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Emergency tool kits tested

Nobody wants to be stranded at the roadside after a breakdown, so a ‘get-you-home’ kit is absolutely essential. We test the best...

Emergency Services

As drivers hang on to their cars longer in these financially challenged times, the chances of an unexpected breakdown increase. Consequently, it pays to keep an emergency get-you-home toolkit in the boot.

One of these can mean the difference between hours stuck on the roadside, or making it to the nearest expert help – and all without having to remove your regular gear from the workshop. Producers have adapted the usual tool collections, and added special packs to help survive the kind of weather extremes we have been experiencing in the UK.

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There is no standard list of what a good emergency kit should contain, so we scoured the accessory shop shelves and the Internet to find the winning combination.

The test

As no toolkits are the same, we came up with a list of breakdown essentials. Must-haves included a tyre inflator, basic hand tools, jump leads, a torch and tow rope, plus a good storage bag. We also looked for emergency kit such as a warning triangle, hi-viz vest and fire extinguisher, plus survival gear. We examined build quality and, finally, factored in price.

Contacts
Argos 0845 640 3030, www.argos.co.uk
Blackspur 01902 353636, www.blackspur.com
Car Parts Direct (Rossini) 0904 194 8899, www.carparts-direct.co.uk
EvaQ8 020 7486 8888, www.evaq8.co.uk
Halfords (AA) 0845 762 6625, www.halfords.com
John Lewis 0845 604 9049, www.johnlewis.com
Maplin (Rolson) 0844 557 6000, www.maplin.co.uk
Pink Toolbox 01983 248678, www.pinktoolbox.co.uk
Sealey 01284 757500, www.sealey.co.uk

Verdict

As a get-you-going kit, the Blackspur is hard to beat, because it covers most of the bases. If nearly £50 is too much, look at Rolson’s similar but much cheaper set. And if getting stranded is a real possibility, the EvaQ8 is the ideal companion, thanks to its emergency blankets, rations and warning triangle.
 

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