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11 Things You Shouldn’t Keep in Your Glove Compartment

While you should keep some of these items in your vehicles, keeping them in your glove compartment can also make you a target.

empty car glove box
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You might think your glove compartment is the perfect place to keep essentials like your owner’s manual, insurance card, and garage door opener. But the glove compartment is often the first place thieves look after they break one of your car windows or jimmy a lock. “We have reports from our law enforcement partners that car thieves have stolen the car, driven it to the residence, and burglarized the home before the owner even knew the vehicle was missing,” Joe Wehrle, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, told personal finance site Clark.com. So to protect yourself, here’s what you should take out of your glove compartment. Never leave these 15 things, or food, in your car either.

Personal information

Personal papers

Your glove compartment might seem like a convenient place to store important documents, but you should never leave anything with personal information like your home address there. “It’s just too easy for thieves to take your ID and use it to make phony credit cards, loan applications—you name it,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman for the National Insurance Crime Bureau, told Carinsurancequotes.com.

Registration Papers and Tag
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Vehicle registration

No one wants to get pulled over for speeding, but should that happen, you want to make sure you have your registration on you. That said, thieves can use the information to create fake registrations. Instead, keep a photocopy in your wallet or a picture of your registration on your phone. Atlanta police, for example, will accept a copy and then verify the information.

big envelope for letter confidential papers

Vehicle title

Likewise, don’t store your car’s title in your glove compartment. You wouldn’t need it in case of a collision or getting pulled over. And thieves could take yours and use it to create fake titles, Scafidi says.

Closeup of sales receipt
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Receipts can contain all kinds of personal information: your name, address, email address, sometimes even your credit card number. That’s a field day for identity thieves. Keep your receipts at home instead.

White minimalist wireless headset placed on a dark wooden laminated surface with blurred white curtain crossing a window behind it


It’s a good idea to stow valuables like electronics out of sight if you don’t plan to take them with you. But that doesn’t make them safe in your glove compartment. And keep in mind that car insurance doesn’t cover personal items that might be stolen from your car.

High Angle View Of Wallet On Table
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Driver’s license

Your license is also a treasure trove of information to identity thieves. Keep it in your wallet instead of the glove compartment.

Man hand puts leather wallet in the glove compartment box inside car.
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Checkbook and wallet

Stowing your credit cards and checks in the glove compartment is also a bad idea. Thieves can have access to your account numbers and can make purchases with your cards. Carry your checkbook and wallet with you in a backpack or purse instead—and, try not to carry these things in your wallet either, for safety’s sake.

Garage door PVC. Hand use remote controller for closing and opening garage door

Garage door opener

If your car is out and about, thieves know that you’re not home. They may be able to find out where you live if you’ve left documents that include your address in your car. And access to your garage door opener is basically rolling out the welcome mat to thieves.

Close up Shot of Conceptual Silver Ballpoint Pen on Top of Invoice Papers Printed with Figures.


You might be holding on to the itemization of your car’s last service because of the list of suggested future repairs. Not a bad idea, but don’t stow it in your glove compartment. Invoices often also include your home address.

AA batteries lined up in a roll...close up
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Keeping a supply of batteries on hand seems like a good idea to keep your flashlight working in case of an emergency. But temperature fluctuations can greatly affect the quality of batteries. Heat speeds up the chemical deterioration of batteries. Don’t store them in your glove compartment during the warmer months and change them out regularly to make sure they’re still good.

Real estate concept - Keys on white wooden sunny background
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Extra set of keys

It may be handy to have an extra set if you lose your keys. But keeping them in your glove compartment could provide thieves with another easy entry to your home. Locked your keys in your car by accident? Don’t worry—here’s how to unlock your car without your keys.


Jen McCaffery
Jen McCaffery covers money, tech, products, health and safety for Reader's Digest and other publications and websites. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s growing veggies or trying to figure out the way home from assorted trails.