It sounds like a riddle from one of those joke books you read as a child: “What is it that you always use … but never use for its intended purpose?”
The answer: your car’s glove compartment! If you’re like most drivers, you’ll find a combination of papers, receipts, maybe a few packs of gum, and some tools that you’re not 100% sure how to use. Cut the clutter (and avoid becoming the victim of identity theft) by sticking to only the most important things.
ITEMS TO KEEP IN YOUR GLOBE BOX
- Proof of insurance. This tops our list of things to keep in your glovebox. In most states, it’s illegal to drive without it. If you think car insurance is simply too expensive, ask your auto insurance company for the minimum limits in your state. Liability-only insurance can typically help you meet the limits and at a price you can afford. If you need help getting proof of insurance, Direct Auto Insurance can help. Get a quote for liability insurance online or call 1-877-463-4732. Current Direct Auto policyholders can get easily show proof of insurance on their mobile device through MyAccount.
- Medical and emergency contact info. This may sound old school, but grab an index card and write down any personal or family members medical conditions, allergies, and medications. On the other side of the index card, write down the names and phone numbers of people to contact in the event of an emergency should you be unable to communicate this important information yourself. Place this index card in plastic bag along with copies of your health insurance cards.
- Owner’s manual. When a new dashboard light pops on or you don’t know where to find your windshield wiper fluid, this is the place to go! The owner’s manual can help you solve problems and understand your car’s pieces and parts in an instant—no cell phone service or automotive expertise required.
- Tire pressure gauge. Nowadays tire pressure gauges are about the size of a pencil. Even if your car is equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), regularly checking your tires with a gauge can help you stay ahead of low tire pressure and decreased fuel economy.
- Mini-flashlight. Sure, you could rely on your smartphone’s built-in flashlight, but what if the battery dies? What if your car battery dies and you can’t charge your phone? Either way, having a mini-flashlight on hand can make it easier to call for help and investigate car troubles, if you find yourself down on your luck.
ITEMS TO LEAVE OUT OF YOUR GLOVE BOX
- Personal papers. If a document has personal information on it (email, phone number, address, account numbers, Social Security number, etc.), keep it at home. Personal documents like credit card bills, utility bills, and bank statements can help a bad guy steal your identity or find where you live, so it’s best not to keep them in your car.
- The vehicle’s registration. Police officers often ask for this if you get pulled over, so you DO need to have this document with you when you drive. However, your vehicle registration often has your home address on it. So instead of storing it in your glovebox, keep it in your wallet and take it with you when you leave or lock the glovebox. If your car is broken into, you don’t want your personal address accessible.
- Vehicle title. Your car title is an official document that indicates the legal owner of the vehicle and their address. In the event of a break-in, you’d be providing the thief with what he or she needs to sell your car. Store this document in a safe place at home, not in your wallet or glove compartment. You’ll typically only need the title, if you’re selling the car or registering it in a new state.
- A spare car key. “Stealing a vehicle is very difficult with today’s anti-theft technology and leaving the keys in the vehicle is an open invitation for the opportunistic car thief,” says National Insurance Crime Bureau President and CEO. Don’t make your car an easy target. Car thieves know where to look!
- Technology. Your laptop, tablet, and music player can all be damaged by extreme temperatures. Heat can fry a gadget’s internal processor and cold can damage the battery and LCD screen. Leave your tech devices at home or take them with you when you exit the vehicle. Storing them out-of-sight might make your car less vulnerable to theft, but it won’t do anything to protect your devices from Mother Nature’s temperature swings.
Voila! Your a glove compartment is no longer a riddle. Now you know what to keep in your glove box and what to leave at home! Have you learned any other tips and tricks along the way? Let us know in comments below. What’s in your glove compartment?
Be sure your insurance is up-to-date and get a free quote on our website at www.directauto.com!