Whether you’re driving home from work for the Christmas holidays, travelling to family or your Christmas destination of choice this year, we have you covered for the best tips to keep you feeling festive and safe on the road with some little surprises at Welcome Break included!
We know the importance in keeping car essentials in your vehicle on the road. Unexpected events such as a breakdown or tyre popping can happen at any point.
We’ve compiled a list of the essentials we believe will keep you the safest and readiest possible in all conditions and events!
Empty fuel can
If you run out of fuel on the road, you can walk or get a lift to the nearest petrol station with your empty can to fill up.
Spare tyre & Tyre Jack
Some cars are now sold without a spare wheel and finding out you don’t have one when you most need it can be quite a shock. Make sure you’re carrying a spare tyre in good condition.
Jump leads and a portable battery pack
Avoid getting stranded with a flat battery by carrying jump leads, then you can get a jump start from another motorist. Better yet, grab a portable battery pack and you won't need to rely on another vehicle.
Tyre pressure gauge
Poorly maintained tyres can be a hazard on the road, have your own gauge on hand just in case you ever need to check your tyre pressure.
Duct tape can cover over a multitude of sins, so whether you’ve got a smashed window, a broken door handle, or a boot that won’t stay closed, duct tape can give you a temporary fix until you reach a mechanic.
Just be aware that driving a vehicle that's held together by a precarious arrangement of tape is not only dangerous, but potentially affects your insurance. Always check with your provider for advice and never drive a vehicle if you think it may be unsafe.
If you breakdown in adverse weather, you’ll need to stay warm if you must walk to get help or stay with your vehicle and wait for recovery. A nice thick jacket is essential, but other items like hats and jumpers can also be lifesavers.
You might need to trek through harsh terrain, deep snow drifts or even push your vehicle to safety, so making sure your shoes have grip, especially in wintery conditions, is important.
A sealed bottle of water will stop you becoming dehydrated and could also come in handy if you need to top up the water in your car’s radiator.
Energy or cereal bars are great to keep in your glove compartment just in case you need to keep your energy levels up.
A high-visibility vest is critical to ensure that you’re seen by other motorists and could even help save your life if you need to walk along dark roads, particularly in rural areas.
It's also one of the items required by law if you're planning to drive in many European countries. Check out which items are illegal to travel without.
A reflective warning triangle will warn approaching cars you’ve stopped. Carry 2 so that you can place them at the front and rear of your car, they'll ensure that other road users are aware of your location which should make a breakdown situation safer for everyone.
First aid kit
Most car accessory stores and some supermarkets stock simple first aid kits that will include all the essentials for on the road.
These aren't just for making sure you look cool behind the wheel! When the sun is low in the sky, particularly around spring and autumn, the glare can be blinding so keep some sunglasses to hand to ensure your vision is as best as it can be.
This can help you out of a pinch just in case your phone is out of battery/data/signal or there aren't any locals around to ask. A Sat-Nav is a preferred/safer option if you own one.
It’s easy to forget to charge your portable devices. Your phone, GPS device or laptop could run out of battery, and you may have forgot a charger with a plug too. A portable charger will save the day!
Don’t drive blind in icy conditions and use de-icer to clear the windscreen. Your bank cards will thank you for this one. It’s also good so you don’t find yourself accidentally breaking the law when driving with ice/snow on your car.
Torch (wind-up preferable)
If you have to check under the bonnet in the dark, you’ll need a torch and if you don’t want to worry about flat batteries why not invest in a wind-up one?
If you feel the cold, keep some gloves in their rightful home (the glove compartment) and avoid any freezing fingers on the steering wheel.
Don’t get caught out with unforeseen tolls or parking fees by keeping some change in the car.
A blanket could keep you warm in a wintery breakdown or double as a picnic blanket in the summer, so it’s a definite car boot must-have.
Never let your phone battery die again with a USB charger that plugs into your cigarette lighter. Again, plug it in before you set off.
You can never trust the British weather! So, keep an umbrella on hand just in case.
For when you spend so long in traffic you break down in tears – or more likely for when you need to blow your nose.
Arrive fresh and ready for anything.
Photocopies of your documents: While there’s no legal requirement to carry any documents in your car, it could save you a lot of hassle if you’re stopped by police or need to contact your insurance company — just make sure you carry photocopies and not the original documents! Store photocopies of your Certificate of Insurance and your vehicle’s V5C registration document and information on how to contact your insurance company.
Pen and Paper
Even in the digital age, pen and paper can still be useful, especially as they don’t need to be charged!