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Car essentials for your new car

Is there anything better than that new car smell? You know, that familiar scent that we all associate with the fun experience of driving our newly minted automobile off the lot for the first time?

Well, when you consider that studies have shown that the distinctive odor is actually made of toxic chemicals that can be potentially harmful to your health, we’d have to say, sure, there are probably a few better things than new car smell.

But we’re not here to be total “Debbie Downers.” Buying a new car is great! Especially when you start to think of all the fun bells and whistles that now often come standard with a shiny new vehicle. (Did we know that we needed heated steering wheels before they existed? We do now.)

New cars are indeed fancier than ever but there are still some key essentials in which you’ll want to invest before you hit the road. Here’s a list of five of the most important ones—and we promise none of these will make you nauseated or woozy if you breathe around them.

Phone holder

Let’s get one important piece of business out of the way first. Please don’t text and drive. We’ll say it again. PLEASE DON’T TEXT AND DRIVE. Seriously, it’s bad. In fact, most states have laws on the books that impose huge penalties if you even just have your phone in your hand while driving.

That being said, with phones being basically ubiquitous these days, it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to just put them away, especially if you need a GPS to find your way around. You just have to be smart about it. There are plenty of phone mounts that you can attach to your dashboard display and most of them aren’t very expensive.

It’s literally a small price to pay to help keep your eyes pointed toward to road and avoid crashing your shiny new car.

Seat belt cutter and window breaker

Accidents happen all the time. It’s an unfortunate reality of getting behind the wheel and there may be times when they’re more than just a fender bender.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need a seat belt cutter and window breaking tool and you just don’t have one, well, to be honest, you’ve probably got bigger problems. But wouldn’t it be nice to have one when you need it?

Being trapped in a car following an accident is terrifying enough, but to have it happen with no immediate help to be found is about as frightening as it gets. Fortunately, there are many options available when it comes to finding a useful tool for just such a situation.

Go ahead and get one for your new car. They don’t cost that much and take up hardly any space. It’s a small price to pay if it means saving your own life or that of a loved one.

Kitty litter

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Do not let a cat drive your new car. It won’t end well.

Be that as it may, it’s still not a bad idea to keep a bag of kitty litter in the trunk of your car. The reason? It works surprisingly well when you spread it beneath your tires to help give them traction if you ever get stuck in snow, ice, or even mud.

And to be honest, it doesn’t have to be kitty litter. A bag of rock salt or even a large piece of cardboard are also helpful tools if you’re ever in a slippery situation. But they won’t give your tires that odor-free freshness they so deserve, now will they?

Bright, shiny objects

Hanging a full-sized disco ball in your car will undoubtedly make your new car (and by extension, you) the coolest thing in town, but it isn’t quite what we mean when we say you should keep bright, shiny objects on hand.

Again, accidents happen and you need to be prepared for them when they do. Imagine getting a flat tire late at night on a poorly lit stretch of road. If you want to ensure that other drivers see you while you’re changing a tire, wouldn’t it be smart to have something that glows and sparkles in the dark?

Emergency flares, LED lights, giant flashlights, and reflective vests are your best friends when you’re dealing with a night-time roadside predicament. And if you’re really concerned about style points, they do make miniature disco balls.

Jumper cables

Starting a dead battery with jumper cables is the closest most of us will ever come to being mad scientists.

Think about it. Your car is dead. You open up its “brain” and attach a couple of cables to the insides of a healthy living car, turn on the ignition and sooner than you can scream “IT’S ALIVE!!” your car springs to life and drives away like a motorized Frankenstein.

If you want to experience that, by all means keep some jumper cables in your car. It’s also probably just a smart idea if you ever have a dead battery. (Laboratory coat and hunchbacked assistant not included.)

There are surely plenty of other important items you’ll find will come in handy. First aid kits and a small tool box, for instance, are always good to have on hand, too. But if you start with the five we mentioned, your experience as a new car owner will be off to a rocking start.

Just don’t text and drive. Please. We beg you.