Stuff that new car owners should have in their car
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Modern cars are relatively complete, but living with one day-to-day requires several items. Here's what a newbie driver and first-time car owner should keep handy.

Category: Car Ownership Advice


Today's cars come with almost everything that a driver needs, especially in terms of convenience, safety and comfort.
 
360-degree or bird's eye view cameras for parking have also become common in today's cars
Connectivity options today include USB ports, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay. Safety functions, apart from ABS and ESP, include autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert.

When it comes to comfort, multi-zone climate control and even massage seats have even trickled down from luxury cars to mass-market models.
 
But if you're a newbie driver and it's also your first-time owning a car, there are several key items that you definitely should also have in your vehicle.


1. Disinfectant wipes

You don't need car-specific disinfectant wipes - even the ones from the supermarket will do a good job
Hand sanitiser is useful but it's also really expensive, and if you need to get dirt off your hands or something, might not do the job.

Disinfectant wipes are superior in this regard, since they can remove viruses, bacteria and dirt. If you have kids, I'm pretty sure you can never have enough of these.

These wipes are also useful for removing bird bombs. Though not specifically formulated for this task, they can help remove fresh droppings (ugh) before they harden and scratch your paint.


2. Nitrile gloves 

Gloves like these aren't just for medical professionals or scientists - even drivers need to protect their hands, too
Most of us don't think about protecting our hands until they're about to get filthy, or are completely covered in dirt or grease.

Nitrile gloves are useful when you need to detail your car, change a flat tyre or do something under the bonnet. If you want to be more eco-friendly, cloth gloves work fine, too.

However, these won't prevent liquids or chemicals from coming into contact with your skin once they're soaked.


3. Charging cables 

Even if your car has wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, it's still good to have an extra charging cable or two for emergencies
If you plug in your smartphone to access Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, you'd assume that the cable will always remain in your car.

But what if you're not the only driver in your family? Another family member using the car might take the cable along with him or her, especially if they really need to keep charging their phone.

If they forget to put it back, you might find yourself cable-less the next time you get into your vehicle. So, keep a spare handy, and preferably out of sight!


4. Tissues 

Ubiquitous and sometimes unappreciated, but the humble tissue is still a must-have for your car
Most cars you've sat in - taxis and private-hire vehicles included - have these. But if it's your first time owning a car, you might forget to place a box or soft-pack of this in your vehicle.

Tissues are one of the most useful items to have, as they've got you covered whenever you need to blow your nose or wipe off your sweat.

If you're a guy who's single and dating, you never know when your date might need a tissue. Always keep some in your car!


5. Cleaning cloths

Any detailing fanatic will tell you that you can never have enough clean microfibre cloths 
You don't have to be a detailing enthusiast to keep a cleaning cloth or two in your boot. Cleaning cloths can mean the difference between smudged and clear windows, which is a safety issue.

Like disinfectant wipes, cleaning cloths are also useful for removing bird droppings, tree sap and other contaminants that tissues or wipes may have a hard time getting out.

Since they weigh next to nothing, having one or two in your boot won't be much trouble at all. And when you do need them, you'll be glad you bothered in the first place.


6. Puncture repair kit

A torn sidewall or large hole in your tyre will be too much for a puncture repair kit to handle
Not every driver wants the hassle of changing a flat tyre even if he knows how to do it. Case in point: You're on your way to a business meeting, and the last thing you want is to arrive sweaty and grimy.

Puncture repair kits work by pumping a sealant into the tyre, which patches the hole and allows the tyre to be re-inflated.

It's certainly quicker and more convenient than changing the tyre or waiting for a tow truck to arrive.


7. Power bank 

This handy device can save you from having to call a tow truck or find a good samaritan
Commonly known as a 'car jump starter', this gadget is designed to juice up a flat battery, allowing you to start your car and be on your way. They usually have USB ports you can use to charge your phone as well.

Jumper cables are certainly handy, but you may not always be able to find a kind-hearted motorist willing to spare you their time to help jump start your car. Having one of these is definitely convenient.


8. Spare CashCard

Having a spare (and working) CashCard will save you from the embarrassment of having to ask the driver behind to lend you his
Topping up your CashCard needn't be a chore. There are auto top-up services you can sign up for, and if you're using a NETS Motoring CashCard, you can even use the app and your phone's NFC function to top it up as well.

You never know when you might need an extra CashCard. Your main card could malfunction. Or the auto top-up feature doesn't work. If you're already at the carpark gantry, reaching for the spare card in your glove box is the fastest and easiest solution.

Just make sure you have at least $50 in it.


9. Umbrellas

Keep your brolly in good condition by opening it up to dry it after it gets wet
You never know when it might rain, so having this in your car is really a must. Umbrellas are relatively inexpensive, and if you bought a brand-new car, chances are the agent would have given you one for free.

Umbrellas are just as useful on sunny days. You can keep one on the floor along the outer side of the front seats, and another two in the boot. Like the CashCard, you never know when spares will be needed.


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