Ten important items that you should always carry in your car
Emergency items you should always have in your car
Although we live in a small country, it is still worthwhile always having certain items in your vehicle, just in case an unforeseen situation arises.
We have listed the top 10 items that every vehicle owner should ensure they have in their car.
Spare Tyre along with a Jack and Wheel Nut Wrench
This you might say comes as standard within every single vehicle, correct? No, the majority of new vehicles sold today do not come with a spare tyre as standard and have to be added as an extra, with costs ranging anywhere from €100 to €300. Due to this, spare tyres are been removed from vehicles prior to being sold or traded into garages. Alternatively, ensure that you have a Repair Kit, which is basically a sealant and an air pump which will temporarily fix the tyre or if your vehicle has Run Flat tyres, these will allow you to drive on a puncture for a limited time.
The majority of standard cars will not have a Hazard Triangle, so check to see if your vehicle has one and if not, they are extremely low costing and are essential when alerting other road users that you’re broken down.
Every brand new vehicle is issued with a driver's manual from the vehicle’s manufacturer, but these tend to be mislaid or removed purposely from vehicles prior to being sold or traded into garages. For this reason, MyVehicle.ie has included (where available) a link to each vehicle’s driver’s manual in our standard and full vehicle history check reports. These manuals are vitally important for numerous reasons and can assist with identifying warning symbols and alerts.
USB Mobile Phone Charger or Spare Phone
It’s normally at times when we urgently need our mobile phone, that we notice the battery is low or goes dead. This is why having a fully charged phone or phone charger in your vehicle at all times is recommended.
Even with modern technology warning us that we’ve left our lights on, we’ve all been guilty of doing this at some stage. Or one of the most common forms of draining a vehicle's battery is listening to the stereo while the vehicle’s engine is switched off. You never know when you or someone close to you may require the use of Jump Leads, so it is always advisable to keep a set of these in your vehicle.
First Aid Kit
Hopefully, you will never have to use a First Aid Kit at the side of the road, but having a basic kit in your vehicle is advisable and can make a big difference until help arrives. Every basic first aid kit should contain bandages, burn cream, antibacterial wipes or cream, some form of pain reliever.
Spare change/emergency money
Having cash on us is not vitally important due to the modern age that we live in, with ATM’s on every second street corner and the vast majority of businesses now accepting laser and visa cards. In saying this, I would still always recommend having a small amount of cash in change or notes hidden away in the car, as you just never know when you’ll need it.
Flashlight, Replacement Bulbs and Fuses
I know that most smartphones have flashlights on them, but they do tend to drain a phone's battery quite quickly, so always having a working flashlight stored in your vehicle is advisable. Replacement bulbs and fuses can be so handy for on the spot repairs, as visibility is vital for safety.
Blanket, Hat, Scarf, Gloves and an Umbrella
These items can all come in useful for numerous reasons from a breakdown to a crash and they certainly won’t take up a lot of room in the boot of your vehicle.
Breakdown Service Details
The majority of insurance policies now include breakdown assistance as an included optional extra. If however, your insurance policy does not include this or if you have removed this extra from your policy, it is recommended that you have some form of breakdown assistance. MyVehicle.ie offers a 1 year Nationwide 24/7 Breakdown Assistance Membership for €39.95 only, that covers you for the entire year. This will include Home-Start and can be used as many time as required within the 12 month period. Considering that a single standard breakdown recovery can cost anywhere from €80 to €130, this is a must-have.
Some other recommendations:
Duct Tape for quick fixes
An Ice Scraper for those 'icey evenings'
A Small Fire Extinguisher for emergencies
Spare Coolant and Spare Oil on the road fixes
A Paper Map can be a good old fashioned lifeline
A Fuel Canister can be Savior
Hi-Viz bib helps you stay visible when most needed
Bottle of Water can be used for many things
Change of clothing is always worth having in your boot
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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