Must-Haves to Keep in the Car at All Times

Hitting the road, whether to buy some groceries or go on a road trip, your car becomes your temporary encampment. Aside from the different tools for car maintenance, there is more to the list of car essentials that every car owner must bring every drive out in case needs arise.

Here is a comprehensive list of the must-have items to keep in your vehicle at all times.

Product
Visual
Where to Buy

Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact First Aid Kit for Minor Cuts

Energizer Jumper Cables for Car Battery, Heavy Duty Automotive Booster Cables

Deflecto Slow Moving Vehicle Sign with Reflective Tape, Safety Triangle

 

Tire changing supplies

Everything required to change a tire in case one of yours goes flat, such as a spare tire, some WD-40, a tire jack, a tire iron, and a lug wrench, are essential tools to always have on your car.

Owner’s manual

Always keep the owner manual that came with your car in the glove compartment; you’ll never know when it might turn out to be helpful. If you can’t find yours, there are manuals available online for free.

First aid kit

The best way to prepare for an emergency is by carrying a ready-to-use, well-stocked first aid kit inside your car at all times. Unfortunately, even the best drivers are met with emergencies, which is why it’s essential to carry a complete kit of first aid items.

Jumper cables

Your car’s battery might fail you during unexpected moments, so carrying jumper cables, such as the one by Energizer, around might benefit you. Also, with your own set of cables, you no longer have to rely on a good samaritan to supply you with the wires.

Tire Sealant

car, woman fixing a car, reflective triangle, weeds, roadside

Patch your leaky tire while on the road with a shot of tire sealant. You can find different variations we great values online.

Windshield wiper fluid

There’s nothing worse than driving through a snowstorm with passing vehicles constantly booting road goo up onto your windshield. Make sure to keep a regular supply of wiper fluid during these times.

Duct tape

There is a long list of how you can use duct tape to fix a car. These tapes are great for everything, including roadside first aid and temporary auto repairs.

Multi-tool

You never know which tool you’ll be needing. Having a multi-tool on hand can help with the most common stuff and is more space-saving than a bulky toolbox.

A pair of work gloves

Protect your hands while wrestling with hot engine parts, lug nuts, tire irons, and anything else you’re not meant to touch with your bare hands with a pair of work gloves.

Reflective triangles

Ensure that your car won’t suffer more damages when you pull off to the side during the night by putting up reflective triangles so night drivers can see you. Reflective triangles can be expensive, but they’re a good investment.

Flashlight or mini-lantern

You no longer need to change your tire in the dark or have difficulty locating lost items under the seat when you have a flashlight with you. Also, since batteries can run out of juice over time, getting a crank-style light that doesn’t need them will be better.

Water bottles

Having multiple water bottles on your car might just save your life when you’re stranded and close to dehydrating. But, be sure to choose ones with sturdy bottles enough to withstand freezing conditions and extreme heat.

Emergency food

If you’re planning to travel off-grid, it might be a great idea to bring a few non-perishable, calorie-dense, melt-proof food items, such as dried fruits, energy bars, MREs, or granola bars in your car. 

A car-adapted phone charger

Keeping a phone charge in your car is a great decision. It ensures that your phone stays full as you continue to use it during your drive.

A solar phone charger

Your phone dying on you during a road trip can be pretty frustrating. Make sure that your phone still has a power source by keeping a solar phone charger for emergencies.

Weather radio

When your phone isn’t getting service, or there’s only static on your car radio, having a weather radio on hand can be helpful, especially when there’s a potential storm coming. 

Tissues

Always keep a travel pack of tissues in your car’s glove box. You never know when you might need them.

Paper towels

Paper towels are great for a quick cleanup. For example, they’re great for wiping the bugs and other dirt off of your windshields.

Reusable tote bags

When you’re on an impromptu grocery trip, reusable tote bags come in handy.

A roll of quarters

These are useful for parking meters, unexpected tolls, and many others.

Umbrella

Ensure that you stay dry or be under the shade while running from your car to another point by keeping a handy umbrella in your vehicle.

Pen and notebook

Keeping a pen and notebook with you in the car at all times helps jot down directions or your contact and insurance information after a minor accident, as well as many other uses.