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What Should Be in a Car First Aid Kit?

What Should Be in a Car First Aid Kit?

UK motorway traffic

Why is a Car First Aid Kit Important?

Whether you’re a new driver on the road or have been behind the wheel for decades, it is impossible to predict when a car accident could occur on the road. Road collisions can be a matter of life and death. Doing what you can to reduce the risk of serious injury or even fatality by having access to a car first aid kit could save a life one day! 

There are countless first aid kits to choose from, and you’ll have no doubt seen them in your workplace, sports arenas, favourite restaurants, and even your local pub. These places are required by law to make first aid equipment available for public safety, so it makes sense to do the same for yourself while driving in your car.

In 2020 alone, there were over 115,000 casualties on UK roads, resulting in 1460 fatalities. Having easy access to a well-stocked vehicle first aid kit could enable you or others to provide life-saving first aid to road casualties, at the very least reducing the seriousness of injuries. 

While our emergency services are there to provide support in the event of a road accident, a large proportion of road casualties are severe and require treatment as soon as possible. Good first aid supplies would equip you and others to offer first aid safely while waiting for ambulance teams to arrive on the scene. 

Arming yourself and your passengers with a car first aid kit can help reduce the risk you face and other road users alongside you. If you’re considering getting a first aid kit for your car and are wondering, “what should a car first aid kit contain?” we cover everything you need to know below to make sure you’re ready to help in the event of an emergency.

What to Put in a Car First Aid Kit

In accordance with the UK government’s BS8599-2 guidelines, standard vehicle first aid kits should contain items suitable for treating a wide range of serious to minor injuries and ailments that could occur from an emergency on the road. It’s essential to know what to keep in a car first aid kit to make sure you’re prepared.

The minimum required items in a car first aid kit list are: 

  • A triangular bandage — suitable for securing a splint in place or used as an arm sling.
  • Burn dressings — quick soothing relief and heat dissipation to treat burns or scalds.
  • Wound dressings in various sizes cover and protect a wound area, absorb blood, and shield open skin from contamination.
  • Blunt-ended scissors — for accurate and safe cutting of clothing, bandages, tape, and dressings with reduced risk of puncturing the victim’s skin.
  • A foil blanket — protects the victim from external weather and effectively reduces and treats shock symptoms. 
  • A pair of medical-grade gloves — protects the first aider and victim from cross-contamination when treating a wound area. 
  • Washproof plasters are easy to apply and form a protective barrier over broken skin. 
  • A resuscitation face shield — protects the first aider from cross-contamination when administering CPR to an unconscious victim. 
  • Sterile cleansing wipes — easily clean a wound area while protecting it from infection.

Our BS8599-2:19 compliant vehicle first aid kit stocks everything a UK motorist would need to provide first aid before emergency services arrive on the scene. It is available in two sizes, with the larger kit offering a more comprehensive selection of first aid items. You can also purchase an empty vehicle first aid kit bag on its own, should you need to replace the original container.

Print out and tick through our vehicle first aid kit checklist below to ensure you have everything you need in an emergency.

Female Driver In Car Fastening Seatbelt

Your Car First Aid Kit Checklist

Before setting off on the road, make sure you know what to put in a first aid kit for car journeys using our car first aid kit list below.

Checking with check list

Car First Aid Kits: UK Laws

While you now know what to have in car first aid kits, it is not a legal requirement to carry a first aid kit in your personal vehicle, despite the clear and practical benefits of having one available in case of an emergency on the road.

Before planning a trip to drive abroad, be aware that some European countries require drivers to carry first aid kits by law. Make sure you check government guidance for your destination country and any you’ll pass through to make sure you’re covered.

Businessman with briefcase unlocking his car, close up

If your personal vehicle is used for professional working purposes, it is sensible to carry a first aid kit in the vehicle to comply with health and safety guidelines. 

As an employer, you are required by UK law to assess and regularly evaluate health and safety risks to yourself and all staff in the workplace. This includes providing a workplace first aid kit accessible to staff, as well as first aid signage and guidance and even an eyewash kit if a risk of eye injury is posed. 

Suppose you employ staff who work in or from their car and are lone workers (with that vehicle considered to be their primary workplace). In that case, you could be required by law to make a car first aid kit available to that employee when using their vehicle for business purposes. This depends on whether they are away from the main workplace regularly or continuously and travel long distances for work purposes. The government also advises that such employees be provided with a mobile phone for communication purposes. 

In addition to a vehicle first aid kit, it could be helpful to purchase a lone worker first aid kit for any employees who work off-site regularly. 

The UK government also requires self-employed people to assess hazards and risks with regard to their profession. If you are a self-employed car user, the government advises that you have a first aid kit available when using your car for work. And, if your health and safety assessment identifies that you drive long distances and are continuously on the road, it may be a practical requirement to keep a personal first aid kit in your vehicle in line with your risk assessment.

black cab taxi

Commercial and Public Service Vehicles

Taxis and coaches are classed as public service vehicles in the UK. Commercial passenger-carrying vehicles like these and minibuses are required by law to carry a first aid kit. If you’re a commercial driver who serves customers and the general public, you need to know what to put in a car first aid kit.

Commercial and public service vehicle first aid kits are a legal requirement to reduce the public’s risk of serious injury or fatality. They should be kept in good condition, stored in a clearly labelled receptacle or first aid kit bag, and contain a minimum of the following items:

  • x 24 assorted adhesive dressings (plasters)
  • x 3 large sterile ambulance dressings—15cm x 20cm minimum size (unmedicated) 
  • x 1 disposable conforming bandage—7.5 cm minimum width
  • x 1 set of blunt-ended scissors
  • x 2 triangular bandages 
  • x 10 foil packed antiseptic wipes
  • x 2 sterile eye pads 
  • x 12 safety pins 

Steroplast has specially developed a taxi and public service vehicle first aid kit well equipped to provide emergency first aid care for your passengers and meet government requirements. 

luxury minibus

Other First Aid Kits You Might Need

If you are likely to encounter emergencies involving burns or scalds while you’re on the road, it may be worth considering adding to your car first aid kit supplies with a specially designed burn kit. We cover more information about burn kits and their contents and how to use them on our blog:

If you work or volunteer in the sports industry, keeping a sports first aid kit in your car could be practical to ensure you have access whenever and wherever you might need it. 

If you regularly travel with pets, it is worth considering investing in an animal first aid kit so you can keep your furry friends safe on the go. 

For home first aid provisions, having a larger 40 piece first aid kit or 70 piece first aid kit is a sensible option to ensure you can handle all first aid needs in your home whenever they might occur. If you have children in the house, our specially designed childcare first aid kit is a perfect choice to treat your little ones.

Please enter your details into the form below along with any questions or comments and a member of our team will be happy to provide you with more information:


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