For most Americans, cars are an integral part of their life. They are more than just a machine used for getting from point A to point B. An average person spends nearly an hour every single day commuting to work. To make that time in a car enjoyable and keep something unpleasant from happening, car owners often need accessories that are not usually provided with cars.
Here is a list of the accessories that should be in a car at all times.
1. Air Freshener
Not seemingly an essential thing to have in the car, but this is the first thing you should buy once you have a car. Cars have an enclosed atmosphere with little to no air recirculation. Any odor that once enters doesn’t go away easily. This can make sitting in the car very uncomfortable for you and others. Having an air freshener handy can solve this problem. The best option is to get one that slowly keeps diffusing into the car on its own and keeps the vehicle’s interior fresh and smelling nice whenever you step inside.
2. A Smart Phone Charger
Needless to say that having a cellphone charger is a must for any car owner. However, you can take it a step further by buying a smart charger. These things come with a built-in GPS and Bluetooth, and some even have an internet connection of their own. These can be useful in two scenarios. First, if you forget where you have parked your car in a parking lot, you can track the vehicle using the app that comes with the smart charger. Secondly, if the car is carjacked, you can track the car’s location using the same app. This can save the day if the thief disables the car’s tracker and ignores the smart charger.
3. Car Trash Can
From Red Bull cans to empty Pringles boxes and everything in between, much trash is generated during traveling and having a messy car isn’t any good. A car trash can is an inexpensive accessory that can help you keep the road and your car clean. Just attach it to the back of the front seat or the center console, and the car will always be clean and litter-free.
4. DC Vacuum Cleaner
Even if you have a car trash can, dust, dirt, and pet hair can still make their way into the car. A DC vacuum that runs on the car’s cigarette lighter port is as necessary as a car washer.
You can use it to clean the interior of the car right when it gets dirty. That keeps the interior pleasant and cleans and prevents permanent marks from ruining the interior.
5. Phone Holder
Using maps and navigation is a part of driving in this age. The trouble is, driving a car while having the phone in your hand is not easy and outright dangerous. It doesn’t only increase the chances of getting into an accident but can also earn you a hefty fine. Having a phone holder in the car makes it easy to use the phone while you are driving. You can use both your hands for driving the car, and the phone will still be in front of you.
6. Jumper Cables
There’s nothing worse than turning the key in your car and the engine not cranking in response. Jumper cables are what can save the day in such a case. Jumper cables are high-current cables that can be used to power the battery of one car with another car. Contrary to popular belief, using jumper cables is quite easy and can help you start a car with a dead battery in a matter of minutes. There are even solar panels that you can use much like jumper cables to charge your battery.
7. Escape Tracks
If you live in an area where it snows or if your commute involves going through sand, you need to have a set of sturdy, lightweight escape tracks. These are small ramps, 3-4 ft. in length. If you get stuck in snow, ice, or sand, these can be put in front of the wheels to give the tires something to grip on. Once you get going, the momentum will keep you moving. Escape tracks can easily be stored in the trunk and don’t take much space but can get you out of any slippery situation.
8. Air Compressor
Most new cars come without a spare wheel to save space and weight. Even if your car has one, changing a wheel is not a very easy thing to do. What can help you in such a situation is an air compressor. You can get one of these for under $100. It runs on the 12V outlet in the car and can fill up a flat tire so that you can reach a nearby service station.
9. Swiss Knife/Multitool
There are many things in cars that can be fixed with common tools. It is, of course, not feasible to carry a complete toolkit in the trunk of a car, but something as small as a Swiss Knife can come in handy in many situations. Just get a good-quality Swiss Knife and let it sit in the glovebox. It will be useful one day.
Last but not least, if you use your car for long commutes or off-roading, a folding tent should always be in the vehicle. You never know when the vehicle might break, or you might get in a situation where you have to spend the night out in the open. Having a tent will make sure that you can sleep in relative comfort.
Cars come with almost everything you need for traveling. However, not every single thing can be useful in every possible scenario. To make the car comfortable and safe, and to avoid any problem from getting worse, you should have these ten accessories in the vehicle at all times.