Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

What to Put in a New Driver Gift Basket

smiling teenage girl starting her car.

Teenagers can be really hard to buy gifts for most of the time. But, one time they can be really easy to please is when they first get their driver’s license. With a little bit of thought, you can give them a new driver gift basket that provides you with some peace of mind, helps them feel confident on the road, and throw in some fun surprises to use when they’re driving all over town.


Make sure to grab the car emergency printables:

  • Car Accident Checklist
  • How to Jumpstart a Car
  • How to Change a Flat Tire

**This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Every parent worries about their new driver

Let’s just talk about the blindingly obvious – having a teenager, newly licensed to drive, is SCARY for parents. You walk into the DMV being the one driving your child to all the things and you walk out with them carrying a small piece of plastic that gives them rights to drive themselves to all the things.


You start worrying about:

  • your new driver coming home on time
  • filling up the gas tank
  • do they know what to do if they get a flat tire?
  • what happens if they get in a car accident?
  • using GPS to get where they need to go
  • someone accidently leaving lights on and they end up with a dead car battery
  • what if they hit a deer?!

And SO MANY MORE things. It’s okay to be concerned about all of it. It’s your child. You love them. You want them to be safe. And you also want them to learn independence and life skills. All of those things can coexist.


One simple way to ease your worry a little bit is to provide them with a few things that you know will be helpful in any of the above scenarios.

Keep reading, because I’m sharing a bunch of things that make for good gifts for new drivers and a little peace of mind for parents. 

new driver gift basket sititng on trunk of white car.

Anatomy of a New Driver Gift Basket

Initially, you might think this post is just for parents. But honestly, a new driver gift basket would be a fun idea for aunts, uncles, grandparents, or a family friend to gift to the new driver. Trust me, that teen you love has parents who will thank you. You would definitely be on their list of favorite people of the year!

So what things should you consider including?



#1 – Safety & Emergency Items

Every car, new driver or not, should have an emergency kit. You just never know when an accident, flat tire, dead battery, or empty gas tank will occur. Let’s make sure the car is stocked with items that will come in handy in case of emergency.

  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Car jack & lug nut wrench
  • Spare tire (yes – you need to check to make sure their car actually has a spare tire)!
  • Flashlight – here are two great options: solar powered or battery operated (affiliate links)
  • Seatbelt cutter (also a function included in both flashlights linked above)
  • Glass break (also a function included in both flashlights linked above)
  • Flares
  • Poncho (can you imagine changing a tire in the pouring rain?)
  • First aid kit (affiliate)
  • Fire extinguisher

If you’re an everything’s included type person, I suggest this all in one car emergency kit (affiliate link). 
*Note: if you get a pre-done kit, be sure to add anything that it’s missing!



#2 – Convenience Items

While these items might not be life-saving, your new driver will definitely be happy to have them in the moment they need it.

  • Ice/Snow scraper
  • Windshield cover/Sun shade – this one is so cool! It operates like an umbrella – no weird folding or twisting required. (affiliate link)
  • Phone mount – Besides being illegal, it’s just not safe to be always looking down at your phone to see where the GPS is guiding you.
  • USB charging cord
  • Paper maps for your local area – You just never know when the map apps on the cell phone will go haywire. Also, if you’re including this, think about whether or not your teen actually knows how to read a map;)
  • $20 emergency cash for gas/parking/tolls/etc
  • Kleenex
  • Chapstick
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Baby Wipes
  • Car wash kit


#3 – Fun Items

I don’t know about the teens in your life, but if they’re anything like mine, then they love finding ways to express their personality and style. That desire will surely extend to the car – whether they have to share with the family or they get their own car.

  • Custom air freshener
  • Fast food gift cards
  • Gas station gift cards – Does your teen always need to grab a bag of Sour Punch at the gas station?!
  • Reusable water bottle – (and maybe some stickers to go with it … hobbies and favorite sports teams are great options here)
  • Umbrella – the guys might not care as much about this, but the girls definitely will be appreciative. Especially on freshly done hair days.

Does Your New Driver Know What to do in an Emergency?

Okay, I know I’m taking you right back to the worrying part of having a new teenage driver. But I also know that there are a lot of states that don’t require driver’s education classes. And there are even less schools that have autoshop elective classes. And probably a lot of parents don’t know, or maybe just don’t remember, basic car care.


Honestly, it’s easy stuff to forget – especially if you’ve been lucky enough to not need to use that information. Don’t fret; I’ve got you covered with a few different checklists. All you need to do is print them out and review them with your new driver. If you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and laminate these printables and attach them to items in the new driver gift basket so your teen can stash them in the car for safe-keeping.


  • Car Accident Checklist – Use this to give your teen a boost of confidence that they’ll know what to do should this situation arise. Teens and adults alike have a tendency to get a little, uhhh, emotional under the stress of a car accident. Having this checklist at their fingertips will help them focus.
  • How to Jump a Car – Give your new driver the information they need so they know how to jump start a car. Dead car batteries happen. Does your teen know how to get theirs running again?
  • How to Change a Tire – Flat tires are not fun. Give your teen this checklist with step-by-step instructions for how to change a tire. Better yet, help them practice! We could all use a refresher from time to time.
    Auto Section of the Information Hub
    – Does your new driver have all of the important car information they need? The Auto section of the Info Hub is a great way to store things like: Insurance numbers, car repair companies you trust, roadside assistance numbers and so much more. It can be printed out, but you can also give them access via a password protected file that they can look at on their smartphone.

Having a new driver is a fun milestone for parents

And just because there are some very valid concerns that come along with it, having a new driver can also be a pretty awesome milestone for parents.

Think about it:

  • You have one less kid to play unpaid Uber driver for.
  • Have errands to run, but don’t feel like it? I bet I know who would be willing to go do it for you.
  • Your teen has a new way to show you that they are (slowly) becoming a more responsible human.
  • More drivers to rotate through on family roadtrips.
  • If you’re lucky, they can drive younger siblings to school!

If you include the above items in a new driver gift basket, you’ll also be assured that your teen has what they need for most emergency situations they might encounter while they’re out driving. That’s a total parenting WIN.

ipad showing vehicles section of Info Hub.

Did I leave anything off? I would love to hear any ideas you have to add to this list of good gift ideas for new drivers. Send me an email at:

Related Posts:

5 simple things you can do to get your family prepared if you don't have thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours


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