Car troubles or roadside emergencies can occur no matter the season. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the best car emergency kits that money can buy so you can be prepared in case of an emergency.
Though the hope is that you don’t ever need it, a car emergency kit is one of those investments that will be well worth the money should you ever need to use it. Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it, as the saying goes. In the event you are ever stranded on the road, you’ll be better equipped to handle the situation with one of the best car emergency kits in your trunk.
A car emergency kit comes stocked with a wide range of items and usually includes staples like jumper cables, an orange safety vest, a flashlight, flares, an emergency blanket, and other equipment designed to help you out in case of a roadside emergency or car accident. Whether it’s a flat tire, a dead car battery, a car accident, or a medical emergency, a car emergency kit will help you be better prepared to handle an emergency or accident.
While car-related accidents and emergencies happen year-round, it is especially important to be prepared in the winter. Along with knowing tips for safe winter driving, you should also have snow chains, an ice scraper, an anti-freeze windshield washer, and snow tires. Remember that in the winter, it may take longer for emergency responders or a tow-truck to reach you, especially if roads are hazardous or the weather is bad. An emergency kit can help you be prepared in the meantime.
The Best Car Emergency Kits On The Market Today
It is important to note that a vehicle first aid kit is different than a car emergency kit. Along with a car emergency kit, you should also have a vehicle first aid kit. And if you’re wondering what other essentials you might want to keep on hand, check out our buying guide for the top car essentials for winter. And if you take the road less traveled, check out our buying guide for the best off-road recovery kits for additional protection.
Below, we’ve highlighted the 10 best car emergency kits on the market today. With each product, we’ve covered everything you need to know so that you can make an informed purchase. After our buying guide list, we’ve also answered some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding car emergency kits.
When purchasing a car emergency kit, you will want to consider the tools and supplies within the kit along with the type of case it is stored in. If you have a smaller car that is tight on storage space, you may opt for a smaller emergency kit. And, the particular car emergency kit you go with will also depend on the range of tools and items you want to fit your specific needs and use case.
In case of an emergency, the first thing you should do is dial 911. Once you have done that, use your first aid kit to treat any injuries before paramedics arrive. For less severe emergencies, contact roadside assistance.
Best Overall Choice
1. Lianxin Roadside Assistance Car Emergency Kit
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This kit from Lianxin comes in at the top of the best car emergency kits out there. Within the compact zippered bag, you’ll find 142 items — more items than most competing car emergency kits. And while this kit is well-suited for in your vehicle, it can also be used at home and in the outdoors. In the kit, you’ll find jumper cables, a reflective warning triangle, tow traction ropes, a safety hammer, a raincoat, a compass, and many other necessities.
Along with the emergency supplies, this kit also comes with a snow shovel, for winter use. The duffle bag has handles and can be stored in the trunk, backseat, or potentially in your spare tire compartment. Within the duffle, you’ll also get a separate nine-piece tool kit with a hard case.
It is important to note that a separate car first aid kit should be purchased in addition to this roadside emergency kit. Lianxin offers 100% satisfaction guaranteed for all the products, so you are covered if any issues should arise.
Best Budget Choice
2. Lifeline AAA Premium Road Kit
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With this kit from AAA, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands with one of the best care emergency kits on the market. This budget-friendly kit comes in a convenient and compact carrying case. The set comes with 42-pieces including 8-foot jumper cables, an aluminum flashlight with batteries, an orange safety vest, a screwdriver, and four cable ties. The jumper cables are suitable for use on a mid-size car, small truck, or SUV.
Along with the car-specific items, the kit also contains a few first aid items such as sting relief pads, antiseptic towelettes, and fifteen bandages. With that, we still recommend getting a dedicated first aid kit to keep in your car to be as prepared as possible.
With the included AAA auto accident forms and guidelines brochure, you’ll feel even more prepared in the event of a car emergency or accident as this handy guide can walk you through the basic steps.
Also, if possible, consider adding a phone booster to your emergency kit, it will provide that extra communication advantage that can prove crucial in any event.
Best Premium Choice
3. First Secure Car Emergency Kit
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First Secure promises high-quality tools with top performance in their car emergency kits. And that is exactly what you get. Notably, their 8-gauge, 300-amp, 100-foot jumper cables are one of the best quality options. Along with that, this kit includes nylon tow straps rated to 10,000 lbs and a portable 12V, 250-PSI air compressor.
The high-quality kit does not skimp on the number of supplies you get either, with 90 pieces included in the set. You’ll find a multi-purpose escape tool capable of breaking windows and cutting seatbelts, a reflective warning triangle, an LED flashlight, work gloves, and more.
This kit also comes with a well-stocked 48-piece first aid kit. With most of the best car emergency kits, you will need to buy a separate first aid kit. But with the First Secure kit, you are good to go. If for any reason you aren’t satisfied with your purchase, First Secure offers a money-back guarantee and will provide you with a full refund.
4. STDY Car Roadside Emergency Kit
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Whether you are prepping for a long road trip or just want to be prepared in the event of a breakdown or accident, this STDY car emergency kit has got you covered. In addition to the car-specific items such as tow ropes, jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge, and PVC tape, it also comes with a small 10-piece first aid kit, a rain poncho, gloves, and an emergency blanket.
STDY makes sure it provides equipment that will last. The tow ropes are rated up to 7,000 lbs. And the 8 gauge copper wire jumper cables are 7.6 feet long. For ease of storage, the reflective triangle folds up to fit in the compact carrying case. Along with a screwdriver, the kit includes a dual-use safety hammer that can also be used as a seatbelt-cutter or to break windows.
All this great fits nicely in the zippered carrying case. You also get a detailed manual outlining the proper use of each item. It is recommended that you go through the manual upon receiving your purchase to familiarize yourself with your new gear. This kit would be an excellent gift for a new driver or a seasoned driving veteran. The emergency kit is covered by a 100% satisfaction guarantee from STDY.
Be sure to also check out our guide to the best car fire extinguishers. If you don’t have one already, this guide will help you get the best one for you.
7. Performance Tool Premium Roadside Emergency Kit
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You can expect the tools within this car emergency kit from Performance Tool to be durable and high-quality. The kit features a 12V, 250 PSI air compressor, 8-foot jumper cables, a reflective triangle, numerous tools, and more. Among the tools, you get a screwdriver, electrical tape, slip joint pliers, and cable ties.
The carrying case itself is designed with durable, bright fabric, zippers, and handles. On the product page, Performance Tool offers extensive details on additional items you may want to add to this kit, so you can customize it to your liking.
It is important to note that this kit does not come with any medical supplies. With that, a first aid kit should be purchased separately. Luckily, the carrying case has plenty of storage for additional items.
Get A Car Emergency Kit To Be Ready For The Unexpected
Being prepared is always the right answer. Though driving can be a thing that brings us tremendous joy, it goes without saying that unexpected car accidents and roadside emergencies occur. Along with purchasing a car emergency kit, you can add additional automotive items to it to fit your needs. If it suits you, you could even purchase a larger case to store the kit and additional supplies.
In terms of potential items to add to your car emergency kit, you could add ice scrapers, a portable car phone charger, a tire pressure gauge, a car fire extinguisher, and a few extra rain ponchos. After all, no one has been upset about being too prepared.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most important items to have in the best car emergency kits?
The most important items to have in a car emergency kit include:
- Jumper cables
- Multipurpose utility tool
- Flashlight with batteries
- Reflective triangle
- Wheel wrench
- Fire extinguisher
- Car charger
- Rain poncho
- Emergency blanket
- Duct tape
What is the difference between a vehicle first aid kit and a car emergency kit?
A vehicle first aid kit typically has medical supplies for general use. Generally, a vehicle first aid kit will have more medical supplies than a car emergency kit.
A car emergency kit has items that are specifically geared toward car-related emergencies and accidents and may include some basic first aid items as well as essentials for roadside repair and safety.
What should be in a car emergency kit for the winter?
We’ve highlighted a car emergency kit specifically for the winter in our guide. The CDC has compiled the following list of items you will want in a winter emergency car kit:
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Extra hats, coats, mittens, and blankets
- Windshield scraper
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Water and non-perishable food
- First aid kit
- Tow chains or rope
- Tire chains
- Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
- Cat litter or sand to help tires get traction or road salt to melt ice
- Booster cables with a fully charged battery or jumper cables
- Hazard triangle or other reflectors
- Bright colored flag or help signs, emergency distress flag, and/or emergency flares
- Road maps
- Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water
Where should I store my car emergency kit?
Because a car emergency kit tends to be larger than a first aid kit, it likely will not fit in your center console or glove box. With that, we recommend storing it in your trunk in an easily accessible location. You could also store it behind your driver or passenger seat. No matter where you choose to store it, the main thing to keep in mind is that you want it to be easily accessible.
What is the best vehicle first aid kit?