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Essential Car Item List

There are people who place enough items in their car trunks to live off of for weeks, while others keep this storage compartment absolutely empty. We’re not recommending either extreme, but instead, we offer you a comprehensive list of 30 items that we think responsible automobile owners should always keep in their cars for that old boy scout favorite, “Be Prepared!”

What’s In Your Car?

This is a good time to do an inventory of what you have inside the trunk of your car. Winter will soon be upon us, and now more than ever, you need to know what you can make use of in case you get caught outside in a blizzard. There are many dangerous things that could happen while you are on the road, so it is vitally important to check whether you have the following basic essentials.

For starters, it is advisable that you keep an emergency safety kit inside the trunk of your car. There are affordable kits from Amazon see: Car Kit essentials.

Car Essentials Kit

Most emergency packages consist of a first aid kit, booster cable/jump-starter, torch, and other essential car items. Nevertheless, what we recommend is that you take the do-it-yourself approach, which means that just the contents of a “done for you” emergency kit will not suffice.

Check out the essential car item list that we have provided below. We’ve organized them based on different categories.

Car Care: Repair & Maintenance

There are a few things more stressful than experiencing car trouble while on the road. What if you get a flat tire on a motorway, and what if your car overheats while you are in transit? If you want to be prepared for any eventuality while you are on the road, then you need to make sure that you have the following items in your car trunk.

  • Spare tire – plus tire iron and tire jack. The spare tire inside your trunk must be in good condition. All three items must be present because a spare tire will not be of any use without the other two. Some car tires require a security key and so this must be present as well. All these items must be a regular staple in your car trunk.
  • A can of Tire Sealer & Inflator (Aerosol). Check on Amazon for the best deal. This is very good in plugging tire leaks. While on the way to the auto shop to have a burst tire fixed, this product can keep the tire together.
  • Jump starter of jumper cables. Dead batteries can be such a hassle. If you want to avoid having to deal with a dead battery at the most unlikely locations, you need to have the tools to jump start it. You can also choose to buy an emergency car booster so that you won’t have to wait for hours on the side of the road for a Good Samaritan to stop by. On top of all that, you have to learn as much as you can about your car engine so that you have all the tools that you need at your disposal.
  • Car manual. This item should always be placed in the glove compartment of the trunk.
  • Tire pressure gauge: This equipment is important in saving lives. It is also necessary in improving the handling of the car and fuel economy. Tire longevity is also assured when tire pressure is checked regularly.
  • Duct tape & WD-40. These are two other important items that every owner of the car should have.
  • Car repair essentials. You need to ensure that you have the following information at hand: The AAA number if you are a member of this group, a business card that has the contact information for your favorite auto repair shop, and the insurance claim forms. Check that the glove compartment contains all these things.

Survival, Safety, and Well-Being

Having an emergency go-to bag or kit inside the trunk of your car is a good start. This pack must be at hand wherever you are. This must be near when you are at home. You may also put together a second pack, a lighter version that you can use when the need arises.

A complete safety kit must have the following items:

  • A first aid kit that contains all the necessities such as wound care materials and medications
  • A working flashlight
  • Multipurpose tool
  • Matches or any other fire starter materials such as a candle stick
  • Energy food bars or MREs that may be prepared with hot water only
  • Filled water bottles
  • Portable radio
  • Small portable kettle (If you are stuck in the snow, you’ll have hot drinks, cuppa soups, noodles etc.)

Here are a few other items that you need to have inside the trunk of your car. In case of emergency, these items will definitely come in handy:

  • Seat belt cutter. This piece of equipment must be placed inside your car.
  • Window breaker. This is best stored in the glove compartment.
  • Reflective triangle. This can become handy when you are caught up in the side of the road if you experience an emergency during the night.
  • Maps. Always bring with you paper maps of the area that you are driving to.
  • Window Ice Scraper – this is a necessary product to have inside the trunk of your car.
  • Mylar space blanket. If ever you get caught up in a winter blizzard this could quite literally save your life. They are cheap so buy more for other possible passengers in your car. See Here: Space Blankets
    Safty Blanket - Car Essentials

    This inexpensive item could save your life one day


  • Cardboard or carpet remnant. These are useful in increasing wheel traction while driving in the snow.

Comfort and Convenience

The following items must always be near at hand:

  • Paper towels
  • Hand towel
  • Roll of toilet paper or tissue
  • Paper and pencil or other writing materials
  • Functional umbrella
  • Spare change
  • Emergency money
  • Recycled shopping bags (in case you need to go to the supermarket or go shopping)
  • Blanket to keep warm
  • Change of clothes. This will come in handy if your clothes become drenched in snow or rain.
  • USB mobile charger or portable device

Add more items because this list is not a comprehensive list.

We would love to hear your views on what you think is essential for safe driving so… please leave a comment below and share this post!  Make loved ones and others aware and possibly even save lives this winter.

Many thanks!