Top 13 Car Essentials That You Should Always Have with You

person driving a car

image source: stocksnap.io

 There are people who keep their cars spotless and neat, and then there are others who stuff their cars with all kinds of knickknacks and paraphernalia. Whichever category you may belong to, there’s no denying that there are some car essentials that every car owner needs to carry along in their vehicle. In this article, we’ve curated a list of the 13 most useful car essentials in the market. Take a look at the products that made it to the list and see if you’ve got them stocked up and handy in your car.

Comparison Table

Car Essentials FAQ

Before we go on to discover the 13 most useful car essentials, let’s first take a look at the answers to some frequently asked questions about these items.

1. What Are Car Essentials?

Car essentials are basically accessories and items that you need to have in your car, so you’re better prepared for any and all kinds of emergencies. While there’s no set list of essentials, there are certain items that are universally acknowledged as necessities to stock up on. Some examples include accessories that can help you in case of a breakdown or in case of an unexpected medical emergency.

2. What Are Some Essential Items Needed For Car Repair And Maintenance?

Car essentials that help with repair and maintenance are handy tools that can come to your rescue should you ever suffer from a breakdown. Some examples of car essentials that are needed for repair and maintenance include a spare tire, a tire inflator, a tire sealer, jumper cables, a pressure gauge, and even duct tape. A toolbox, of course, is an essential that you absolutely can’t do without.

3. What Are Some Items Needed For Safety And Security?

It’s always advisable to have a safety kit or two stocked up in your car for any untoward medical or other emergencies. Some items you could add to your safety kit include a powerful flashlight, spare batteries, a multi-tool, candles, matches, energy bars, instant food packs, a seat-belt cutter, a window-breaker, and of course, some water bottles. Aside from these items, you also need to ensure that you have a first aid kit handy.

4. How To Organize Car Essentials?

You could store the larger items like your safety kit, toolbox, and first aid kit in the trunk of your car. And if the back of the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat contain pouches, you could also store car essentials like maps and your car’s instruction manual in there. The glove compartment is another handy place to store some smaller items like a flashlight and some matches.

5. Where Can You Buy Car Essentials?

You can buy car essentials from online marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco, Home Depot, and Overstock. The advantage of online shopping is that you can get all your car essentials from one source. Alternatively, if you prefer to get a good look at your choices and inspect them before making a purchase, you could visit a supermarket or a departmental store to get your car essentials.

How We Reviewed

We spoke to several car owners and looked up many blogs and articles online to identify the car essentials that most people believe to be absolutely necessary. Having done that, we proceeded to pick the 13 most useful car essentials and prepared this list, in which we’ve reviewed each item and compared it with the others in terms of its features, its pros and cons, and its price range.

man inside a car using a mobile phone

image via Pexels

Overall Price Range of the Best Car Essentials

The price range of the best car essentials can be quite ambiguous as it depends entirely on the individual items. Nevertheless, it’s possible to put together a decent set of car essentials for a total of around $$$ or lower. Most items like duct tape, a flashlight, and a charger tend to cost less than $. Some essentials, such as a pre-assembled road kit, a first aid kit, and a versatile multi-tool may cost between $ and $$

What We Reviewed

  • Car Charger, Aonear 3.1A
  • AAA 64 Piece Premium Traveler Road Kit
  • Protect Life First Aid Kit
  • Fix-A-Flat S60420 Tire Inflator with Eco-Friendly Formula
  • Linkax LED Tactical Flashlight
  • CARTMAN Booster Cable 4 Gauge x 20Ft in Carry Bag
  • Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Simplicity Super Soft Warm Plaid Patterned Polar Fleece Blanket
  • Duck Brand 394468 All-Purpose Duct Tape
  • LEATHERMAN – Wingman Multitool, Stainless Steel
  • Silverline 594260 Insulated Jump Leads 600A Max
  • Spicy Penne Pasta MRE Meal
  • Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating

Car Charger, Aonear 3.1A

Sale
USB Car Charger, Aonear 3.1A Rapid Dual Port USB Car Charger with 6-feet Cable Compatible iPhone X/8/8 Plus/7/6/6S Plus 5S 5 5C SE,iPad and More(Black iPhone Car Charger)
  • [Perfect Compatibility]-The lightning cable charges your iPhone 8/8 plus, iPhone 7/6s/6s plus, iPhone 5/5S/5C, iPad Pro Air Mini etc,The USB port enables you plug in a longer USB cable to charge your Samsung Galaxy,Huawei, Sony, Nexus, Motorola,LG,HTC, Tablet and More.
  • [Quick Charge]-Twin USB ports offer simultaneous high-speed charging for driver and passenger, to provide optimal charging efficiency automatically.
  • [Ring Indicator]-The iPhone car charger features soft-glow LED ring that lights up when plugged in for ease of use at night or in the dark.
  • [Compact Design]-The combination of lightning cable and Extra USB port allows iPhone car charger to charge any two devices more easy;
  • [What You Get] -Aonear 3.1A Rapid iPhone car charger with 6 feet iPhone lightning cable,18-month worry-free product warranty and friendly customer service.If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us!

Features

Among tons of other car essentials, very few are as important as the car charger. The Aonear 3.1A car charger features dual USB ports that enable you to charge up to two devices simultaneously. The charger’s compact cylindrical design plugs neatly into your car’s 12-volt power port and comes with a 2.1A socket as well as a 1A socket. Sporting an intelligent circuit design, the charger automatically stops charging when the battery is full and also protects your device in the case of a short circuit, under voltage, or over voltage.

Pros

  • Adequately long cord
  • Blue light to indicate connectivity
  • Moderately quick charging

Cons

  • Cord quality needs improvement
  • Fits into the socket loosely

PRICE $$

This car charger can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

 

AAA 64 Piece Premium Traveler Road Kit

Sale
AAA 64 Piece Premium Traveler Road Kit
  • Compact 63 piece road assistance kit by AAA and LifeLine First Aid
  • Heavy-duty booster cable
  • Heavy-duty flashlight with batteries
  • Includes a 45 piece first-aid kit
  • Double-sided premium carrying bag

Features

Always be prepared for the worst with the AAA 64-piece traveler road kit. Neatly contained in a high-quality nylon storage case, the road kit features a set of 10 feet 8 gauge jumper cables, an LED flashlight and batteries, a 2-in-1 screwdriver, a roll of duct tape, a bungee cord, 6 cable ties, a poncho, and a 45-piece first aid kit. Ideal for summers, the kit contains almost everything that you will need in case you get stranded. The storage case is also large and roomy and can easily accommodate a few more items.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Portable design
  • Useful assortment of accessories

Cons

  • Jumper cable quality needs improvement
  • Mostly includes only basic items

PRICE $$

This 64-piece traveler road kit can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$ There’s also a 67-piece kit available for around $45 to $50, and a 68-piece kit available for around $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon

Protect Life First Aid Kit

Features

No car essentials kit is complete without good first aid gear. Fully equipped with up to 150-pieces, the Protect Life first aid kit is a comprehensive emergency bag complete with high-quality medical supplies. The kit features items that you’ll need in the case of an emergency such as a CPR mask, an instant ice pack, some band-aids, an emergency blanket, a mini compass, and a few survival tools, among others. The storage case is compact and can be easily made to fit inside a glove compartment.

Pros

  • Fits into the glove compartment
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Useful assortment of first aid necessities

Cons

  • Items are crammed in
  • May be smaller than expected

PRICE $$

This first aid kit can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$. With discounts, you may even be able to get it for half its price.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Fix-A-Flat S60420 Tire Inflator With Eco-Friendly Formula

Fix-A-Flat S60420 Aerosol Tire Inflator with Eco-Friendly Formula, 16 oz.
  • Seals up to 1/4" punctures
  • Eco-friendly formula
  • Repairs and inflates in seconds
  • No jacks or tools requires
  • Tire sensor safe

Features

Fix-a-Flat is another one of the most important car essentials to have with you, as it has the ability to fix a flat tire in seconds. Featuring a new and improved formula that is also eco-friendly, the Fix-a-Flat does not require any tools or hardware. All that you need to do to get your car back on the road is to connect the hose to the punctured tire’s valve stem and press a button. The tire inflator is completely safe and does not damage the tire pressure sensor system.

Pros

  • Great for emergencies
  • Reasonably priced
  • Handy and compact design

Cons

  • Plugged design cannot be reused
  • Tough to drain the fluid out

The 16-ounce pack of this tire inflator can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Linkax LED Tactical Flashlight

Tactical Flashlight(2 PCS), Linkax LED Handheld Flashlights with Adjustable Focus 5 Light Modes Super Bright 800 Lumens for Outdoor Camping Hiking Emergency(6AAA Batteries Incl)
  • 【Ultra bright and Zoomable】Powerful 800 Lumens LED generates a large brilliant floodlight area or a perfect focused spotlight. 5 adjustable modes (High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS), Zoomable function focuses range from 100m to 300m
  • 【High quality】This flashlight body is built of high quality aluminum alloy, excellent anti-shock performance better than the classic flashlight,and its surface adopts high-density oxidation color,has impeccable wear-resisting, anti-strike and anti-scratch performance
  • 【Protection Design】Lotus shape top can protect the lens and glass from being broken in an emergency, with precise numerical control cutting technology, rhombus skid-proof and waterproof performance
  • 【Easy to carry and charge】Easy to carry as a backup tool and is small enough to fit in your pocket, handbag, drawer, or car compartment. Takes 3 standard AAA (Included ) or a single 18650 rechargeable (Not Included )
  • 【Extensive use】Widely used for hiking, camping, fishing and many other activities, a necessary tool for outdoor sports when you are in an emergency or any other adventures

Features

The Linkax LED tactical flashlight is among the many car essentials that can prove to be really handy when you’re stuck out in the dark. Featuring a powerful 800 lumens LED, the flashlight comes with 5 different modes including strobe and SOS. Equipped with a switchable zoom function, you can either spread the light over a large surface area or focus it like a spotlight. Crafted from a premium aluminum alloy, the flashlight is rugged, durable, and comes with anti-shock protection. Powered by 3 standard AAA batteries, the Linkax is compact, pocketable, and also waterproof.

Pros

  • Bright light beam
  • Portable and lightweight design
  • Batteries included in the pack

Cons

  • May be tedious to switch between modes
  • No clear instructions

 

The Linkax LED tactical flashlight can be purchased on Amazon for around $10 to $12.

Where To Buy

This can be fund in Amazon.

CARTMAN Booster Cable 4 Gauge x 20Ft In Carry Bag

Sale
Cartman Booster Cable 4 Gauge x 20Ft in Carry Bag (4AWG x 20Ft) UL-Listed
  • Fits top and side post batteries; Luxurious carry bag for free.
  • Sufficient CCA (Copper coated Aluminium).
  • UL listed and stamped. Ideal for use with full size cars and cargo vans, mid-size pickup truck and freight hauling vehicles.
  • TPR material of cable, low temperature immunity (-25C/-13F)
  • 5 year warranty. (Not apply to tear cables up/ short circuit batteries).

Features

Bestowed with resistance to extremely low temperatures, the 4-gauge Cartman booster cables come in a waterproof carry case for easy storage and transportation. With a maximum length of up to 20 feet, these UL-certified cables fit both top and side post batteries comfortably. The cables’ heavy springs help clamp down on the terminals and provide maximum grip and conductivity. To prevent short-circuiting or accidental contact, the clamping surface and the cables are adequately shielded. The unique T-Prene coating on the cables not only helps with flexibility but also prevents tangling.

Pros

  • Strong and durable clamps
  • Solid and heavy-duty construction
  • Comes with handy instructions

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • Quality control needs to be improved

 

The 20-feet version of this cable can be purchased on Amazon for around $20.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

Accutire MS-4021B Digital Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Heavy duty construction and rugged design for long lasting use
  • Angled head and rubber coated handle for easy gripping
  • Large, easy-to-read LCD display
  • Equipped with an automatic shut off to prevent deflation
  • Accurate to within 0.5 PSI, reading air pressure from 5-150 PSI in 0.5 pound increments

Features

The Accutire MS-4021B digital tire pressure gauge is a nifty little device that can come in really handy when you least expect it. Ideal for cars without a dedicated tire pressure monitoring system, this gauge can help you find out the air pressure in your tires. Unlike other tire pressure gauges, the Accutire MS-4021B shows the measured reading for about 10 seconds before switching off. This gives you enough time to view and make a note of the pressure. The angled head of the gauge allows you to place it on the valve stem, irrespective of its position.

Pros

  • High degree of accuracy
  • Lightweight design
  • Holds the reading for around 10 seconds

Cons

  • Larger than average
  • Doesn’t work on regular batteries

 

This pressure gauge can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Simplicity Super Soft Warm Plaid Patterned Polar Fleece Blanket

Simplicity Winter Warm Red and Black Buffalo Plaid Patterned Decorative Super Soft Twin Woven Fleece Couch Throw Blanket
  • 100% Polar fleece
  • Super soft, warm, and breathable material
  • Large sized (50" x 60") provides maximum coverage
  • Includes compact packable tie that's easy to store & travel-friendly
  • Perfect accessory to keep around the house, take on the go while traveling, or simply to give as a gift to your friends and family

Features

Ideal for cold weather, the Simplicity fleece blanket is absolutely a must-have when driving during the winter season. The blanket can help keep you warm if you’re out stuck in the middle of a snowstorm or a blizzard. Made from 100 percent polar fleece, the blanket creates a comfortable layer of insulation that will help warm you up. The blanket also includes a tie that can be used to compactly package it and store it away.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Available in five different colors
  • Folds into a compact roll

Cons

  • Not very thick
  • May be a little on the smaller side

This blanket can be purchased on Amazon for around $20.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Duck Brand 394468 All-Purpose Duct Tape

The Original Duck Tape Brand 394468 Duct Tape, 1-Pack 1.88 Inch x 45 Yard Silver
  • Recommended for temporary household repairs including holding, seaming, sealing and bundling
  • Works on a variety of surfaces, including wood, vinyl, plastic, leather, metal and laminate
  • Tears easily by hand without curling for quick fixes
  • Conforms to uneven surfaces for difficult DIY projects that involve corners, bends and curves
  • Strong adhesion with waterproof backing for both indoor and outdoor use

Features

There’s nothing that duct tape can’t fix. Therefore, carrying a roll of Duck Brand duct tape in your car can be really convenient should you ever require it. From fixing broken mirrors to bumpers, this duct tape works like magic to hold them in place. Specially designed to be able to tear away effortlessly, this duct tape can be easily split by hand without having it curl up.

Pros

  • Works on most surfaces
  • Tears easily from the roll
  • Thick roll at a low price

Cons

  • May not be sticky enough for some applications
  • Thinner than other options

 

This roll of duct tape can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

LEATHERMAN – Wingman Multitool, Stainless Steel

Sale
LEATHERMAN, Wingman Multitool with Spring-Action Pliers and Scissors, Built in the USA, Stainless Steel with Nylon Sheath
  • ONE OF OUR BEST: A classic, designed and assembled with premium materials; The Wingman is your go-to tool for projects around the house, on the job or at the campsite
  • 14 TOOLS IN 1: Equipped with 14 tools to handle almost anything: knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, a wire stripper, scissors, a package opener, bottle and can openers, a file and a ruler
  • OUR GUARANTEE: We’re proud to stand behind every product that leaves our factory in Portland, Oregon; That’s why we offer our 25-year warranty, so you can be confident your Leatherman lasts a lifetime
  • ONE-HAND OPENING: Open all the tools with one hand, even the ones that aren't accessible from the outside; And with a locking blade, you can cut with confidence
  • ALWAYS ON HAND: With its compact size, lightweight design and removable pocket clip, your Wingman is always within reach and ready to work

Features

The Leatherman–Wingman multitool is an all-in-one toolset that features a pair of pliers, a combo knife, a pair of scissors, 3 different screwdrivers, a wire cutter and stripper, and a package opener, among other things. This multitool kit is compact and can be easily stored in your car’s dashboard or in one of its cubby holes. Made from high-quality stainless steel, the kit is highly durable and is guaranteed to last very long. It is also backed by a solid 25-year warranty.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Durable construction and finish
  • Useful set of tools

Cons

  • Tough to access the blade
  • Ruler isn’t very useful

This multitool can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Silverline 594260 Insulated Jump Leads 600A Max

Silverline 594260 Insulated Jump Leads 600a Max - 3.6m Long
  • Silverline 594260 Good Silverline 594260 Jump Leads, 600 A Max - 3.6 m PVC-coated cables for insulation and fire retardation Heavy duty corrosion-resistant spring-loaded connectors Suitable for vehicles with a battery start-up power of up to 600 A 3.6 m long for easy connection between two cars, or one car and a power pack

Features

The Silverline insulated jump leads are a pair of jumper cables that can come in really handy when your car just refuses to start. The cables are insulated using PVC to provide extra safety and to prevent electrical shocks and short circuits. With a total length of around 3.6 meters, the cables are long enough to connect two cars irrespective of their position.

Pros

  • Flexible leads and strong clamps
  • Durable construction
  • Deal well with high currents

Cons

  • Connectors are a bit too large
  • Attachment could be stronger

 

These jump leads can be purchased on Amazon for around $25 to $28.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

Spicy Penne Pasta MRE Meal

Features

Perfect for long drives through desolate areas, the Spicy Penne Pasta MRE is a nutrient dense, ready-to-eat meal with up to 1250 calories. Being an emergency food supply, it is designed to provide maximum nutrition and endurance. The package also comes with a flameless ration heater that enables you to eat hot meals wherever you are.

Pros

  • A variety of options
  • Package includes all essentials
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Taste may not be for everyone
  • Cookies may be soggy

 

This pack can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon

Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella With Teflon Coating

Repel Umbrella Windproof Double Vented Travel Umbrella with Teflon Coating (Black)
  • AUTOMATIC, COMPACT, AND LIGHTWEIGHT - Auto open close function allows for easy one-handed operation. Measuring just 11.5" long and weighing less than 1lb the folding handheld umbrella is extremely packable in purses, briefcases, backpacks, luggage and more.
  • WIND-DEFYING, DOUBLE VENTED, 9-RIB CANOPY - Most small or mini umbrellas are made of 6 or 8 aluminum ribs but Repel is fortified with 9 resin-reinforced fiberglass ribs and a vented double canopy that flex slightly to withstand powerful gusts without turning inside out.
  • SUPERIOR REPELLENCY - Waterproof, weatherproof and instantly dry, the foldable and durable Repel Travel Umbrella defends against the elements like nothing else.
  • QUALITY WORKMANSHIP - Designed with a three-fold chrome plated black metal shaft, and strong metal frame to allow for greater stability in high winds. The ergonomic, slip-proof, and rubberized grip handle with wrist strap allow for easy carrying. A protective travel sleeve is included. Perfect for men, women, teens and kids.
  • WORLD RENOWNED AND CRITIQUED - Featured on Good Morning America, Rated by Wire Cutter as the Best Umbrella in 2019.

Features

Featuring an automatic open and close button, the Repel windproof travel umbrella can be easily operated one-handedly. When completely folded, the umbrella shrinks down to a very compact package that measures just 12 inches long. Equipped with 9 fiberglass ribs, the umbrella can also easily withstand moderate wind. The outside of the umbrella is coated by a layer of Teflon to help repel water from the surface.

Pros

  • Handy and compact design
  • Durable and heavy-duty construction
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Fabric is a bit thin
  • Inadequate coverage in heavy rains

 

This umbrella can be purchased on Amazon for around $ to $$.

Where To Buy

This can be found in Amazon.

The Verdict

Based on our review of the top 13 car essentials, the AAA 64 Piece Premium Traveler Road Kit comes out on top. Featuring multiple useful items that include a pair of jumper cables, an LED flashlight, and a first aid kit, this traveler road kit offers the most bang for your buck. In addition to this kit, the Fix-A-Flat tire inflator and the Leatherman – Wingman multitool are two other car essentials that you should always have with you.