Driving can be fun for many of us. But being on the road can bring uncertainties. We may never know what we would run into, but it always pays to be prepared. It does not matter whether you use your car to zip around the city or for longer journeys. You should have certain items in your vehicle, which will help keep it running and allow you to deal with unforeseen circumstances in your journey.
It is always a good practice to double-check certain items before you head out.
This blog post gives you a list of essentials that you may need during emergencies.
Please note that some things may not be applicable to your situation. For instance, you may need an extra parka if you drive around Canberra but not when you’re in Sydney. Use your instinct in choosing and view the items as merely strong recommendations instead of absolute requirements.
Without further ado, here is a list of the top 25 essentials that you should have in your car at all times:
Although some items in this list are optional and depend on your own case, the following documents are a must.
Make sure that you have these things in your glove box before your journey:
Make it a habit to check the place where you mostly keep your owner’s manual. For most people, it is their glove box. Even if you are in a hurry, you should always find time to ensure the manual is there. It is critical because it tells you pertinent details that you might need for your vehicle, such as PSI and recommended fuel levels. The manual comes with the automobile, so it has unique information about your car. Please don’t take it out.
Proof of Insurance
You may not think that you would get involved in a car accident or any incident because you are, in general, a careful driver. In reality, however, your proof of insurance is one of the documents that you should always have with you. If the police stop you, you may be required to show a valid insurance certificate.
Licence and Registration
It appears that having your licence and registration in your car is common sense. When you get stopped by the police, you will most likely be asked to provide your licence and registration. Not being able to show these documents can lead to fines.
Your medical documents can help emergency services personnel provide the essential treatment for you in case of an accident or any incident. Keep these papers stored in the glove box, especially if you have an underlying medical issue.
Emergency Contacts and Other Phone Numbers
When you need to reach someone for help or in any situation, it always helps if you have their number stored safely in your glove box. Yes, your mobile phone may already have these special numbers saved. But what happens if your phone’s battery just died or you forgot it at home? You could rely on your memory, but to be on the safe side, have these important numbers written down clearly or printed. Put them in the glove box. That way, you only have to find the nearest landline and call for help.
Include Fast Sydney Towing in your contact numbers so that we can assist you when you need your car towed immediately.
Car Repair and Maintenance
It is always best to have professionals look at your car if there is a problem. However, some situations are easy enough for you to solve on your own.
If you are a handyman yourself, you will surely benefit from having the following in your trunk:
Your spare does not mean it should be old. Choose a spare tyre that is at least in good condition. You can have it in the trunk or fixed to the underside of your car. Sometimes, however, a spare tyre is not advisable, especially if you will need to travel for a few hours. Having an extra tyre in the car will make it heavier, which reduces fuel efficiency.
Tyre Jack and Lug Wrench
You may already have a spare, but it is worthless if you do not have a tyre jack and lug wrench. These three pieces work together. If your car has a special set of locking lug nuts, you will also have to keep your lug nut key with you. With all these things ready, you may want to read our Flat Tyre Changing Guide if you need a refresher.
The car’s battery can die without you noticing the signs. Your jumper cables can help, as long as there is a helpful passer-by to supply energy for a jumpstart. Jumper cables are inexpensive, and you can purchase it anywhere, whether online or at retail stores. Alternatively, you can have an emergency battery booster. That way, you do not have to wait for someone to come along and help you.
Tyre Pressure Gauge
Checking the tyre pressure routinely gives you more benefits than you can imagine. It improves handling and even increases fuel economy. If you have always had a problem with tyre longevity, you can add a tyre pressure gauge to the items you have in your car. Believe it or not, having this simple tool can save lives. Sometimes, looks can be deceiving when it comes to tyres. You may not see that one or more of your tyres are significantly low. With this tool, you do not have to guess.
A multi-tool includes essentials in one set. You get scissors, screwdrivers, can opener, and knives, among many others. Even if you do not have a car or will not drive around, a multi-tool is extremely useful.
Windshield Wiper Fluid
While Sydney does not get unbearably cold, precipitation can happen when you least expect it – and it is not a joke! Potential hazards can result if there is reduced visibility. Your window could easily get attacked by road sludge and slush, which is why you need to combat them back. Have a wiper fluid ready to ensure that you will maintain road and path visibility, especially during unpredictable weather months.
Safety should always be your top priority. Whether you drive alone or you take your kids with you on the road, you should ensure everyone is safe. There are many ways to stay safe when you are behind the wheel. For example, we know that accidents can happen but there are ways to prevent them, such as avoiding mobile phone use when driving. For other tips on how to stay away from road accidents, please read this blog post. Meanwhile, here is the list of car safety essentials to take with you:
What if you need to change your tyre at night? It’s impossible to see clearly without a quality tactical flashlight. This flashlight will light up your car or any part of the vehicle that may require maintenance. If the tool you have chosen requires some batteries, make sure that you have extra in your glove box, too. The military and police utilise tactical flashlights. They are bright and can even double as a self-defence tool in case you need it.
Another way to keep yourself safe, particularly at night, is to have flares ready. Flares offer enhanced visibility. Some people use them to lower the risk of getting hit by other drivers. If you are waiting for help, you can have flares ready to let others know where you are. If you do not want to use flares, reflective triangles are a good alternative.
First Aid Kit
This list for safety items is not complete without a first aid kit, which is the most basic of all essentials. Others find it inconvenient to have a first aid kit in their car, mainly because it can be bulky. However, some kits are available in easy to carry boxes or pouches, so they do not take a lot of space. You never know when you will need a first aid kit. The last thing you want is needing to clean up a cut, but you have no supplies ready.
Some of the essentials that your kit should include are Band-Aids, gauze pads, gloves, scissors, and ointment.
Seat Belt Cutter
A seat belt cutter is a specialty item that many Australians think they do not even need. This tool is used in case of rollover crashes, accidents, or multi-vehicle pileups. The mentioned events can cause the electrical systems of the car to malfunction. Those systems could stop working and affect the mechanical operations of the doors, seat belts, and windows of the vehicle. You do not want to get trapped inside the car, so it helps to have a seat belt cutter with you.
It would help if you had a window breaker for the same reason stated above. Because the electrical systems of the car become vulnerable to short-circuiting, you may not be able to get out of the vehicle due to an accident. In such an unfortunate event, you may not have a choice but to break the window to get out.
Having cleaning and hygiene essentials in the car will, of course, not save your life. However, they can be useful in saving you a lot of frustration. You want a trip that is clean and easy to maintain, so you should have the following cleaning supplies with you:
Wet Wipes and Tissues
You could spill liquid in the car, which you could easily wipe with wet wipes or tissues. Get rid of in-car messes by cleaning them right away. It is not a good idea to wait for coffee or even water to seep into the seat. While you may not have a problem with the smell if you spilt water, it can smell unpleasant if it is milk or coffee. These essentials are also useful when you need to wipe your dirty hands after replacing your tyre, for example. You do not need a bulky box of wet wipes or tissues; small travel packs are usually enough. You can refill them before you run out.
You may not plan to go on a shopping trip, but a reusable shopping bag can help with impromptu purchases. Try to avoid using plastic bags because they are not eco-friendly.
After a tyre replacement or other maintenance task, you may not have access to water and soap. You can use your sanitiser instead. Wipe your hands with tissues or wet wipes before using a hand sanitiser. It helps remove the smell of oil or any other grime you may have handled.
The following is a list of items that you can add to your glove box or trunk to make your trips more convenient. Again, they do not save lives, but they are helpful at certain times:
Pen and Paper
When you need to write down something important, you may turn to your phone and save it there. But it still makes sense to have pen and paper ready in case your phone’s battery dies. You can gain access to anything significant even if you do not have your phone with you. For instance, you need to contact us to have your vehicle towed.
Have our number (02) 8599 4536 written in a small notebook where you also have other important numbers. Whenever you need to call us, you only have to consult that piece of paper where you previously wrote our contact number. Before heading out, however, ensure that your pen works. That way, you can write anything else, such as an address or a name, whenever the situation calls for it.
Mobile Phone Charger
For most vehicle owners, their chargers are already plugged into their cars. However, if you are among those that do not, it is useful to have a charger. That way, you never have to worry about your phone running out of battery. If you have a compact battery jump starter, it may have USB connections where you can charge your device. It cannot be stressed how important having a mobile phone ready for use these days.
Most car owners do not know how to change tyres or even tell the difference between a carburettor and an alternator. For this reason, ensuring your phone is charged while on the road is extremely useful. You only have to call the right professional for help, and you will soon be on your way again.
We also recommend that you have someone know about your planned route and when you will arrive. It’s helpful when you go for long trips in case certain areas have spotty cell reception. When someone at your destination knows when to expect you, they can have other people look for you if you do not show up on time.
Snacks and Water
Have non-perishable goods in your car. These things are priceless, especially if you plan to take your kids with you. All they will tell you is that they are hungry, which is why snacks are incredibly vital. Having them ready means that you do not have to stop at a store just to buy some bags of chips. Of course, water is unquestionably essential so have some bottles with you, as well.
Weather can be difficult to predict. You may leave your house wearing a light jacket, but later on, you need gloves, a scarf, and a blanket. Having a survival blanket is helpful in keeping you warm, especially when you least expect the weather to change.
Disposable Rain Jacket
When it is raining, and you need to change your tyre, you should have a rain jacket ready. Disposables are cheap, and you can keep them in your glove box. They are useful in case you are stranded due to weather or an accident. As much as possible, you should have both a disposable rain jacket and a survival blanket in your car. The blanket will keep you warm while the rain jacket will keep you from getting wet. You can then wait comfortably for rescue without worrying about freezing in the car.
Your change of clothes is also convenient to have. If you are stuck on the road and you get drenched in the rain, you do not want to sit in the car while wet.
When you are prepared, you get peace of mind. Whenever you drive, whether it is a short trip or long haul – or something in between, you should have the essentials listed above ready. Your needs may vary, and this list is not exhaustive. It does sound a lot to have them all packed in the car, but the good news is that most of these things do not take up too much space.