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65 Things To Keep In Your Car (Lists Of Car Essentials & Cool Gadgets)

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This is the ultimate list of good things to keep in your car at all times! In this article, we cover all of the useful car essentials that you should always have. I’m sure you’ll agree that being prepared is the key to a stress-free trip.

This well-organized article provides you with lists of items including personal care, emergency kits, car maintenance, cleaning, and entertainment. We discuss items for the Winter and Summer months, as well as everything in between.

No stone is left unturned as we cover everything ranging from the best road trip accessories to fun and cool car stuff that makes every journey more enjoyable.

When you set out on the open road in your vehicle, it’s vital that you are ready for whatever comes your way. From emergency car items to the best dash cams, this guide covers all of the good things to have in your car.

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things to keep in your car infographic

Organizing The Important Things To Keep In Your Car

Work through the lists, ordering all of the essential items to have in your car, then put them all into separate bags and store them in the trunk. This keeps the passenger area clean and tidy. You can store the big items in a car boot organizer and your documents in a glove box document organizer.

Let’s jump right into these lists of car essentials so that you are prepared for anything!

Essential Car Documents

essential car documents list

I would recommend purchasing a high-quality glove box document organizer for all of your essential car documents. You can keep it stored safely in the glove box. These documents will ensure you have everything you need in the case of a breakdown, emergency, or encounter with the police.

  • License, registration, and insurance documents
  • Owners manual
  • Information regarding your breakdown cover
  • Emergency contact information
  • Travel or medical insurance documents if applicable
  • pen and paper
  • Key phone numbers written down and stored safely
  • Road map
  • Nice folder to keep all your documents in

The list above doesn’t just include legally required car documents, but also extra things to remember in case of the loss of a mobile phone or the requirement to call out a recovery service. These documents will also provide you with the information required in case of a loss of satellite navigation or the need to contact your travel insurance provider.

Car Emergency Kit

car emergency kit list

In the event of an accident or a breakdown, it’s crucial to have a well-stocked car emergency kit. This checklist provides everything you need. It includes items for dealing with a flat tire or a flat battery – two of the most common automotive issues.

Also included in this list are items meant to increase the visibility of you and your vehicle whilst at the side of the road. A warning triangle and high visibility vest are very important. Flashlights and spare change are items you might not think of, but they can be very useful.

  • Inflated spare tire
  • Car jack
  • Simple toolkit
  • Jump leads
  • portable battery pack
  • Fuel can
  • Duct tape
  • High visibility vest
  • Warning triangle
  • Flashlight
  • Some cash and spare change
  • Tire pressure gauge, inflation kit, and sealant

This combination of items contains everything you need. The roadside emergency kit contains most of the essential items (including a first aid kit) however I would also recommend a portable car battery booster and a car jack.

This item is often bought with a large car trunk organizer and a really useful portable car vacuum cleaner, to keep your vehicle orderly and clean.

Before leaving for your journey, always check that you have an inflated spare tire, repairing a flat tire at the side of the road is not always possible. If the puncture is minor, sometimes you can repair it using the sealant followed by the inflation kit.

Essential Car Accessories

essential car accessories list

These essential car accessories include items relating to entertainment, navigation, and car organization.

  • Car windshield sunshade
  • Cleaning Get
  • Mobile phone holder
  • Dashcam
  • in-car charger
  • AUX cable to connect devices
  • Bluetooth receiver
  • Satellite navigation device
  • Car trunk organizer
  • Multi-tool

The above list will be sure to make your life easier whilst out on a journey. The AINOPE In-Car Charger and this Mobile Phone Holder are popular items.

The Comfort List

car comfort items list

This list of items will ensure you stay comfortable in the car on any journey!

  • Blankets
  • Neck pillows
  • Lumbar back support
  • Sunglasses
  • Air freshener
  • Cooling seat covers
  • Awesome foot mats

A key item that I never hit the road without is this Lumbar Back Support. I suffer from lower back pain whilst driving and this helps me maintain a better seated position

Essential Winter Items

winter driving kit list

These winter items will help you keep your car road-worthy in times of ice and snow, amongst other conditions.

  • Ice scraper
  • De-icer
  • Windscreen washer fluid
  • Snow shovel
  • Snow chains, if required
  • Extra Warm Clothing
  • Winter Boots

This Roadside Winter Kit includes many of the above items!

Vetoos Car Roadside Emergency Kit with Jumper Cables, Auto Vehicle Safety Road Side Assistance Kits, Winter Car Kit Essentials for Men and Women, Starter Repair Kit, with Folding Survival Shovel
  • ESSENTIAL RESOURCES: Packed with practical…
  • RELIABLE JUMPER CABLES: Say goodbye to hazardous…
  • FOLDABLE SURVIVAL SHOVEL: At 16.5 inches, it’s a…

First Aid Supplies and Safety Essentials

Having some basic first aid supplies will put your mind at ease whilst out on the road.

  • First Aid Kit
  • Medication required for all passengers
  • Face masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Car window hammer
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Emergency blanket
  • Plasters and band-aids

The easiest thing to do is have a nice-sized portable First Aid Kit which you can store in the car. Hopefully, you never have to use it!

Essential Clothing and Accessories

clothes to have in the car list

These clothing essentials are must-haves for any event!

  • Umbrella
  • Warm Jacket
  • Rain Coat
  • Sunglasses
  • Gloves
  • Waterproof Boots
  • Baseball Cap

Essential Car Snacks

Forgetting road trip snacks whilst on an adventure can create sheer havoc in the car! If there is one thing that can settle an on-road dispute, it’s a well-stocked snack box. Here are some key things to keep in your car to avoid overpaying at gas stations

  • Plenty of drinking water
  • Healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, and protein bars
  • Sweets and candy
  • Beef jerky
  • Your favorite flavored chips
  • Energy drinks

Personal Care Items

  • Tissues
  • Allergy tablets
  • Facial wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Deodorant

Car Cleaning Essentials

  • Car seat covers
  • In-car cleaning wipes
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Car vacuum cleaner
  • Microfiber cloths

In-Car Entertainment

  • Plenty of road trip games to keep you busy
  • An awesome list of road trip questions
  • Printable road trip games

Items For Babies Or Toddlers

If you have children it’s a good idea to have a separate bag with all the essential items for them which you always keep in your car. This means you don’t need to worry about packing things each time you head out of the house.

  • Diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Food
  • Clothes

Items For Dog Owners

If you are a dog owner, this list of essentials will ensure you can keep your dog safe, secure, and comfortable during car journeys.

  • Poop bags
  • Dog leash
  • Health records and medication
  • A dog crate or harness to secure your dog. You can also use a dog car seat
  • Portable bowl and drinking water
  • Paper towels
  • Wipes
  • Dog blanket
  • Treats and food
Image of Iain The Founder Of The Road Trip Expert

Iain Salter

Founder & Editor of The Road Trip Expert

Iain founded The Road Trip Expert in 2019 and continues to manage the website to this day. The inspiration to start the blog came during an extensive road trip around Europe with two friends that spanned several months and involved over 25,000km of driving. He first developed a passion for backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries.