Cars occasionally break down. A roadside emergency kit prepares you for these situations, but don’t just buy the first one you see: Prepackaged ones cost $29.99, but they often include low quality items and things you might not end up using. You’re better off curating your own kit for about $85, by selecting these seven high quality items from Amazon.
Low gauge jumper cables deliver more power to your battery. Inexpensive prepackaged kits usually include eight or ten gauge cables that work fine for most small cars and trucks, but larger vehicles require more heavy duty cables. Spend $16.95 on 12-foot, four gauge cables and you’ll be covered for any situation.
Hand-Crank Powered LED Flashlight
Prepackaged kits usually include an inexpensive battery-powered flashlight. Car owners inevitably find the battery dead and corroded when they need it.
A hand-crank powered LED flashlight will provide a light source for night-time emergencies without the need for batteries. A flashlight of this type can be purchased for $8.99.
Automobiles come with a tool specifically to remove the lug nuts off its tires. Ensure you have this tool, or purchase a lug wrench for $9.99 that fits your automobile’s lug nuts.
A blanket is important, especially in colder climates; but the blankets that come in emergency kits are often made of mylar; although this material is marketed as something that is compact yet provides a lot of warmth, in practice many people find it to be uncomfortable.
Do yourself a favor and buy an emergency blanket that will actually feel comforting during an emergency: a fleece one is pretty affordable at $7.97, and will provide you with plenty of warmth until help arrives.
A rain poncho will keep you dry if you have to change a flat tire or walk to find help in the rain; but the ponchos that typically come in prepackaged kits are often disposables that might not make it through one use before tearing. Instead, it only costs $6.97 to get a rain poncho with more substance to it.
If you have to let your car sit, your hazard lights (which should be on) will eventually drain the battery. Safety reflectors set on the roadside will increase the visibility of your vehicle to other traffic. The single reflector included with most prepackaged sets is insufficient. A set of three safety reflectors increases your safety for just $15.99.
First Aid Kit
Having access to a first aid kit is always a good idea, but prepackaged products contain first aid kits with substandard products that won’t do you any good in a real emergency. Instead, get a quality first aid kit for $14.09.
Add a $4.19 duffel bag to hold your items and you’ve got a high quality roadside emergency kit designed to help you handle the most common automobile breakdowns. Unlike prepackaged kits, yours will contain high quality items and no filler you’ll likely never use.
Readers, what kind of roadside emergency kit do you have in your automobile — and to what extent have you wound up using it?
Looking for more money saving tips? Check out these articles:
- Beware of Hysteria Marketing: Premade Emergency Kits Are Ripoffs
- Does Costco Do Brakes?
- How Much Should You Budget for Auto Maintenance?
- Renting Versus Owning a Car
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