Winter driving
May 2019

6 Items to keep in your car during winter

South Africans may not experience the harsh and extreme winter conditions of the northern hemisphere, but bad weather is unpredictable. Now that winter is upon us, if you travel long distances regularly, keep just a few extra items in the car for these few cold months.

Jumper Cables

Jumper cables should be a basic item to keep in your car all year round but becomes even more important in winter. If your battery is not in tip-top condition, cold temperatures will drastically reduce its performance.

Warm clothes

It sounds obvious but we rarely think about keeping an extra warm item in the car. If your car breaks down and the temperature is anything under 10 degrees Celsius you could be stuck waiting in the cold for a while until help comes along. Also, we know how quickly the temperatures can change from one hour to the next. Keep a set of warm clothing including a jacket, gloves, beanie, and a scarf. Pack them all away in one neat compact bag and store under the seat.


If your car is stuck you may not be able to turn on the heater. And even if you could you don’t want to run down the battery. If the wait is long, then warm clothes may not be enough. A blanket kept in the car is generally handy anyway, but if you’re really short on space and prefer a less cluttered environment, then a space blanket takes up hardly any. These are light metal-coated sheets that help you retain body heat and fold up to the size of your hand.


Water is essential for the development and the correct functioning of your body. In case you are stranded for a while, you won’t want to add to the stress of dehydration. Try to keep a glass bottle of water in the car rather than plastic. Plastic bottles are considered unsafe as they may leach harmful substances into the water.   


Dried fruit and nuts are a good healthy source of high-energy food to provide sustenance. They’re also one of the healthiest and most natural option. Packaged portable snacks such as energy bars and chocolate are a good alternative.

Torch or Flashlight

Darkness ascends earlier in winter. You don’t want to be stranded and struggle to see in the dark, but a torch also comes in useful if you need to catch attention or signal for help. Make sure the batteries are in good condition but remove them from the torch so that they don’t run down.

And those are the winter-specific basics. You should keep your car serviced regularly so that you’ll never have to use them.But carrying them along with your car’s first aid kit, towrope, cell phone charger, and other essentials is the best you can do to safeguard yourself when stranded in the cold.


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