Long Car Journeys - What To Pack

By: Motor Easy
Breakdowns happen at the worst times

Apart from yourself and anyone else you promised to take with you, there are several essentials you should keep in a zippable bag for when you really need them.

We will assume you have a mobile phone and are a member of a rescue organisation. If not, why not? We will make no distinction between short, or long, summer, or winter journeys. Here are your driving essentials.

book a repair A change of clothes could be a life saver.


A spare pair of shoes, maybe an old pair of trainers, some socks and at the very least a jumper. In winter you may need to layer up if you are stuck in a car or waiting by the motorway. In the event you get soaked then you'll be glad those trainers and socks were handy. We would also recommend an old blanket, or a foil survival blanket is even better as it takes up no space at all. Bonus points for:

  • a hat
  • small umbrella
  • old jeans

Just a parcel of stuff you might simply throw away, squeeze them into your survival bag. Oh yes and a reflective vest or coat. You want to stand out, even if you are on the other side of barrier next to the motorway. 


There may well be a very basic tool kit in your car that at the every least should allow you, if you want to, to change a wheel. Some models don’t even have that any more, just an aerosol puncture repair kit. That’s enough to get you home, which is a start.

You may not be planning on carrying out repairs, but if you are mechanically minded then an adjustable spanner, screwdriver, lubricating fluid and some strong tape may help, especially if you have an older car. An empty fuel can should not be necessary and neither should jump leads, unless you have the space.

If you don’t plan on carrying out any repairs, the nearest thing to a tool might be a portable phone charger. Your phone is also your torch these days. 

food can be handy when stuck Food can be handy when stuck


The chances of getting stuck in a traffic jam or as the result of a breakdown somewhere means that at the very least you should have some bottled water in your car. Ideally a breakfast bar, or some nuts would be the healthy options, but there is nothing wrong with the energy boost that some chocolate may bring. Remember that certain products melt and go out of date.


First Aid Kit & Bulbs

Some cars do have them hidden away somewhere, the trouble is everything inside could be out of date. First Aid Kits are cheap to buy or just put a few things together like plasters and cream. Disposable gloves should also be a part of every first aid kit and a pack of those are cheap and they become really useful if you actually decide to fix your car and don’t plan on getting dirty. Also, if you wear glasses or contacts, chuck an old pair in your bag. And the best first aid kit for your car is a spare set of bulbs.

No matter where or how far you're going, these essentials will make sure you're covered and prepared for any breakdown or car emergency you may encounter. 

If you're looking for more;

Surviving Long Car Journeys With Children

Driving in Europe

Book a local repair

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