Today’s cars come with almost everything that a driver needs, especially in terms of convenience, safety and comfort.
Connectivity options today include USB ports, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay. Safety functions, apart from ABS and ESP, include autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert.
When it comes to comfort, multi-zone climate control and even massage seats have trickled down from luxury cars to mass-market models.
But, if you’re a newbie driver and it’s also your first-time owning a car, there are several things that you definitely should also have in your vehicle. Here are some key items.
Hand sanitiser is useful but it’s also really expensive, and if you need to get dirt off your hands or something, might not do the job.
Disinfectant wipes are superior in this regard, since they can remove virus, bacteria and dirt. If you have kids, I’m pretty sure that you can never have enough of these.
These wipes are also useful for removing bird bombs. Though not formulated for this task, they can help remove fresh bird droppings (ugh) before they harden and etch into your paint.
Most of us don’t think about protecting our hands until they’re about to get filthy, or are completely covered in dirt or grease.
Nitrile gloves are useful when you need to detail your car, change a flat tyre or do something under the bonnet. If you want to be more eco-friendly, cloth gloves also work fine.
However, these won’t prevent liquids or chemicals from coming into contact with your skin once they’re soaked.
If you plug in your smartphone to access Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you’d assume that the cable will always remain in your car. By and large, yes, this is true.
But what if you’re not the only driver in your family? Another family member using the car might take the cable along with him or her, especially if they really need to keep charging their phone.
If they forget to put it back, you might find yourself cable-less the next time you get into your vehicle. So, keep a spare handy, and preferably out of sight!
Most cars you’ve sat in – taxis and private-hire vehicles included – have this. But if it’s your first time owning a car, you might forget to place a box or packet of this in your vehicle.
Tissues are one of the most useful items to have, as they’ve got you covered whenever you need to blow your nose or wipe your sweat.
If you’re a guy who’s single and dating, you never know when your date might need a tissue. Always keep some in your car!
You don’t have to be a detailing enthusiast to keep a cleaning cloth or two in your boot. Cleaning cloths can mean the difference between smudged and clear windows, which is a safety issue.
Like disinfectant wipes, cleaning cloths are also useful for removing bird droppings, tree sap and other contaminants that tissues or wipes may have a hard time getting out.
Since they weigh next to nothing, having one or two in your boot won’t be much trouble at all. And when you do need them, you’ll be glad you bothered in the first place.
PUNCTURE REPAIR KIT
Not every driver wants the hassle of changing a flat tyre even if he knows how to do it. Case in point: You’re on your way to a business meeting, and the last thing you want is to arrive sweaty and grimy.
Puncture repair kits work by pumping a sealant into the tyre, which patches the hole and allows the tyre to be re-inflated.
It’s certainly quicker and more convenient than changing the tyre or waiting for a tow truck to arrive.
Commonly known as a ‘car jump starter’, this gadget is designed to juice up a flat battery, allowing you to start your car and be on your way. They usually have USB ports to charge your phone as well.
Jumper cables are certainly handy, but you may not always be able to find a kind-hearted motorist willing to spare you their time to help. Keeping one of these in your car could save you in a pinch.
Topping up your CashCard needn’t be a chore. There are auto top-up services you can sign up for, and if you’re using a NETS Motoring CashCard, you can even use the app and your phone’s NFC function to top it up as well.
You never know when you might need an extra CashCard. Your main card could malfunction. Or the auto top-up feature doesn’t work. If you’re already at the carpark gantry, reaching for the spare card in your glove box is the easiest solution.
Just make sure you have at least $50 in it.
You never know when it might rain, so having this in your car is really a must. Umbrellas are relatively inexpensive, and if you bought a brand-new car, chances are the agent would have given you one for free.
Umbrellas are just as useful on sunny days. You can keep one on the outer side of the front seats and two in the boot. Like the CashCard, you never know when spares will come in handy.