Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Whether you are taking a long trip or just making a quick trip to the store, there are a certain items which you should always carry in your vehicle.  All of these items are relatively inexpensive and many of them you probably already own.  Take a few minutes to read through this article and make sure you have these items in your vehicle.

  1. Registration and proof of insurance - All states require you carry proof of registration but many states require that you carry proof of insurance. Keep it in an envelope in your glove box so you will always be able to find it when needed.
  2. Roadside Assistance Number - Many people have some sort of roadside assistance coverage that came with the purchase of their vehicle. If so, make sure you have the phone number in your vehicle so you can use it when needed.  If not, have at least 3-4 phone numbers of roadside assistance providers.
  3. Paper and Pen - Keep a small pad of paper and a pen in the console or in an easy to access place.
  4. Tire Gauge - Have a tire gauge in your vehicle to keep your tires properly inflated to maximize gas mileage, tire life and vehicle handling. Check your tire pressure at least once a month.
  5. Tire Pump - Carry either a foot pump or a small compressor that plugs into a cigarette lighter.  Both are relatively inexpensive and you may be able to save yourself a roadside assistance visit or a tow truck expense if you can get enough air in your tire to make it to a reapair location.
  6. Can of Fix a Flat - Reviews are mixed as to how good these are for your tire but in an emergency, it can be an inexpensive life saver.
  7. Roadside Flares and Cones -  Can be used in a variety of different situations.
  8. Jumper Cables - Great when you have the dreaded, dead battery, or help someone else out in need and maybe the favor will be repaid to you someday.
  9. Flashlight - Check the batteries every once in awhile to make sure they are still good.
  10. Jacket and Blanket - For emergencies in extreme weather.
  11. Umbrella and Rain Poncho - For everyday bad weather situations.  Carry several rain ponchos. You can get them for $2.00 or less at a Wal Mart or Target type of store and carrying several will ensure you will have enough for everyone in your vehicle.
  12. Camera - Most people these days have a camera on their cell phone.  This will work just fine but in the absence of that, purhase a cheap disposable camera and keep it in your glove box. A camera can prove to be very valuable in the event of a car accident or possibly in a variety of other situations.
  13. Set of Basic Tools - A couple of screwdrivers, pair of pliers, small hammer.
  14. Mini Fire Extinguisher - Probably won't ever need it but it is a nice thing to have if needed.

Some of these items will surely be useful time and time again.  Some of them you will rarely use or possibly never use but your preparation will pay big dividends if you have them when needed.

Items to Carry in Your Vehicle