Top 10 essential car accessories
Cars have come a long way in recent years, especially in terms of comfort and security. Gone are the days when you had to have a beaded car seat to stay cool and a well-thumbed motoring atlas to find your way around. Climate control and Sat Nav have thankfully replaced these eighties essentials, in the same way that advanced security systems have replaced clunky Crook-Locks to secure our cars.
However, some motoring essentials will never change, and you should make sure you always have them in your car, especially for longer journeys or trips that take you off the beaten track. Here are our top ten essential car accessories:
Warm/waterproof clothing – the UK may be a relatively small place compared to, say the United States, and you are unlikely to have to use Bear Gryll’s survival skills to stay alive if you break down. Nonetheless, some warm and waterproof clothing will be very welcome while you wait for the rescue service to arrive.
Snacks and water – most rescue services promise to reach you within an hour, but even that can seem like an eternity if you are feeling hungry or thirsty. A couple of bottles of water and some snack bars can make all the difference to your wait, especially if you have children with you.
Sunglasses – the UK weather can change from one minute to the next, so it’s well worth buying a pair of sunglasses* specifically for the car. That way you can be sure you’ll always have them handy for that unexpected sunshine.
Wet wipes – the wonderful, multi-purpose accessory that no car should be without, whether you’re cleaning your hands during a visit to the petrol station, or stopping little ones from messing up your upholstery at a picnic stop.
Plastic bags – again, an essential for keeping your car clean and tidy, from odd bits of litter to muddy sports kits and boots. They’re also handy if any of your passengers gets carsick.
Torch – breaking down on an unlit country road can be a nightmare if you can’t see what you’re doing. Always carry a torch and replace the batteries regularly.
First aid kit – an obvious essential for any long journey.
Jump leads – don’t assume that the person kind enough to give you a jump-start will have their own leads. A pair of jump leads only costs a few pounds but could save you ages waiting for the rescue service.
Spare bulbs – always carry a full set of bulbs in the car so you have them to hand should they need to be replaced.
Puncture seal kit – if you can’t change your wheel after a puncture, these handy little devices can re-inflate your tyre and give you around 120 miles at up to 50mph to get you safely to someone who will change it for you.
*If you have prescription sunglasses for driving, ensure you wear them. Please refer to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency for more information on driving eyesight rules. You could be prosecuted if you drive without meeting the standards of vision for driving.