Car Tools – first things first, The Documents!
When embarking on a journey, be it a long road trip, a daily commute, or simple errands, it is crucial to have essential items in your car. These items provide a sense of security and ensure that you are prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may arise along the way.
First of all, it is good to carry documents such as your driving licence, car insurance, vehicle tax and MOT certificate with you at all times, thus avoiding visiting the nearest police station within seven days if a police officer asks for the documents and you don’t have them. With the hectic life we lead, it is not pleasant to waste time unnecessarily. If you forget to present your documents at a police station within the seven-day period, this will be considered an offence, and you may be fined and prosecuted. You will then see what fun it is! Excuse the sarcasm!
In the UK, no law requires you to carry the documents in your vehicle. However, it’s always wise to be prepared for unexpected situations that could arise during your journeys.
Essential Car tools – 18 must-have items
In this article, we will discuss 18 must-have objects that you should always keep in your car.
- Spare Wheel, Jack, and Lug Wrench or wheel nuts key(if the car is fitted with locking nuts!): A flat tire can happen anytime, so always carry a fully inflated spare tyre and the necessary tools to change it. The jack and lug wrench are needed for lifting the vehicle and removing the lug nuts. Some new cars no longer have a spare wheel but only a tyre repair kit. A tyre repair kit might suffice if you live in an urban area with easy access to tyre dealers or mechanics. But, if you live or frequently travel to remote areas or plan long journeys, having a spare tyre becomes essential for your peace of mind. However, it’s not enough to own these items; it’s equally necessary to familiarise yourself with changing a tyre.
- Jumper Cables or a Jump-Starter Power Pack: Dead batteries are common, and having a set of jumper cables can be a lifesaver. They allow you to jump-start your car by connecting it to another vehicle with a working battery. Knowing how to jump-start your car safely is essential, ensuring that you and your fellow Samaritan don’t end up with sparks flying or worse. A jump-starter power pack is better because there is no need for a second car, especially if you live or plan a trip in an isolated area.
- Basic Toolkit: A small toolkit consisting of essential tools like screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches can be invaluable for minor repairs and adjustments on the go.
- First Aid Kit: Life is unpredictable, and accidents can happen when we least expect them. A well-stocked first aid kit in your car provides you with the necessary supplies to administer immediate care for minor injuries until professional help arrives. Ensure your kit includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, adhesive tape, painkillers, and essential medication. Safety should always be a top priority.
- Flashlight: Darkness has a way of intensifying problems, especially during nighttime breakdowns or emergencies. That’s where a reliable flashlight comes into play. Imagine the relief of having a flashlight with long battery life or a USB rechargeable one. It provides the illumination needed to assess the situation and take appropriate action.
- Reflective Warning Triangles/Flares: A reflective warning triangle is a must-have when stranded on the roadside, awaiting assistance. Keep reflective warning triangles or flares always in your car. It will enhance visibility and reduce the risk of accidents by alerting other drivers to your vehicle’s presence. Place them a safe distance behind your car to alert approaching traffic.
- Portable Air Compressor: A portable air compressor allows you to inflate your tyres anytime, ensuring optimal tyre pressure.
- Small fire extinguisher: for the unfortunate event of a fire developing.
- Multi-purpose Tool: A multi-purpose tool, such as a Swiss Army knife or a multi-tool, can be incredibly useful for small repairs or fixes on the go. It typically includes a knife, scissors, pliers, and other tools in a compact design.
- Duct Tape: Duct tape is known for its versatility and can temporarily fix car-related issues. From securing loose parts to patching up minor leaks, duct tape can be a temporary solution until you reach a professional mechanic.
- Emergency Reflective Vest: If you need to step out of your car on the road, an emergency reflective vest will make you more visible to other drivers, reducing the risk of accidents.
- Roadside Assistance Information: No matter how prepared you are, some situations call for professional help. That’s where roadside assistance comes into play. Keep the contact information for your chosen service readily available. Whether through your insurance provider or a separate service, having someone to call for assistance can alleviate stress and provide you with the help you need when you need it the most.
- Owner’s manual: this can give you essential information about your car components.
- Non-Perishable Snacks and Water: Keep some non-perishable snacks and bottles of water in your car. They can provide sustenance in case of unexpected delays or emergencies.
- Spare Change and Cash: Having spare change and some cash tucked away in your car can be helpful for parking meters, toll booths, or any unforeseen circumstances where card payment may not be accepted.
- Blanket or Warm Clothing: In colder climates or during winter months, it’s wise to keep a warm blanket or extra clothing in your car. It can provide comfort and protection in case of emergencies or breakdowns.
- Ice Scraper and Snow Brush: The ice scraper and snow brush are essential for clearing your windshield and windows if you live in a snowy region. They ensure visibility and safe driving during winter conditions.
- Road Atlas or Maps: While smartphones and GPS systems are convenient, they may not always work or have signal coverage. Keeping a road atlas or printed maps can be a reliable backup for navigation. You can also download the maps so that you can consult them offline in the absence of signal coverage.
By now, you’re well aware of the 18 car essential items every driver should always keep in their car. These items enhance your safety and preparedness and provide peace of mind during your travels. From addressing minor issues to dealing with unexpected emergencies, having these car essentials readily available ensures you can confidently navigate various situations. Remember to periodically check and replenish your supplies to ensure they’re in good working condition. Stay safe, be prepared, and enjoy your journeys!