It can be quite hard for both learner and new drivers to get a car that is both affordable to insure and desirable. Undoubtedly, you are more prone to start with of your driving life with an older car that probably won’t have the essential things you need. Therefore, we have compiled a list of Car Essentials for New Driver.
Car essentials that new drivers need to keep in the car
If you are a new driver, you ought to be prepared in case the worst happens when you are out on the road. Here are some of the things you need to have in your car that will ensure no matter what happens you can get home safely without waiting for someone to come rescue you.
If you are practicing or learning how to drive in your own car then you need to get some L plates because the law requires you to. You can get the sticker ones but the only downside is that they crease, wrinkles and are generally a pain to apply. They are also annoying to peel off.
The best option is the magnetic ones since they can be stuck on and taken off whenever you need. Unlike the sticker ones these ones don’t crease you just need to ensure that they are applied nice and flat just in case the wind gets under them and causes them to fly off. Once you have passed, you can get the magnetic P plates too. Just fold them and stash them in your car essentials kit.
Dash cameras are slowly becoming a must-have accessory for any driver. They are not only great for capturing accident footage but also for helping to prove who was at fault in case of an accident. This helps to reduce the insurance of your car by up to 10%.
Power jump starter/Portable power bank
This is a must-have item in your car essentials kit.
If you are driving an older car then a battery booster is an essential thing to keep in the boot provided it is charged. With a jump starter such as DBPower, you get a 16,500 mAh booster that can crank a petrol engine up to 5.0 litre or a diesel one up to 3.0 litre. It has plenty of positive reviews on Amazon.
It is not only equipped to start a car with a flat battery but also charges mobile phones and also laptops thus making it handy if you get stuck at the roadside with a flat phone. In addition to this, it comes with a built-in power indicator, a torch and red emergency light. It is also quite compact making it ideal for a small car.
At this day and age, it would be a shame if your car is not fitted with a car charger regardless of how old it is. Everyone needs an in-car charger to avoid the risk of their mobile device running out of battery and going off. Avoid getting caught in a messy situation with a phone that has gone off and no charger or power bank.
Jumper cables come in handy when you have a dead battery and you need to get your car up and running again. Well, provided some other motorist is kind enough to stop and offer their engine to get yours started.
As a new driver, it is essential that you stay on the right side of the law especially with all the recent changes to motoring laws including new speeding fine charges and double penalty points for mobile phone use.
It doesn’t matter whether you use your mobile as a dedicated device or Sar Nav, you are required to have a suitable phone holder. With that said, there are plenty of affordable options in the market.
Tyre and pressure depth gauge
There is every chance that the tyres on your car will be worn out especially if you have an older car. In the event that the pressure or tread depth gets too low then driving can get very dangerous for you. Additionally, driving with a defective tyre more often means three penalty points which are a big deal for learners or new drivers especially those in their probationary stage.
Having a small flashlight in your trunk can be quite handy especially if you find yourself caught in the dark trying to change a flat tire. In the event of such a thing, it is wise to have a torch instead of relying on your mobile device because if its battery dies then you will be out of luck.
If you are a new driver, there are high chances that you have inherited or bought an older car. If this is the case, it means that you most likely don’t have an aux adapter to plug your mobile device into. In all likelihood though, you may have a cassette player. If you don’t know what a cassette is then don’t fret. For only a few pounds, you can buy an adapter for this archaeological technology, one that will allow you to blast your music through those ancient speakers if you haven’t upgraded them yet.
Tyre repair kit
Getting a flat tyre can be a deflating experience especially if you don’t have the right tools to fix it with you including a fully inflated tyre. In addition to this, having a tyre repair kit somewhere in your car should be a must for any driver no matter what experience they have behind the wheel.
Ensure that you get a tyre repair kit that comes with a tyre sealant and an air compressor that can be used for almost anything. Ensure that you always keep an inflated spare try with you. Just in case.
First Aid kit
While having a first aid kit in your car might appear boring, it is actually a smart idea. In fact, if you are planning on travelling abroad then it is essential, even though the chances of driving to such places as a new driver or learner are quite slim. There are a plethora of kits for sale at significantly low prices, equipped with plasters, bandages scissors and rubbing alcohol. It is better to not need it and have it than need it and not have it.
Duct tape and cable ties
There are times that things will come loose when you are driving along especially in an old car. The worst culprits of this are wheel trims but also underbody protection, both inside and outside of the car as well as bits of plastic, and other ends and odds may also try to make a break for freedom.
By having some strong duct tape and a packet a heavy duty cable in your car, it will make a huge difference in the event that things go a little wrong. In as much as they won’t fix your problem permanently but they can help you, a botch job at the roadside can make a big difference when compared to an expensive breakdown callout as well as making it home.
Keeping a physical road map in the glove compartment of your car can be a lifesaver and here is why. Imagine yourself in a situation where your phone charger has stopped working, you don’t have a navigation device or you are driving into a dead zone and you need a backup way to navigate.
Only advice is to ensure that you updated your road map every few years especially if your regular road trip routes features new cities.
Even though most people keep them stuffed in the glove box in hopes to never be looked at unless there is a sudden emergency or need for something such as to remember the correct tyre pressure, it doesn’t mean that they are not important. Car manuals are a treasure trove of crucial information including the right coolants and oil to use. Therefore, you should never remove your car’s manual from the glove box because you never know when you will be needing it.
An emergency blanket or towel
If you are unfortunate enough to get stranded on a cold night or you find yourself driving while it is snowing, having a blanket or towel can help to keep you warm. If you find yourself in a worst case scenario just make sure you are able to wrap up until help arrives.
Other than keeping you warm, you can also put the towel or blanket under tires for traction to pull your car out of the icy situation. Also, if you are travelling with someone who likes to keep the temperature in the car colder than you would like during a trip then having a towel or blanket may come in handy.
Vehicle documents as well as personal ID
Generally, most new drivers or learners don’t do anything but drive the car especially if they are young. They obviously have their wallet with their license and that is it, they will find registration in a heartbeat if they were pulled over. However, here is how they can make the process easier and beneficial to them. They first need to get a VIN to get virtually anything.
As a young driver, you probably don’t even know your own blood type. Such information, as well as emergency contacts and allergies to medications, should be noted on your personal ID. In the unfortunate event that you are in an accident and you are unconscious, making such information available will come in handy thus allowing you to get the best possible care. Keep in mind that which document must be original and which may be copied varies by state and province. Therefore, you need to confirm which of the two options is allowed in your locality.
Useful tips that you could use as a rookie behind the wheel
After getting your licence you might be all psyched up to get on the road on your own thinking that you are all set, right? Wrong! Chances are you still don’t know much because you lack the experience. In fact, research shows that one in five new drivers are involved in a car accident within their first year of driving. With this in mind, here are a few helpful tips that you could use.
Get more training
Even though you have passed both your physical and written driving text, you need to get more training. This is because it is only after you pull away alone for the first time that you really learn how to drive. Bear in mind that driving instructors tend to show you the ropes in the easiest possible conditions. This is usually on quiet and almost empty streets during perfect weather. You can bet that once you get on the road on your own, you will be encountering plenty of less favourable environments.
You might want to follow up your basic training with some further driving education where you will be taught how to drive in all sorts of weather, in bus towns, at night, on motorways and generally in environments that most learners might find stressful.
Know your car better
Now that you have gotten yourself a sweet ride, whether it is old or brand new don’t just get in it and drive. Examine it, look at the manual, sit in it, and turn it on. Look at the switches and buttons and learn what they do. Knowing your car inside and out helps you respond quickly when you need to. However, if you don’t know what works now, you may become distracted in a moment of panic and potentially cause an accident.
Put down the phone
It is illegal to use a handheld phone while driving so don’t even think about it and if you have been doing it then you need to stop immediately. Similarly, putting your mobile device on speakerphone and holding it just in front of your mouth is still not fooling anyone. You need to have your full attention on the road when driving.
Now you know about car essential kits!
It may be a bit hard to find your way on the road as a novice driver, however, having a car essentials kit within arms reach will do you alot of good.