Most online guides will tell you what to carry in case of a road trip or if you are out in the wilderness. To be very frank, you may not need pretty much half of the things that are mentioned in that list. Most of the lists are compiled for the US and Europe living conditions and do not contain the things needed in Indian context. Here is a list of those important things that you should carry in your car at all times. We know we do and want you to do the same.
1. First Aid Kit
Most cars come with their very own first aid kit given by the manufacture which is fairly equipped, but it is always better to create your own or make additions to the existing one depending on your medical conditions. Ideally a first aid kit consists of band aids; antiseptic creams, insect relief creams, cotton balls, hand sanitizer etc. It is best advised to keep a spare set of medicines in the glove box especially for diabetics or blood pressure patients. Most of these medicines have a life validity of almost 2 years and can easily come in handy on an emergency. If you have children in your house travelling with you, you should keep the emergency medicines needed for the children too.
2. Jumper Cables
A jumper cable will be able to get you out of the thickest dead battery situations. As a driver, you are bound to come across this situation either with yourself or with someone else. Jumper cables occupy very less space in your boot but will come in handy at any given moment. Jumper cables will cost you anything between Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1500/-. Jumper cables are a sound investment especially in the long run.
3. Spare Tyre
Your car will definitely have a spare tyre located in the boot. If your spare tyre is not inflated, get it inflated; you never know when you might need one. Make sure you have the jack and jack handle too. It is always better to have a four arm wheel spanner in case someone else also needs it. Usually manufacturers may provide a smaller spare tyre than the other tyres, but you can get it replaced with a full size spare wheel for the long run.
4. Tow Ropes
Break downs can be unpredictable, unless you have been ignoring the obvious signs (check engine light maybe) and waiting for the tow truck to come and rescue you is a long and expensive wait. Tow ropes will help you to hitch with someone else who can get you to the nearest possible service station or a safe zone. You can also be helping someone who needs to be towed from a tricky situation. Tow ropes have high tensile strength and can easily tow a hatchback or full sized sedan. You can also use it if any of your part is broken and left hanging, like a bumper or a door or if you need to haul extra luggage or stuff on the roof of your car. Tow ropes will cost you anything between Rs. 500/- to Rs. 1000/-.
5. Duct Tape
Duct tapes are life savers especially with the interiors of a car. A torn seat; apply duct tape. A broken rear view mirror; fix it with duct tape. Duct tape has innumerable applications on a car. One roll of duct tape will easily last you for a long time depending on your usage.
6. Multipurpose Utility Set
Flash lights come in handy for mid night repairs or for reading the map. It will also help you if you need to check the under body of your car. Purchase a flash light that doubles up as a hammer as well. It will be a lifesaver as it can help break your window glass or the windshield in an accident or emergency. Dual flashlights start from Rs. 800/- in the Indian market.
8. Fire Extinguisher
With the rising cases of fire in cars, a small fire extinguisher is a good investment. While it is mandatory in taxis and private cabs, there is no harm to keep one in your car. The fire extinguisher barely weighs more than 400 gms, but will come in handy to douse small fires that may start.
9. Extra Pair of Clothes
It always comes in handy to carry an extra pair of clothes in your car. You never know when you might need them, especially in the rains. You can always change in your car during an emergency. Always remember to put a pair of clothes wrapped in some garbage bags in the boot of your car. Your soiled clothes can be kept in the garbage bags later. The garbage bags can also be used as floor mats during monsoons to avoid a soaked floor.
10. Spare Change
I always carry spare change in my car. Store them in a few corners of your car and forget about it. Also keep some in your glove box. They will definitely come in handy at toll booths or parking spaces. Even if you’ve forgotten your wallet back home, you can always retrieve some cash from your car to get you through the day.
Most of these tools are very light and easy to carry and will easily accommodate irrespective of the size of your boot. Most of the tools are a onetime purchase and you can easily forget about it until you have the need to use it. If it may not come in help to you, it definitely will to someone else. Don’t forget to pack these essentials in your car immediately.