Whether you are a new driver or not, here are eight essentials every driver should have in their car. Make sure you have these items before you go on your road trip this summer!
This post brought to you by PERK. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Clarks Condensed.
With all the different laws in different states, I don’t even remember how old a person has to be to get their driver’s license anymore (or even driver’s permit.) My niece who lives in Idaho just turned 14, and she can get hers soon (which is CRAZY to me) but I think here most kids don’t seem to get their license until 17!
Either way, when someone first learns to drive, it’s something they never forget. For me, I never really enjoyed driving that much…which probably has to do with the fact that I got into two car accidents within six months of getting my drivers license. However, most teenagers are thrilled with that new “freedom” they have to drive. Jack, who is only three, is constantly telling us how he wants to get bigger so he can drive a car. I think I’ll enjoy the 13+ years I have left before that moment!
I was thinking about it, and there really are a lot of helpful products to have in your car. Forrest and I started talking about different car essentials, and I thought I’d share a few of those ideas with all of you. If you have a new driver in your family, it might be worth it to stock their new cars with these…but even if you’ve been driving for decades, these are all great products to have!
Car Preparedness Kit: We got one of these several months ago, and it gives me so much peace of mind knowing we have it. You never know when you might get stranded somewhere and may need some emergency supplies. The one I linked to is good for up to five people, and it has items like jumper cables, bungee cords, a tire gauge, food, emergency blankets, and more. Definitely a must-have for every car trunk.
Windshield Scraper: If you live somewhere that never has snow or frost on the windows…well…consider yourself lucky! One of the things I hate the most during the winter is scrapping off the windows. Thankfully, Forrest does that most of the time now, but when I was single I would dread getting up early every morning before work to scrap off my windows.
However, it’s definitely an important item to have. My mom purchased me de-icer once, which I was really grateful for during those frigid mornings.
Sun Shade: On the opposite end of the spectrum, when it starts to heat up outside, it can be miserable to get into your car, especially when the steering wheel is too hot to touch. In my old car, I had to buy a steering wheel cover because it was unbearable. I swear I burnt my hands a few times! I never owned a sun shade until I married Forrest, and it wasn’t even until recently that we started using it, but it really helps cool our car down significantly (especially the steering wheel!) Air Freshener: Cars need air fresheners. End of story. However, which one you should have stocked in your car is another question. We’ve used many different brands and kinds of air fresheners, and we’ve decided that three things are important – the smell isn’t overpowering, it isn’t in the way, and it lasts a long time. We’ve all bought those air fresheners that only last for like three days, right? Not worth the money! We recently had the opportunity to try out the PERK Visor Wrap line, and Forrest and I have been very impressed. The fragrances aren’t overpowering and smell rather natural (so, not like a a gas station bathroom, like a lot of them remind me of.) They last for 30 days, and they attach simply to your car’s visor, so they aren’t getting in your line of sight. It doesn’t remove any of the function of the visor, and it blends in with visors quite well. In fact, when Forrest first installed them, I didn’t even know where he had put it!
We’ve used another brand of air fresheners a few times that have liquid in them, and while they worked well, I was always worried about them breaking and spilling. Best of all, they are available at tons of different stores, and they come in fun scents like Golden Vanilla, Caribbean Colada, and New Car! Follow PERK’s Facebook to learn more, and you can get a $1 off PERK coupon here to try them out yourself! Jumper Cables: If you don’t have the money to buy a roadside emergency kit, at least buy some jumper cables. The most common issue I’ve had with cars in the past is the battery dying, and judging by the number of people that ask if we have jumper cables or can give them a jump to their battery…it’s pretty common! I’m always surprised at how many people don’t have them. GPS or Map: I’ll admit it – I can’t read a map very well. So it’s not something I usually have in my car (though we do have one right now! Forrest is more of a map-reader than me.) However, I think it’s important to have something in your car to help you get un-lost if you lose your way sometime. I have a GPS on my phone, which is helpful, but if you don’t have one on your phone, consider buying a stand-alone one. However, even if you have a GPS, it’s probably still a good idea to have a map. One time we got wayyy lost on our way back to Utah (we missed our turn and didn’t realize it for about an hour), and our GPS on our phones didn’t work! A good ol’ map is good to have. Car Charger: This isn’t so you can text and drive. Remember – put your phone down in the car! However, I think it’s important to have a cell phone in the car with you, in case of an emergency. And if there’s an emergency, you don’t want to have a dead phone. You can buy car chargers that plug into your cigarette lighter receptacle, or you can consider purchasing a portable charger (that’s what we prefer – it tends to charge our phones quicker.) Umbrella: You might be surprised at how often you wish you had an umbrella when you don’t have one. We use ours all the time, especially because Jack hates getting wet!
Gas Tracker: This is something that I’m not very good at – much to my dad’s dismay (it’s something he taught me to do religiously before I got married, but I’ve gotten lazy about.) Basically, just a little book where you can track how much you paid for gas, how much you filled up your tank, and how many miles the car is at during each fill up. This is great for figuring out gas mileage, how much your car actually holds, as well as how much you are paying for gas. It’s good to have especially if you want to count a portion of your car off on your taxes.
Giveaway: Do you want to win a PERK gift basket? Just let me know what your #1 car essential is in the comments, and you’ll have the chance to win a 6 month supply of PERK products/fragrances, 1 PERK travel mug, and 2 pairs of PERK sunglasses. This giveaway runs until July 4th!