11 items you should always have in your car

This may seem straightforward, but not everyone expects to find themselves broken down on the side of the road, getting lost or having an accident.

While there’s a fine line between being prepared, and overloading your car, here’s a list what you should always have in your car.

Spare tyre with jack and wheel brace 

It’s pretty much a no-brainer. You should have a roadworthy spare tyre on board if your car was manufactured to have one in the event of a flat. If you’re not sure how to change a tyre, don’t worry you can always call RACQ for help.

Car manual

The owner’s manual that comes with your car holds the answers to pretty much everything you need to know about your car. It can come in handy particularly when you get a pesky warning symbol on your dash you are not quite sure of or if there’s an issue with the code for your stereo.

First aid kit/emergency kit

You can combine a first aid kit and emergency kit into one to make life easier, but at the minimum a first aid kit is a good start. If you do make an emergency kit, think of things like warning triangles (for breakdowns), torch batteries, duct tape, non-perishable food and water.

Phone charger

Whether your car is equipped with a USB port or you use an adapter plugged into your cigarette lighter slot, keeping the necessary cable to charge your phone whilst in your car can come in very handy. You could always take it one step further and include a portable power bank in the car if you need charging but your car battery is flat.


Mother nature is very unpredictable and it can be very annoying to have to make the dash from the car to undercover in the pouring rain. Pack an umbrella in the boot and you’ll never get caught out again. Or you can always opt for a raincoat as they won’t roll around your boot.


Usually you can never find a torch when you need one, but if you keep one in your car, along with some spare batteries, you can never go wrong. Torches with magnetic strips along the side can be handy when trying to change a flat tyre in the dark. Simply stick it on a side panel of the car to keep both your hands free.


Assorted tools in a small toolbox have numerous applications, inside and outside the car such as securing screws on your numberplate or changing the battery in your keys. You can invest in a multi-tool which can limit the number of tools you need to carry as many tools are all in the one.

Picnic blanket

Whether you are actually going for a picnic or not, a blanket in the car is useful. You can use them as a boot liner, for warmth or to wrap items in your boot to prevent breakage

Wet wipes

We’ve all had a drink spill of some sort in the car, or a food mishap or maybe one of the kids have made a mess. Wet wipes come to the rescue, helping clean it up right away before damaging the interior or exterior of your car. It’s also handy when you need to change a tyre or you get your hands dirty at the service station while refuelling.

Having a small amount of money, including change in an inconspicuous place in your car can save you on so many levels.  Whether it be needing to feed a parking meter or feed yourself, make sure you keep some small change on hand.

Water and non-perishable foods

Stay fed and hydrated if you’re stranded for a stretch of time – or just for those long road trips.