50 Things You Should Absolutely Always Have in Your Car

If you thought driving was all about freedom and the ability to go anywhere, think again. Having a car is really about the items you keep inside it. From car charges to sunglasses and everything in between, here are 50 things you should absolutely always have in your car. 

1) Sunglasses 🕶️

What self-respecting person doesn't keep a pair of shades in their car? Ok, but seriously, they also help when the sun is shining. Being safe never looked so cool 😎

2) Lip balm 💋

No one likes driving with cracked lips. And how else will you perfect your pout before your date?

3) Water bottle

Who here hasn't felt the need to quench their first on a long road trip, only to find out the next service station is 25 miles away? Keep a beverage on board at all times. We chuck one of the massive 2 litre bottles in the boot, because it can also double as screenwash!

4) Blanket

You never know when an impromptu opportunity to stop at the park may arise, and that tartan blanket of yours will come in handy. Also, it can be a literal lifesaver if you break down in the cold and are waiting hours for recovery.

5) Long-life snacks 🍫

See number three but change “thirst“ with “hunger“ and “beverage“ with “food“.  Also, is anyone else always hungry...? Just us, then? 

6) Empty fuel can

It's one thing running out of fuel; it's another not having access to a fuel can to use at the nearest petrol station. 

7) Phone charger

Maybe even two phone chargers! A great tip is also to bring the plug bit of your charger, as well as just the wire. If you stop for a bite to eat or a coffee, you can grab some extra juice for your phone too ⚡️

8) User manual

The user manual should be in your vehicle already. But just in case it's not, make sure it's in the car just in case you need information about your vehicle. It's about a billion pages long but can come in handy when you least expect it.  Especially when you get those little warning lights pop up!

9) Air freshener 

Those road trips are long, and we don't advise you to open the windows while doing 70mph on the motorway. Plus, who doesn't love the new car smell air freshener? 

10) Spare tyre

Turns out you can't drive a car with three wheels... but some of your lucky people won't need this if you've got fancy run-flat tyres. Best to check, and if you do get a flat, pump it up and drive safely to the nearest garage!

11) Tyre jack

Unless you've got roadside cover, that spare wheel is pretty useless without a tyre jack. It's time to work those biceps. 

12) Jump leads and battery pack

That road trip started so well until your car battery died just off the A1. Now you're stuck 30 miles from Nottingham and wondering how you're going to jump-start your car – unless you've already got jump leads and a battery pack, that is 😉

13) WD40

Oh WD40, how we love you so. Tight lug nuts on your car? That's no problem for WD40. Breaks need lubing? WD40 to the rescue. Is there a problem WD40 can't fix? 

14) Car boot organiser 

Because if you can't organise your life, you might as well organise your car boot. Also - if you're putting all of these 50 things in... you might need to get a bit organised!

15) Jacket 🧥

If you break down when it's a little chilly out, you're going to need a jacket while you wait for the roadside recovery to turn up. We advise something warm and fluffy.  

16) Hi-vis vest 🦺

You should equip yourself with a hi-vis vest, so other motorists can see you when you break down – especially if you need to walk in dark rural areas and winding country roads. 

17) Warning triangle 

Warning triangles tell approaching cars you've stopped and can be a real life-saver. It's best to keep two, so you can position them at the front and back of your car. 

18) Duct tape

Oh duct tape, is there anything you can't do

19) Pen 🖊️

Sometimes we need to write things down, even in 2021. We find these most handy when you have to buy a last minute birthday card!

20) De-icer/ice scraper

Honestly, is there anything worse than going to your car at 7am in the morning and having to spend forever trying to get the frozen ice off? If you do find yourself without one though, credit cards work just as well 💳

21) Torch 🔦

You never know when you'll need to check under the bonnet in the dark. And trust us: iPhones don't do the trick as well as a torch.

22) Phone 📱

Things you absolutely shouldn't do with your phone in the car: use it

Things you absolutely should do with your phone in the car: play that awesome playlist from Spotify. Just as long as you press play before the journey starts. Not feeling the tunes today? Learn something new, or just have a giggle with an amazing podcast.

23) Gloves 🧤

If you disagree, try driving in -10c temperatures while the car is heating up and come back to us. 

24) Reflectors

Because you might suddenly find yourself on the Eurotunnel to France and will need to change the direction of your headlights. Thanks for driving on the wrong side of the roads guys 😩 

25) Pet seat belt

Because little Rex and Rover want to strap up too

26) Travel games

If you have kids, fun travel games will change your entire life. Especially if you've heard "are we there yet" one too many times. 

27) Change 🪙

Most parking meters are app-friendly these days, but you never know when you'll come up against an old-fashioned meter from the 1970s. 

28) Umbrella ☂️

This is Britain 🌧️ we get on average 133 days of rain per year!

29) Mints

The best way to tell your friend their breath isn't exactly fresh.  Or prepare yourself for a hot date 😉

30) Insurance details

You never know when you might need to provide your insurance details, so it's handy to keep them in the car. 

31) Car windscreen sunshade

Because once a year it gets too hot in the UK, and no one likes gripping a piping hot leather steering wheel. 

32) Tissues 🧻

For anyone who's ever sneezed while driving.... or done something else in their car that needs wiping up 🤭

33) Clean wipes

They come in handy for longer trips and are great for wiping minor marks in the car.  If you've got a dog, you'll know that these are a total lifesaver!

34) Hand sanitiser 🧴 

You couldn't go wrong with some hand sanitiser in the car, even before Covid. 

35) Mask 😷

No more excuses about leaving it at home! Switching coats in the colder months can be a nightmare when you're trying to keep tabs on your mask, so stick a spare in the car.

36) Camera 📷

A camera can be especially handy if you live in an area with higher crime rates. It's also great for recording any damage that could happen to your car while it's parked. 

37) iPad holder

Perfect for entertaining the little ones in the back... or even your 'totally mature' boyfriend. He needs entertainment too! Strap it to the back of your seat and enjoy some peace and quiet. 

38) First-aid kit 🩹

Just in case someone gets a booboo 😥 and you don't want them bleeding all over your newly cleaned seats!

39) Boots 🥾

If you need to get out of your car when it's broken down during the winter, a thick pair of boots will make all the difference. We're also a massive fan of wellies for big walks, and ours live in the car. 

40) Chewing gum

See number 29 ⬆️

41) Hands-free kit

Most cars have built-in Bluetooth speakers these days, but a hands-free kit is essential if yours doesn't have the option. 

42) Aux cable

Just in case your car doesn't have Bluetooth, but also we find the sound quality is a bit better when you're plugged in.

43) FM transmitter 

Just in case your car doesn't have an aux cable... or DAB!

44) CDs 💿

Just in case your car doesn't have… wait, how old is your car? 😂 Don't make us mention tapes!!

45) More snacks 🍪

Seriously, you can never have enough snacks.

46) A rubbish bag, or two

Now you've got somewhere to keep all those empty snack wrappers. 

47) Lug wrench

If you need to remove the wheel for your car, a lug wrench will come in handy as it removes the lug nuts that hold the wheel in. Most cars come with them, and they're specific to each model. Make sure your car has one before you set off. 

48) Fire extinguisher 🧯

Some cars used to come with fire extinguishers included, and they're good to have in case of an emergency fire in your vehicle. 

49) Car screen wash

There's nothing more annoying than going to turn the window wipers on, only to find out you're out of screen wash. Long journeys are perfect for building up a million bug splats on your windscreen, so you've gotta keep on top of the windscreen washing!

50) A clear mind

Driving is great fun but also requires lots of responsibility. If you're feeling tired when driving, then stop. Never use your phone, and always pay attention to the road. The rest is just enjoying the journey. 

But where should you go?

All the gear but no idea? Well feel free to impress your friends with one of the options from our A-Z of road trips!


Got some tips to share in this article? Drop us a note and, we'll be sure to add your suggestions too 🙌