What essentials do you need for your Car journey?
We've made an extensive list of car travel essentials for you to pick and choose from. The items you choose from will all depend on the length of your journey, the destination and time of year, but we hope this helps you stay safe and prepared for anything on the road.
This is for UK travel only, as foreign countries will have their own regulations.
27 Essentials for your Car
1. Empty fuel can If you run out of fuel on the road, you can refill with your empty can at the nearest petrol station.
2. Spare tyre Make sure you’re carrying a spare tyre in good condition and that you know how to change it. Remember some cars don't always come with a spare tyre, so don't make sure you do have one before you need it the most!
3. Tyre jack A spare tyre is pretty useless if you don't have a tyre jack, so make sure you have one of these too.
4. Jump leads and a portable battery pack Carry jump leads in case your battery goes flat and you can get a jump start from another motorist. Or carry a portable battery pack as well and then you won't need to rely on another vehicle to get you up and running again.
5. User manual Keep your car's User Manual in the glovebox and you’ll have all the information about your car to hand whenever you need it. Don't rely on having a great phone signal for the internet, if you get stranded - having the hard copy of your car's user information is no bad thing.
6. Tyre pressure gauge Poorly maintained tyres can be hazardous on the road, so have your own gauge on hand just in case you ever need to check your tyre pressure.
7. Toolkit A basic set of tools in your boot is always helpful, just in case you find yourself needing a hammer, screwdriver or a pair of pliers.
8. WD-40 From lubricating your brakes to stopping your door from squeaking, WD-40 is another useful item for your toolkit.
9. Torch (wind-up) If you breakdown in the dark and have to walk or check under the bonnet in the dark, you’ll need a torch - and investing in a wind-up one will ensure no flat batteries.
10. Swiss Army knife The Swiss Army Knife can help you in a range of situations, from tightening a screw to opening a can of beans whilst camping. You don't want to be without one of these.
11. De-icer / ice scraper Clear your windscreen so you don't drive blind in icy conditions, use de-icer or an ice scraper for better visibility.
12. Map Yes, just like the car manual, an old-fashioned hardcopy, paper road atlas can help you find your way, if you end up where you shouldn't be. Just in case your phone is out of power or signal.
13. First aid kit Most car supply shops, pharmacies and some supermarkets will sell simple first aid kits, that will include all the essentials you may need.
14. Warning triangle A reflective warning triangle will warn approaching cars you’ve stopped. Carry 2 so that you can place them at the front and rear of your car, they'll ensure that other road users are aware of your location which should make a breakdown situation safer for everyone.
15. Hi-vis vest / clothing High-visibility vests or clothing will ensure that you’re seen by other motorists and could even help save your life if you need to walk along dark roads, particularly in rural areas.
16. Jacket and boots If you breakdown in adverse weather, staying warm if you have to walk to get help or stay with your vehicle and wait for recovery is good health and safety. A thick jacket, along with boots with good grip, hats, gloves and jumpers can also be lifesavers.
17. Drinking water A sealed bottle of water will stop you becoming dehydrated and could also come in handy if you need to top up the water in your car’s radiator.
18. Non-perishable snacks Fruit, nuts or cereal bars are great to keep in your glove compartment, just in case you need to keep your energy levels up.
19. Sunglasses When the sun is low in the sky, particularly around spring and autumn, the glare can be blinding so keep some sunglasses to hand.
20. Change Don’t get caught out with tolls or parking fee by keeping some change in the car.
21. Blanket A blanket could keep you warm in a wintery breakdown or double as a picnic blanket in the summer, so it’s a definite car boot must-have.
22. Tissues and wet wipes Always helpful to have in a mess.
23. Mints Arrive fresh and ready for anything - these are also great for car sickness.
24. Pen and Paper Pen and paper can still be useful, especially as they don’t need to be charged.
25. Travel games If you're going on a long journey - particularly with with kids - keeping travel games in the back of the car can make the time go quicker. Just be aware of the risk of increased nausea.
26. USB cable Connect your phone to your car speaker before you set off and listen to the songs you want whenever you want. This will also charge your phone but remember, you can't always rely on this in emergencies if the signal is poor or you have run out of data.
27. Recovery membership details If you have one, keep a copy of your recovery breakdown membership details with you, just in case.
This is for UK travel only, so if you are traveling abroad, you need to check the local requirements of you will need in your car.
Stay safe and enjoy the road to freedom - lockdown restrictions easing from 12 April 2021.