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How to escape from the boot of your car

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Updated 10 Oct 2019

Rachel White

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AutoGuru has got tips on everything from how to keep your kids happy on a road trip to what to do when you lose your keys, but what we haven't covered yet is what to do when you find yourself stuck inside a boot.

Next time you get kidnapped or lock yourself in the boot of your car, hopefully you’ll remember these helpful tips to get you out in one piece.

You may be surprised to hear that most cars manufactured after 2002, have a glowing boot release handle inside the boot to get yourself out, because apparently so many people end up in the boot that they need to supply one.

Now, before you go running off to check it out for yourself and test the functionality of the glowing handle, let’s run through some additional escape methods, just in case you lock yourself in and then realise your car doesn’t have a release handle!

In the case of no handy release handle, you’ll have to do some probing. As long as you haven’t been bound and gagged, you should be able to get yourself out.

1. Assess the Situation

First, determine if you have to be quiet or not.

If you have been kidnapped then you will probably want to be careful about noise but if that’s not an issue then create as much noise as possible, as others may hear you and help out. If possible, don’t panic and don’t worry about not being able to breathe.

You should be able to breathe without any problems for at least a day in a standard boot environment.

2. How to find the Boot Latch
A boot latch is a fairly basic hook and post construction which requires a cable that pulls the hook away from the post to open.

This being the case, there will be a cable that runs through the boot to the boot latch.

If you run your hands along the edge of the boot and around the latch you should find a cable. There may be a need to remove some panels or material to find the cable.

Once you locate the cable, pull it towards the front of the vehicle which should pop the boot.

Remember to do this at a time that works best for the situation. If you are under duress and looking to escape quietly then pick the best moment, preferably not when you are doing 100 km/h down a highway.

If the vehicle is travelling at low speed or stopped you could pop the boot and make your escape.

3. Other items to help you Escape
If finding the boot latch doesn’t work, there are yet more options to keep you busy in the boot.

Unless your kidnappers prearranged the boot situation, there should be some tools and equipment in the boot.

There may be a jack, tyre pry bar/wrench, screwdriver and/or wheel brace. These can be found either in the side of the boot or in the floor of the boot.

You can use these items to try and prise the boot open. Another solution is to pull the rear bulbs out of the tail lights and then push out the lights from the inside to try to attract the attention of drivers following behind.

4. Escaping through the Rear Seats
If you still haven’t cracked the ‘get me out of the boot’ conundrum, have you considered getting out through the rear seats?

Unless you have a menacing kidnapper on the other side that you want to stay well away from, try pushing the rear seats forward, you may be able to jimmy the seat latch or use brute force to escape into the passenger section of the vehicle.

If all else fails, try banging and making a heap of noise or check your pocket for your phone and notify a friend or the police (only if in immediate danger) and wait it out.

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Written By

Rachel White

Rachel spent her early adult life around cars, motorsport and hands-on with her own cars. This interest moved into various careers within the Automotive industry. Joined with her passion for writing, Rachel loves putting the two together to share her experience, so we can all become AutoGuru’s.