Essential items you should have in your car at all times

We’re a country of drivers here in New Zealand. We have one of the highest rates of vehicle ownership in the world with 889 vehicles per 1,000 people.

And while all those cars are great for getting from A to B, we also need to remember to keep them well stocked with the essentials. 

Here’s some of the essentials that should be in your car at all times.    

Emergency car tool kit 

A car tool kit is a must have in case of something breaking while you’re out and about. You might be able to use it to help a friend or be a knight in shining armour for someone else in need. 

The basic kit should include jumper cables, a car jack, screwdrivers, a socket and wrench set, a torch, and a pair of pliers. 

Even if you don’t exactly know how to use them, you might be able to ask for help or Google it on the spot. 

First aid kit

Injuries are never considerate enough to only happen when you’re at home or near a hospital. 

A first aid kit in your car can therefore provide much-needed assistance when you need it most. You can purchase pre-made first aid kits from St John’s and in many local pharmacies, or you can create your own

It’s one of the most important things to keep in your car in case of an emergency. 

Non-perishable snacks and water 

You can bet that if your car breaks down on your family road trip, it will rarely be somewhere convenient. 

If you’re stuck somewhere waiting for a tow truck to arrive or for someone to come and jump start your car, you may well need some basic sustenance. Especially if you have young kids with you. 

Keep a bottle or two of water and some non-perishable snacks such as a pack of nuts or protein bars tucked away. 

Visibility and lighting 

Should you break down or need to change a tyre at night, visibility becomes a major factor. 

Not just so you don’t lose the lock nut in the dark, but also so you are highly visible to other traffic. 

A hi-vis vest and a reflector triangle are ideal to make sure other drivers see you, and a torch or lantern are great to have on hand to help you see what you’re doing. 

Car documentation 

If you ever get pulled over by the police, they may ask to see your licence and potentially your car registration, so it’s best to have these documents handy. 

You should also keep a copy of your car insurance in the glove box. This should include details of what to do following an accident – just in case. 

In New Zealand all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit on them at all times while driving. Remember that you will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country.

A spare tyre 

If one of your car tyres went flat tomorrow, do you have a spare ready to replace it? 

A spare tyre usually lives under the floor of your boot and is an emergency replacement should one of your usual tyres deflate or fail somehow. 

As well as knowing how to access it, it’s important to spend some time learning how to change a tyre. Once you have it in place, remember that you cannot exceed 80km/hour while driving with it – although some tyres may have a sticker indicating a lower maximum speed. 

Be prepared 

Keeping a few things in your car in case of the worst-case scenario can be a huge help in a time when you need it the most. Likewise, OneChoice Life Insurance could be a beneficial tool to protect your family financially should something happen to you.