20 Things You Should Always Keep in Your Kia

Whether you have just bought your first car and want to make sure it is properly outfitted or you are heading out on a summer road trip and want to have all the essentials before you are miles from civilization, here are the twenty things you should always keep in your Kia:

1. A paper map of your tristate area. Don’t be duped into think you’ll always have service or that your phone will always have a full battery. It may seem archaic, but you will be happy to have that paper map when you’re lost and your phone has no reception.

2. Change and a few bills. Whether you’re the kind of person who gives money to people on the side of the road or you’re likely to have to pass a toll booth in your travels, having change and a few dollar bills on hand is always a good idea.

kia car3. A compact umbrella. This is a fact of life: it will rain at the most inconvenient time. If you have an umbrella, a little rain won’t get in your way.

4. A couple bottles of water. Put most of them in your trunk, but have one or two stashed in your Kia’s extra cup holders for when traffic stacks up or you have to wait on the side of the road.

5. Jumper cables. Not all new cars come with jumper cables. Many do, but if yours didn’t you’re going to want to go out and get a set. Not only will they save your car’s life if your battery dies (if you leave the dome light on all night, for example), but they give you the opportunity to be a Good Samaritan if you see someone else struggling with a dead car.

6. A roll of toilet paper. My sister-in-law always keeps a roll of toilet paper in her car, and it was a blessing when she was helping me move into my new apartment and we hadn’t done any grocery shopping yet. Plus, it will undoubtedly have plenty of other uses.

7. Granola bars. Keep a box of your favorite granola bars in your glove compartment or trunk. Why? Because going hungry in standstill, rush hour traffic is never a good idea.

8. Your registration. When it arrives in the mail, don’t just leave it on your kitchen table. Put it in your glove compartment. You might be a model driver, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be pulled over.

9. A mini first aid kit. Even if you don’t anticipate ever getting carsickness or cutting your finger on the road, it’s better to be prepared than wanting in your time of need.

10. A spare phone charger. Especially if you commute to and from work, you’re going to want to be able to charge your phone at the beginning and end of each day—just don’t text and drive, okay?

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11. A flashlight. LED is usually the best way to go—they use less battery and are therefore last much longer in your trunk or stuffed under the seat. They’ll also be your savior when you’ve dropped your phone under your seat or have lost an earring down the crevice between seats or especially when you have to change a tire in the dead of night.

12. Ice scraper and small shovel. Those who buy cars during the summer often forget these two essentials and don’t remember to buy them until their car is already buried in snow.

13. A package of sand or road salt. Not only can you use these two things to get traction if you’re stuck in a particularly icy or muddy spot, the weight of them in your trunk can help to prevent sliding and slipping on icy or snow roads.

14. A multi tool. At some point, you will probably need a pocket knife, a pair of pliers, or even a wire cutter. Having a tool that has all of these components is the best way to be prepared.

15. Hand wipes. My mother uses a hand wipe every time she gets into the car, especially after grocery shopping or walking around the mall. She’s a germaphobe, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should have some hand wipes in their car, just in case.

16. A pair of sunglasses. No matter the time of year, you’re probably going to be on the road just as the sun sinks into that perfect spot that is just barely eclipsed by your visors. A pair of sunglasses will ensure you can still see, even if it seems like the sun’s mission is to blind you.

17. A bag for trash. It could be a sandwich bag or a plastic shopping bag, or a trash bag—something to put straw wrappers and receipts and all the other detritus cars seem to accumulate throughout the week. Now, you won’t have to scoop everything up, it’ll be confined in a little bag you can just throw away.

18. A blanket. Just like you’ll want water and a snack if your car is sidelined on a summer day, you’ll want a blanket if your car breaks down in the winter. Also good for impromptu picnics.

19. Paper towels. The durable, garage version, not the flimsy kitchen version—for cleaning up spills and cleaning your hands after changing a tire.

20. Your owner’s manual. A surprising number of people take the owner’s manual out of their Kia. Don’t do it—it’ll tell you how to jump your car, replace a tire, and even just change the time on your radio clock.

Why Coming to the Dealership is Better than Shopping for Your Kia Online

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Most people start their car buying process online, looking at the Kia website in order to find their new car. While the internet is a great place to start, especially if you want to narrow down the list of cars you want to see to ones in your price range and that have the features that you want, coming to the Kia dealership is always the best way to really get a good idea of which Kia is right for you. Here’s why:

1. Test drives

Test driving is really the only way you can be sure you’ve found the right car for you. Looking at the car online is one thing, but you won’t really know how it looks and feels until you’re actually sitting in the car. You may love how a car looks, but if you’re not a fan of how it drives, it’s not the right car for you. And the only way you can really make this determination is by driving it. Additionally, the models on the Kia website are not always the same models that we have on the lot. Each car on our lot comes with unique features and trims.

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2. In-person consultations

One of the biggest benefits of coming into our dealership is talking to one of our staff. While you might have a good idea in your head about what kind of Kia you want, our salesmen are trained to listen to what you want in a car and present the make and model that best fits your needs. On occasion, we’ll have someone come onto the floor who is sure that they want an SUV, but ends up walking away with a sedan. Because our staff have intimate knowledge of our cars, they’re more able than a website to help you find the exact right vehicle.

3. Find cars in your price range

The price that’s listed on Kia’s website is rarely the price that you’ll find at the dealership. We often have our own sales and specials that can make finding the right car even more affordable. And you can’t haggle with a website. You can haggle with us (though we don’t think you will need to). We know that your goal is to find a great car that’s well within your budget, whether you’re looking to buy or lease. While both the main Kia website and our website can give you a good idea of what a vehicle might cost, only when you come to the dealership can we give you a firm number.

4. See what’s feasible

We’re lucky in New Jersey, to never be too far from the things that we need or want. In some places, the cars that they have on the lot are the only cars that the customers can choose from. If we don’t have the right car, in the right trim or in the right color, we will find it for you. We can usually find just about any color and trim and get it to our dealership in a couple of days.

5. More relevant information

While the website will give you plenty of great information about the gas mileage and the engine, when actually looking at cars, one of our staff can tell you about all the other features of that particular make and model. For example, if you want a car with a great stereo system or a quiet ride, actually seeing the car in person and talking to a salesman that really knows those cars is the only way to find one that really fits your criteria.

6. Fewer compromises

The Kia website can only show you a very narrow set of vehicles. In reality, the range of vehicles that come to our showroom and to our lot are diverse and are designed to appeal to a wide variety of buyers. This huge variety to choose from means you don’t have to compromise a great sound system for a quiet ride or more trunk space for a roomier cabin. While we do list all of our cars online, the only way to really see what we have in our showroom and on the lot is to visit us in person.

7. Pictures rarely do the car justice

Even if you’ve already honed in on the exact vehicle or vehicles you want to drive, coming to our Kia dealership can seal the deal. We love working both with customers who aren’t sure what they want and with those that know exactly what they want. If you’ve spent a little bit of time looking at the cars online, it’s still a good idea to come and sit in and test drive them. You won’t get to see all of the little features and quirks of a car until you’re talking with a knowledgeable salesman and physically sitting in the car.

8. Financing and payment plans

Again, there are online calculators that will help you estimate your monthly costs for a specific vehicle, but only when you’re ready to buy, sitting in our showroom can we tell you what your financing options and payment schedule could look like. There are many factors that go into your financing options and payment schedule, and discussing them in person is always the best policy, especially if you want to get a great price and a reasonable payment schedule.

Some people like to do as much car shopping online as they can before coming into our dealership. Others try to cut the dealership out altogether! We still believe that actually coming to our showroom is the best way to get the right car at the right price.