Car essentials for autumn and winter

No matter what the time of year is, it is always best to feel your most prepared and with a variety of different circumstances that could occur on the road, preventing you from getting home on time, having a kit handy in your car can give you peace of mind should a certain scenario arise. As the summer comes to an end, we’re welcomed with cool breezes and adverse weather conditions.. Darker mornings and early evenings mean that the driving conditions are going to change, so you may need some time to readjust.

If you happen to find yourself stranded in your car over the course of the next couple of months, having a survival kit could be extremely useful. We’ve included a list of a few must-have items below that everyone should have in their car, no matter what time of the year it is! So, whether you’re thinking about investing in a new Ford car for autumn or are considering rethinking some of your current go-to car items, look at some essentials below.

Folding shovel

A man using a shovel in the snow

When snow begins to fall quickly and heavily, you can sometimes find yourselves stuck on the side of the road, needing to dig yourself out. According to AA Tyres, only 29% of drivers carry a shovel in their car during the winter months. However, a collapsible shovel is good in case of an emergency, so if you keep one in your vehicle at all times, you can minimise the likelihood of you forgetting it if ever you’re away from home. A shovel can also help before you start your morning journey, clearing a path for you to get out of your drive. However, it is important to note that in snowy, as well as icy, conditions, you should only drive if safe to do so.

Phone charger

A woman using her mobile phone

For many people carrying around a method of charging your devices daily is seen as a hassle. However, for some, leaving home without a way of keeping your battery topped-up is unthinkable. On the off-chance you’re unable to travel in your car, and you need to make a phone call, or even if you need to reach towards your phone for help with directions before embarking on a journey, it’s great to know that your phone won’t die when you need it most.

There are several different ways in which you can prepare for your phone running out of battery on you. A portable power bank can be one of the most effective ways as they come in a variety of different sizes. Plus, as they’re portable, you can always pack it into your bag once your journey is complete. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get home, having a charger with a wall socket is another great alternative as, similarly, it provides you with security in case you’re left short of battery.

Torch

A torch for use in a car

One of the biggest contrasts between the seasons is the number of daylight hours, as they greatly reduce when it comes to autumn. There are a number of reasons why you may find yourself in need of a torch, from breaking down to experiencing a patch of bad weather that has caused you to stop, so having a torch somewhere in your car will prove helpful in these situations! Torches can also provide reassurance if you’re stranded in the darkness. This can sometimes be frightening, as well as dangerous, particularly if you’re unsure of where you are, so having a source of light can give you peace of mind in times like this.

Screenwash

Windscreen wipers using screenwash

As the temperatures begin to drop, it is important to keep checking your screenwash and anti-freeze says Admiral. Crucial in preventing liquids from freezing on your windscreen, embarking on your journey without this could have a detrimental impact on your journey and can be extremely dangerous. This can be found relatively cheaply and is readily available, so ensuring that a bottle of this is always found nearby is simple. However, your anti-freeze should always be mixed with water, so make sure you have a bottle or two that you can pour in!

Reflective triangles

Reflective triangles in the road

As mentioned above, the shorter days mean that you’ll more than likely be driving in the dark on a regular basis. One of the most effective ways of informing drivers should you need to stop in these conditions is a reflective triangle. These triangles can be found at car shops and garages, as well as online. To be the most effective, the first triangle should be placed approximately 20-30 yards away from your vehicle, as this provides the drivers with plenty of warning. Despite having placed one of these triangles to alert drivers of your car, it is important to note that you should try and stay clear of your car, especially if it is in an area where damage is likely to occur, such as a blind spot.

Blanket

A woman in her car with blankets

In instances of snow, you may find yourself stuck in your vehicle for a couple of hours and, in these cases, you’re likely to get cold. Although packing extra layers, such as hats, a coat, gloves and a jumper, and keeping them in your car is one way of combatting the cold, having a blanket that you travel with can also come in handy, recommends Skilled Survival. This can double up as a picnic blanket in the summer, so there is really no need to remove this from your car at any point throughout the year, but you’ll be grateful of it if you get stuck in a snowstorm over the coming months!

To recap, here are a few essentials that you should have in your car this autumn and winter:

  • Shovel
  • A phone charger
  • Torch
  • Screenwash
  • Reflective triangles
  • A blanket