15 Things You Should Always Keep In Your Car


I’m in my car a lot and I have plenty of road trips planned for this summer. At the end of spring, I always make sure to get my tires serviced, my oil changed, the inside of my car detailed, and I load up the car with things I’ll need for trips to keep me safe. I decided to put together a list of things I keep in my car and things I need to put in my car.

1. Cell Phone Charger

I hate driving without a cell phone, not because I’m going to miss a text, but because I don’t want to be stranded on a dirt road alone at night. I don’t want to stick my thumb out like a hitchhiker so that I can use a stranger’s cell phone to call roadside assistance. I also feel safer with a phone in the car, just incase I’m being chased by a serial killer and I need to call the police.

2. Self Defense Mechanism. 

This applies for guys and girls. I watch way too many scary movies to know that you definitely need some form of self defense in your car that you can use while strapped in by a seatbelt. If someone comes to your window while you’re at a drive-thru and demads money, what would you do? I know that I would take out my pepperspray and use it on them. What if you forgot to lock your doors and someone jumped in the backseat while you were in the store. You forget to check the backseat before getting in and the person grabs you from behind. Notice I said ”you” because I’d never get in a car without checking the backseats first. If it did happen, I’d use my stun gun on them and hurry up and make a run for it. Always have some form of self defense device in your car. You may need it if you stall in the wrong part of town or if someone is harassing you. Rather be safe than sorry.

3. Spare Tire

I’ve changed enough spare tires in my lifetime that I could probably do it with my eyes closed, though, I’d probably lose all the bolts. Last Valentines day Nick and I blew a tire while we were heading home from dinner. We would have been stranded on a back road with hardly any reception if he didn’t have the spare tire in the back of the car. Always keep a spare in the car! Also, make sure you have the jack and wrench too!

4. Flashlight

This goes with the spare tire situation. We didn’t have a flashlight to fix the tire, I had to use the light of my cell phone. It would have been so much easier if Nick kept a flashlight in his car. Luckily, I kill two birds with one stone because my stun gun is a flashlight.

5. Jumper Cables

Only around 70% of people carry jumper cables in their cars. Speaking of, I should probably get on that soon! I’ve had to use them, my friends have had to use them, and therefore it may be a smart idea to have them. It’s an easy mistake to leave a light on or door open on the car, so instead of getting stranded with a dead battery, just make sure you keep jumper cables in the back! Plus having jumper cables in your car could make you a hero of the day for someone else.

6. Ice Scraper

I live in the South and the thought of putting an ice scraper in my car made me laugh until reality hit me this past winter. I woke up early from a friends house and my car was completely iced over. The only thing I could do was use a credit card to scrape down the snow. I then had to wait until my defrosters kicked in to take care of the rest of the ice. An ice scraper would have saved me about 20 minutes.

7. First Aid Kit

I’ve had a first aid kit in every car I’ve had for the past eight years, but I have yet to use it. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be in there though. If you get in an accident in the middle of nowhere and it takes a while to get an ambulance, you may be able to use something in there to help you or someone else. If you get hurt fixing your car, you may need the first aid kit. You can buy a first aid kit or you can make your own. Fill it with bandaids, wraps, an epipen, antibacterial solution, provide, and tylenol!

8. Change Of Clothes

This is my favorite on the list because I’m really good at spilling things on my clothes. Last weekend, I had chocolate all over my lace white top from accidentally rubbing against the cake I made for Nick’s dad’s birthday. We were already on the way to the restaurant and so I just grabbed a spare shirt from the back. I use my spare clothes once a week. You never know when you’re going to need them. I also keep flip flops and tennis shoes in my car.

9. Non-Parishable Snacks & Water

You man need something to live off of if you’re stranded in a snow storm, or broken down somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Also, if you’re on a long road trip and you need some quick energy food to keep you from falling asleep while driving. I also like to keep packages of almonds or trail mix just incase I get really hungry; it keeps me from stopping at fast food places and controls what I buy at grocery stores. When you keep water in your car, make sure it’s in a bottle that is heat-safe. (Consider your pets too)

10A pen

This one seems small, but it’s one of the things I’m always looking for in my car! I was depositing a check at the bank’s ATM yesterday and couldn’t find a pen to sign it. I had to go out in my car and search the entire car for a pen. I didn’t even have one in my purse. I grabbed three pens off my desk and stuck them in my car’s center compartment this morning.

11. Cell Phone Mount

Cell phone mounts are important for me when I’m on road trips. I use my cell phone for GPS and I use it to make calls. It takes less than two seconds of looking down at your phone to get in an accident. Whenever I’m driving, I hook the phone up on the mount for GPS and if someone calls, I hit the green button and the speaker button. It’s much safer since I don’t have to look down at my lap. It’s safer than flipping radio stations. The cell phone mount in the photo above is a two in one mount that either hooks on to your air vents or your windshield.

12. Freshen’ Up Kit

This really isn’t THAT important, but I find that the freshen’ up kit comes in handy. I keep a little container in my trunk that has baby wipes, face wash wipes, a comb, hair ties, lip gloss, mascara, hand sanitizer, perfume, deodorant, and mouth wash!

13. Fix a flat

If you’re driving and notice your car starts to drive a little choppy or keeps going left or right, your tire may need air! Sometimes it takes about 30-50 miles to get to a gas station to fill it up. If you have fix a flat in your car, you’ll be good to go!

14. List of Emergency Contacts, License, & Registration

You can’t always rely on your cell phone for a contact list. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost a year now and I still don’t know his number by heart. I don’t even know my dad’s number. I rely on my cell phone way too much! If your phone is lost or broke and you need to contact someone, have a list of contacts available.

Make sure to have your License and & Registration. Getting pulled over without those can get you in a lot of trouble!

15. Your Glasses/Sunglasses

I can do most things without my glasses, but when I get behind a wheel at night, I need glasses! Lights look like fireworks without my glasses and I can barely see. I don’t wear them usually unless I’m a the movies or driving. You should also have sunglasses in the car. It can be so sunny sometimes that you can barely see the lights change without sunglasses! Sunglasses are also better for your eyes and prevents wrinkles with all the scrunching of the face!

What is something that you ALWAYS keep in your car?


  • Afton

    This *is* a great list, however, as a diesel mechanic (yes, girls can be mechanics too! ;P) I cannot stress to you how much more of a hassle fix-a-flat is to a mechanic than a help.
    Ladies, it’s so much better to just learn to change a tire (and I’m about to start a series on my blog to teach y’all how to do these kinds of things!) than to have to take it to a mechanic who has to literally scrape all of the goo off of your rim!

    Reply to Afton
  • Emily

    HI! Sorry I don’t know if someone has already posted this, but it’s a REALLY good idea to keep some blankets in your car. You never know where you’ll get stuck, and if you’re in the North like me, you don’t want to be without blankets if you’re stranded in the winter.

    Reply to Emily
  • Ally

    Awesome list- toothpaste and floss!!
    I live in Australia and the climate is reaaallly hot – my make up and perfume gets cooked in the car – does anyone have a helpful solution??

    Reply to Ally
  • Grace

    My parents insisted that I keep a small fire extinguisher in my car. It’s good to know it’s there in case of an emergency. I also keep one in the kitchen, just in case!

    Reply to Grace
  • shealein

    I love this post TL! Tampons should be up on that list too!

    Reply to shealein
  • katelyn

    Important note: DO NOT keep water bottles in the car in the heat (Summer) the plastic release toxins that are harmful found to cause cancer

    Reply to katelyn
  • SG7472a

    This is quite helpful but remember that first aid kits expire as things dry or are actually past their prime–epipens only have about a 2yr life span, bandaids a lot less.

    I found this out the hard way– its really helpful to have all that in your car but have a way to get it all out easily if your car will be towed after an accident. Its easier to get it then, then to get it at the tow yard.

    Reply to SG7472a
  • ML Bishop

    Dental floss is a must for my car, because I inevitably end up with blueberries in my teeth or something else that I need to get out and dental floss can be a lifesaver! I keep one in my purse and car.

    Reply to ML Bishop
  • Sarah

    The pen…I always think I have one and never do. I keep dry shampoo in my car always because some times I have to walk jobsites in a hard hat for my job. And then pretend I’m a professional back at my office with dirty, greasy bomb hair…yuck.

    Great tips!

    Flip Flops and Furs

    Reply to Sarah
  • NC

    I keep a blanket in my trunk… it’s an older thicker one, perfect for impromptu beach trips or picnics, and great if I have to load up something dirty in my trunk (like buying pots of herb plants from the nursery to keep dirt off my seats).

    Also not a necessity at all, but I keep car interior cleaning wipes in my back seat. Whenever I stop to fill up for gas, I go through my car and toss receipts or wrappers that have collected and wipe down the dash/console/back doors to keep my car clean in between details!

    Reply to NC
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Great idea! I need to add blanket to the list. I also keep the interior wipes in my car. I use them when I’m bored in traffic (hope that’safe) Since you mentioned receipts, I keep a little ziplock baggy to put all the important ones in!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Laura

    Great list! As someone who lives in Canada, a blanket is always a must for me! Even in the summer it can get dangerously cold at night, so having a blanket could end up being an absolute life saver if you ever were stranded in your car. A lot of people who live places with snow would also say that having a hat, mittens and a stash of granola bars is imperative for the winter as well! No one ever plans to go off the road or get lost in the middle of a snowstorm.
    xo, Laura

    Reply to Laura
  • Melanie

    Great post Taralynn! I never thought to carry some of these in my car– the first aid kit is especially smart! I carry an ice scraper in my car year round. Living in Michigan you never know when you’ll need one 😉

    Reply to Melanie
  • Somer

    Love this post idea!

    I always try to keep hand sanitizer, napkins, and those little salt and pepper packets for those occasional fast food stops:)


    Reply to Somer
  • Shyann

    I also have that Flashlight / Stungun – Actually got it as a Wedding gift from my Husband! I am not a fan of the dark!
    And I have a knife in my car, which needs to be replaced with Pepper Spray!

    Reply to Shyann
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes pepper spray is great, especially for when you’re out an about! I keep mine in my purse if it’s night and I’m in a parking lot! I feel bad for anyone who tries to mess with me.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kerri McGrail

    I really need to carry some of this stuff in my car! Especially the self defense mechanism & change of clothes! The clothes definitely would have come in handy on a few occasions lol.

    Reply to Kerri McGrail
  • Kim

    Idiot! Epipens are not to be stored in cars because cars aren’t climate controlled, and also, it will only be useful to you in a car if you are exposed to whatever you’re allergic to while you’re in the car. You’re supposed to keep it WITH you.

    Reply to Kim
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Not knowing a certain thing does not make you an idiot.

      Future tip for you, Kim * when letting someone know a helpful tip, just let them know nicely.

      Taralynn, storing an epipen in your car would be hazardous because it’s not climate controlled.

      & I put that for someone else who may have to have one. But thank you for letting me know.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • heather

    LOL, I actually live in a state where it’s illegal to carry a stun-gun(or buy epi-pens without prescriptions. for that matter). We’re stuck with 2 x 4’s and aluminum bats.

    Reply to heather
    • Taralynn McNitt

      hahahahaha that’s awesome! what about Pepper spray?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • heather

        Pepper spray is permitted if the carrier is 18+, but it cant be really strong and you can only carry one, of whatever strength, at a time. You can totally tell where I’m from LOL, nothing is legal here.

        Reply to heather
  • Sarah

    Really loved this post as well! This isn’t something I would think about on the day to day so thanks for keeping it top of mind!


    Reply to Sarah
  • Cassie

    Yes, water is a must! I also like keeping a jacket, sunglasses and SPF!

    Reply to Cassie
  • Jeanine

    My dad has always made sure I have a sleeping bag in my trunk haha just incase its cold and my car won’t start or I get s flat or something. I always thought it was silly but now it makes sense to me – especially when I was traveling upstate NY for school – that reminds me, during winter he had me put a little thing of kitty litter in the trunk too! It can help give your tires friction to get your car out if it’s stuck in snow!

    Reply to Jeanine
  • Jenn

    i love what you recommend but I have to disagree on the jumper cables. On an older car, they’re fine. On a new(er) car that is totally computer controlled, you can damage the electrical system or your computer by giving a jump. It’s a risk being jumped as well. I have two new cars and don’t carry cables for this exact reason.

    I never thought about the freshen up kit, will have to do one of those. I carry emergency mascara in my purse but the rest is too much. Great idea!

    Reply to Jenn
  • katelyn

    I always keep hand sanitizer , and wipes or paper towels 🙂

    Reply to katelyn
  • Anna

    Love this! I always need a pen 🙂

    Reply to Anna
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    And a spare pair of running shoes!

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Julie @ Run Away Freckles

    This is a great list. I have most of these things. I love having a pair of running shoes and sandals in my car, I have been saved by them before. A freshen up kit is also super important, I have needed the deodorant in my center console enough to know.

    Reply to Julie @ Run Away Freckles
  • Kristin C

    I need to put a case of bottled water in the back of my car. Good call!

    I always keep a pen in my car and I try to remember sunglasses. Unfortunately, if I had a spare tire, I wouldn’t know what to do with it 😉

    Reply to Kristin C
  • Lauren

    I love this list espessially # 1. My friends may think I’m paranoid about getting attacked by potential serial killers but I’m glad I’m not the only one worried about that!
    XO Lauren

    Reply to Lauren
  • Quinn

    This is one of my favorite posts! I LOVE you blog and read all the time. You’ve always got the best advice. I will definitely be referring to this when I’m cleaning out and revamping my car for the summer time. Keep up the good work 🙂

    Reply to Quinn

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