. Tyre gauge

If you need to check your tyre pressure in a hurry, especially after inflating, this little device is a godsend.

15. Seatbelt cutter/window breaker tool

Save your life with Resqme's Seatbelt Cutter/Window Breaker tool.

Hope that you’ll never need to use it, but always keep it around just in case.




Tell us, what do you have in your car at all times? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’d never thought of a couple of these. I did buy a reflective triangle recently and had great difficulty finding somewhere that stocked them. I will have check out some of these other things, many I have. I’d never heard of a seat belt cutter but it makes sense to carry one.

  2. I have my jack, spare, a couple of bags, a pair of shorts, a pair of thongs and some tools,. Most importantly, the NRMAs number.

  3. Well I am okay 14 out of 15 do I get a big tick please, where i live never done and electric blanket, but always have a blanket

  4. Hello….WATER! Water for the radiator, water to DRINK if stuck on the highway! X

    1 REPLY
    • I find a sleeping bag works better. If you are travelling as a couple have two bags and zip them together to make a double bag.

  5. Got all of those plus. I was born and bred in the bush so one learnt the hard way. In the early days we had fencing pliers in the vehicle. Part of my fishing gear is a set of 6″ Maun parra jaw pliers and they have a wire cutter in them. I also carry a couplr of Leathermans and a Victorinox.

    My kit also has 20lt water, a long handled caneknife, a bush saw, a Golock, endless straps and ropes for tying things down (or together).

    Strange, I haven’t hat to use the kit since 1964 and yes it is updated regularly.

  6. My hubby believes in the chaos theory. Has none of these. He is also hopeless on directions. I will never go bush with him!

  7. Like a blanket better than electric blanket, must be wool to protect from fires. Also useful for rescuing injured wildlife.

  8. Jumper leads they damage your engine better to get the RACQ..water yes and oil and I also have a foot pump …spare tyre of cause…

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