Emergency kit – What items should I keep in my car at all times?
It’s a good idea to have an emergency car kit, including a few basic tools, in the boot in case of a breakdown or accident. In fact, in some countries it’s compulsory to carry certain items at all times in your car, such as a warning triangle, high-visibility jacket and spare bulbs and fuses.
We’ve compiled a selection of items which you might want to consider keeping in your car. The list could be endless, but it’s a case of striking a balance between taking up too much space in your boot, and having the necessary items to get you out of trouble.
Remember, an emergency car kit could mean the difference between getting back on the road quickly, and being stranded for hours while you wait for help, often in dangerous conditions.
Emergency car kit checklist
This can be used to warn other motorists if you break down. If you’re on a dual-carriageway, you should put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, and never use them on motorways.
First aid kit
You can find compact kits containing all the essentials, designed specifically to be kept in your car.
Wheel brace with extending handle
This will be invaluable if you get a puncture and need to change a tyre. Be sure to buy a good quality one, as cheap ones can break!
Spare bulbs and fuses
You can buy the correct kit for your car online and in most car accessory shops.
A compact extinguisher designed especially for vehicles is an important part of any emergency kit.
These have a multitude of uses.
Roll of insulating tape
This can come in useful for emergency wiring repairs and many other jobs.
Roll of duct tape
This is a great product to have in your kit. It can hold almost anything together, making it ideal for short-term repairs.
Selection of hose clips
For emergency hose repairs.
Can of WD-40
This can help move rusty fixings, and can help to solve problems with damp electrical components.
Luggage restraints (elastic ‘bungee’ type)
Does what it says on the tin!
Will help keep you safe if you break down. In some countries abroad it is compulsory to have this in your car.
Tyre pressure gauge and tread-depth gauge
For carrying out your weekly tyre checks.
Foot pump or tyre inflator
A mini compressor can be plugged into your cigarette lighter socket. These are compact, affordable and easy to operate.
A wind-up torch is a great idea for a car kit, as you never have to worry about changing the batteries.
An essential addition to your kit!
Emergency winter kit
In the colder, winter months it may be a good idea to add these items to your car kit:
- Ice scraper
- Windscreen de-icer spray
- A bottle of water and a snack, in case you get stuck or stranded in your car for a while
- Blanket, hat and gloves
- Snow shovel
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