Top 10 car essentials

Spare snacks are important. But here are a few more must-haves everyone needs for their car.

What would you do if your car broke down and you had to wait for help? What if it was raining when you went to change your tyre? Could you still find your way if your phone ran out of battery? Part of the freedom that comes with driving is being prepared when the unexpected happens. The following items are essential in every car:

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1. Phone charger or portable charger

phone charger

From calling for help to navigating to safety, your phone can get you out of most jams. You never know when you’ll need to recharge it, though, so have a phone charger that lives in your car. You can purchase one that plugs into your cigarette lighter relatively cheaply.

2. Road map

map lost

More than ever we’re relying on our phones to direct us, but what happens if we lose reception or battery? It always seems to be that the places with no coverage are the places where you need a map most! Keeping a physical map as a back-up can be a lifesaver.

3. First aid kit

zoidberg first aid

It doesn’t have to be a full hospital in a bag, but it’s a good idea to have some plasters, paracetamol and antiseptic cream in your glove box.

4. Bottled water

cat water bottle

If you get stuck somewhere and you’re unable to buy water, you’ll be glad you put some in the car (even though it will likely be warmer than you’d like). It could also come in handy if your engine overheats.

5. Tissues

tissues meg ryan

In a word, convenient. Think spills, eating on road trips and the dreaded flu season.

6. Spare change

spare change south park

Having spare change in your car can come in handy for parking machines, buying necessities or if your wallet gets stolen. While you don’t want your life savings in your car (especially not on show), it’s good to have a little change in your glove box.

7. A torch


Even if you always have a charger and a torch on your phone, a small torch in your boot can be invaluable if you find yourself caught in the dark trying to change a flat tyre.

8. Towel/blanket

homer towel

If you’re stranded, a towel or blanket can help you keep warm, and if you find yourself driving in snow, it can also be put under a tyre for traction to pull your car out of icy situations.

9. Jump leads

car trouble dog

If you have a flat battery, these will help you get it going again – provided someone is nice enough to stop and offer their engine to get you started.

10. Raincoat or umbrella


This is more about convenience than anything else. There’s nothing worse than having the skies open on your way out or even on your way home. You can get cheap umbrellas and raincoats and keep them in your boot, you know, for a rainy day…

Whether you stock your car with all of these items or just a few, it’s the first step to being more prepared on the road.

Want some more ideas?

The items in the list below might not be essential to everyone, but they are great ideas sourced from our car loan experts.

What you might need
A pen and paper – you never know when this will come in handy.
Cup trays – because one just isn’t enough!
Duct tape and/or bungee cords. If, God forbid, something falls off, it’s good to be able to strap it back on!
Car manual. Crucial when something goes wrong with your car – even the pros refer to them.
A basic toolkit. Even if you end up using it for something other than your car, a screwdriver is a must!
A spare pair of shoes, such as flat sandals. Especially convenient in summer, or just when those heels are killing you!
Wipes. Especially convenient in the muddy winter.
Screen wash. It’s always a good idea to have spare screen wash to hand.
De-icer. Particularly for those cold winter mornings.
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