First Aid

What Should be in a Car First Aid Kit? – Checklist

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

It’s important to be prepared for emergencies while driving. A car first aid kit contains essential medical items that can be used to provide first aid in case someone gets hurt. For a well-stocked kit, using a checklist is crucial to avoid forgetting necessary items and causing delays in providing first aid.

The contents of a car first aid kit might vary depending on individual needs and the type of travel, but it’s crucial to have basic things that can help with minor injuries and emergencies.

Explore this complete checklist for a car first aid kit to learn what items you need to include in your kit. Doing this will prepare you for any unexpected road mishaps.

In addition, you can read our other blog, What is in a basic first aid kit?

Let’s dive into the details without further adieu.

Illustration of car first aid kit

What is a Car First Aid Kit?

A car first aid kit is a collection of medical supplies and equipment to provide immediate first aid during an accident or emergency while driving. These may include bandages, gauze, scissors, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, gloves, pain medication, an emergency blanket, and a first aid guide.

The size of a car first aid kit might vary depending on several factors, including the number of passengers in the vehicle and the length of the trip, with smaller kits fitting in the glove box and bigger ones requiring trunk storage. It’s also important to check and restock your car first aid kit regularly to ensure everything is in good working order and up to date.

Besides, take a look at our other blog if you wish to learn what items you should avoid in a first aid kit. Understanding what items to avoid in a first-aid kit is crucial as it ensures the kit remains well-equipped with safe and effective supplies, reducing the risk of using expired or inappropriate items during emergencies and promoting better first-aid preparedness.
Take a look at our other blog if you wish to learn what items you should avoid in a first aid kit.

Importance of Car First Aid Kit

A car first aid kit is essential for everyone who spends time on the road, especially those who travel long miles or in isolated places where medical assistance may be delayed. It is also vital to check and restock the items of the kit regularly to ensure that it is up to date and has all the necessary items.

Here are some of the reasons why having a car first aid kit is essential:

Prompt Response to InjuriesA car first aid kit immediately prevents harm and promotes healing during an emergency or injury.
Accessibility & ConvenienceA car first aid kit provides easy access to prompt emergency responses while travelling.
Cost-effectiveWell-equipped car first aid kits can save money by providing the means to address minor medical needs.
Ease of MindA car first aid kit provides travel comfort by preparing for unexpected scenarios.
Preparedness for EmergenciesA car first aid kit can prepare you for unexpected events, including

  • natural disasters,
  • car breakdowns,
  • and getting lost.
Compliance with Safety RulesA car first aid kit helps comply with laws mandating its presence in automobiles in many countries and states, mainly European countries.

The section below will demonstrate a basic overview of a car first aid kit checklist. It is vital to have all the necessary supplies for emergencies.

Illustration of checklist

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12 Car First Aid Kit Checklist

Though not required by law, keeping a first aid kit in your car is still recommended as a precautionary measure for unforeseen emergencies in the UK. The British Standards Institution (BSI) has published BS 8599-2, a standard for vehicle first aid kits. This standard specifies the contents of first-aid kits intended for use in vehicles.

The kit’s contents should be appropriate for the number of passengers and vehicle type. It’s important to note that the BSI standard is not a legal requirement, but having an up to date and well-stocked first aid kit guarantees a prompt emergency service for any road mishaps.

The following is a general checklist of items that are typically recommended for a car first aid kit:

1. Adhesive Bandages in Various Sizes

Close-up of man bandaging injured ankle

Adhesive dressings, also known as adhesive bandages or plasters, cover and protect minor cuts, scrapes, and blisters. It’s a good idea to have a variety of sizes and shapes to cover various wound sizes. For instance,

  • Triangular bandages help you secure a splint or an arm sling. 
  • Burn dressings provide immediate soothing comfort and heat dissipation for burns or scalds. 
  • Washproof plasters are simple to use and create a protective barrier over broken skin.

2. Sterile Gauze Pads and Roll

Roll of medical cotton wool and cotton pads

Gauze helps control bleeding and cover larger wounds. You should include sterile pads and roll to protect the wound and facilitate healing.

3. Medical Tape

Young woman in a blue dress glues a red medical tape to treat pain in the knee joint.

The medical tape keeps bandages and dressings in place. It is crucial to keep wound coverings in place and avoid exposure to outside pollutants.

4. Scissors and Tweezers

Various types of medical equipment

Scissors and tweezers are essential first-aid equipment that allows you to cut bandages to size, remove splinters and more. For example, blunt-ended scissors are ideal for cutting clothing, bandages, tape, and dressings with less chance of puncturing the victim’s skin.

5. Disposable Gloves

Doctor wearing disposable gloves

Disposable Gloves protect the person performing first aid from contact with bodily fluids or pollutants and reduce the risk of infection. For instance,when treating a wound area, a pair of medical-grade gloves protects both the first aider and the victim from cross-contamination.

6. Antiseptic Wipes

Young woman wiping hands with wipes

Antiseptic wipes clean the area around a wound and kill germs, viruses, and other hazardous microorganisms. For example, sterile cleansing wipes can clean a wound area while protecting it from infection.

7. Instant Cold Compress

Little boy holding ice pack on his eye

Cold compresses are used to relieve swelling and pain caused by minor injuries such as —

  • bumps, 
  • bruises, 
  • or strains.

8. First Aid Instruction Booklet


CPR training book


The first aid instruction booklet is a handy reference guide for delivering first aid in an emergency. It aids in ensuring that you provide the appropriate treatment and care for the particular injury.

9. CPR Face Shield

Mannequins wearing face shield in first aid training

CPR face shield protects the person performing CPR from contact with bodily fluids or pollutants, reducing the risk of infection. For instance, when providing CPR to an unconscious victim, a resuscitation face shield guards the first aider from cross-contamination.

If you’re looking to enhance your ability to respond to life-threatening emergencies, the Basic Life Support and Resuscitation Certification Program is a must. This program provides essential skills, including CPR, AED use, and basic life support techniques. With this certification, you can make a life-saving difference, especially in healthcare, first response, lifeguarding, and other industries where rapid medical help is crucial.

10. Emergency Blanket

Two medics covering victim with thermal blanket after the accident

An emergency blanket aids in maintaining body temperature, preventing hypothermia in the event of exposure. For example, a foil blanket shelters the person from external weather and efficiently minimises and treats shock symptoms.

11. Medication

Close-up of white tablets on the rough background

Medication such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin can help alleviate the pain associated with minor injuries. Furthermore, antihistamine tablets are used to treat allergic reactions such as —

  • sneezing, 
  • itching, 
  • or hives.

12. Sterile Eye Wash Solution

 Mother hands wiping baby's eyes with eye wash solution in cotton.

Sterile eye wash solution rinses the eyes and avoids further damage or contamination in the event of an eye injury.

In addition to these items, you can stock your car first aid kit with others such as a tooth preservation kit, thermometer, sting and bite treatments, antibiotic ointment, safety pins, flashlight with extra batteries, whistle, hand sanitiser, sunscreen and so on.

Car First Aid Kit – Checklist
  • Adhesive Bandages in Various Sizes
  • Sterile Gauze Pads and Roll
  • Medical Tape
  • Scissors and Tweezers
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Antiseptic Wipes
  • Instant Cold Compress
  • First Aid Instruction Booklet
  • CPR Face Shield
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Medication
  • Sterile Eye Wash Solution
  • Thermometers
  • Soap and hand sanitizer
  • Aspirin and non-aspirin pain relievers
Top TipsSet aside enough time to organise the first aid kit properly.
Place smaller items in labelled bags or containers to keep them organised.
Put the larger items in the centre, side by side, for easy recognition.
Ensure that the first aid book is visible and easily accessible.
Ensure that the first aid book is visible and easily accessible.
You rarely have time to stop and study instructions when an accident occurs. First aid training classes are an excellent approach to guarantee that you are prepared for any first aid situation that may arise while driving.
Finally, it’s important to check your kit periodically to ensure that all items are in good condition and within their expiration date.

So, it is crucial to customise the kit’s contents to your specific requirements and ensure that all items are in good condition and are up to date.

In addition, you can read our other blog, “What is in a basic first aid kit?” Knowing what is in a basic first aid kit is essential for being prepared to handle common injuries and emergencies. A well-stocked first aid kit typically includes bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, pain relievers, and a first aid manual. Being familiar with the contents helps ensure quick and effective responses during accidents or medical situations, promoting safety and immediate care.

Wrapping Up

A car first aid kit ensures you are always prepared to treat wounds while on the road. Plus, knowing you have first aid supplies nearby can be a great source of comfort, especially on adventurous days or family days out with children, who are more susceptible to injuries. We hope this car first aid kit checklist was helpful, and we wish you safe travels.


Can first aid kits be left in the car?

Heat and sunlight can deteriorate certain items, such as medicinal lotions and ointments, so keep your first-aid kit in a relatively cool section of your car.

Do I need a first aid kit in my car?

The UK has no legal requirements for keeping a first aid kit in your car. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry a first aid kit. So it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit in your car, and also important to check and replace the contents of your first aid kit periodically to make sure everything is up to date and usable.

Do cars come with first aid kits?

Some cars may come with a first aid kit as an optional or standard feature, but not all cars have one. So if you need clarification on whether your car has a first aid kit, you can check the owner’s manual or contact the dealership where you purchased the car.

What to have in a winter car emergency kit?

Here are some essential items you should have in your winter car emergency kit:

  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Shovel
  • Blankets, warm clothes, and extra hats/gloves/socks
  • Non-perishable snacks and bottled water
  • Jumper cables
  • Road flares or reflective triangles
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Portable phone charger
  • Sand or cat litter (for traction if stuck in snow)
  • Tire chains or traction mats
  • Small fire extinguisher etc.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.