Why do I need a Car Kit?

why you need an emergency car kit

How many times have you been stuck in traffic or had a flat tire?  Not many, well there are still plenty of other reasons you may want an emergency car kit.  Read below for 11 reasons why you need one.

Download your Emergency Car Kit Printable.

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11 Reasons why you need a Car Kit

1. Car break downs happen– no matter how new the vehicle.  New vehicles sometimes have “bugs” in them, or you might run over a nail. You can never plan on when a car will break down, except at the most inconvenient time as possible.

2. You can not control the actions of other drivers.  While you might be a very safe and alert driver, you can’t count on those around you to be.  Severe weather, drunks or distracted drivers can all cause small to large accidents.  Having a car kit can help you be prepared when something does happen.

3. Everyone makes mistakes. Whether its running over a pot hole and popping a tire, or forgetting to refill the tank.  Mistakes happen.

4. The average person is involved in 3-4 car accidents in their life time.  I looked it up.  And that is crazy!  Although some may only be “fender benders”, a car kit will help you be prepared for when something does happen… because most likely, it will.

5. Being stuck at the edge of the road stinks… even if help is on the way.  If you have ever been stuck on the edge of the road, then you understand.  You can’t count on the weather being good, or room on the side of the road to sit.  Also, how far are you away, and how often does other traffic come.  More importantly, will you have cell service?

6. Stuck in traffic.  This happened many times when I was a child in Arizona.  Every holiday traveling from our cabin in the mountains back to the valley would be a long line of cars.  Almost every summer you’d be stuck waiting, and there were many cars stuck on the side of the road over heating or just plain stuck in traffic and not able to get to a gas station, or toilet, etc.

7. An emergency comes and you don’t have time to gather the items you need. If for some reason you do need to evacuate in a fast amount of time, do you have enough gas, and other items to get to the next town?  An emergency car kit has items that will help you get there and not have to run home or wait in long lines to get major items.

8. They are fairly inexpensive to make, and will save you stress in an emergency.  A car kit will cost $0 (depending on what you already have around the house) to $50.  That’s a months worth of eating out.  Save up a couple bucks and build a kit to ensure your safety.

9.  To help someone else on the side of the road.  So, you may have a very reliable car and are very safe driver.  That’s great!  But what if you see a mom with 3 kids stranded on the road?  Wouldn’t it be hard to drive by because you “couldn’t help”?  It’s much easier to stop and offer your 15 min of time to help out, all because you were prepared.

10.  It’s always better to be safe than sorry.  

11.  It’s easy to make and move from car to car.  A car kit is typically made once and then you’re set.  Sometimes you’ll need to update it (especially if you have kids), but it’s easy to move from car to car.  Spend an hour putting one together.  You won’t regret it.

Download your Emergency Car Kit Printable.

What to Pack


  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitiezer
  • Garbage bags and Ziploc bags
  • Baby wipes
  • Clorox wipes
  • Kleenexes

Food-Pack a few snacks in case it’s been a while since your last meal, or will be a while till your next.  This is especially important if you have kids!  Some ideas are:

  • Protein or energy bars
  • Dried fruit
  • Bottled water
  • Bottled juices
  • Crackers


  • Water
  • First aid kit
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire gauge
  • Foam tire sealant– easy quick for holes in tires so you don’t have to change a flat
  • Flashlight/head lamp- with extra batteries
  • Blankets to stay warm, or a couple emergency blankets
  • Duct tape
  • Multi-purpose knife
  • Extra pair of good walking shoes
  • Gloves
  • Face mask
  • Ice scraper (if you live where you get ice and snow)


  • Whistle
  • Cash
  • Pepper spray
  • Emergency phone numbers for all family members close to you, and your long distance emergency contact.
  • Paper map- because you GPS may not always work.
  • Cell phone charger


  • Deck of cards (to play when you get bored)
  • Book or two (emergency books are great to have with you too!)
  • Battery/solar powered fan (especially if you’re living in Arizona)
  • Paper and pen
  • Chap Stick

Advanced- For those of you who want a more advanced kit and have the time and money, here are some more suggestions.

In conclusion

As you can see, there are a TON of items you can include in your emergency car kit.  Please don’t be overwhelmed… start with the most basic of items and use what you already have on hand.  Then, start adding to your kit as you have space, money, and time.  The nice thing about a car kit, is once it’s made, you don’t have to make it again.  Just check and rotate your food, water and batteries as needed.  Ready.gov has some great tips on how to prepare your car for an emergency and some vehicle safety tips.  I recommend reading their article (it’s a quick read).

Do you have an emergency car kit?  What do you include that I didn’t have on this list?  Comment below.

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Further Reading:

How to Make an Emergency Plan

Why you need an Emergency Fund

Why you need a 72 Hour Kit

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This post contains affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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