Ten things you should always keep in your car

As well as carrying a winter emergency kit, pack some other little extras to make life easier. Here’s how our top ten suggestions can save the day if you stop for a break or even break down:

  1. Duct tape. This versatile pressure-sensitive tape is an absolute must-have for all sorts of jobs – from temporary body work repairs to roadside first aid.
  2. A hand-crank torch. Not only will it help you determine the problem, but it will help others find you after dark. And you won’t need to worry about leaking or worn out batteries. 
  3. A pair of work gloves. As well as keeping you warm, you may need an extra layer of protection if you’re wrestling with wheel nuts or needing to touch hot engine parts.
  4. A multi-tool. No-one wants to carry a full tool box everywhere they go. But a multi-tool will cover all your basic needs.
  5. A blanket. Again, another multi-purpose accessory. You can use it to keep warm, or protect you from the sun. A Mylar blanket (foil survival blanket) offers superior thermal protection and can be used for loads of additional tasks. For example, you can use it to catch rain, for a water supply, dry your clothes and even attract attention thanks to its shiny surface.
  6. A bucket. Buckets have so many uses – from collecting rainwater to providing emergency toilet facilities. While they may be bulky, you can either use them as storage or buy a collapsible version.
  7. A car-adapted phone charger. An everyday essential. Keep your hands-free phone plugged in when you drive and you’ll always have a charged phone when you need it. You might also want to consider a wind-up charger in case of emergencies.
  8. Paper towels. Almost too many uses to mention – from wiping bugs off windscreens to food off children’s faces. Plus, of course, you’ll need paper towels when checking your oil levels.
  9. Seatbelt cutter/window breaker tool. Hopefully you’ll never need this 2-in-1 tool but, if you did find yourself trapped in a car, it could be a real lifesaver.
  10. A barbecue lighter, an empty coffee can and tea light candles. If you become stranded on a cold night, you’ll certainly benefit from this impromptu heat source. Simply put the tea lights into the coffee tin and rest it on a stable, level, heat-resistant surface. You should get up to four hours’ heat.
Uniroyal. A brand of Continental.

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