SE dot com’s very own Tom Higson is either hiding his key in a shit place, or flirting with you, or both. Photo: Laurel

How To: Stash Your Car Key Whilst Surfing (& other vehicle security)

It’s not so much a question of if, more when some rascal will attempt to break into your car whilst you’re in the surf. It’s going to happen.
If you’ve got foreign plates, are driving a shiny hire car, it’s going to happen real soon. If you do have a hire car you’ve probably got a large electronic key that won’t get wet, meaning you need to stash it. This is where it gets tricky.

1. The most obvious one in the world is key under the wheel arch. This is just silly. As is, shouting as you run up the dune to a slower changer, ‘LEAVE THE KEY UNDER THE WHEEL, DRIVER’S SIDE!”
As stupid as this sounds, you’d be amazed how many people still get done in this way. Some mates of mine got their wagon stolen from Constantine in Cornwall after having vociferously advertised the key stash exactly thus, and had to get the train home to Bristol wearing clothes from the lost and found at Trevose Golf Course.

2. Obviously we can’t give away all good the hiding spots here, that’d be like when Douglas Hurd explained on Crimewatch how to break into an XR2 with a coat hanger in 1988. As a general rule, stashing it away from the car is better. But of you do opt for an on the beach stash, try to make it inconspicuous, but memorable. Not fun digging around every single fence post on the path at Culs Nus, especially when considering what doggies do around fence posts.

3. Leave the fucker open. There comes a certain moment, when this has happened to you several times, that a certain air of resignation comes over. If you just come in old clothes, haven’t brought wallet and phone, just leave the car unlocked. At least you won’t get a smashed window. Don’t leave the keys in it though.

4. Leave the glove box open (showing it’s empty, not open full of iPads). Don’t leave backpacks on display. Finding a good hiding pozzy for wallet, phone, drugs, diamonds, etc is important. Most pro thieves will favour a rapid in-n-out, rather than hang about rummaging, they’ll grab what’s there and split. Establish your stash before you park, stuff already hidden.

5. As a last resort deterrent, leave your inside-out skiddy cacks on top of your expensive designer gear in the backseat footwell. I never ever travel without at least 3 pairs of skiddy cacks to hand… not you?