best places to hide a key on a car
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Where Can I Hide a Key On My Car? 7 Best Places

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Many years ago I drove a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am, I was in my early 20’s and I really liked that car, it was fun to drive.  The one thing I absolutely hated about it was that the doors locked as soon as I turned the key on. On more than one occasion I was locked outside of my car with my keys resting comfortably inside.  I even discovered that once the doors locked it disabled my fob; this did not please me. 

My point is I should have learned the first time and hid a spare key somewhere on the outside of my car, for just such a situation.  So, where is a good location to place a hide a key on the outside of your car?

The 7 Best Places To Hide A Key on Your Car Are…

  1.     On the inside of the bumper (assuming you are using the magnetic hide a key)
  2.     Behind the front license plate
  3.     Tire Well
  4.     Gas Cap
  5.     With someone else
  6.     Hitch receiver box
  7.     Your purse or wallet

Let me say that many people are against Hide- a- key’s, and I understand why.  If someone finds it you give them access to your car.

 So if you are not comfortable hiding the key on the outside of your car, then don’t.  I can tell you, from personal experience, all those times I locked myself out of my car I wish I had a key stashed on the outside somewhere.

Also, be sure that the key you are hiding on the outside is one that will only open the car doors and not one that will turn on the ignition. 

Lastly, I don’t know how electronics will be affected by being bounced around on the outside of a car. Be mindful of this before you expose a very expensive key to the elements. 

Frankly, I don’t know how applicable this article will be in the future.  Soon we may be using our phones to unlock our car doors (if you aren’t already, I’m looking at you On-Star).

 So if you are a dinosaur who is still using a key to unlock your car door, please read on.

On the Inside of Your Bumper

Again, this is making some assumptions. First, that you have a bumper and second that it is made of metal.  I am also assuming that you are using a magnetic hide a key. So this is a pretty standard hiding spot.

With newer cars, you don’t have a lot of choices as to where you will place a magnetic hide a key, because most of your car is plastic or fiberglass.

But it is a good a place as any, and if you happen to lock yourself out of your car. You will be happy that you have a spare key there.

Behind Your License Plate

 I never thought of this spot, but I think it’s my favorite one.   Hiding your key behind the front license plate is like hiding your key in plain sight.

  There is a strong magnetic source from the license plate and it’s fairly well concealed.  Depending on the shape of your front bumper and the depth of your license plate holder a standard hide a key should do well. 

But if you are looking for something a little more robust, there are license plate spare key hiding containers. These attach to your vehicle and then you attach your rear license plate to the enclosed container; essentially making the license plate a hatch. 

It’s a neat idea. Obviously, you don’t want to put a key that will start your vehicle in there, as the case does not lock. But in a pinch, it’s nice to know that you can get back in your car again.

Tire Well

The tire well is where my father always hid his key.  Of course, this was back when cars were mostly made of metal and it was easy to find a place to stick a Hide a Key. 

Nowadays, as I mentioned, cars do not have quite the same amount of metal that they used to have. So you may have a little bit harder time finding a place in the wheel well to place a hide a key.

However, you may be able to find a small metal ledge or perhaps a piece of the frame that is easily accessible, these would be perfect for a place to stash a spare key.

Inside the Gas Cap

Inside the gas-cap is an option, but it’s not one of my favorite places to hide a key.  It’s too easily accessible and its a fairly commonplace to put a key. In addition to this, you may need to use duct tape to securely hold the hide a key in place.

  I suppose if you have no other options then this is better than nothing. I would have rather had a key in my gas cap than be locked out of my car. Given the limited number of places to put a hide a key, I thought I would offer it as an option.

Hide the Key…With someone else?

This is fairly common practice with trusted neighbors.  They exchange keys to the house or car, just in case something happens. 

This is great if you have a neighbor you can trust. Of course, your neighbor will need to be home at the time you lock the keys in your car.  So, there may be some kinks that need to be worked out, but it is a plausible plan.

Hitch Receiver Box

Again a very cool innovation.  Probably the most secure of all the solutions to hide a key on the outside of the car. 

However, there are certain requirements that need to be met first. First, you need to have a two-inch hitch attached to your car.  Also, you obviously can’t be using the hitch because then there would be no room for the box.

This is basically a little safe, with a combination and everything that you can insert into your hitch and keep your keys in there.  Yes, this type of hide-a-key is more obvious, but no one is going to try to break into it either..

Again a very cool innovation.  Probably the most secure of all the solutions to hide a key on the outside of the car. 

However, there are certain requirements that need to be met first. First, you need to have a two-inch hitch attached to your car.  Also, you obviously can’t be using the hitch because then there would be no room for the box.

This is basically a little safe, with a combination and everything that you can insert into your hitch and keep your keys in there.  Yes, this type of hide-a-key is more obvious, but no one is going to try to break into it either..

Your Purse or Wallet

Of all the places that I have read, this was the most common and seemed to be the favorite of a lot of people.  And why not, it makes perfect sense. You get a regular old flat key made, and then you have it with you. If you lock your keys in your car, you pull out your wallet or purse and you are all set.  

The one problem a lot of people had with carrying your spare key on you is if you lose your wallet or purse; then someone has both your keys and address. 

This is a legitimate concern if you are the forgetful type, then yes this method could be problematic for you. I don’t like this method because of the type of wallet I carry. 

It wouldn’t be practical for me. But to each his own.

Final thoughts…

There you have seven places to hide your keys on the outside of your car.  There are a couple of things I like to say before we go.

    Make sure that the keys you hide on the outside of your car open the doors only.  There is a risk that someone will find the hide-a-key.  If they do, you don’t want to let them drive off with your car, looting the inside will be bad enough. 

Some of these mentioned are fairly common areas to place a magnetic hide-a-key.  These hiding places have been around for a long time.

You may need to get a little inventive when stashing your key on the outside of the car. Each car is different and may have a perfect little nook or cranny that you could stash a key in. 

You may only need to use the hide-a-key one time, whether it’s on a road trip or your daily commute.  But you will be thankful that you have it that one time. I know I wish I had it those multiple times that I was locked out of my car.  <sigh>

Anyway, happy hiding, and if you have a spot you would like to share, leave a comment below.

Safe travels…

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