Where Do You Keep Your Spare Car Key?

The other day someone, who shall remain nameless, lost my car key.  I had visions of having to get a co-op car, drive to my place in Surrey to get the spare car key I have safely stowed there, drive all the way back to Vancouver to get my car and then drive my car back home. Thankfully, my key ended up being at the local coffee shop, but it got me to thinking – where would be a good place to keep my spare car key? I mean, if I keep the spare at home and I lose my key while I’m in Vancouver (or one of the other many far away places that I always seem to be driving for work), I’m kind of pooched. But if I leave the spare in Vancouver, I have the same problem if I lose my key in Surrey. If I keep my spare in my purse, so it’s always with me no matter I am when I lose my key, then I’ve still got a problem if I lose my whole purse and both my keys are gone. Having multiple spare keys isn’t an option, because my car comes with fancy pants keys with the remote entry do-hickey as part of the key, so I’m pretty sure they would cost me $1 million each.

I saw this “solution”1 to my problem at Home Hardware the other day:

This is a little metal box that has a magnet on it so you can hide your key on your car – like inside your wheel well or under your bumper. Am I the only one who thinks it’s a bad idea to “hide” something in a container that says “hide” and the name of the object you are trying to hide on it?

So, now it’s your turn – where’s the best place to keep one’s spare car key?

  1. by which I mean, not-a-very-good-solution []

16 Replies to “Where Do You Keep Your Spare Car Key?”

  1. I'd recommend leaving it with a friend you trust very well. One of the problems with the hide-a-key in the car, is that a lot of modern immobilizers work with a signal from your key. If you hide your key close enough, then your car might start just fine if someone breaks in and tries an old fashioned method of stealing it. And because you were responsible for the failure in the immobilization system, your insurance then probably won't cover it.

    1. Yikes! I have no idea how my car's immobilization system works, but having a signal from the key makes sense. I wasn't planning to use hide-a-key anyway – just seems like it's too easy to find – but this sounds like another good reason not to!

  2. It also only takes a couple minutes for a thief to check all the places you can put a key holder. How much of your smart car is even ferrous? Don't they use a lot of plastic and alloy metals to keep the weight down? Not to mention the fact that there's fewer hiding places due to it being so small? Usually insurance companies aren't too helpful if a thief finds a key somehow. My suggestion would be to not use a key at all. A system like GM's Onstar would be best, but I don't know if anything like that would be possible with the smart. Is there an upgrade to a keyless entry pad? I personally don't really like those either, but they do seem to work well. By the way, my spare is at home. My key is just always in the ignition or my pocket, always. My Nissan is smart enough to not let me lock the doors if the keys are still in the ignition, which has saved me a couple times. If I let someone borrow my truck, I give them the spare.

    1. If you want to hide a key on the vehicle, then get really creative like a spy movie and hide it where it wouldn't possibly fit. Forget magnetically holding it there, that's too easy. Fit it in a slot between your rear view mirror and the enclosure, or put it inside one of the taillight assemblies and then put the screwdriver required to get into the taillight in the magnetic hide-a-key. Attach it to a string and hang it behind the grill, or inside the wiper cowling, just make sure wherever you put it is secure. The only thing worse than loosing your car key is also loosing the spare. Also, if your key actually does deactivate an ignition kill switch by emitting a radio frequency like Jen suggested above, you should be able to attenuate that signal by putting your key in a solid metal box, but there's no way to test if it's working with hot wiring your car.

    2. Hadn't even thought of the fact that most of my car is plastic! Not that I was even considering using hide-a-key (I wasn't even for a second).

      My car dings at me if I open the door with the key in the ignition, so I've yet to forget it in the car. Plus, I need to use the remote on the key to lock the doors, so even if I did leave it in there, I'd notice that I didn't have it when I went to lock the door. I'm a little OCD about my keys – I check to ensure that I have my key in my purse or my hand before I close the door, even though the door isn't locked. But the loaning someone, give them the spare key is a good idea!

  3. We used to have the spare key in a hide-a-key box. I think the idea is like locking your house/home door–if someone really wants to break in, they will whether your door is locked or not, so hiding a key to get in nearby is not totally crazy from that perspective.

    That being said, yeah–kinda makes it easy. Leave the spare with a good friend with a car, like Linda. Don't leave it with the nameless person; you probably spend too much time with them. :p

  4. My dad keeps a spare car key under the gas cap. I keep a spare in the basement storage unit in an ugly jewelry box and buzz my neighbors to let me in the front door.

  5. My parents always used to keep the spare in a magnetic box hidden underneath the AC unit. Not only was it on the opposite side of the house, it was hard to find it even when you knew where it was! I think the “key” to a well-hidden spare is just inconvenience …

  6. I prefer deadbolt locks to hiding keys around. Any lock which must be positively thrown to lock will be much more secure than locks that are thrown by a spring, and I cannot leave the house and lock the door without the key.

  7. I keep the spare in the glove box and hide a plain key. If my main key is lost this method works well. It also works well if the key is left in the ignition switch with the doors locked. You aren’t supposed to be able to do that but if the key gets pulled out just a little the doors will lock.

  8. The best place one keeps their vehicle’s spare key is NO longer the best, or indeed safe once it is disclosed. The best place is one that is known to YOU only.

  9. I am looking for a place to leave my spare key that IS NOT inside my car or purse. I locked my keys in the car one day and everything was in there. Keys, purse, back pack, phone, EVERYTHING. I am aware of the hide-a-key magnetic. But is there somewhere I can hide it other than on or inside my car?

  10. I have a friend that said her sister had something like this and she put it under the car. One day she went over a speed bump and the bump ripped the box off of the car. So not really the best idea

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