If you’re planning a big road trip or even just a long drive you’re going to need to have all the accessories and essentials for comfort, safety, entertainment, or if worst comes to worst: maybe a breakdown. Perhaps you have a new driver in the family or you’re looking to buy a gift for that special driver in your life?
Here’s our list of all the must need driving tools, accessories and essentials for any everyday driving:
Empty fuel can
If you run out of fuel on the road, you can walk or get a lift to the nearest petrol station with your empty can to fill up.
Some cars are now sold without a spare wheel and finding out you don’t have one when you need it suddenly can be quite a shock. Make sure you’re always carrying a spare tyre in good condition and that you must know how to change it.
A spare tyre is pretty useless without a tyre jack, so always keep one on hand just in case you need to change a tyre.
Jump leads and a portable battery pack
Avoid getting stranded with a flat battery by carrying jump leads, then you can get a jump-start from another motorist. Better yet, grab a portable battery pack and you won’t need to rely on another vehicle to get you up and running again.
Pop your user manual in the glove box and you’ll have all the information about your car to hand whenever you need it. Yes, it’s usually an incredibly dense read, and you can usually find everything you need to know online, but to protect against patchy mobile network signal or misinformation on the web, it’s always worth keeping your manual in the dash.
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Tyre pressure gauge
This is the one tool in the kit you should use the most often weekly, at the least. Keeping an eye on the pressure in your tires can prevent under inflation-related blowouts from happening in the first place, as well as help maximize your gas mileage and the life of the tires’ tread.
You must buy a dial faced gauge rather than the cheap stick-type ones. You’ll spend $30 or so, but you’ll have a much more accurate and reliable reading. Poorly maintained tyres can be a disaster on the road, have your own gauge on hand just in case you ever need to check your tyre pressure. It’s a good idea to make it a part of your pre-MOT ritual.
Always keep a basic toolkit in your boot just in case you find yourself needing a hammer, screwdriver or a pair of pliers. Your less able relatives will thank you for carrying one when you go to visit them and you can prove your handiness!
Duct tape can cover over a multitude of sins, so whether you’ve got a smashed window, a broken door handle, or a boot that won’t stay closed, duct tape can give you a temporary fix until you reach a mechanic. Just be aware that driving a vehicle that’s held together by a precarious arrangement of tape is not only dangerous but potentially affects your insurance.
Always check with your provider for advice and never drive a vehicle if you think it may be unsafe. You can also get immediate cover, which might work out cheaper if you are not a member.
Whether you want to lube your brakes, clean shaving foam off your car, or stop your door from squeaking, WD-40 can help.
First aid kit
Most car accessory stores and some supermarkets stock simple first aid kits that will include all the essentials.