19 Essential Items Every Car Owner Should Keep in Their Vehicle

You never know when you’re going to need emergency supplies, but what items are best to keep in your car? A recent internet survey asked, “What’s one item everyone should have in their car?” Here are the top 19 answers:

First Aid Kit

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A first aid kit in your car is an absolute must. In Germany, it’s a legal requirement to have one, along with reflective triangles and vests. But it’s not enough just to have it; knowing how to use it is crucial too. A first aid course can be a lifesaver in emergencies, equipping you with the skills to use your kit effectively. This simple addition to your vehicle can make a huge difference in an accident or emergency situation.

Tissues

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Tissues in the car are a small comfort that can make a big difference. It’s all about being prepared for those little moments, like needing to blow your nose or clean up a spill. They’re a reminder of the importance of planning for the mundane – because when you really need them, you’ll be thankful they’re there. Plus, they’re a nod to the practicality of keeping your car well-stocked with everyday essentials.

A Dashcam

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In today’s world, a dashcam in your car is becoming almost as essential as a seatbelt. With the increase in hit-and-run incidents and road disputes, having a dashcam can provide crucial evidence in case of an accident. It’s surprising that they’re not standard in cars or subsidized by insurance companies yet. Not only do they offer peace of mind, but they also serve as a silent witness to everything that happens on the road.

Jumper Cables

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Jumper cables, or even better, a portable jump starter battery, are invaluable tools. They’re a symbol of self-reliance and preparedness. Having these means you’re ready to face common car troubles head-on, without having to depend on the kindness of strangers. These tools are not just about jump-starting your car; they’re about taking control in unpredictable situations and being a potential helper to others in distress.

Flash Light

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A flashlight in your car is a simple yet essential tool, representing readiness for the unexpected. It’s not just about illumination; it’s about being prepared for those moments when you find yourself in the dark, literally and figuratively. Keeping the batteries separate to avoid leakage is a small but smart move that speaks to the importance of maintenance and foresight in all aspects of life.

Fire Extinguisher

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The inclusion of a fire extinguisher in a car is a nod to safety and preparedness. While its use is rare, its presence provides a sense of security. Knowing you have the means to tackle a small fire can give you peace of mind, especially on long journeys or in remote areas. It’s about being prepared for the worst while hoping for the best.

Hand Sanitizer

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Hand sanitizer in a car, especially in a post-pandemic world, is almost a given. It’s a small reminder of the world we live in, where cleanliness and health precautions have taken center stage. While its alcohol content may pose a risk to the car’s interior, its presence is a testament to our adapted lifestyle where hygiene is paramount, even on the go.

Waterproof Jacket

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A waterproof jacket stored in your car is a practical measure for unexpected weather changes. It’s about being ready for life’s little surprises, whether it’s a sudden downpour or a roadside emergency in the rain. Keeping a brightly colored one is a smart safety measure, ensuring visibility in adverse conditions. This addition to your car is a small but significant step towards being prepared for whatever the weather throws your way.

Ice Scraper and De-Icer

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An ice scraper and de-icer in the car are essential for those in colder climates. It’s a tool that bridges the gap between the comfort of your home and the realities of the outside world. Having one handy means you’re prepared to face frosty mornings with ease, ensuring safety through visibility. It’s a small but necessary tool for winter driving, symbolizing readiness for seasonal challenges.

Sunglasses

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Sunglasses in the car are not just a fashion statement; they’re a practical necessity for safe driving. They’re a reminder that sometimes, you need a filter to see things more clearly, especially when faced with blinding situations. Keeping multiple pairs in the car, particularly in convertibles, is a thoughtful gesture for both personal use and for passengers, highlighting the importance of comfort and safety for everyone on board.

A Licensed Competent Driver

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A bit of humor never hurts, and the idea of keeping a ‘licensed competent driver’ in your car is a playful reminder of the value of skillful driving. It’s a nod to the importance of responsible driving and the role of a driver in ensuring safety on the road. This light-hearted suggestion underlines the seriousness of a driver’s responsibility in a fun and memorable way.

A Blanket

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Keeping a blanket in your car is a measure of comfort and practicality. It’s useful not just for warmth in emergencies, but also for impromptu picnics or as a cushion for unexpected stops. After an accident, a blanket can be crucial for shock prevention, offering physical and emotional comfort. It’s a versatile item that serves multiple purposes, illustrating the importance of thinking ahead.

Portable Tire Pump

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A portable tire pump is an emblem of self-sufficiency. It’s particularly interesting for electric vehicle (EV) drivers, as it allows them to maintain their car without relying on gas stations. This tool signifies the evolving nature of car maintenance in an age where traditional service stations are becoming less relevant for some drivers.

Emergency Multi-Tool (Seatbelt Cutter and Window Smasher)

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An emergency multi-tool in the car is a symbol of being prepared for the worst. It’s about having the means to take action during critical moments, whether it’s cutting a seatbelt or breaking a window in an emergency. Keeping such a tool shows foresight and a commitment to safety, not just for oneself but potentially for others in need as well.

Bottles of Water

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Water is a basic necessity, and keeping bottles in the car is a reminder of the importance of staying hydrated, especially during long trips or emergencies. While it may not be suitable for freezing climates, having water handy is crucial in survival situations. It’s a simple yet vital item that underscores the need to plan for basic human needs.

Emergency Cash

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Emergency cash hidden in the car is a backup plan for unforeseen situations. It’s about being prepared for scenarios where digital transactions might not be possible. This hidden stash could be the difference between being stranded and getting home safely. It’s a nod to the old adage, “better safe than sorry.”

A Towel

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A towel in the car is a multipurpose tool – handy for cleaning up spills, drying off after an unexpected swim, or as an impromptu seat cover. It’s a simple item with a multitude of uses, embodying the principle of being prepared for life’s little surprises, whether they’re messy or just spontaneous fun.

A Lighter

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A lighter in the car, while seemingly outdated in non-smoking vehicles, serves as a basic fire-starting tool in emergencies. The suggestion of rigging something up with the car battery for fire is a reminder of the need for innovative solutions in survival situations. It’s about having the basics covered, even in the age of advanced technology.

Cat Litter

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Cat litter in the car, particularly in snowy and icy climates, is an ingenious solution for adding traction when stuck. It’s also useful for absorbing moisture and keeping the car’s interior dry. This unconventional use of a household item exemplifies creativity in problem-solving, turning something mundane into an essential tool for specific situations.

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