As essential as fuel in the tank and air in the tyres is a good tool kit in the boot. It won’t take up much room and it will keep you from waiting for (potentially expensive) help to arrive.

Most of the 12 items in this list will fit into a small tool or tackle box, and will cost about as much as a call-out fee from a mechanic.

1. Cable ties

Cable (or ‘zip ties’) are always handy to have around. From holding a pranged bumper together to keeping a hose connected, cable ties have saved the day on many occasions.

2. Jumper cables

Many people have been asked for a set of jumper cables, and many don’t keep a pair in the boot...don’t get caught out. Just remember the order - connect dead battery positive terminal to good battery positive terminal, then connect good battery negative to bad battery negative or the manufacturer’s jumper point (on newer cars, read the manual).

3. Jack and tyre iron

Most cars should have these, but if you don’t, you could find yourself in a bad spot! The process of jacking a car to change a tyre is extremely straight forward but there are some basic safety protocols to observe – familiarise yourself with the process so that you can perform it flawlessly when the time comes.

4. Socket and spanner set

Size 10mm-22mm should take care of most bolts – for newer cars you’ll be looking for a quality ‘metric’ set (measured in ‘mm’), and for older cars an ‘imperial’ set (measured in fractions of an inch).

5. Screwdriver (Flat and Philips head)

A big one and a small one should take care of most situations.

6. Fuses

Newer cars may take both the big and the mini type, so make sure you have enough handy. Some cars also come loaded with a few spares in the factory fuse box – just be sure to restock any that you use so you’re never caught out again!

7. Fire extinguisher

In-car fires are a real thing and can be caused by any number of vehicle malfunctions, from leaking oil to electrical fires. A small powder type extinguisher will take care of most types of expected fires.

8. Torch

Unfortunately, you can’t pick the time of day something goes wrong.

9. Pliers

Good for pulling fuses or cutting wire; a Leatherman-style multi-tool is even better.

10. Tape

Stronger gaffer tape can solve most problems, including noisy backseat occupants.

11. Stanley knife and/or scissors

For cutting things, of course!

12. Workshop manual

If you’re doing some remote driving or like to get your hands dirty, a model-specific workshop manual will show you how to remove every single bolt in the car and put it back together again.

Are there any vehicle must-haves that we’ve missed? Reply to this post below, or let us know in the comments on Facebook.


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