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Nobody likes clutter, and keeping your car clean reduces the car’s weight and improves fuel efficiency. That being said, there are some essentials that you’ll want to keep in your car at all times.

This article will take you through the emergency essentials and other items you might want to keep in your car.

Repair and maintenance

Having items in your car to help with any potential vehicle problems is always a good idea. You won’t be able to solve every issue, but you should be able to cope with some of the more common issues.

Spare tyre

Most cars will come with a spare tyre and jack located in the boot. Most boots will have an indentation, so the tyre and jack don’t take any extra space. Check to see if your car has a spare tyre and familiarise yourself with where it is and the equipment included. 

Fuel can

An empty fuel can will help if you ever run out of fuel. You should never keep a filled fuel can in your car as this is extremely hazardous and could be catastrophic in an accident.

Jump leads and battery pack

It’s so frustrating when you get a flat battery. This could result from an old battery simply letting you down or leaving your lights on when you park. A portable battery pack and jumper cables can help you when nobody else is around.

User manual

Most drivers keep their user manual in the glove box just in case. It won’t take up much space but can be invaluable should you need to find something out about your car.

Tyre pressure gauge and inflater

Checking your tyre pressure should be a  regular job. At least once a month should be sufficient. Making sure your tyres are at the correct pressure improves road safety and prolongs your tyre’s lifespan.

Car emergency kit

Having a basic tool kit that contains the essentials is advised. You’ll be able to pick up a moderately priced car emergency kit that won’t take up much space or weigh too much.

Duct tape

Duct tape can be a lifesaver for helping with issues until you get the car to a mechanic to fix it properly. Broken windows, door handles, and even a faulty boot that won’t shut can be taped down as an emergency stop-gap measure.

Penetrating oil

A can of penetrating oil can solve nuts or bolts that are stuck or squeaky doors. The most popular and recognisable brand is WD-40.

Emergency and safety

There’s a saying about hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. This should always be the case when driving. The following items should be kept in a vehicle in case of emergency:

Emergency clothing

Keeping emergency clothing in your vehicle will allow you to exit the vehicle if it’s in a dangerous place and keep you prepared for the elements. Hi-vis clothing such as a jacket can be worn so other road users can see you easily.

A bottle of water

Making sure you have water in case you get stranded for a long time is important. Regularly check the water and replace it as needed.


Having a snack with a long shelf life, like an energy bar, can also be handy in an emergency. Emergency food and energy bars are great if you need to walk to find a phone or help.

Warning triangle

If you are involved in an accident or breakdown with nowhere to safely leave the car, placing a warning triangle around 45 metres behind and to the front of your car and switching on any LED lights will help alert and slow other drivers.

First aid kit

A first aid kit can easily be stowed in your glove compartment. First aid supplies can be picked up from most supermarkets or shops.

Sunglasses and night driving glasses

Bright weather, especially in the winter when the sun is low, can make it difficult to see. Keeping a spare pair of sunglasses in the car can help minimise glare and allow you to drive safely. Similarly, driving at night can cause problems for some people because of the oncoming headlights.


Having a paper map in a car might sound like a throwback, but running out of battery on your phone can sometimes leave you in a tricky position.


Having a torch in your car in case of nighttime emergencies is essential. Wind-up torches are a great idea as you won’t have to worry about recharging or replacing batteries.

Spare batteries

If you have a battery-powered torch in your car, a dead battery could cause problems. Carrying spare batteries is a great way to avoid this.

Winter travel

The winter months see the highest number of accidents because of the change in conditions. Preparing for this should be a priority for winter travel.

Winter clothing

Ensure you have a hat, gloves, and jacket in case of a breakdown or accident during winter.


A blanket is also advisable when travelling if you get snowed in or have to wait for help.


De-icer and an ice scraper will help you clear your windscreen and windows and improve visibility during the winter.

Umbrella or waterproofs

If you have to walk for help, having waterproof clothing, boots, or an umbrella will help to protect you from the elements.

Convenience and comfort

Not everything in a car has to be there in case of emergency! Comfort and convenience should be catered for as well.

Games, books or magazines

If there are other passengers in the car, a game, book, or magazine will help keep them entertained.


Most modern cars will have entertainment systems that allow Bluetooth connectivity. Alternatively, an aux cable, CD, or tape will help to keep you entertained.

Spare change

Toll roads or bridges often require exact change. Keeping change in the car for this use will save you from unexpected tolls.

Mobile phone charger

A battery charger or battery pack can help in roadside emergencies if your phone has run out of battery.


Whether you have a cold or a kid in the car, having tissues to hand can be a lifesaver.


Keeping essential documents in your car in an emergency can be incredibly useful.

Document photocopies

Keeping photocopies of your certificate of insurance, insurance company details, and V5C car registration document can all come in handy.

GoShorty has a number of convenient insurance options, including temporary car insurance for those that don’t often drive or use rental cars. There are also excellent temporary learner driver insurance policies to provide car insurance for those practising.

Breakdown services membership details

If you have a breakdown cover, keeping a note of who to contact and your membership number can help you get the help you need more quickly if your car breaks down.

Pen and paper

Keeping a pen and paper to take down other people’s information if you are involved in an accident is advised.

Other essential items

You’ll be able to make your mind up about how essential certain items are for your car. Still, you might also want to consider shopping bags, a snow brush, bug repellent, a seat belt cutter, washer fluid, or paper towels.

Ensure you have all the right equipment in your car

It is possible to keep essential items in your car without it becoming cluttered. Regularly removing rubbish or unnecessary things and keeping essential items in a bag or box in the boot can make this a simple task.

It’s also worth investing in a small box or tub to place all of your car essentials into. This can be stored in the boot and keeps anything you have tidy in one location.

At GoShorty, we’re experts in short term car insurance. Whether you need insurance cover for an hour, day, week or month, there’s a policy for everyone. 

Visit our website to get a temporary car insurance quote today to find out more.