What to Keep in Your Glove Box

The glove box in a car, a compartment built into the dashboard in front of the passenger seat, is a useful place to store important documents and items. It’s called a glove box because it was originally meant for drivers to store gloves, but today they often become a repository of leftover fast-food ketchup packets, hair bands and receipts from long-forgotten purchases.

There are useful things you should keep in your car, however, and the glove box is a great place for some of them. Here are some critical and convenient things you should consider having in your glove box:

The critical stuff to keep in a car glove box

  • Medical information. Write down any medical conditions, medications and allergies for each family member in case you’re injured in an accident and can’t communicate these facts for yourself.
  • Emergency contact numbers. These should already be programmed into your cell phone, but it’s still a good idea to have them written down. And maybe put an extra copy in your wallet, too.
  • Pen and paper. If you’re in an accident and need to exchange information, these will come in handy.
  • Proof of insurance. Having some sort of car insurance policy or proof of financial responsibility is required almost everywhere in the United States. But don’t store the car’s title (keep that at home) or registration (keep that in your wallet) in your glove compartment. You may also be able to save a digital version of your auto ID card in your phone's wallet or through your insurance provider's app.1
  • Owner’s manual and maintenance schedule. So you can figure out what those weird symbols on the dash mean.

The convenient stuff to keep in a car glove box

  • A flashlight. To help you find that dropped French fry or straw-wrapper under the passenger seat.
  • Napkins, travel wipes, tissues and hand sanitizer. Almost goes without saying – especially if you are spill-prone or have kids.
  • High-energy snacks. Stash some granola bars in the glove box to help you get through an extra-long rush hour or a marathon road trip.
  • Plastic grocery bags. Smash a few into another plastic bag and you instantly have handy trash containers when needed.
  • A lint roller. If you have pets, you know you can never have too many of these.

Some drivers even stow copies of their living will and power of attorney for healthcare in their glove boxes when they travel. That way, their requests are close at hand in case something happens while they’re out of town. All this – and you’ll still most likely have room for a few extra hair bands in your car glove box.

[1] Currently only available for iPhone® users through Apple Wallet®. Please keep in mind that state insurance requirements may vary. Always review applicable laws to confirm whether a digital ID card can be considered proof of insurance.

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply.