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A person sitting in the open boot of your vehicle featuring car safety features

Top things to keep in your car

When out on the road, there are some top things to keep in your car to keep you safe. Whether it’s a long road trip or a quick drive to the shops, you could find yourself in trouble without this list of important things to keep in your car.

Handy tools for a breakdown

Whether it’s a battery issue, a flat tyre or another breakage, don’t be stranded without a few handy tools to get you back home safely.

Jumper cables

Keep a pair of jumper cables in your car trunk (boot) to power up a car’s dead battery, whether for you or a fellow driver in need. Better yet, keep a jump starter and portable power pack to start your own car in case there are no friendly helpers around to connect your cables to.

These can be used without needing another car to jumpstart you, making it a super useful item to always keep in your car. Just make sure you keep it charged!

Tire changing supplies

Don’t let the worry of going through a pothole and your tire not making it out the other side leave you in a panic. Store the necessary tools and changing supplies in your car to deal with this situation as it comes.

Keep the following items:

  • A spare tyre that’s in a good condition
  • Lug wrench to loosen and tighten the nuts around the car’s wheel
  • Tire jack which lifts your car while you change the tire
  • Tire pressure gauge, but you can also use the gauge at the nearest petrol station

Knowing how to use each tool is just as important, so read up on our other blogs for some how-to tips.


As the saying goes, a multi-tool is a jack of all trades. And it has all the necessary tools usually found in a toolbox to fix things on the go.

Owner’s manual and service book

It’s important to always keep these documents in your car. You will need them when taking your car for a service or if you have to declare its service history to a new buyer or your car insurance provider. Keep them safe in your glove compartment, more commonly known as ‘cubby-hole’ in South Africa.

Fire extinguisher

Get a small, portable fire extinguisher that’ll only take up a little room in your boot but could save your life in the event of a fire or if you ever have to break a window, for example.

What you need in the event of an accident

Be safe and prepared by storing these items in your car in case you get into an accident.

Warning triangles

Stay safe by using bright, reflective triangles to alert other cars that you have stopped on the side of the road. According to South African law, these triangles must be displayed at least 45m behind your stationary vehicle.

Phone charger or cable

Make sure that your phone remains charged at all times. This is particularly important in the case of an accident so that you can contact your insurance provider or emergency services if necessary. Read this article to know exactly what your insurance provider needs at the scene of an accident.

Data or airtime

Once again, this is important to contact your insurance provider, loved ones, a tow truck service, and more should you get into an accident.

First aid kit

Supplies like plasters, sterile gauze, antiseptic wipes, and scissors can be helpful if you’re in a minor accident. It’s easy to hurt yourself in other ways while on a road trip too, so make sure you refill your kit whenever you use it.

Notebook and pen

It’s helpful to keep a notebook and pen to take down important details like registration plates, contact information, or even a sketch of how the accident happened.

In case you get lost or stranded

Perhaps you’ve run out of petrol, got lost, or are waiting for your car to get towed. Depending on the situation, you may be stuck in your car for a while, so store these necessities to tide you and the kids over until help arrives.

Energy bars

Keep non-perishable, nutritious, and non-melting snacks in your cubby-hole for an energy boost.

Water bottles

Make sure the bottles are sturdy enough to withstand both extreme heat and freezing conditions without giving off harmful chemicals.

Empty petrol canister

If you don’t have room for a petrol can, don’t worry as you can also buy one at the petrol station.


Whether changing a tire in the dark or looking for something under a seat, keep a torch in your emergency kit for whatever situation comes your way.

For convenience and comfort

It’s a good idea to keep a few miscellaneous items in your car to be prepared for anything.

Umbrella or rain jacket

You might have to get out of the car when it’s raining, especially if you need to work on your car. Also, keep an ice scraper nearby for those living in the colder parts of South Africa to defrost your windscreen.


Stay safe by keeping your eyes healthy and your vision undisturbed while on the road. If you must wear glasses, get prescription sunglasses to ensure you abide by the law and can see far ahead.

Reusable grocery bags

There’s nothing more annoying than getting to the shop and having to buy yet another reusable grocery bag, so keep a stash in your car. They are also just a handy thing to have in your car.

Hand sanitiser

We’ve all been made aware of the importance of not spreading germs, so keep your hands clean while travelling. If you use things like pay points, parking ticket meters or biometrics access devices, always sanitise your hands immediately, as many people touch these daily.

Tissues and wet wipes

Whether it’s a child’s sticky fingers or a meal on the move, tissues or wet wipes are always a good idea to keep in your car.

Everything but the kitchen sink

This list isn’t an exhaustive recommendation of what to keep in your car, and there’ll be other things you prefer to have with you.

Adjust this list as necessary but don’t go without a good, reliable and friendly car insurance provider such as Prime South Africa. Fill in this short application and have a look at what car insurance cover makes the most sense for you.


This article provides general information about things you might need in your car. Always follow South African law and your car insurance company’s recommendations to keep yourself and everyone else safe on the road.

Buying car insurance should be done with much thought and only from a certified financial services provider. Contact us today to learn more about getting affordable, comprehensive car insurance with fixed premiums* and a reduce-to-zero excess*. *T&Cs apply.

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