5 Things All College Students Should Have in Their Car

When you live on the go like you do in college, there are some things you should always have on hand. Make sure to stock your car with these five essentials.

Having a few basic “on the go” necessities readily available in your car can make life that much easier when you’re commuting back and forth from college. Even if you live on campus, having these items in your car can be a lifesaver if you’re ever in a bind on the road. When it comes time for a hot date, a spontaneous weekend road trip, or a run to the local coffee shop for a late-night study session, it’s easy to run out the door without a care in the world—until you find yourself in trouble on the road somewhere. That’s when you find yourself wishing you had things readily available in your car to use during an emergency. Because of this, we’ve put together a helpful list of five items students should keep in their car at all times.

1. Phone charger with multiple USB ports

Let's face it—we don’t go anywhere these days without our cellphones. If you’re not actively using it, it’s generally tucked in your pocket or tossed in a purse. Unfortunately, your phone’s battery is no match for the amount of daily use it sees. It’s always a good idea to keep a spare phone charger in your car so you can charge your phone as needed. It’s an even better idea to opt for a phone charger that has multiple USB ports—this way you can keep multiple electronics charged.

The last thing you want is to be out on the road late at night and have your phone die with no way to charge it. While cellphones are great for scrolling the internet, posting on apps, and calling friends, they’re also beneficial if you end up having mechanical issues with your car. You need to have a way to safely contact someone for help without having to travel a dark road on foot to find help.

2. Spare tire

How often do you inspect your car’s spare tire? Do you know if your car even has a spare in it? This is important to take care of sooner rather than later. Along with the spare tire, you should also keep a car jack and jumper cables somewhere in your car. Prepare for mishaps like this ahead of time so you aren’t kicking yourself if you ever end up with a flat tire or a battery that won’t start. Don’t forget, if you do have to use your spare tire, certain driving conditions apply. They aren’t designed to be used as a permanent replacement but more of a temporary fix.

Related: Commuting Tips for Off-Campus Students

3. Air freshener

This might seem like no big deal, but imagine you’ve finally worked up the courage to ask your crush out on a date. You spend time picking out the perfect outfit, fixing your hair just right, dressing to impress, and making sure you smell good. Then you hop in your car to pick your crush up and the smell of yesterday's gym clothes hits your nose. Immediate panic, right? Your car needs to leave a pleasant first impression on your date, not an impression that makes him or her gag immediately. If you keep an air freshener in your vehicle at all times, it can prevent this embarrassment from happening.

4. Umbrella

We all know how unpredictable the weather can be. The day can be sunny when you start your travels then turn into an unexpected thunderstorm along the way. Running to and from class, work, or the cafeteria turns into an obstacle when you’re unprepared for rain. Go ahead and toss an umbrella or poncho in your car now so you’re prepared for any unexpected changes in weather.

Related: 10 Things Everyone Forgets to Pack for College

5. Emergency money

You never want to leave big money in your car, but an extra $5 or $10 isn’t a bad idea. Keep some loose quarters in your car as well. If you need to put air in a tire or water in your radiator, you’ll be glad you have the change ready. Just make sure to hide your emergency money somewhere out of sight. Don’t store it in a place where the money is visible to passersby through your car window.

Cars and college are both expensive. Bring down the price tag (for college at least) with our Scholarship Search tool!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Anna Wayne

Anna is a freelance writer who primarily focuses on awesome products that you need. Her current project is working on Honest Product Reviews, a site that tries to buy all the products before they actually write a review. Anna lives with her dog and soon-to-be husband. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and walking on the beach. 


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

Priscilla Yeboah

Priscilla Yeboah

High School Student

I was afraid and timid throughout my search for colleges, but I finally found the college that was fit for me and luckily I got accepted. One of the most influential things that helped me was the articles and advice on CollegeXpress. They've helped me a lot and benefited me as a senior to make the right choices in life. Thank you!

Hannah Nelsen

Hannah Nelsen

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me look at colleges that fit my interests by taking my profile and matching it to colleges that have the programs I'm looking for. It has the ability to connect me to colleges so I can be contacted by them and look at them more in-depth to find what's right for me. Additionally, the scholarship database is super beneficial for getting scholarships for college. Not only does it help lift the financial burden of college but it shows all the opportunities available. Overall, CollegeXpress has been very helpful to me.

Jada Bohanon

Jada Bohanon

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me find scholarships for the colleges I applied to. It was very hard for me to find scholarships in the beginning that I was qualified for. My teachers recommended this website to find some, and not only did I find some scholarships but I also got to look into some schools I hadn’t heard of before. I was very happy to have discovered this website, especially with the coronavirus spreading all over as I can’t really go visit many colleges.

Tinuola Dada

Tinuola Dada

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2015

I am very excited to be this year's recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship. This scholarship will bring me ever closer to my academic and professional goals. CollegeXpress has been an exceptional resource to me, and I recommend it to all rising seniors as they begin to navigate the college application process.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Southwestern University

Georgetown, TX

SUNY Maritime College

Throggs Neck, NY

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA

Saint Louis University

St. Louis, MO