Breakdowns happen to the best of us. The good news with having a novated lease is you'll have a new car that is in peak condition, making breakdowns less common. You'll also have a full manufacturer's warranty as well as affordable roadside assistance, because it can be bundled into your package.
Considering that around a quarter of Australian drivers don't have roadside assistance (according to Roy Morgan) and will have to pay a premium should they need a pick up, making this affordable is a great advantage of novated leasing.
Breaking down is not exclusive to old cars, however. Through no fault of your own, or your car, things can happen on the road that leaves you waiting for a professional. It's less than an ideal situation, though being prepared can make a bad situation much more manageable.
Here are 7 things to pack in your emergency winter car kit should you need it:
1) A first-aid kit
In some cases, you or someone else might need a helping hand. That's where your first-aid kit comes in. The Red Cross advises that a good first-aid kit includes:
- Bandages, gauze and adhesive cloth tape
- Any prescribed medicine you may need
- Antiseptic wipes
- Non-latex gloves
- Tweezers and scissors
2) Jumper cables
It's deceptively easy to end up with a flat battery. Leaving any of your lights on can quickly drain your car's power, and make you unable start the ignition. Manual cars can possibly be bump-started, though a safer method (and one to get your automatic rolling again) is a jump start.
You'll need a pair of jumper cables and a friendly passer-by to lend a little electricity.
3) A torch
If your car breaks down at night on a rural road, you could be left with just the gentle glow of the moon for light. Not if you put a torch in your emergency car kit. Keeping your torch light on will make other drivers aware of your presence, so should be an essential part of any emergency kit.
4) Warm clothes/blanket
Even Australia gets cold at night, especially in winter, so a set of warm clothes and/or a blanket could quite literally be a life saver. So, next time you're thinking of throwing away that old jumper or blanket, roll it up and store it in your boot instead.
5) In-car phone charger
There are car problems that might restrict your ability to drive, but the car will continue to turn over just fine – such as a flat tyre. When you're waiting for a pickup, your mobile phone could be your best friend, so keep it juiced up by always having a spare charger handy.
Chargers cost very little compared to their usefulness in an emergency, and with the money you'll save with a novated lease, it's a negligible amount to spend.
6) Tyre jack, stand and tyre iron
A flat tyre is one of the most common reason for a breakdown, according to roadside recovery company The AA. It's a particular risk if you spend a lot of time on Australia's unsealed roads.
Having a tyre jack, stand and iron will be enough to change the wheel yourself. Just be sure to know what you're doing. Use the jack only for lifting and the stand for holding. Also, check regularly if your spare tyre is in good condition.
7) Tyre pump and sealer
Speaking of tyres, you may not be able to change yours – but you might be able to repair it. Keep a foot pump in your trunk and some sealant for tyre repair in your emergency kit. It could just get you a little further down the road in a pinch.