Eight essential items that you should keep in your car

Out on the road there are a huge number of risks. You could spin out, the car could give in, you could end up in a serious accident – how prepared are you for such an eventuality?

By loading your car up with some basic items you can better prepare yourself for an accident, or if you become lost.

Maps – Yes, you have a smartphone and a GPS system, but will the battery hold out when you’re lost? Not necessarily, that’s why you should have hard copy maps in the vehicle. Then, when you’re lost and your technology fails you, you can find your way again.

An old mobile – Your smartphone battery lasts a day, tops. Not like old mobile phones that could go on for weeks. But if you’re in an accident or lost, you’re going to need to contact someone. That’s why having an old mobile on-board really could be a life saver.

The owner’s manual – This will rarely leave your glove compartment anyway, but if you have taken it out, put it back. It’s packed with handy information about the car you’re driving and can tell you what the light that’s just flashed on means.

And at the very least, it’s great for passing some time when you’re in a traffic jam.

First aid kit – Probably the most important item on this list, the first aid kit really can be a life saver. If you’re in an accident and a passenger is injured you can immediately deal with injuries until the ambulance arrives.

Towels – Throw a couple of towels in the boot for the days that there’s a snow storm. Stick them under your wheel to help with traction and you can get yourself out of a jam. Or, if you have to change a tyre in the middle of a thunderstorm, you have something to dry off with.

High energy snack foods – There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a traffic jam for hours, or getting lost with an empty stomach. So stock your car with high energy snacks and only eat them in emergencies.

Bottled water – The same goes for liquids. You don’t want to have to sit behind the wheel of a car dying of thirst for hours on end. Have an emergency bottle of water to hand.

Jump cables – These will help you get your car started, with the help of a friendly passerby, should you breakdown. You can be a good Samaritan too, and share your jump cables if you see someone else broken down.

So there you go eight things you should have in your car at all times.