10 years driving: My car essentials

Today marks 10 years since I passed my practical driving test(!), I can’t believe it’s been that long really.Β  A decade of driving. I thought I’d celebrate this milestone by talking about my car history and some car essentials.

My car history

My first car was a red Renault 5 named Noddy after the children’s carton character, and also because the number plate could spell out the word “NOD”.

Noddy was my mum’s old car and unfortunately the engine blew before I had a chance to learn to drive in it. I did have a go at changing the gears while my mum was driving though.

Sadly I couldn’t find any photos of Noddy to share with you. πŸ™

The first car I drove (along with my driving instructors Vauxhall Corsa) was a red Ford Fiesta named “Anemone”. Why? The letters “N” and “MNY” were in the licence plate which sounded like the word anemone. Genius, eh?

The car lasted me well for a year and a half but at it’s last MOT would have cost more to keep running than it was worth so it was time to sell. When I heard about the government’s scrappage scheme I decided to part exchange Anemone for a Suzuki Sz3 which I owned for six years.

Red Ford Fiesta
Check out the flared jeans!

I called my Suzuki Yanto after Ianto Jones of the Doctor Who spinoff show Torchwood. A memoriam as the character had recently died on the show. Don’t ask me why I used a ‘Y’ instead of an ‘I’ though. 🀷

Suzuki Alto SZ3 in the snow
Yanto in the snow (2010)

I currently drive a white Suzuki Ignis, named Iggy which I purchased in the middle of August. I’ve enjoyed getting used to driving Iggy and all the new gadgets from reserving cameras to button operated wing mirrors and Bluetooth connectivity. I love this car!

Suzuki Ignis steering wheel
Iggy’s steering wheel gadgets and dash display

Now you have a little insight into my car history, I’m going to share with you the items I always keep in my car. Some are for emergencies and some are to make long road trips more enjoyable.

… So without further ado.

My car essentials

Emergency Car Kit
Broken down and stuck somewhere? Need to clear ice from your windscreen? Want to warn other drivers of an accident ahead?Β  This is where an emergency car kit comes in handy. Mine is simply a bag in the boot of my car where I keep my jump leads, hazard warning triangle, torch, tyre pressure gauge, spray de-icer, ready mixed washer fluid, ice scraper and a mini shovel.

Honestly I’ve used all of these items at some point in my driving life – except the hazard warning triangle – thankfully!

First Aid Kit

This could go in your emergency car kit but I prefer to keep mine in the glove box where it’s more accessible. I wrote a detailed post on first aid kit essentials here but you can see an example of what to include in my photo below.

First Aid Kit

Not just for keeping warm if you find yourself broken down in the Winter months but also great for a picnic or a trip to the beach. Mine is from Mountain Warehouse (similar) and is waterproof on one side and fleece on the other.

Grocery bags
With the introduction of carrier bag charges in shops I make sure I keep a few of these handy for when I got shopping. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve walked out the house without one and had to pay for grocery bags as well as my groceries.

For the unpredictable British weather and my forgetfulness in picking one up when I leave the house. πŸ˜…

Travel games
These are great if you’re away camping and after some evening entertainment. Or to pass the time should you break down. I have a mini chess set and a pack of playing cards stored in my glove box but I’m looking to add Uno as well.

For runny noses and wiping up spillages from drinks or washer fluid / de-icer bottles leaking

Phone charger
I use my phone for multiple things so keep it charged up is essential. My phone acts as a sat nav, I play music through my car’s Bluetooth, as well as using it for emergencies.

Spare Tyre and a Jack
Most cars come with a spare tyre and jack but in case yours doesn’t it’s a good idea to keep these in the boot of your car in case you get a puncture. Or if your tyre tread is dangerously low.

What essentials do you keep in your car? Is there anything I’ve forgotten? Let me know in the comments. 😊

P.S. Please tell me I’m not the only one who names their vehicles?!


  • Vidhan

    December 26, 2018 at 06:59

    Thank you for this helpful post.
    These are such awesome suggestions! There really are so many small things that if you add to your car can really save your day!

    1. Kim

      March 24, 2019 at 16:59

      Thanks for your comment Vidhan, I’m glad you found it useful. πŸ™‚

  • Jordanne | Thelifeofaglasgowgirl

    September 30, 2018 at 11:51

    I love this! This is so helpful, I’ve just gotten my first car and I’m starting to make up a little car kit and have been looking for ideas on what to include, I’ll need to remember a first aid kit. And I still love the flared jeans look πŸ˜‰

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

    1. Kim

      October 1, 2018 at 12:54

      Lol, I can honestly say I don’t have any flared jeans anymore. They used to drag along the floor! I’m glad you found the lost helpful – a first aid kit is a must. Just in case.

  • Kate Halcrow

    September 29, 2018 at 11:39

    I always name my cars! It’s something my mum has always done, and she passed the tradition down to me. My first car was called Trouble. Not because of the number plate or anything, but because when I first got it I had to get a lot of work done on it, and it was a huge amount of bother and trouble. My second car is called Wasp. Very smart thinking by me because it’s official colour is ‘wasp’, despite it being a greeny colour. My cars are always odd colours πŸ˜€ This was a great post!

    1. Kim

      September 29, 2018 at 21:10

      Thanks Kate! 😊 Lol, sorry to hear Trouble was so much ‘trouble’. Sounds a bit like our Noddy before he died on us. Maybe I should name my cars after colours? πŸ€” My sister names her cars after Disney characters – her current one is white and called Olaf.

  • Kelly

    September 25, 2018 at 19:06

    I name my cars too, my current Mini Cooper is Elsa since she’s ice blue. I also keep most of these things in my car, although it might be time to check the expiration my first aid kit and get a new one. Great post, thanks for the tips!

    1. Kim

      September 26, 2018 at 08:12

      Thanks Kelly, 😊 glad to know I’m not the only one naming their cars! It’s very important to check the expiry dates on your first aid products, a lot of people don’t realise they do have expire.

  • Bexa

    September 25, 2018 at 16:59

    I love that you name your cars, that’s brilliant! If I had a car, I’d definitely give it a name too he he. That’s really cool you named your car after Ianto Jones, until this weekend I had absolutely no idea who he was. Then I went to Cardiff Bay and there is actually a shrine for him there. It’s funny that his name came up again and I actually know who he is now. Great post Kim! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Kim

      September 25, 2018 at 17:50

      Aww the Ianto Jones shrine! I remember when I first went to Cardiff and saw it, my friends I was with thought it was creepy. πŸ˜… I think it’s a great way to remember such a well loved character. Thanks for your commebt Bexa. xxx

  • Hayley

    September 25, 2018 at 10:22

    You are definitely not the only one who names your vehicles, I’ve named all of mine. My first car was a Clio called Violet cos she was purple. Slowly everything broke and I had to scrap her. Now I have a Yaris called Chilli because she is chilli pepper red. Also I agree with Holly, I always keep an emergency pound lol x

    1. Kim

      September 25, 2018 at 12:42

      Glad to know I’m not the only one! πŸ˜‚Thanks for your comment Hayley, im definitely going to keep a couple if pound coins in my car just in case. I’m so used to using my phone and cards to pay for parking!

  • Holly Shannon

    September 23, 2018 at 13:06

    I’ve had 4 different cars now, but I’ll always love my Corsa the most!!

    I also keep some spare change in mine, because you never know when you might need it!! x

    1. Kim

      September 25, 2018 at 08:11

      I always forget to bring spare change with me for car parks! I’ll have to pop some in my car, great suggestion. πŸ™‚ Thanks Holly.

  • Lisa McLachlan

    September 23, 2018 at 10:59

    This is a really timely post. I’ve been thinking about what we should keep in our cars with winter on the way (I know it’s only autumn at the moment but it feels sooooo cold). We have blankets, tissues, bags but not a first aid kit, which is something that I need to remedy πŸ™‚ Great post, Kim, some really useful tips here, thank you! x

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    1. Kim

      September 23, 2018 at 12:44

      Thanks for your comment Lisa, im glad you find it helpful. πŸ™‚ I enjoyed reminiscing about my old cars. xx

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