The definitive list of essentials to keep in your car - no matter where you go
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Cape Town - There are two types of people in the world, those who keep their car boots and cubbyholes empty, and those who pack their car with enough items for every possible emergency.
If you're more of the minimalist type of car owner, or you want to downscale your essential items, here is a definitive list of what you'll need to keep your car going, no matter where you are.
According to Battery Centre, in addition to the following lifesaving items, you should always keep a spare tyre, first-aid kit, masks and hand sanitiser in your car.
1. Jumper cables
Safe and reliable jumper cables should be the number one accessory for all car owners. Jumper cables with extra-long and durable cables can help jump start a car with a flat battery with ease, and get you, or a friend's car moving, so they can go to a battery specialist for help.
2. Power banks
Ensure your phone, tablets and iPads are charged for your drive. Pack backup charging devices like a power bank; they don't take up space and easily power your devices. Powered devices can make sure you can access your directions at your fingertips and keep the music playing.
3. Jumpstarter power bank
Power banks have come a long way from just charging cellphones. These days, they can also power up dead car batteries. Jumpstarter power banks can get you moving to a battery specialist who can check your battery, starter and alternator. Some of them even do it for free.
4. Warning triangle
It's easy to think you may not need it and remove it from the boot, but warning triangles are necessary for all roadside incidents. These triangles signal other motorists to slow down and take caution, especially at night or in areas that aren't lit sufficiently.
5. Towels, blankets, hand wipes, and tissues
For impromptu picnics, or to keep the kids' mess or pets' hair off the upholstery, keep towels, blankets and hand wipes in the boot. Towels and blankets can double up to keep you warm if your picnic runs late, and use hand wipes or tissues to clean and wipe up stains from melted ice cream to coffee spills.
6. Torch and batteries
A cellphone torch doesn’t shine as bright as a LED torch. For emergencies, always keep a torch in the cubbyhole and use it to alert other motorists to slow down. Don’t forget to pack an extra set of batteries.
Before your next trip or weekend getaway, ask the trusted battery specialists to help you find the right accessories to keep your car going.
They can also advise on the right way to use jumper cables, and assist with a complete battery, alternator, and starter check — which they do for free.