Owning a vehicle can drain a considerable amount of money from your monthly budget. You may have monthly payments to make for the purchase of the vehicle, the insurance and possibly breakdown cover. Fuel is no longer as cheap as it was; the cost of this can be higher than the weekly grocery shop; depending upon the number of miles you complete every week. Alongside this your car will need regularly servicing and general maintenance. Even if you take every precaution the vehicle can still break down and repairs can be costly.
There are some items you can keep at home, or in your vehicle which will help to reduce any unexpected costs and continue to make driving your vehicle affordable:
Perhaps the most essential item to own is the repair manual for your vehicle. It is possible to obtain your auto workshop manual via a free download from sites such as carbunk.com. Having your manual with you means you are able to diagnose small faults and potentially fix them at the side of the road. Even bigger problems can be fixed at home, by oneself, simply by following the guide. It also means you can access the information regarding the vehicles fluids, tyre pressures and other basic maintenance details whenever you need them.
- Spare Tyre
There is nothing more annoying than having a flat tyre and either not owning a spare or it being flat as well. Your spare tyre should be in your vehicle, with the changing kit, full of air and in good condition. If there is no space in your boot for a spare it is always possible to include a can of tyre inflator and sealer; this will fill your tyre with foam and allow you to drive home or to the garage, slowly. As well as your changing kit you should ensure you have a good set of tools in the car to both change your tyre and complete small, roadside repairs.
- First Aid Kit
If you are involved in an accident or simply injure yourself whilst you are out, having a first aid kit to hand can be the difference between a long night in the local Emergency Room and being at home with a drink to calm your frayed nerves. You should have some basic first aid knowledge, particularly how to stop bleeding and apply either a plaster or a bandage; this will prevent blood loss and the likelihood of you going into shock.
If you breakdown at night or need to check something on your vehicle it will be impossible to see what you are doing without having a torch to hand. It does not need to be exceptionally large; many small torches are powerful and perfectly adequate for most jobs. It can be stored in the glove box and is available whenever you need it.
Traffic accidents and car breakdowns are the biggest reasons you may end up stuck in your vehicle overnight. Depending upon your location it can quickly become cold at night and this can be made worse if you are in a state of shock. It is essential to keep a blanket in the car to enable you to stay warm. A bottle of water, packet of biscuits and even a change of clothes can be useful additions to this.