What Must-Have Items Do You Keep Handy In Your Car?

Personal finance blog Budgets Are Sexy pulls together a list of five things they always keep in their car that'll save you time and money. Now we're wondering: What must-haves do you keep in your car?

Budgets are Sexy's timesavers include a handful of $US1 bills [that'd be $2 coins for us Aussies - AU ed] , stuff you need to return or donate, coupons and a "power CD" that can help motivate you when you're not feeling up to the day. It's a good list of suggestions, but it certainly doesn't exhaust the matter of handy things to keep in your car. For example, I love a convenient USB power supply, like this cigarette-lighter-to-usb power adaptor.

Check out the full post over at Budgets Are Sexy for more details, then let's hear what less conventional gear or supplies you rely on having in your car in the comments.

5 Things to Always Keep in Your Car [Budgets Are Sexy]


    A weapon of choice. If you clip an animal and have to put it out of it's misery, a hefty club would be handy. I ran over a duck once, it was mortally wounded but not dead and breaking their necks is trickier than you'd think. In the end the only weapon I had was the car itself and I had to drive over it repeatedly. Traumatic for both of us I'm sure. Also, a couple of litres of water to drink if you do break down or get stuck.

      ...maybe slightly more traumatic for the duck

    Baby wipes.
    Spare nappy.
    Wiggles CD's.
    Bag of distractions.

    a $50 note tucked into the pocket in the sun visor.


    * Small, decent, 1st Aid kit
    * Litre bottle of water
    * Blanket or compact sleeping bag
    * Small, powerful torch (CREE)
    * Old 35mm film canister filled with parking meter money

    * Toilet roll (from when nature calls to cleaning windscreen/lights/spills
    * Wind up torch
    * Photocopies of my rego and insurance under the seat (originals at home)
    * Goretex jacket rolled up in the boot
    * 5lt water sealed container either for hydration or radiator etc.

    I no longer keep a pen or a referdex/UBD (when in the urban area) in the car thanks to a smartphone. I keep a penknife on my keychain. How often do people check their spare tyre is properly inflated?

      "* Photocopies of my rego and insurance under the seat (originals at home)"

      This is one i will be following from now on.

    * Spade
    * Snatch straps
    * Tool Kit + Torch
    * 50L of Fuel
    * Spare Battery
    * 1st Aid kit inc water, emergency rations and sleeping kit
    * Compressor
    * Heavy Gauge Wire
    * 10M Rope
    * 2 Spare Tyres

    Admittedly most of that is on top of the car, and the car is a Nissan Patrol, but I wouldn't be without any of it

    *5L emergency fuel
    *1L engine oil
    *Jumper leads
    *LED torch that runs off single AA battery
    *Drinking water

      Forgot to mention:

    A little pack of disenfectant wipes are great.
    Eaten some greasy food? use the wipes. Dashboard a bit dusty? Use the wipes. Spilt something in the car? Wipes.

    A small first aid kit is very useful to have.

    A litre of water, not only can you drink it if you need to, but it can also be used as emergency coolant.

    I also keep a 250ml bottle of brake/clutch fluid under my spare tyre. Also in the boot i have a torch, 3 towels and a spare set of clothes. (especially handy if you spill something on yourself, and can simply go outside and grab a change)

    Tow Rope/Jumper Cables can be a good one as well.

    Also once my new phone arrives, im going to switch my old prepaid one onto the 365 day plan and leave it in there as an emergency phone.

    • At least a 2L milk/softdrink/other container filled with water.
    • Spare clothes
    • A towel (I wouldn't want to go anywhere without my wonderful towel - it can be used as a blanket, rope, shadecloth, towel, hat, knapsack, etc.)
    • Spare batteries (A pack of AA if nothing else)
    • Torch (Windup highly preferable)
    • A roadmap of the state/area you're going to be in (less useful when travelling)

    * Mild Painkillers
    * Strong Breath Mints
    * Swiss Army Knife
    * Pens & Pad
    * Flashlight
    * Car Phone Charger
    * Cheat Sheet of useful phone numbers
    * Umbrella
    * Freshen up kit (deodorant, toothbrush & paste)

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