Skip To Content

    Here's What To Keep In Your Car So You're Always Prepared

    I mean, cars are basically our second home so they should be stocked with all the goods.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A leakproof, car trash bin for managing the garbage that easily accumulates on your commutes to and from work — which hey, is acceptable considering you need your venti Starbucks.


    After long, stressful work days, you should be getting into a *clean* car, ya know? Preserve your sanity!!!

    Promising review: "I can’t stand the simple little car trash bags, I find it looks...trashy. Sorry, I had to. This is a great looking garbage that blends into my car beautifully. I had looked at cheaper ones but glad I went with this. It really is watertight, which turns out to be a great feature. I found the side pockets were the perfect place for an ice scrapper and lint roller. Couldn’t be happier." —Grant C.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    2. Blinking LED warning lights you can lay out near your car if you're ever in a roadside emergency.


    Promising review: "These safety flares are great! They have exceeded my expectations. They produce bright, highly visible lighting patterns for night time highway breakdowns, especially when changing a flat on a dark highway. I tried them out the other night in the driveway. Along with the vehicle emergency flasher they set up a good safety zone. Not sure how effective during daylight, but they are a must at night. I plan to put three in each of my vehicles and a couple in my fishing boat for emergencies." —The Don

    Get a set of three from Amazon for $19.98.

    3. An odor-eliminating charcoal bag because we spend a lot of time in our car and it shouldn't *have* to smell of lingering fast food and B.O.


    Promising review: "This is my first ever review. I had a gallon of milk spill in my car and living in a very hot climate, well you can imagine the stench. I have tried everything but nothing worked. My kids refused to drive with me. So then I bought this Moso purifying bag and the smell has disappeared overnight. Can't explain it. Not sure how it works. Buy me." —Timothy Parker

    Get it from Amazon for $9.85.

    4. A cell phone clip that'll attach to shopping carts to give you a potentially enjoyable time at the grocery store — *gasps,* yes, there is such a thing! Now you can read your recipes and lists hands-free. Amazing.


    Once you're done, just leave it in the middle console and whip it out when you head back to the store!

    Promising review: "I love this gadget! It makes my grocery shopping so much easier. I was having a hard time trying to steer the cart, hold the phone which has my list on it, and grab the groceries. Enter the shopping cart cell holder. Easy to use; easy to attach to the cart; easy to remove from the cart. Makes your life a little easier!" —vee3

    Get it from Amazon for $17.90 (available in two colors).

    5. Speaking of grocery stores, a handy car seat clip for holding your purse and groceries safely in place so nothing goes flying during sharp turns.


    These clip on the sides of headrests, so they're still attachable even if your headrest doesn't completely detach from the seat.

    Promising review: "I bought these for my wife because her purse would always fall over in the back of her Jeep. She was skeptical at first, but now uses these hooks everyday. They are able to hold her tank of a purse without breaking. I originally was looking to buy different hooks, but the headrest of the Jeep would not come all the way off. These hooks are universal because they clip on the side." —Brian

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $5.94 (available in two pack sizes and colors).

    6. A lightweight, first aid kit packed with tons of essentials that'll always keep you feelin' prepared. Its compact shape means you even can clip it onto your backpack on any of your outdoor adventures.


    Kit includes 100 items including a variety of bandages, antiseptic and alcohol wipes, gauze, CPR instructions, emergency blanket, gloves, tape, shears, tweezers, a whistle, and more.

    Promising review: "Great little product. I still can't believe how much first aid equipment is in this tiny pouch. Aside from the items inside which are great, I like how this can be mounted four different ways! I also like that it opens up like a book — everything is well labeled so you don't have to fumble around looking for an item. I ended up mounting this on my Jeep JK rear roll bar. For me, its a must have when on the trail! Now, to order one for our RV!" —Henderson

    Get it from Amazon for $36.95.

    7. A game-changing power inverter that simply plugs into your cigarette lighter and gives you two working outlets. Road trips just got so much better with your fully charged laptop. I love it!


    Promising review: "Out of the four inverters I have, this is the best. It charges both of my phones, my GPS, and laptop all at once, no issues. The fan is a little loud but that comes with the territory. The inverter part can be turned off independently and you can still use the USB and 12v ports without the inverter and fan noise." —Shane Boor

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99.

    8. A seat gap filler so you can finally stop losing things down the bottomless pit between the seat and the console just to never see 'em again. No more driving while searching for your phone! That's bad!


    Promising review: "I've used these for a couple of years now, and can't count the number of times I've been grateful for them! I used to drop things between my seat and the console all the time, or not be sure where I dropped them and have to look like crazy to find them. Now I know they're not in that dark, hard-to-reach space, and they're much easier to find. I can tuck my umbrella and coupon envelope there and know they won't get spilled on. When I do spill on the Drop Stops, it wipes right up with a damp cloth or wipe. They don't show at all and always look clean." —B. Gifford

    Get a two-pack from Amazon for $19.99.

    9. A car vent phone mount made specifically for PopSockets – it'll keep your phone conveniently propped up and won't take up your entire dashboard.

    Urban Outfitters

    And if you don't have a PopSocket yet (you should, they're amazing!), you can find a ton of them on Amazon!

    Get it from Urban Outfitters for $15 or Amazon for $12.99.

    10. A 50-pack of individually wrapped antiperspirant wipes you can toss in your console and whip out when you feel some sweat comin' on. Not only can they refresh your skin, but they'll give you added protection to get you through the day.

    Promising review: "I'm all about travelling as light as possible, but I wondered about the effectiveness of an antiperspirant 'wipe', especially since I'm pretty sure I could sweat right through a coating of drywall spackle. Not only do these take up less space than even a travel-size deodorant/antiperspirant stick, they seem to work just as well at keeping me from 'pitting' through my dress shirts. Pretty amazing. I think these are a good deal given that they end up being about 40 cents per application. will be buying more when these run out" —Rick

    Get a 50-pack from Amazon for $19.99.

    11. And! Travel-friendly (sooo, perfect for the car!) body wipes that'll get you to happy hour feelin' and smellin' fresh, even though you didn't get a chance to shower after the gym., Amazon

    These lavender-scented hypoallergenic wipes are made with tea tree oil, peppermint, aloe, and ginseng that will leave your skin feeling refreshed, clean, and not dry or sticky.

    Promising review: "I LOVE these things! I like to workout over my lunch hour to break up the day, but don't have time to get lost in my thoughts in a post-shower. I just use one of these! The scent is not too overpowering, but it's strong enough so that no one knows I got my sweat on at the gym." —Amazon Customer

    Get a set of 10 from Amazon for $9.99.

    12. A convenient tray you 1,000% need if you practically live in your car. It hooks onto your steering wheel so you can eat or get some work done while you're out and about.


    Please, do not try to use this while driving. It will not work.

    Promising review: "As an outside sales rep, I sometimes feel like I live in my car. This dual-purpose tray is a must-have if you need a well-positioned mobile desk or a less awkward way to eat (and avoid wearing) your lunch. It's nice that both sides are functional...a food tray complete with cup holder on one side, and a smooth, flat writing surface on the other. You won't have to worry about getting grease or food residue on your paperwork! It also works well with small laptops or your iPad. It's made of high-impact plastic, so it won't melt or warp if you leave it sitting in your hot car; it's virtually indestructible. I can't imagine how I lived without one of these for so many years!" —Mike

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99 (available in two colors).

    13. A windshield cover so you don't have to spend 15 minutes in the freezing cold scraping off ice and frost. Hello! Nobody should start their morning that way.

    The dimensions are 75”L x 0.1”W x 42.25”H so it should fit most sedans, SUVs, and trucks.

    Promising review: "This prevents icy windshields early in the morning and even helps prevent snow buildup on your windshield! (Just don't yank the cover too quickly otherwise you'll still get snow on the windshield.) I used to have a carport and then moved to an apartment that had street parking. It was a pain in my butt to scrape ice/snow off of my windshield and this is a great solution that isn't too expensive!" —Sunshine

    Get it from Amazon for $29.95.

    14. A clever car organizer that hooks onto the front seat (or the back!) to give you quick access to all the things that often end up on the ground and then under the seat where you can't reach it.


    Promising review: "My job requires a lot of travel. I was looking for something compact and streamlined that would allow me to organize paperwork, my iPad, and other accessories — without taking up floor or seat space. This organizer is great. I highly recommend it to anybody that is constantly on the road. Get it. It is great!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

    15. A handy escape tool that'll break windows and cut seat belts so you're prepared in the event of an emergency.


    Promising review: "I hope I never have to use this, but I feel more prepared by having it in my car. I love that it's a set of two so my husband can keep one in his car and I can keep one in mine at all times. I like that it is small enough to keep in the center console so it is within reach of me and a passenger, if I had someone else in the car with me when an emergency occurred. The metal on the hammer feels super heavy duty and the seat belt cutter is extremely sharp. They come with black plastic protective cases (the hammers are easy to push in and pull out of) but I prefer to just toss my hammer in the console without the plastic case." —Travis Kaiser

    Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

    16. A teensy eye contact kit complete with a case, tweezers, and an even teensier tube for solution — because all contact wearers know there are days when your eyes just aren't having it.

    Promising review: "I love this product a lot. Super cute!! It’s very minimalistic and fits in my purse just fine. I have no worries about it opening in my bag because it snaps tightly, but isn’t hard to open at all. I would recommend this product to any contact wearer!!" —Krystal

    Get it from Amazon for $4.38 (available in two colors).

    17. A collapsible water bowl so your pet can tag along on all your adventures and stay hydrated 'n happy. We love a goob, hydrated floofer! /

    Once they're done, it collapses down into a super compact shape that'll fit nicely in your console.

    Promising review: "I am quite impressed with these bowls. They allow us to travel light and keep track of bowls for food or water with our dogs. I also use them during training classes to wrangle my treats. They come in a set of two so you can even have two different kinds of treats and keep them separate. The quality and size are good for small to medium sized dogs or for a training class. They hold two cups of volume. Excellent for travel. Order them, you won't be sorry." —Tina

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $5.79.

    18. A car dip clip for conveniently holding up your sauces, and omg, where has this been my entire life? Some days you just gotta eat in the car, and this'll help you do it with ease.

    3DPrintedByBrian / Etsy

    Get it from 3DPrintedByBrian on Etsy for $5.60+ (available in two colors and two sizes).

    19. A "headcool" balm that can give ya some dang relief when you feel a headache coming on. I mean, nothing is worse than sitting in traffic, feeling a migraine creep in, and knowing you're basically trapped in your car. /

    The brand also has tons of balms for nausea, stress, and congestion!

    Promising review: "This product is really effective in reducing headaches and even migraines. I followed the directions (use a cotton pad or something similar to apply so you don't rub it into your eyes). Just use a small amount on forehead, temples, and back of neck. I am truly amazed how fast it works. Keep applying per instructions and you will find relief!" —Michella1204

    Plus! It can also help with car sickness:

    "This stuff is magical!! I’ve suffered with nausea in cars and planes for my entire life. I’ve used this now on a long car ride while sitting in the back seat and one three-hour plane ride and it’s the only thing that gets ride of it without making me drowsy. This is a must buy!!!!" —Jenny M

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99 (available in six salve types).

    20. A flexible task light to hang in dark spots when you need to pop the hood of your car or do any other task that needs two hands and a flashlight. Listen, you just never know when this thing will come in handy.

    The Grommet

    Get it from The Grommet for $19.99, or something similar from Amazon for $11.98.

    21. A paw cleaner encompassed with soft silicone brushes to quickly clean your pooch's paws when they find a muddy patch at the dog park. We love 'em, but we also love a clean car.

    Promising review: "Love this! I only use it on really muddy days, but it makes such a difference. Two of my bigger dogs always get the mud embedded in their nails and I can never get the dirt out no matter how many times I wipe their paws with a wash cloth. This paw cleaner gets in all the nooks and crannies without hurting them. It's so easy to use! After I put their paw in the cleaner I just wipe it dry with a clean towel and thats it! Then after, I just use the dirty water to water my plants. Just make sure you buy the correct size. The medium I bought fits two of my dogs perfectly, but the other has a very small paw so it doesn't work. Pictured is a medium size compared to my boxer mix who is 45 lbs." —I. Nguyen

    Get it from Amazon for $11.55+ (available in three sizes).

    22. A glove box document case that'll keep everything in neat order so you can always find that teeny insurance card when ya need it...but really, why are they so small?!


    Promising review: "Works perfectly to keep the edges of my car's manual book from getting frayed and keeping my insurance card and registration all together. Makes my glove box look nice and organized. It's an all-in-one thing, and from what I can tell, very well made. I am satisfied with my purchase." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    23. A charging phone mount that can not only prop your phone up for easy (and hands free!!!) navigation, but keep it charged with out the fuss of 30 cords.,

    Promising review: "Love this charger!! It's so great because my husband and I have different phones. I have an Android and he has an iPhone so this is great because we don't have to worry about different cables or charging cords. Whoever is driving just pops their phone in and goes. It's so easy and very secure! It never falls off no matter how many pot holes we hit!!" —Red61

    Get it from Amazon for $27.99 (available in two colors).

    24. A wildly popular, memory foam seat cushion for car seats (and desk chairs!) that you'll be forever thankful for on extremely long commutes. Traffic? Oh, I do know her. Too well, honestly.


    Promising review: "I have a car that sits very low and with lower back issues, it is difficult to get in and out of the car. This seat cushion has done everything I wanted it to, allowing me to drive the car with my knees slightly lower than my hips, stabilizing and cushioning my bottom, and therefore eliminating back pain. When I am at home, I use this cushion at my desk, on the couch while watching TV. I even took it with me on vacation. So glad I bought this — it has been a lifesaver for me... Well, at least a pain-saver!" —Kelly

    Get it from Amazon for $29.95.

    25. A handy pillow caddy you can easily move from the back seat, to the front, or to the couch — or literally anywhere where you could use an extra place for drinks. *Orders this, goes to Sonic, buys five lemon-berry slushes.*


    It's small and portable so you can take this baby with you anywhere — in the car, to the park or the beach, or just to bed with you!

    Promising review: "I have been through a few surgeries and injuries since college sports, and this has been my constant companion through recovery. Perfect for long periods of lounging with limited mobility. Multiple cup sizes make it easy to accommodate whatever beverage size or accessory you need by your side." —Braden

    Get it from Amazon for $31.99 (available in other styles and colors here).

    26. A spring-loaded coin organizer that'll take care of the change that's always flyin' around your car. Paying for drive-thru meals just became incredibly efficient! Now...if I could only figure something out for my purse.

    It can easily slip into your cup holder or console!

    Promising review: "I cannot say how much to this day I absolutely love this product. As far as products I would never give up in my life, this is 100% one of them. I couldn't live without this anymore and have recommended it to so many people. It eliminates loose change in your car, helps you start to save your change a little better, helps with drive thru's or places you could use exact change to save a buck (or $20), and has helped me in so many more situations. Over two years, four different cars, and more then a thousand dollars thru it it still functions exactly like day #1. The springs still work great despite how much change has been through it, being carried and dropped, moving between houses and dorms, and just general abuse like any object in your car. It's a great gift or something to help someone with a messy car. Absolutely recommend!" —NickDeMartin

    Get it from Amazon for $11.88.

    27. A sling-like purse holder for your front two seats to keep all your essentials within reach and upright, even when traffic forces you to break in a split second. Classic traffic move.


    Promising review: "This was the best purchase I have made for myself! It works extremely well, exactly how the description described, which is a rarity these days. I spend a lot of time in my car with my children running back-and-forth doing the mommy thing. This little gadget has made my life so much easier. I actually have the pocket facing me so that way I can put my iPad in it and lay my pocketbook in front." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $17.99.

    28. And lastly, a teeny car vacuum that plugs into the cigarette lighter and lets you do a quick clean on the spot — no need to hit up the car wash every time you spill something.

    It comes with a nice case that you can just toss in the back when you're done using, a 16-foot cord, elastic hose, nozzle, and a clear trash compartment so you know when it's time to empty it.

    Promising review: "Promising review: "The vacuum can get pretty loud, but that’s because there’s a lot of power going through it. It picks up dirt well and with the long cord, you can get around your car with no problem. This vacuum has saved me countless trips to the car wash! Now when my kids spill something I just plug the unit into my cigarette lighter outlet and immediately vacuum up the mess instead of letting it sit and get smashed into the carpeting. Plus it all comes with a nice storage case so you can keep the vacuum and attachments together all in one place and easily store it in the trunk of your vehicle without taking up barely any room at all." —Angela

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    Now that our cars are prepared...


    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Check out more helpful travel products like the best travel accessories for long flights.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form