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Because we spend so much time in our cars, here are 10 items you must have in your car, which make life more convenient.

Category: Car Ownership Advice

Remember Batman's handy utility belt? The one that housed various small weapons, such as his Batarangs, lock picks and tracers, which helped him win fights? If there's anything we've learnt from watching reruns of Batman, it's that it always pays to be well-equipped. Always.

Whether it's something as mild, but annoying, like a bird's number two or a flat tyre, these are some things that are great to have in your car.

1. A bottle of water

A bottle of water, a big one, preferably 1.5-litres, will save you when your car overheats. With some water at the ready, you can top up the radiator and rush to your nearest workshop.

There are a million other uses for the water, like rinsing off bird waste from your precious paintwork. And from experience, if a friend decides to hurl vomit all over your dashboard, having water and some cloths help reduce the damage done before you can make it to your nearest carwash.

2. Parking coupons

A ton of parking spaces don't have Electronic Parking Systems (EPS) yet. Jaunts to Serangoon Gardens or Geylang for gastronomical treats often require parking payment via coupons.

Parking without displaying valid coupons or sufficient valid coupons to meet the prescribed parking charges will result in a $6.00 to $50.00 fine. Those caught for cheating by using used parking coupons can face fines of up to $1,000. So always ensure that you have enough coupons, don't give Ah Gong another reasons to saman you.

3. Pen and paper

Most of us jot down information on our smartphones but technology has a mind of its own and may die on us unexpectedly.

When that happens, a trusty pen and notebook will save the day.

In the event of an accident, it's a great habit to sketch how it happened, and have in writing what the other party says - especially if a private settlement is agreed upon. On a lighter note, having a pen and notebook lets you entertain your kids without an electrical outlet.

4. Accident kit

If the abovementioned accident occurs, it's also handy to have an accident kit.

Such a kit helps ensure that you are and ready to respond appropriately if you are in an accident by providing step-by-step instructions so that proper reporting procedures are followed and adequately documented. Sign up as a MyCarForum Premium Member or upgrade your existing membership for a complimentary welcome gift pack, inclusive of the aforementioned accident kit.

5. Spare cash card

It's not uncommon to forget to top up your cash card once in awhile.

Many a time, we've seen a car stuck at the exit gantry of a carpark due to insufficient funds in the driver's cash card, accompanied by a snaking queue behind. It's no fun causing a jam and having to reverse out of the way while a string of cars honk angrily at you.

To save yourself the panic, embarrassment and inconvenience, have a spare cash card in your car. Just ensure that it, too, has money in it.

6. Wet wipes

Easier to use and store than water and a cloth, wet wipes help to remove stains in your car - they're especially useful for families with young children.

Given our brutal heat and humidity, wet wipes will also come in handy when you're rushing off to meet your next client. A quick five-minute facial wipe-around helps you feel clean and refreshed. In dirty public toilets, you too, should be happy to have some wet wipes lying around. Just be sure to dispose of them responsibly.

7. Spare change

For many, spare change accumulates all over the house and is often forgotten about. Get them together and keep some money in your car. You can put the monies in a small pouch, Ziploc bag or even in the ash tray, whatever works for you.

They can be used to pay for your kopi-c in the morning, economical bee hoon, packets of tissues, public toilets or drinks from the vending machines. If you ever forget to bring your wallet out, you'll be especially thankful for that small amount of cash in your car.

8. Digital air compressor

According to Murphy's Law, anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Most of us drivers, probably all of us in fact, have encountered a nail in our car's tyre at some point in life.

While most cars come with either a spare tyre or a repair kit, not many have digital air compressors as part of the package. Having a digital air compressor will save you a fair amount of sweat and tears as opposed to a traditional air pump. They're portable, affordable, and easily operated from a standard 12V cigarette lighter socket.

9. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are great at protecting against glare while driving, which in turn leads to better visibility, keeping you and everyone else safe on the road.

Uncomfortable glares and distracting reflections can impair visibility when driving and may cause freak accidents. When driving with the windows down, wind and dust are unwanted distractions to deal with. Sunglasses, as simple and ubiquitary as they are, offer protection from these elements and comfort for your eyes.

10. Compact battery jump starters

Being stranded with a dead battery is one of the most absolutely annoying things that can happen to a car owner. But with compact battery jump starters, life's a tad easier.

In the event that there are no cars around you to help jump start your dead battery, or there's no one who has jumper cables, compact battery jump starters the size of your smartphones' power bank provide a quicker and easier solution. Simply grab it, hook it up, and start your car. Just don't forget to charge the pack.

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