30 essential items that you must have in your car

30 essential items that you must have in your car


Some of us do not keep anything in the trunk, while others have supplies in the car to resist several weeks in complete isolation. Well, the balance is somewhere in between, so I put together a list of 30 items that every driver should keep at hand.

Many car emergency kits are commercially available – which include jumper cables, flashlight, first aid kit, plus many other trinkets that can make the difference when we face unforeseen circumstances – but many of these objects are already in our homes and garages. And because some of them are not dedicated to emergencies, I drafted three separate lists after everyone’s destination.

Repair and maintenance

Nothing compares to the moment when you have a flat tire and realize that the spare wheel (which you have not checked it recently) is deflated. So to not get stuck on the road, put these items in the trunk:

• The spare wheel (in good condition), along with a jack and studs key.

Here’s what to do if you have to change one of the wheels on the road.

• Flat tire kit and inflate pump (or mini-compressor of 12V) – seems an redundant object when you already have a spare wheel, but this way you can avoid to get your hands dirty.

• Starting cables- especially in winter, we all had the moment when the battery died unexpectedly.

Here’s what to do in this situation.

• Service car book – it should be in the glove compartment and its regular consultations ensure the service intervals of revision.

• A compact gauge to measure the tire pressure – maybe all the new models have sensors to monitor the tire pressure, but this equipment has become mandatory since only several months ago, so most cars on the road should be checked regularly. As I have written in the past, running with low pressure tires affect fuel consumption dramatically and the car’s dynamic behavior.

• Tape and WD-40 lubricant – people are inventive by nature, and many malfunctions can be remedied (temporarily, of course) with an ordinary roll of tape. And for when a wheel change is impossible because of a stuck bolt, WD-40 spray can do wonders.

• A pair of work gloves

• A repair manual for the model of car that you drive. In vain you have all the necessary tools handy if you do not know the procedure to remedy some malfunctions.

Safety and Survival

First-aid kit is mandatory in any car, but it can sometimes prove insufficient. For your safety and those that travel with you, supplement the trunk inventory with these items:

• Flashlight

• Universal knife

• Matches or something that you can make a fire with

• Protein bars or dry food

• Bottles of water (at least 2 liters)

• Mini portable radio (in case the car one becomes inoperable)

• First aid kit

• Reflective triangle and vest

• Cutter for cutting the belts and a hammer to break windows (they should be in the glove compartment, not the trunk)

• Maps – yes, the paper ones, for when GPS is no longer helpful)

• Ice Scraper

• A warm blanket

• A bag of sand and a shovel (you can leave them home during the summer, unless you go on vacation in a polar region).


Besides those listed above, you could use to have on hand the following items. There are not essential for survival, but it will make you feel more comfortable in the car:

• Wet wipes and a roll of paper towels

• Pen and a notebook

• Umbrella

• A sum of money for emergencies (necessarily small bills and coins )

• Reusable shopping nets (so you will not have to buy plastic bags every time you go into a supermarket)

• A soft blanket (in addition to the emergency one), which can be very convenient when you go in the evening to a cinema drive-in

• Clothes for change, for situations where you get wet or dirty accidentally and you are away from home wardrobe.

• A USB charger or a 12V – 220V inverter.

This is an indicative list and may vary according to the needs (special) of each. What objects do you think are essential in a car?

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