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How to safely hide valuables in your car

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Updated 10 Oct 2019

Rachel White

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We’ve all seen the warning signs that state not to leave valuables in your car, but sometimes we believe it may be more likely something will get stolen taking it with you to the beach, going on rides at theme parks or hiking through the forest.

There will be times when you have forgotten you had something in the car before you headed out, or you had to do a few things on your travels and couldn’t help but have some items in the car.

For whatever reason, at some stage you will need to hide some items in your car to make them unseen to reduce or avoid your chances of theft.

The reason we hide things is so they are not visible to someone from the outside of the vehicle.

Ideally, you would have locked your car and your windows are closed to ensure no one can just open the door or reach in.

If you leave items in plain view, then you have a higher chance of someone trying to break in or smash a window to grab the item whilst walking past and seeing an opportunity to take something they want.

There will also be the thieves that will just break in hoping to find something of value, in this situation you want to make sure you haven’t left items in the common areas like the glove box or under the seat.

Glove Box Treasure

So, if the glove box and under the seat don’t cut it for good hiding spots in the car, what areas are?

If your glove box is lockable then you can use it, but be aware if it is locked then thieves will probably realise there is something valuable in there, otherwise why would you lock it?

Most vehicle break-ins will be quick, the perpetrator will probably not hang around for too long, looking at every nook and cranny the common hiding areas will be targeted first.

Secret Compartments

There are many hiding spots in a car, one thing you can do is read your drivers manual to see if there are any hidden compartments in the vehicle that you or criminals may not be aware of, you may be surprised where compartments can be found.

Some areas that can be used to hide valuables are in the seat, between the seat cushion and back of the seat, in with the spare wheel, small items can go under floor mats or inside empty drink containers.

If you are prepared you can create your own sneaky hidey holes. Here are some ingenious ways to fool those pesky robbers:

  • Buy a Towelmate which has a pocket sewn into it or make your own towel with a hidden pocket or use pockets in clothing
  • Cut a slit in a tennis ball to hide smaller items. No one will see the cut unless they squeeze the ball
  • Toiletry containers like female sanitary items are usually avoided so using a tampon or napkin box to conceal items is a clever idea or you could even hide things in the bottom of a tissue box
  • Containers in general are handy; you could easily fit your phone in one. Take an empty container of sunscreen that you can pull the top off, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t sunscreen unless you picked it up and shook it. You could even use that handy trick on the beach
  • Craft a fake top on top of a cardboard box so it looks like it is full of rubbish or newspapers then you can place valuables under the fake top
  • Use a hollowed-out book or a fake vehicle owner’s manual

Any container doesn’t stand out as unusual inside a car can be used to hide items, just make sure you clean it out first or you can put your items into a ziplock bag before they go into the container.

To conceal your car key on your car make sure you purchase a proper key storage box like a surf lock.

These are great as you can securely lock your key to the outside of your car with a combination lock.

You can get lockable storage boxes that attach to a wheel or to a solid point of the car that cannot be removed.

Just remember that some key fobs will automatically unlock a car when in close proximity to the vehicle so check to make sure your vehicle will be secure when using these.

Don’t conceal items at the time you plan on leaving your vehicle. If you know you are going to need to hide valuables in your car make sure you do it before you park.

There is no point in concealing items after you park as people may be watching what you’re hiding and where you are concealing it.

There are no guarantees that your vehicle won’t be broken into but if you consider these tips, ensure your vehicle is locked and consider where items are kept, it will only make it less likely that they will be taken from your possession.

Now, imagine a seamless segue here…

Right. AutoGuru lets you search, compare and book from over 1600 qualified mechanics across Australia. Boom!

Images: Car Thief; Glovebox

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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.