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Cars have become more and more reliable over the last decade. As long as a car has a regular service and repairs suggested by an MOT station are carried out quickly, there doesn’t tend to be many problems. That being said, there is still no guarantee that a car will keep running all day, every day. At some point, a flat tyre will occur, or the car will break down. It might be a simple fix, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it can be fixed at the side of the road!

Cold Weather and Breakdowns

The cold weather certainly doesn’t help. Cars that are not running enough anti-freeze are going to be prone to breaking down. Alongside this, a battery is easily drained in zero and below conditions. Breaking down on a normal day is bad enough, but when it’s freezing; the whole situation is just that much worse. That is why it is essentially to try and stock a car with some basic essentials.

So What Should Be Kept In A Car?

The first thing that should be in a car is a phone. Although some of the more obscure locations on the road might not enable a driver to get signal, most will. This will enable them to call for assistance from a recovery team, or at least organise a lift home.

Once a breakdown or distress call has been made, it could be a few hours before anyone arrives. In fact, take into account that in a worst case scenario, signal might not be obtainable; the driver could be stranded overnight! For this reason it is important to stock the car with food and water. There are plenty of non-perishable food items available for purchase, such as breakfast bars; they last for months. This is especially important when it is cold, as the body will burn nearly twice the amount of calories as when it is warm.

On the subject of being cold, basics such as blankets, hats, coats, gloves and basically, a few extra layers should always be stashed in a car. This will make an overnight stay much more comfortable. Of course, some parts of the UK are incredibly cold in particular, Scotland and Wales. In these areas during winter, it is almost a life and death scenario not to be prepared, as the temperatures regularly go well below zero.

A feasible option might be to walk to get help. For example, if the car is just a mile from a local village, then getting help might not be too difficult. Dark and dingy back lanes are not safe without a flashlight. Not only could the driver trip and hurt themselves, but drivers will not be able to see them. Having a torch or reflectors on any kind will help to make this quick excursion much safer.

Finally, always pack a basic first aid kid. As mentioned previously, this could be an overnight stay, so if an accident has caused the breakdown, then it might be that the driver is bleeding. This is something that cannot wait until morning!

We feel prepared on the roads; a false sense of security it seems. Car insurance is in place, breakdown cover is easily available and our friends are just a phone call away when problems occur. When a phone decides not to work, we need a back up plan, which is why an emergency kit in a car is so essential.

Laura writes on behalf of the car insurance comparison website, uSwitch.com.