Top 10 tools must have in car trunk for every drive

Updated Dec 20, 2022 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Never hit the road without these 10 important items in your vehicle. Keep reading to check whether you are ready for each ride or not!

Thankfully, we don't often encounter road or driving emergencies or breakdowns, but when they do happen, we should be prepared. Reliable service centers are not always located in areas where our cars break down.

It is therefore important to have the right tools with us when our vehicles run into trouble. gives a checklist of the 10 essential tools to have handy.

1. Jumper cables

Every car owner should have this in case you’re confronted with a dead or ailing battery -- which can happen anytime and anywhere. Battery failure can totally disable the car, and a set of jumper cables can help you get back on the road and go to the nearest service center. 

Make sure you know how to jump-start a car and that you are familiar with your vehicle’s engine. Cables are universal and easy to use. When choosing for a set of jumper cables, opt for heavy-gauge cables that come with durable and high-quality spring-loaded clamps.

jumper cables

Jumper cables can bring a dead battery back to life [Image: Flickr/Steve Freling of Motor Oomph] 

Select cables that are more than 10 feet in length, too. A good set of jumper cables is more serviceable and will operate well with different types of vehicles and trucks. Most cables today can be bought with a storage bag and instructions as well.

2. First-aid kit

In many countries, the law mandates that every vehicle should have first-aid kits all the time.  Anyone can get injured on the road and a basic medical kit is one of the most important things to have during these times. Your first-aid kit should have the following essentials:

  • Band-Aids to cover cuts
  • Gauze pads
  • Safety pins
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes for sanitation
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Alcohol
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other pain-relieving medications
  • Antihistamine for allergies

There are local stores which sell assembled first-aid kits, but you can also customize your own.

>>> Check out: Essential things to keep in your car.

3. Socket and screwdriver set

All cars, even newer ones, can have parts that become loose. It can either be a result of age, vibration, or other reasons. More often, the problem can be a slipped hose clamp and a loose battery terminal connection.

Usually, a simple tightening can do the trick. To make this possible, you need to have a good set of sockets and screwdrivers. Make sure you familiarize yourself with how these tools go together.

socket and screwdriver


You need to have a good set of sockets and screwdrivers

4. Tire inflator and sealer

Almost all cars have a spare tire in case of a flat. But what if the spare tire is also faulty or fails as well? These are just some of the issues that can be eliminated or reduced if you have a tire sealer or inflator in your trunk.

These tools can help you get moving during an emergency. But remember that after putting a temporary solution, it is a must that you bring your vehicle to a reputable repair shop and get your tire/s replaced.

5. Jack and lug wrench

This should be included in the trunk along with your spare tire. Changing a flat tire can be extra difficult if you don’t have a jack and lug wrench. Your spare tire can be completely useless if you don’t have one to jack up your car and the lug wrench to remove the lug nuts.

Jack and lug wrench


A jack and lug wrench tool should accompany your spare tire

6. Hazard triangles and flares

When on the road, we want to stay as visible as possible, most especially during the night. In the unfortunate event that your car breaks down at night, hazard triangles and flares will make other motorists aware of your location.

This will prevent collision and can also let other motorists know that you need assistance. Hazard triangles and flares, just like a first-aid kit, is mandatory in most countries.

7. Tire pressure gauge

This tool is used to measure the tire pressure of each tire. Regular checking of tire pressure can prevent underinflation or tire blowouts. It also helps you maximize the tire tread’s life and gas mileage. You should pay close attention to the pressure of your tires regularly.

Tire pressure gauge 


A tire pressure gauge is a handy tool to have for instant checking

>>> Also check: 4 useful tips for preserving car tires in the summer.

8. Two to three gallons of water

Water is essential and can be used for almost anything. Storing two to three gallons of water in your trunk allows you to have something to drink when you get thirsty. You can also use it as a cleaning and rinsing agent, and you can pour it into the vehicle’s cooling system if it is overheating. You can do a lot more with the water in your trunk.

9. Knife

A knife is one of the most basic tools that can be used in many ways. It can be used to open food containers or cut tinder for an emergency fire. Storing a knife in your trunk can be helpful in certain emergencies. You can opt for a folding knife or go for a  fixed blade knife that is a bit more preferable because of its inherent strength.

A knife


A knife can be handy in many ways

10. Flashlight

A flashlight is also a must-keep in your vehicle trunk. It can help you have a better view of the less accessible areas of your vehicle, especially when you need to repair or check something in the dark. No one knows when he or she might need a constant source of light for a full night or several hours. Just in case, have a flashlight ready in your trunk.

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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