What should be in your car emergency kit?

9 May 2022

Whether you’re headed out on a long-haul road trip or dropping the kids off for a sleepover, a car emergency kit is handy to have. But what should be in it?

For your car

Your vehicle's user manual

They always say ‘work smarter, not harder’. So, just as you should read the instructions on your flat-pack furniture rather than thinking you can wing it, you should keep the user manual for your car readily accessible. The manual is a gold mine of information that could help you stay prepared, such as

  • fluid amounts
  • top-up times
  • service intervals,
  • and more. 

The essentials

Having a spare tyre is vital – but what about a car jack, tyre lever, pump and tyre gauge? These can help with simple fixes like a flat tyre, getting you back on the road quickly.

Maintenance equipment

You can’t go wrong with making sure you have a tool kit, jumper leads, spare oil/water and coolant, glass cleaner and other maintenance tools ready to go in your car — all of which you can find the specific sizes for in your user manual.

Safety tools

These can be crucial. For example, keeping a fire extinguisher on hand could help you in an emergency, and be useful in helping others, too. Other items to consider include a high visibility vest, for use when operating outside of your vehicle, and a hazard triangle to draw the attention of other road users so they can avoid further accidents. This is also a friendly reminder to make sure your hazard lights are in working order, too!

For you

Food & water

Non-perishable foods and bottled water are a must. Buying some non-perishable food items and a large water container for storage in your boot could be a life saver, especially if you’re travelling rurally. Whether it’s for cleaning wounds, spills, topping up fluids or drinking – make sure you’ve got water in the case of an emergency. 

First aid kit

This might seem like a simple addition, but it’s often overlooked. Having a stocked and ready-to-go first aid kit is useful in every situation, regardless of whether it’s on the road or in a car park.

Navigation tools

These days, we all rely on our smart phones. However, would you be able to navigate your surrounds if your phone was out of battery or the area you’re in has no phone coverage? This is why you should consider pre-planning and printing your journey, or making sure you have a Refidex in your vehicle prior to departing. 

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Even if you’re not travelling at night, a flashlight is a necessity. You could be travelling during the day, and end up on the roadside for longer than expected. Make sure you have a rechargeable, solar or crank battery-operated flashlight to get you by. A head torch is also useful at night, keeping your hands free.

Portable charger & spare batteries

While a fully charged portable charger is good to have for charging your phone, it’s also handy for charging other necessities. This can include flashlights, tablets, laptops and more. Batteries for a torch or battery-operated radio may also be handy.

Dry & warm utensils

Alongside warm clothing and blankets, keeping rain ponchos, an umbrella and instant heat packs could be the difference between a cold and wet roadside breakdown, and a dry and warm roadside tyre change.

Spare cash

Keeping spare cash in the car can be useful, but only if you’re able to keep it well hidden. In this day and age, we often revert to using our debit and credit cards for purchases – but how would you buy your necessities if a place didn’t have EFTPOS or mobile service? 

Contact details

This may seem redundant, as we use our phones for getting in touch. However, if your phone was dead – would you be able to cite important phone numbers of loved ones, roadside assistance lines or emergency services off the top of your head? Most likely not. Keep important numbers in your car in case of an emergency.


Ensure you're covered

Think about whether your vehicle is insured in case something does happen like an accident. With this in mind, consider adding Roadside Assist as an optional cover to your Comprehensive Car Insurance. 

Get Roadside Assistance

You’d be able to get help with issues like flat batteries#, flat tyres and emergency fuel delivery. With 24/7 unlimited service call-outs across Australia*^ and free tows to an accredited repairer up to 20kms from the breakdown location, you can breathe easy knowing Suncorp Insurance can help get you back on the road.


# 2 battery restart and replacement assistance.
*Terms and conditions apply. ^ There is no cover for Suncorp Roadside Assist during the first 24 hours of adding the cover. For full coverage details, please see the 
Terms and Conditions.

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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Information provided is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination before making any decision regarding this product. Suncorp Roadside Assist is provided by Digicall Assist Pty Ltd. For full coverage details, please see the Suncorp Insurance Roadside Assist Terms and Conditions.

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