Your car or lorry should have a tool kit so you can deal with minor repairs on the road. You don’t need that many tools – in fact, a good multi-tool can take care of several of them.
Every vehicle’s tool kit should contain…
- Screwdrivers: a couple of sizes of flathead and Philips screwdrivers will be useful to tightening things up that are coming loose, but also flathead screwdrivers are good for prying covers off things
- Socket set: light fittings are often held in by a couple of screws that can be either undone with a socket set or screwdrivers
- Pliers: useful for gripping things in awkward places, reaching down to grab items that are just out of reach, and for holding things that might be hot
- Jack: you’ll need it to change a flat tyre, so if it’s missing, buy another one
- Spare bulbs: a spare headlight and taillight bulb is a good idea. They’re often quick to replace
- Puncture repair kit: a can of puncture repair spray can get you quite a few miles if you get a puncture. Alternatively, you’ll have a spare tyre or space saver (but make sure to keep it at the right pressure).
- Knife: a multi-tool with a couple of different blades can be useful. In the case of an accident, you may need it to cut a seat belt
- Cloths, paper towels or gloves: getting under the bonnet is messy, so having something to wipe your hands on will stop you transferring that dirt to the inside of your car
- Jumper cables: just in case you get a flat battery, you can call on a passing motorist to help you out
- Emergency kit: if you’re travelling in bad weather, you should take an emergency kit with warm clothes, food and water in case you get stranded
- PPE: a hi-vis vest is useful if you break down at night
- Torch: a head torch is the best option because it leave both hands free, but any torch or lantern is better than no light
- Fire extinguisher: read more about fire extinguishers in cars here
- Snow supplies: antifreeze, a de-icer, a scraper, a snow shovel and traction mats are handy to have. If you expect deeper snow or ice on hills, snow chains may be necessary
Lorry driver essentials
All the above should be included in your kit, but you’ll need a few more items
- Engine fluids: some spare oil, washer fluid and coolant is helpful
- Rubber mallet: useful for checking your tyres when you do your pre-trip inspection, but also for freeing up jammed binders.