Cars are a great way to transport your belongings and sometimes we forget to remove some of our more valuable possessions. As any crime report will quickly show, cars are not immune to theft and burglary. Potential thieves often target vehicles, and while they are often stopped by locks, security systems, and alarms, they still succeed some of the time.
If you don’t want your car to be broken into, it’s important to keep your valuable items out of sight when they’re in your vehicle. Chances are you often have to travel with valuable items, and you don’t want to take them all with you every time you leave the car, but you also don’t want to leave them sitting in the open, inviting burglars to come and get them. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to safely hide valuable items inside your car.
Part 1 of 2: Finding hiding spots for your valuable items
Step 1: Leave some things at home. There are certain valuables that you need to take whenever you leave the house, such as your cell phone and some form of payment.
However, you should take a moment to think about where you’re going and what you’re doing before you throw your laptop, tablet, and nice jewelry in the car. If you don’t need a valuable item, it’s best to leave it at home.
Step 2: Avoid the traditional hiding spots. When someone tries to steal valuables from a car, they don’t usually have a lot of time to search the nooks and crannies of the car. They try to get in and out as fast as possible, so they minimize the chance of getting caught.
Note: A potential thief may only look in traditional hiding spots in your car: in the glove box, and under the seats. If nothing’s there, they may leave, so don’t stash your valuables in the spot that burglars will first check.
Note: Some vehicles have locking glove boxes. If your car has one, then the glove box is actually a very safe place to leave your valuables, presuming you keep it locked when you are not using it.
Step 3: Hide before you drive. One of the safest things you can do is hide your valuables before you get in the car. This way, no one sees where you are hiding the items.
If you wait until you park to hide your valuable items, then anyone who is watching you will see exactly where the items are being stashed.
Step 4: Find uncommon hiding spots throughout your car. Cell phones will often fit in mint boxes, or in the crease where seat cushions meet seat backs. Larger items can be placed inside the spare tire, and small items can fit under the front mats.
Part 2 of 2: Securing your vehicle
Step 1: Roll up all the windows. Windows that are rolled down are open invitations for thieves to enter your vehicle. Don’t make their task any easier by leaving the windows rolled down when you leave your car.
Step 2: Lock all of the doors. It’s always important to lock your car doors when you leave you vehicle, but it’s extra important when you are keeping valuable items in the car.
- Always be sure to lock your doors when you leave, so that burglars don’t have a free pass. If your door locks are not working, have them fixed as soon as possible by a certified mechanic, such as the ones at YourMechanic.
There’s no way of making your car – and the valuable items inside it – completely immune to thieves, but if you follow these steps your valuable items will be well hidden, and it’s much less likely that they will ever be stolen.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Safely Hide Items in Your Car and was authored by Brady Klopfer.