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12 Things You Should Always Have In Your Car

Posted By: Greg T. | Date Posted: Apr 02, 2020

12 Things You Should Always Have In Your Car

You spend a lot of time in your car, whether you’re commuting to work, hauling kids around, or even taking a road trip. Regardless of how many hours you actually clock behind the wheel, your vehicle can feel like a second home.

Some people keep their cars stocked as if they may need to live in them at a moment’s notice, while others refuse to clutter their vehicles with any items that aren’t necessary for where they’re going or how they’re getting there.

To help you find a realistic middle ground, we’ve put together this list of 12 things you should always have in your car. Making sure you’re prepared with these items could save you a headache in the future.

1. Jumper Cables

If you never have to use jumper cables, you are one of the few truly lucky people. However, you should still always keep a pair in your car just in case. Attempting to start your car and not hearing the engine turn over is stressful. This event becomes even more stressful if you are looking for someone to help jump your car off that also has access to jumper cables. Save yourself the added stress and make sure you carry a pair in the back of your vehicle.

2. Tire Pressure Gauge

Tire pressure gauges are small, inexpensive, and convenient. You should check your tires regularly to make sure they’re at the correct PSI (you can find this in your owner’s manual or often on the inside of your driver’s side door), and the first step to doing this is having a tire pressure gauge. Being able to check your tire pressure on your own is convenient even if you have to bring your car somewhere to add air since you will know exactly which tire needs air added and how much it needs.

3. Spare Tire + Jack + Lug Wrench

Depending on how prepared you are, getting a flat tire can range anywhere from a minor inconvenience to a stressful and expensive event involving a tow truck. Always having access to a spare tire, a jack, and a lug wrench, as well as knowing how to use them, will give you considerable peace of mind if you ever find yourself with a flat.

Also, remember to periodically check to be sure your spare tire is properly filled with air. Fixing your flat tire won’t work by replacing it with another that’s defective.

4. Paperwork

Your registration, your insurance card, and your owner’s manual should always live in your car’s glove box. The first two are obvious since they’re the main items you’ll need to dig out if you are pulled over or in any kind of accident. Your owner’s manual can also be convenient to have if you’re unsure how to change your tire or even jump your car off.

5. First Aid Kit

Keep a first aid kit stocked with things like band-aids and disinfectant to be prepared for minor cuts, bites, and more when you’re away from home with only your vehicle. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time outdoors taking hikes, at the park, or at sporting events.

6. Flash Light

Yes, you probably have a flash light feature on your phone, but is that really what you want to depend on if you’re stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire at night? Having a flash light (stocked with working batteries) could save you from having a more stressful night in the future.

7. Duct Tape

This isn’t something most people carry in their cars, but it can be very convenient if you find yourself with a busted mirror or light. Duct tape can help with temporary auto repairs, so you can at least make it home without worrying about bits and pieces of your vehicle falling off to be left stranded on the road after a minor incident.

8. Napkins

Spills happen. The next time you’re in a rush grabbing coffee and spill it over your cup holders, you’ll be happy you have something to mop it up. Spare napkins can also be used to help clean condensation off of your windows if you’re in a rush and don’t have enough time to defog, along with many other everyday clean-ups.

9. Water

It may seem like a no-brainer but having access to water is always a good idea. Water bottles can help whether you need to avoid dehydration if your car breaks down, or even to help prevent your vehicle from overheating.

10. Spare Clothes

You may never need these, but for that one time that you do you’ll be glad you had an extra shirt to pull on when you spill something on yourself or get drenched in the rain.

11. Phone Charger

If you don’t have one, get one. Having a phone charger in your car and making sure you use it ensures you’ll have a fully-charged battery whenever you arrive at your destination. You’ll also always be prepared to have access to GPS or a way to call for help – as long as you have service.

12. Umbrella

Headquartered in Louisiana, we know a thing or two about random rain storms. Whether your weather is as unpredictable as ours or not, keeping an umbrella in your car is an easy thing to do in case of emergency.

The Gist

Even though you may think you’ll never use the things on this list, they are invaluable for those rare times when you do need them. Most of these emergency items are inexpensive and can be found at major retailers. Stock your car up today, and your future self will thank you!