A car breakdown kit is one of those things you think you will never need until the event arises. Many of us begin our journeys never giving a thought to what we’ll do or need if our car breaks down.
Unfortunately car failures happen and there is no guarantee of when or where it will take place – on a country road, a busy street or a motorway, will it be well lit or with full mobile phone reception. By giving just a little thought to what you might need, you can make a breakdown situation a lot easier for yourself with a breakdown kit.
One of the first things that you need to consider in a situation when you breakdown is the safety of yourself, your passengers and your car. Hazard lights will work to a certain extent but displaying a reflective warning triangle will help alert other road users of your situation. If you are on the motorway, get out of the vehicle as soon as you are able to safely and stand on the bank away from the hard shoulder while you wait for help to arrive.
We can’t predict the weather and there is a good chance that it will be wet when you breakdown so make sure you have a jumper in your survival kit, and a waterproof coat. Sturdy footwear is a good idea as well, waterproof boots or similar, that can live in the boot of your car in case of an emergency. Gloves with a grip will help make changing a tyre a little easier and hats are also useful for warmth and keeping the sun off of you.
Other essentials we’d recommend include:
- Mobile phone charger. You can pick these up very cheaply these days, no matter what brand your phone is, and having the ability to make phone calls if you get stuck is very useful
- A first aid kit (plasters, gauze pads, antiseptic cream, paracetamol or aspirin or similar, and antiseptic wipes)
- Torch and spare batteries
- Sunglasses (to protect from the glare of sun or snow)
- A road atlas. Relying on Google maps is all very well until you run out of reception or phone battery or both
- High energy snacks and bottles of water
- Extra supplies of personal medicines if applicable
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- High grip gloves
- High visibility vest
- Car jack
- Road legal spare wheel
The idea of being thoroughly prepared is to allow for you to be able to deal with whatever situation arises when your car breaks down. It may be hours before you are able to be inside, warm and dry again and by carrying a few essentials you can help to ensure that your breakdown is as painless as possible.
If you have not already purchased breakdown cover, Go Girl have teamed up with RAC to offer five different levels of breakdown cover as an add on to car insurance policies.