You can put any first aid kit in your personal car, though it is advisable to have a kit which covers all the basics without taking up too much space. Our Car & Vehicle First Aid Kit comes in a compact soft Nylon case and includes everything needed to treat minor wounds. However, if something more substantial is required, our British Standard Motoring First Aid Kit comes in a hard plastic case and includes a trauma dressing which is more suitable for serious injuries such as severe wounds.
For a comprehensive kit that provides emergency vehicle supplies beyond first aid, the Family Vehicle Safety Kit includes thoughtful additions, such as snap lights, an ice-scraper, a hi-viz vest and sick bags, alongside a 1-8 person first aid kit.
The British Standard BS 8599-2:2014 provides guidance on the size of first aid kits that are recommended for cars, dependent on the number of passengers. There is separate guidance for Public Service Vehicles, including commercial passenger carrying vehicles and taxis – please see the section on this below. In addition, BS 8599-1:2019 also suggests that employers provide the medium sized kit for workers who travel or drive as part of their role:
In UK there’s no legal requirement to have a first aid kit in a personal car. However, many drivers choose to carry one so that they are prepared for any situation. Kits, such as the Car & Vehicle First Aid Kit provide a comprehensive range of first aid supplies to allow you to treat common injuries on the go. In addition, the First Aid Guidance Leaflet included in this kit ensures you will have the necessary information in an emergency.
If you are driving abroad, be aware that some European countries have laws which require drivers to carry first aid kits. Always check government guidance for the country that you are travelling to and be prepared with kits such as the Din 13164 European Motoring First Aid Kit.
If you’re required to drive as part of your job, it’s recommended that you have a first aid kit to meet health and safety guidelines relating to the provision of first aid.
Self-employed workers are advised to assess the hazards and risks of their workplace, which may identify the need for a personal first aid kit if the work involved continuous road use or driving long distances as this may increase the chances of there being an injury
Employers must include lone workers in their risk assessment, and ensure any lone workers are suitably provided for with first aid supplies and training, if necessary. Examples of lone worker driving roles could include the following:
In addition to this, employers must consider newer types of lone workers, for example those working in the gig economy, such as on-demand taxi or delivery services obtained through an online platform and delivered on a task-by-task basis.
The British Standard Workplace First Aid Kit guidance (BS 8599-1) was updated in 2019 to include Travel and Motoring first aid kits that matched the BS 8599-2:2014 guidance for medium motor vehicle first aid kits (see table above).
If you operate a public service vehicle, sometimes referred to as a commercial passenger-carrying vehicle, such as a taxi, minibus or coach, your vehicle must carry a first aid kit according to The Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) Regulations 1981 and The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.
The minimum required first aid equipment for such vehicles are listed below although, as always, employers are expected to complete a full risk assessment to identify any additional needs:
In addition to providing the above first aid supplies, they are required to be kept in a receptable that is suitable, maintained in a good condition, readily available for use and prominently marked as a first aid receptacle or first aid kit.
If you ride a motorcycle, we also highly recommend that you take a first aid kit, whether in a small backpack or in bike luggage. According to government statistics for 2020 motorcyclists, who fall into the “vulnerable road users” group, had the highest road user fatality rate per billion passenger miles. In 2020, there were 13,604 reported road casualties for motorcyclists.
These are sobering statistics, which is why first and foremost, you must wear adequate safety equipment when you’re riding a motorcycle. Our British Standard Motorcycle First Aid Kit comes in a variety of containers but our BS8599-2:2014 Motorcycle First Aid Kit in Vinyl Wallet is portable and space efficient. Crucially it contains a trauma dressing to control severe wounds, and could help you or a bystander save your life should an accident occur. You may wish to also consider a Critical Injury Pack, particularly if you’re riding as part of a group.
If you are travelling in a motorhome, it is likely that you are embarking on a longer journey. Of course, the same first aid kits listed above will be helpful for you, but you may also want to consider any additional supplies you might need for a longer trip, such as a wind-up torch, snaplight and a comprehensive burns kit, if you are planning on cooking.
If you are travelling abroad, you may be required by law to carry a first aid kit such as Din 13164 European Motoring First Aid Kit. However, you may also want to consider other supplies, such as sun cream and bug spray.
If you drive an HGV or LGV, it is likely that you are doing so for work. Therefore, a risk assessment should have been completed in which your needs, the vehicle-type and journey-type have all been considered. It is highly likely that this will result in identifying a need for a first aid kit that complies with BS 8599-2:2014 for medium vehicles (see table above). This would mean that your employer was complying with BS 8599-1:2019, which includes a suggested kit for travel and motoring for work.
Regardless of where, how and why you are on the road, make sure you understand exactly what you need and that you have the necessary first aid kits and equipment to provide effective first aid wherever you are.