With the number of cars growing fast, having doubled in the past 10 years to now at 2.5 crores … huh ? yes its true, and more and more consumers are driving on their own ?, isn’t it more important now than ever to have an emergency car kit in the car ? (yes, not in the garage or with the mechanic).

We have researched about what one would need to keep in the car, specifically as an Indian car owner. And made a list along with some suggestions.

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  • Check out the statistics of cars for 10 years.
  • A growth of 100% from approx. 1.25 crores to 2.5 crores.
  • Source Statista (courtesy graphy here) & also CEIC.
When it becomes ‘a must’ to have emergency kit in the car
  • When you drive out of station or to remote areas or villages often.
  • When driving to office or on work requires driving on highways where the road-side assistance is less to none.
  • When you may have baby or elders that require special care. So you can prevent unnecessary delays when you are stuck in a remote area.
  • You go on long drives away from people into nature etc.
MUST-Have items:
  1. Small LED torch
    • Very handy for a road worrier
  2. A spare tire & tools:
    • properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench, and tripod jack
  3. Duct Tape
    • Can fix many things with it, for example, can put the headlight in place if you hit something, and it is about to fall apart. Then, once you reach the mechanic, you could get it repaired.
  4. Jumper Cables
    • Used when the battery is down and need to start by connecting to another vehicle’s or external battery
  5. Flashlight/ Lantern/ Headlamp
    • Need no explaining yet, it comes extremely handy when your car stopped somewhere at night, and lights do not turn on.
    • Relying on cellphones’ torch is not be a good idea as you will also need to keep the charge on the phone so you can keep in touch.
  6. First-aid kit
  7. Tool kit with screwdrivers, pliers, adjustable wrench, pocket knife:
    • We may not know how to repair but there are many incidents when we can do a band-aid-like work to keep things in place on the hit car until we drive it to a mechanic.
  8. Reflective Triangles
    • It can be a lifesaver when your car stalled on road at night and you cannot even push it off the road. Many times it may not be visible to other traffic until they come very close. Having a reflective triangle that you can keep on top of the car can greatly reduce the risks.
  9. Car escape tool
    • Including seatbelt cutter and window breaker
    • In today’s world where we see actual incidents of cars falling in water, these can be a lifesaver.
  10. Tire pressure gauge
    • It is not for emergencies but something every car owner to keep handy. It does not cost much but can help a lot.
Good to have items (ok if you choose not to keep them):
  1. A tire inflator
    • Driving when the tire is flat or punctured will totally ruin the tire (a lot of money). But if we can refill and get it over to a tire (puncture) repair shop with that, it can be a pain-saver and money saver too.
    • On top of it, I use it on a regular basis at home and fill my own car’s tires with proper air pressure. So it helps not only during emergencies but on a regular basis too.
  2. A good dry and empty non-spill bottle to carry petrol:
    • This is something we would not want to happen, nor expect but when it happens, it can be a pain not to have a dry empty bottle.
  3. A car dashcam:
    • A while ago I was hit by another car from behind while I was actually watching it in the rearview mirror. It was totally his fault, he was not paying attention to the road and in much acceleration.
    • But because I did not have proof, it was his word against mine or the vis-a-versa. So I could not get his insurance to pay for my damages.
    • Then, I realized how much these can save when we do get into some issues with other drivers.
    • Last but not least, you can actually video record your full road trip without any effort.
  4. Windshield washer fluid:
    • There are really times when I ran out of the windshield washer liquid in my car, on a rainy day and when traveling on the highway. With the splashes of muddy murky mist covering the windshield was really annoying. Actually, it was a deterrent for driving.
To consider (some also keep these in car):
  1. An old blanket:
    • It is a multi-purpose utility thing when stuck. Can put use it for covering self, covering an ill person, cover the seats or interior from unwanted spillage. Or put it on the ground next to the car and have a picnic while stuck.
  2. Fire Extinguisher
    • I would agree that it is overkill but can be helpful.
  3. Paper towels / rag clothes
    • Most of us do keep these but just a reminder to have some spare ones kept away so we will not be left without them in that emergency situation.
MUST items that need no mention:
  1. All the vehicle documents
    • Registration, Insurance, Pollution, etc.
  2. Tire locks:
    • If you have one of those newer models, some of them come with special locks for the tires to prevent theft. You do need them to replace the tires if they get flat (punctured). Always keep them in the car and keep them safe.
  3. Spare car fuses
    • Even if there comes a mechanic, having these can be a huge help as finding the right ones in odd places can be very difficult.
  4. A mobile charger that works with car’s power outlet
    • It can really save you out of situations to keep one in the car all the time when something unforeseen happens.

Our picks of some of these items

1. Eveready Slim Torch (battery powered)

(click on image for price & details)

  • Recommended to keep a battery powered one, so you can leave it in the car for years.
  • Or we will have to recharge it and chances are we may forget to keep it back.
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

2. AmazonBasics Jumper Cable 8 Gauge, 16 Feet

(click on image for price & details)

  • Heavy-duty, tight-grip alligator clamps with a 130 amp rating
  • Strong spring and comfortable handle for easy positioning
  • Red/black insulated exterior ensures quick visual identification for easy set-up
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

3. First Aid Travel Kit

(click on image for price & details)

(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

4. AmazonBasics Compact Portable Digital Tyre Inflator with Carrying Case

(click on image for price & details)

  • Inflate tyres for scooters, motorcycles and cars
  • Compact 12-volt portable tyre inflator for adding air to tyres; plugs into cigarette lighter port
  • 10-foot power cord & long 23.6-inch air hose easily reaches all tyres comfortably
  • Digital Gauge with Auto Shut Off Capability
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

5. Multipurpose Automobile 40 piece Tool Kit

(click on image for price & details)

  • Made of carbon steel, durable to use.
  • Can be use for vehicle maintenance and general home repairs.
  • Sleeve’s surface with its size, convenient to use.
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

6. AmazonBasics Emergency Seat Belt Cutter & Window Hammer

(click on image for price & details)

  • If you are on road, especially travelling outstation and off beaten path, this can be very useful.
  • Designed to help escape from a sinking, over-turned, crashed, or burning car
  • Protective bracket included for safe storage
  • Check out how it can be used here in a YouTube Video.
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

7. Metal Body Tyre Pressure Gauge

(click on image for price & details)

  • Low cost tool that takes guess work out of tire press.
  • Comes with release button to hold the reading until button is pressed
  • Proper tire pressure increases mileage, reduces tire wear
  • Calibrated in lbs, kpa, kg or bar
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

8. Dash Cam 1080P Full HD Mini Car Driving Recorder

(click on image for price & details)

  • 1080P FULL HD and super night vision 1080P Full HD recording, LOOP RECORDING
  • 24/7 WORRY-FREE ALL-WEATHER MONITORING The car recorder includes Motion Detection and Parking Monitoring
  • A small piece of advise: This is excellent, simple to use but as it is small, take the help of the manual or ebook. There are tons of features that really help.
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)

9. AmazonBasics Foldable Cargo Trunk Organizer for Cars, SUVs, and Trucks

(click on image for price & details)

  • Trunk organizer for keeping items neatly contained and easy to find; ideal for cars, trucks, and SUVs
  • Includes 3 roomy storage sections, 4 mesh pockets, and 1 stretch pocket
  • Heavy-duty handles ; folds for space-saving storage
  • Measures 22 by 15 by 12.5 inches.
(Individual: utility, ease of use & cost)
Some good reads (references too)