Once someone gets their license, it’s only a matter of time until they get their first car. Most of the time, people buying their first car will opt for affordable older models that don’t come with all the bells and whistles of a modern vehicle.

Still, you have to keep your new drivers safe, and that involves filling the trunk with some useful gadgets. These ten essentials should be placed in every new driver’s car. 

1. Jumper Cables and Written Instructions

Sign, Signs, Symbol, Danger, Safty, Risk
Don’t assume an new driver will remember the correct order in an emergency!

Jumper cables are an incredibly important tool for all drivers. Not only can they help when the car lights are left on, but they can also be used to help others.

Many drivers rely on AAA to come and aid them when they break down, but jumper cables only require a helpful passerby or local friend. Jumper cables are a must-own item. Make sure you put instructions on how to use them in your new driver’s trunk, too.

Accidentally misusing jumper cables can result in some catastrophic results, so the instructions are a necessity until a new driver knows the process by heart.

2. A Charged Phone Battery Pack

While we’d all prefer that our loved ones stay off them while driving, cell phones are a lifeline. If they’re stranded on the side of the road, then all the jumper cables in the world won’t help unless they can bring aid to them.

A fully charged phone battery pack will provide a complete charge to most devices, giving your loved one more than enough power to bring help to them. It’s important to take it out of the trunk and charge it from time to time. 

3. A Flashlight

Flashlight, Lamp, Led Lamp
I prefer a flashlight/window-breaker combo

A new driver can find many uses for a flashlight A flashlight is very useful for changing tires at night or signaling for help in the event of an emergency.

Keep a strong flashlight (preferably with a strobing effect) in the car along with a pack of extra batteries.

4. A First-Aid Kit (Including Gloves)

Doctor, Luggage, Verbandszeug, Patch
Just in case

Just like the jumper cables, a first-aid kit can be used by the driver or someone they happen upon during their journeys. A good first-aid kit along with a pair of nitrile gloves will allow a new driver to treat minor wounds on their own.

Everything from pain relievers and gauze to butterfly bandages should be included in the first aid package. It might be a good idea to instruct go over basic principles of first aid while you’re at it.  

5. Warm, High Visibility Clothing

woman wearing orange hooded jacket standing in green field surrounded with tall and green trees during daytime
Photo by Spurwing Agency on Unsplash

High visibility clothing is a must for every car owner. Changing a tire on the side of the road is dangerous, but wearing bright or reflective clothing can reduce the risk of being struck by a vehicle.

A neon-colored, reflective article of clothing is very useful, but it’s even better if it’s long-sleeved or a jacket. Not only does that increase the wearer’s visibility, but it also offers warmth if a car emergency happens during the winter. 

6. Reflective Triangles

Car Accident, Round, Tire, Tires, Auto, Damage To The
Other cars can’t stop on a dime

Collapsible reflective triangles are helpful in keeping a driver safe while they’re stuck on the side of the road. These triangles warn oncoming traffic that a stranded car is ahead, providing the driver with a zone of safety.

Reflective triangles are superior to flares for inexperienced drivers that are more likely to hurt themselves than properly set them. That being said, it never hurts to teach them about the flares, too.

7. An Electric Air Compressors and Tire Sealant

Compressor, Tire Pump, Tyre Pump, Pressure, Inflate
Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Most cars have an electrical socket or plug. Older vehicles have it in a lighter port and newer ones have it behind a plastic plug in various locations. Electric air compressors can be used in those sockets to fill tire in a pinch. It may take a little while, but it will work.

When used with a tire sealant, a driver will have enough time to get their vehicle somewhere safe or to a better place to change their tire for a spare.

Of course, the tire sealant will all but ensure that you can’t use that particular tire again, but it’s always better to err on the side of safety. Again, this is something that a driver may use to help someone else, too. 

8. Spare Tire and Jack (And More Instructions)

Wheel, Breakdown, Auto, Flat Tire, Screw
Don’t let a family member drive your car without showing you they can change a tire.

Many used cars are being sold without a spare tire in them. You should make sure any car you purchase for a new driver has one. Otherwise, get your hands on one before they take to the streets. Put a jack in the trunk while you’re at it.

Again, having the tools in place is useless without the knowledge to use them, so take some time to to teach your new driver how to put on a spare. Inexperienced drivers have a bad habit of putting the lug nuts on in clockwise sequence instead of using the star pattern to ensure the spare is mounted correctly.

Go through the entire tire-changing process with your new driver and then make them demonstrate it so you don’t have to worry.

9. The Car Manual

A vehicle’s car manual can help solve a lot of problems. It will show the location and purposes of fuses and even help solve the mystery of a check engine light. The only problem is that a lot of starter cars won’t have the vehicle manual in them.

You can fix this problem by looking online or reaching out to the car manufacturer if they’re still in business. Print out a copy and stick it in the glove box.

10. A Jug of Water

Gallon, Container, Blue, Bottle, Water, Drink, Plastic
Water has many uses on the road

Water has almost as many uses as duct tape in a vehicle. You can use water as coolant in an emergency. Water can also be added to a windshield washer fluid reservoir to restore visibility. It can help quench a driver’s thirst if they are stuck on the side of the road on a hot day.

Also, it’s helpful in putting out small fires. Hopefully, none of these problems arise for any driver, but it helps to be prepared. Make sure that the jug is taken out of their car in the winter. Otherwise, it will turn into a useless block of ice that could potentially break open in the trunk.

Helping your a new driver get road ready can be an interesting process. Yet, you can’t let them hit the road without being prepared. With this handy list, you will know precisely what to put in the trunk after your loved one obtains their first vehicle. If they’re lucky, you might even buy some of these items for them!