How to Put Together a Car Emergency Kit for Under $100
As much as we love and care for them, cars occasionally let us down. Sometimes it’s our own, and sometimes it’s a stranger’s that gets a little too close at just the wrong time.
Hopefully, you’ll never need a car emergency kit, but if you do, you’ll be glad you took the time to put one together. Thankfully, assembling one is relatively inexpensive.
There are a lot of items you could add to your emergency kit, but you really need just a few essentials. We found everything you need for your emergency kit—and we didn’t even break $100.
90-Piece Roadside Assistance Kit: $59.95
This kit is originally priced at $100 but is often, and at the time of writing this, on sale for $59.95. If you’re on a budget, this kit offers the bare minimum of everything you need in an emergency. It includes:
- Heavy-duty jumper cables
- Reflective warning triangle
- First aid kit
- Tow rope
- Headlamp and more
If you already have a lot of these things, it might be cheaper to piece one together. But if you don’t, buying a pre-assembled kit is the cheapest way to go. Not to mention, it’s packaged together nicely to store under your seat for easy access.
Fire Extinguisher: $12.75
If you have a few extra dollars to spend, the following items are nice to have along for the ride. A type B and C fire extinguisher for gas and electrical fires can serve a dual purpose: you can store it in the car for peace of mind and, in the case of a kitchen fire, you can grab it if your car is close by.
Foam Tire Sealant: $7.96
A foam tire sealant can be your best friend in a pinch. It seals punctures up to ¼ inch and inflates the rims off the ground. But, although it’s easy to use and the tire can go quite a distance after it’s sealed, you should still get it checked out by a professional. You won’t be able to have your tire patched after you use it, but it can still be plugged. This one is normally $10.49, but is regularly on sale for $7.96.
The roadside emergency kit includes one window breaker, but if you have children, it’s a good idea to have one for each adult. Having them in close proximity to each front seat makes it easier to get your kids out during an emergency and it’s quicker if one window breaker becomes inaccessible. This one comes with a holder that you can fix to the side of the driver’s seat, making it easy to reach in an emergency.
Pain Reliever: $2.32
Whether it’s a fender bender or major accident, you might need some emergency pain relief before medical services get there. While whiplash isn’t immediately painful, there are a slew of other aches and pains that can pop up after a collision.
Phones die at the most inconvenient times. You don’t want that to happen when you need emergency services or comfort while waiting for authorities. This phone charger works on four AA batteries and gives you seven extra hours of phone life. Just be sure you have a phone-specific cord to go with it.
Total Spent: $98.87
We checked Amazon for these products, but you can also get everything listed here at stores like Walmart and Target. It’s easy to assemble an emergency kit for your car, so stop waiting and go do it! Your future self will thank you.
Jen Smith is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites with more than 19 million monthly readers. In 2016, the Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder the 32nd fastest-growing private company and the No. 1 fastest-growing private media company in the United States.