Emergency Car Breakdown Checklist

Wednesday, 6th May 2020

You might think it’ll never happen to you—and hopefully it won’t—but being prepared for your car breaking down is something very much worth doing.

You can help prevent your car breaking down by booking in for a service before a long drive, especially in winter (see our Winter Car Checklist). Or even take advantage of a free vehicle health check.

There are some simple things you can have to hand, or make sure you have in your car will ensure you will be back on your way as quickly and safely as possible.

So here’s what you should consider having in your car in case of a breakdown.

Spare Tyre

Unless you have run flat tyres, you should have a road legal spare tyre should one of your tyres blowout. Learn more about run on flat tyres.

Portable Phone Battery or Charger

Your phone is your primary means of rescue to call for help, but you can’t do so unless your battery is charged so keep one in your car and have an adapter so that you can charge it in the car


Empty Fuel Container

If you run out of fuel in walking distance to a petrol station, an empty container you could fill up and get you on your way is vital.


In winter, packing an extra blanket in your car should be a top priority. It can really help if your car battery dies and while you are waiting for rescue by keeping you warm while you are waiting.


Waterproof Coat

You may need to get out of your car for some time, so make sure you have warm clothes and a waterproof coat so you’re prepared for the elements.


Keeping a few energy bars and a drink in your car can really help while you are waiting for rescue.

Jumper cables

These are essential if your battery dies and you need to revive your car. Often times your battery can die because of the battery getting overly cold in the night. Jumper cables can revive your battery with the help of another vehicle. You could also revive another vehicle so you can help someone else who may be stranded.


Ice scraper

Preferably one with a brush so that you can remove snow too. Make sure you use it every morning and make sure you don’t set off until all your windows are clear of ice and snow and you are able to see properly. As winter driving could be dangerous, your ability to see clearly through all your windows could make a huge difference on the road.


Keep a flashlight in your car and spare batteries. Get one with a very light bulb so that you can be seen at night if your car breaks down.


First Aid Kit

Just in case, it’s worth having first aid supplies in your car.

High-Vis Clothing

A high-vis jacket or vest will be vital in dark winter months in order to ensure other road users can see you clearly. On that note, make sure you put your hazard lights on.