Best emergency breakdown warning lights 2023

A breakdown can be dangerous as well as stressful, but these warning lights and car warning triangles help to make your stranded vehicle more visible to other road users. Here, we find out which...

Best emergency breakdown lights

If you're stranded by the side of the road after a breakdown, or simply want to add extra visibility to your car, you'll need a warning light. These comes in a variety of forms, from those which run on AA batteries to being connected to your car's electrical systems, and from units which just offer a single red light to those which have a variety of lighting modes.

How we tested the lights

To find the best emergency lights, we placed the lights 70m away and assessed how visible they were in the dark, and in a partially street-lit environment. We also judged the warning lights on how quick and easy they are to fix securely to your car and how convenient they are to store out of the way in a glovebox or cubbyhole, as well as on any other potential uses that they offer. As ever, we also factored in cost and build quality.  

The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network. However, this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

Top 10: Emergency breakdown warning lights

1. BEST BUY – Wolfteeth warning triangle

Wolfteeth warning triangle

The Wolfteeth triangle is chunky and feels very durable yet is compact enough to store out of the way in a spare wheel well or spacious glovebox. The red, flashing or static triangle warning lights are attention-grabbing and visible even in bright conditions, while the two-phase central lights make for a super-bright torch. Given that you can prop it up on the integrated stand, it’s also bright enough to double as a light for working on a car. It will take rechargeable batteries, and a cable to charge it up via a USB socket is provided, or it runs on AA batteries. Overall, it’s really good value, especially for a gadget that feels solidly built and is super useful in more than just emergency situations. 

What Car? says 5/5

2. RECOMMENDED – Kraser KR400V16 Emergency Light

Kraser warning light

The Kraser is a neat, small warning light that has a strobing, orange 360-degree light that is brighter than any of its rivals and is very eye-catching even in broad daylight. It’s attached to the car via a magnetic base, or there’s a large hook for hanging it from a door mirror or warning triangle. The torch function is also very bright and has two phases, while the package as a whole is small enough to fit in just about any glovebox. It’s not rechargeable, relying on regular batteries, but it’s still our runner-up thanks to its compact size, low price and super-bright light.

What Car? says 4/5

3. AA 3-in-1 Emergency Beacon

AA warning light

This nifty, glovebox-sized device has a seatbelt cutter, glass hammer and torch built in, as well as doubling up as a red, strobe light warning beacon that sticks to the car with a magnetic base. It’s not as bright as others here, and it relies on AA batteries, rather than being rechargeable. However, the strobe light is hard to miss even in daytime, and as an overall feature-packed, useful emergency tool to keep in the car, this is great value and one of our favourites here.

What Car? says 4/5

4. OurLeeme LED Warning Triangle

OurLeeme warning light

This chunky, heavy-duty triangle has super-bright torch lights that you can use as a floodlight for working on a vehicle. The red warning triangle lights are unmistakable as an emergency sign, and they’re very visible even in daylight. It will take rechargeable batteries and can be charged up via a USB input with the provided cable, or it will run on standard AA batteries. It’s just a bit too big to tuck away conveniently in most cars.  

What Car? says 4/5

5. Vancle LED road flares

Vancle warning light

These small, waterproof lights are magnetic, or they can be hooked onto a door mirror or warning triangle via a pop-out hook. You get four to a pack; this is a great safety feature, because you can put some out as beacons on the car and still have one left for torch duties. A huge variety of light patterns is an additional safety win. They feel tough and are clearly visible in low-light conditions.

What Car? says 4/5

6. Powerlantz car emergency breakdown kit

Powerlantz warning light

The Powerlantz feels solidly built and has a good range of light patterns, including a strobing effect that’s eye-catching in daylight as well as at night. The torch is also three-phase, and very bright in its highest setting. It fixes to a car roof via a magnetic base, or there’s a fold-out hook – albeit one that’s inconveniently small. This light isn’t rechargeable and runs on AA batteries. It’s still very recommendable, but not quite as bright or compact as some others here.

What Car? says 3/5

7. Dinfu Emergency warning light

Dinfu warning light

This is a traditional beacon that has LED lights for either a static beam, or a strobe setting that’s bright enough to draw attention even on a sunny day. It comes with batteries fitted, or it can be powered via a 12V cable. However, the plastics around the base feel a bit cheap, and the Dinfu beacon only has a magnetic base, with no useful hook attachment.

What Car? says 3/5

8. KaiDengZhei Emergency Warning Lights

KaiDengZhei warning light

These slim LED bars have to be wired up to your car’s electrical system via the included fixed cables, so they aren’t suitable for use during any breakdown where your electrical systems aren’t working. They are very visible when they’re hooked up, though, and you get six light bars to a pack, making them very good value. On top of that, they’re waterproof and are available in dual-colour combinations. They’re only useful if you plan on having them permanently fixed to your car or trailer, we suspect.

What Car? says 2/5

9. Routeking LED Emergency Warning Light

Routeking warning light

The Routeking is a chunky light bar that’s powered via a 12V socket. There are no batteries, so it has to be plugged in to function; this can be restrictive. It’s fixed via four suckers, which feel secure, provided they’re on a clean, dry surface such as the windscreen, where this is generally intended to go. The metal casing makes the Routeking feel hefty and durable, but the size and other restrictions make it less ideal for emergency breakdown situations. 

What Car? says 2/5

10. Anvflik Emergency breakdown warning lights

Anvflik warning lights

These slim LED bars have to be wired to a battery or electrical system, so they aren’t really intended for on-the-spot breakdowns so much as for permanent lights on a caravan or other vehicle that might require additional illumination. However, they’re waterproof, have an impressive 18 light modes and can be had in various different colours, so they’re still a flexible and useful option if you do have need for permanent warning lights on a vehicle. You get four lights to a pack, making them a good deal at this price.

What Car? says 2/5

How we test products

The products or services referenced in this story have been reviewed independently by our experts. When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network. However, this will never influence our opinion or ratings.

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