Driving is usually a drama-free experience, but it’s still important to be prepared for those rare occasions when things do go wrong. We’re not suggesting you pack your car as if it’s the end of the world, but by keeping a few key items handy, you could save yourself a lot of hassle.
- Tyre pressure gauge – this is vital for general car maintenance. Underinflated tyres can affect fuel efficiency and tyre handling so tyre pressures should be checked regularly as.
- WD-40 – most cars come with a car jack and spare tyre (make sure you keep this one inflated!), but they’re of little use if you can’t get the wheel nuts moving and lubricant is essential.
- Puncture repair kit or tyre sealant – these are a short-term fix for small leaks. We always recommend visiting a garage as soon as you can.
- Duct tape – incredibly versatile and a great temporary solution for a range of problems.
- Jump leads – avoid getting stranded with a dead battery. Make sure you get a set of a decent length.
- Torch – endlessly useful inside and out of your vehicle. And don’t forget the batteries!
- Car manual – it may have been ignored since you bought the car, but it’s worth keeping in the glove compartment (along with spare change).
- Gloves – speaking of glove compartments, they’re a really good place to store a durable pair! You could be touching hot engine parts, greasy car parts or get stuck out in the cold.
- First Aid kit – ensure you replenish anything you use.
- Water bottles and a chocolate bar – don’t add dehydration and low energy levels to your worries in a break down. Plus if your screen wash bottle runs out it’s vital in poor weather conditions.
- Hi-Vis Jacket and Reflective triangle – stay visible to oncoming traffic when stuck roadside.
- Spare coolant, oil and windshield-washer fluid – yes, you’re supposed to check them regularly, but do you? Don’t get caught out.
- Spare bulbs – it is a legal requirement that all your lights are in full working order – so don’t get left in the dark.
- Phone charger – one that works off your cigarette lighter or an old, fully-charged phone kept switched off, in case both car and current phone battery fail you.
And, for the cold snap…
- De-icer – to save those agonising minutes battling with your…
- Ice scraper – it’s so much better than using your credit card to clear your windscreen.
- Blanket/warm coat – if you get stuck out in freezing conditions, the temperature inside your previously toasty car can drop rapidly.