There’s nothing worse than getting caught outdoors in nasty weather. Keep an umbrella in stowage for those times when you’ve got to wait roadside. Especially handy for Melbournians who constantly experience Victoria’s fickle weather.
2 .SPARE TYRE/ TYRE REPAIR KIT
You’ll most likely have a spare in your car somewhere, but make sure it’s pumped up and roadworthy, otherwise it’s just taking up valuable space. Some modern cars come with a repair kit, which will reinflate the tyre for a few kilometres until you get to safety. Another modern solution is run-flat tyres, as used by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
3. OWNER’S MANUAL
An owner’s manual is an essential item to have in your car, especially new cars. It tells you everything you need to know in case anything goes wrong while you’re on the road.
4. MAPS/STREET DIRECTORY
Modern drivers tend to have the luxury of GPS at their fingertips – if it’s not programed into your car, it’s most likely a function on your phone. Still, while technology makes life easier in a lot of ways, it can still go wrong. Having access to paper maps is a safety net for those times you get lost, when your phone battery has died and your in-car navigation isn’t working or doesn’t exist!
Whether it’s an app on your phone or a flashlight in the back of your car, this tool can shine the light on a tricky night-time breakdown. It’s a good idea to keep some spare batteries with the torch, just in case.
6. FIRST-AID KIT
One of the most important things to store in a car. Some manufacturers provide these in new cars, some don’t. If you don’t have a first-aid kit, get one, because having the essentials on-hand to give basic medical assistance can go a long way – particularly if you travel a lot.
Most four-wheel drivers will never go out bush without plenty of water stored away, but having water stored doesn’t just apply to off-roaders. If your car breaks down hours away from help, or the weather turns extreme, at least you have the necessities to get you through.
8. PHONE CHARGER
Very few people would leave home without a charger these days, but it’s handy to have one in your car at all times. Aside from the safety reasons of having access to a phone, it’s also convenient to be able to charge your phone while on the road.
9. SOMETHING TO WRITE WITH
How many times have you been in a situation where you’ve desperately needed something to write with? The names and addresses of people involved in an accident, the number plate of a vehicle involved in a hit and run (okay, probably not many of you), or just the web address of an ad you’ve heard on the radio? It’s a good idea to keep something close by. For the ladies, it’ll save you from using your good lipstick to write on your hand… we’ve all been there.