Want to safeguard your valuables in your car? It’s perhaps more important than ever to take precautions, considering how car theft is skyrocketing in the United States. Your vehicle may be a target for thieves, whether or not there are any objects of value in plain sight. Most thieves, however, are opportunistic and will typically target vehicles where valuables are in plain sight, e.g. a phone sitting on the passenger seat or a briefcase tucked under the glove compartment.
There are many valuables you should never leave in your car if you can’t help it, but where can you stow them away if you have no other feasible option? This blog post will provide you with five clever places to hide valuables in your car, but reader beware: keeping these items safe and sound at home or on you in person may be far safer than keeping them in your car in the first place.
Under the seat
One of the most obvious and convenient places to store valuables in your car is under the seat, typically the driver’s seat or the passenger side seat. Storing items under the seat may be okay if you’re stepping away from the vehicle for a few moments, and it may seem convenient, but a clever burglar will likely assume this also.
The benefit of stowing items under the seat is that it’s out of sight, so that alone could be a good enough deterrent. If a burglar does decide to break in, perhaps by smashing the window, one of the first places they’ll likely rummage through is under the seat, so it could also have some big disadvantages too.
Generally, you should only place things like documents or perhaps a small bag or purse under the seat, where it can be completely concealed from plain view. In terms of security, it’s one of the least secure places to store valuables.
Back in the olden days, glove compartments (aka glove boxes) were commonly attached to the car’s dashboard to stow gloves, which were commonly worn in the early 20th century. Nowadays, most of us don’t wear gloves for fashion as much as we might wear them for function, e.g. living in a cold and snowy climate like upstate New York. Nevertheless, the glove compartment is still installed on most modern vehicles and is commonly used to stow away all sorts of valuables.
Most drivers keep their registration papers, perhaps a copy of their insurance policy, or other essential documents in the glove compartment. You might also be inclined to keep a watch or some sunglasses stowed away in there, and it’s generally fairly safe since most glove compartments have a separate lock and key system to secure whatever’s placed inside.
The glove compartment tends to be a fairly safe and secure place to store valuables, but it’s also rational to assume that a burglar will understand this fact and, given enough time and persistence, try to break into the glove compartment to steal whatever may be inside.
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, the trunk might be one of the more safe areas to leave valuables. Most passenger cars have a separate trunk enclosure that is cut off from the back seat of the vehicle, so storing valuables in the trunk might be safe in the event that a burglar manages to gain entry to the vehicle. Often, the trunk can be opened remotely via a key fob and it may or may not be locked in conjunction with your other doors. Make sure your trunk is locked whenever you step away from the vehicle.
For vehicles such as panel vans, the ‘trunk’ or rear of the vehicle can be made secure with the help of high-quality security locks for vans, deadbolts, and slam locks that make it far more difficult to break into the vehicle.
If you are planning on storing valuables in your trunk, you can increase security by storing them inside of bags so that they aren’t as obvious, using cable locks and bungee cords to secure items in place (which also doubles as a good way to keep them in place when the vehicle is in operation), and/or covering valuables with a blanket.
Another place where you can store smaller valuables is in the center console of your vehicle. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may have a center console that can open up for storage with its own separate lock.
This is one of the most convenient places to securely stow away smaller items, much like the glove compartment, but it can also be cracked open by a persistent burglar as it’s fairly obvious and safe to assume that valuables are contained therein. If the lock is broken in an attempted burglary, you should contact a car locksmith near you for lock repair services.
The center console is an ideal place to store valuables such as a cell phone or house keys, but it’s also a convenient place to store things like chewing gum, cigarettes, or cosmetics since these items can attract a burglar if they are left in plain sight.
Make sure you get in the habit of locking your center console whenever you step away from the vehicle if you do plan on using it to store objects of value.
You may be thinking that the previous “hiding places” aren’t so clever and lean more towards obvious hiding places, and that is a fair point. There are only so many hiding places in vehicles today, unless you’re driving the Batmobile or a custom James Bond Aston Martin of course.
One place that is perhaps a little more creative to hide your belongings is under the floor mats. Granted, it isn’t exactly very secure as a burglar can simply pull up the floor mat, but that isn’t usually their first instinct anyway. Small and flat objects like documents can be slipped under the floor mats so that at least they’re out of sight.
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Whether you’re looking to protect your vehicle against burglary or theft or if you need to have your keys or locks repaired or replaced, find genuine and trustworthy car locksmiths near you.