A glove compartment can be a great place to store things. But, there are just some items that you should never keep in there. That said, here are ten things that definitely do not belong in your vehicle’s glove compartment.
10. Vehicle Title and Registration
Whenever a cop pulls you over, the first thing he or she asks is to see your license and registration. Many of us keep our vehicle registration in the glove compartment for easy access in times like those. But, the glove compartment is not the best place for it. That’s because if thieves break into your car, they can use your information to create fake registrations. They could also use your registration to get your address, make their way inside your home, and steal your valuables. So, where’s the best place to keep your vehicle registration then? In your wallet.
As for your title, you should keep that in a secure location, like in a home safe or a safety deposit box. There’s absolutely no reason to keep it in the glove compartment. It’s not like the police will ask for it when they stop you. Besides, storing your vehicle title in the glove compartment gives thieves easy access to your personal information, which they can use to create fake titles, which can then be used to sell stolen cars.
9. Driver’s License
Most of us keep our driver’s license in our wallet. But, there are a few people who prefer to keep it in the glove box instead. But, that’s the worst place for it — especially if your car gets stolen. Thieves can use the information on your driver’s license to steal your identity and rack up all kinds of debt in your name. They can also use the information to find out where you live and break into your home to steal your things, or to possibly even cause harm to you if you happen to be at home at the time of the break-in. That being said, the best place to store your driver’s license is in your wallet.
8. Spare Keys
Believe it or not, people used to keep their spare car key under the wheel well (that part of the car just above the tire) of the car. Perhaps some people still do — although I wouldn’t recommend it. Another place people keep spare keys is in the glove box. And, while you may think you’re doing yourself a favor by keeping an extra set of keys to your home in the glove box, you’re actually doing potential thieves a favor. They can use your spare keys and any paperwork they find inside your car to gain easy entry into your home. That being said, the best thing to do is to leave your spare keys with a family member or trusted neighbor.
It’s good to have extra batteries on hand, but keeping them in your car’s glove compartment is not such a good idea. That’s because the temperature inside your car can fluctuate from time to time, and this will affect the quality of the batteries. In fact, heat speeds up the chemical deterioration of batteries. But, if by chance you really do need to store them in your glove compartment, don’t store them there during the warmer months, and make sure you change them out regularly.
6. Cigarette Lighters
Your vehicle already came equipped with its own cigarette lighter, so there’s no need to keep a portable cigarette lighter in there too. Not only is it not necessary, it’s also quite dangerous. According to Geico, the flammable liquid found inside portable cigarette lighters can leak out of the container when the temperature inside your car becomes too hot, and this can pose a serious fire hazard. So, if you’re a smoker, just keep your lighter in your pants pocket or your purse, depending on which one you have.
You may be tempted to store extra medication in your glove box so that you don’t forget to take it, but that’s the worst thing you can do. That’s because “pharmaceutical manufacturers recommend most of their products be stored at a controlled room temperature of 68 to 77 degrees,” Dr. Skye McKennon, PharmD, told The New York Times. But, when medications are left in the glove box, they are exposed to heat, cold and moisture, which can damage their effectiveness.
4. Forms of Personal Identification
Bills, receipts, invoices, passports, checkbooks, wallets and any other forms of personal identification do not belong in the glove compartment. All of these items can be used by thieves to steal your identity, gain access to your personal information, break into your home, do damage to your credit, and a whole list of other things to numerous to mention. Keep your bills, receipts, invoices and other such paperwork in a safe place in your home until you no longer need them — at which point you should shred them before tossing them into the garbage. Keep your passport at home. There’s no reason for you to be carrying it around with you unless you’re traveling. As for your wallet and checkbook, those items can be kept in your purse or pants pocket.
Keeping your valuables in the glove box instead of at home because you think thieves are less likely to look in your glove box may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. In fact, the glove box is the main place a thief looks when they break into a car. Not only that but your car insurance won’t cover your valuables if they happen to get stolen from your car. The best thing to do, then, is to keep them at home in a safe or some other secure location that’s out of plain sight.
2. Garage Door Opener
The glove compartment seems like the perfect place to keep your garage door opener, but it just leaves you vulnerable to potential thieves who may break into your car, find your garage door opener and any documents that include your address, and make their way into your home. That being said, you’ll want to keep your garage door opener with you instead. An easy way to do this is to replace your clip-on remote with a small one that you can keep on your key chain.
1. Cell Phone
According to an article published by Reader’s Digest, “leaving your phone in your glove compartment can do serious damage to the device.” That’s because your car is prone to temperature fluctuations. And, exposing your cell phone to excess heat can lead to data loss, corruption, and permanent battery damage. Likewise, exposing your cell phone to extremely cold temperatures can shorten your phone’s battery life, cause display problems, cause unexpected shut-offs, and cause the glass to shatter. The best thing to do — which I think most of us are already doing — is to keep your cell phone with you at all times.
Your turn! What things do you keep in your glove compartment? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!