Ten must-have items that should always be in your car

Ten must-have items that should always be in your car

Some people keep nothing in their boot while others keep their entire homes in their car. What do you need when your car breaks down? Santam's Road assistance service provider reports that call-outs for help on the road is often one of the most frequently used benefits by South African policyholders. But which items should you always have on hand?  Santam's underwriting team has gone to great lengths to find a happy medium between everything and nothing.

1. Your driver's licence

It seems pretty obvious but many people get caught driving without it. The fine for driving without one on South African roads is well over R1000 under the current Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) legislation. Don't get caught without it.

2. Your cell phone and charger

Go ahead and invest in that extra cell phone charger cable for your car. It'll come in handy on the day you really need to make an emergency call and your battery's hanging on by a thread.

3. Spare wheels and tools

Most people assume they've got these in their cars anyway. Always make sure your spare tyre is in a good condition. The purpose of a spare tyre is to provide replacement if one of the other tyres get damaged (or runs flat). This means it is just as important as the four that are in use. Check your toolkit to see if you've got everything you need, especially if you regularly travel long distances.

4. Emergency contact numbers of insurance company/police

If you have an emergency which you'd like to report to Santam you can call 0860 505 911. Other South African emergency contact numbers to store on your phone are:


  • This is the common emergency number that can be dialled free of charge from any fixed or mobile telephone in order to reach emergency services (ambulance, fire and rescue, police) in numerous European Countries, including all member states of the European Union, as well as  several other countries in the world, South Africa included.


  • This number can be used in the case of a medical emergency and can be called in conjunction with both the fire and police department respectively, depending on whether or not there are causalities.

5. Jumper cables

Every driver should keep jumper cables in their boot and be able to use them if the car stalls.

6. A tow rope

In the event of a mechanical failure or other (inexplicable) car trouble, having a tow rope is essential in assisting you to get off the road, out of harm's way.

7. A torch

A torch is one of the most recommended items to have in your car in the event of an emergency, as it will assist you to see in low visibility conditions or at night.

8. A high visibility vest

When your car has stalled, you need to get out of the vehicle. A high visibility vest ensures that you are visible to other drivers using the road.

9. A first-aid kit

A first-aid kit is one of the most basic items everyone should have in their car. Make sure that it is stocked with the most essential items you will need in any event and always remember to replenish items you may have used on previous occasions.

10. An emergency instant tyre inflate and repair kit

Changing a spare tyre can be a hassle enough. An emergency instant tyre inflate and repair kit can help spare you some of the stress of coping with a flat.

Visit our car advice page for more useful tips.

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