If you carry a handgun when driving it’s usually going to be in the safest place possible – on your person. There will probably be times when you can’t take it with you though, such as when entering buildings that don’t allow concealed carry. That’s when you have a decision to make. Do you feel safe locking your gun in the glove box or trunk? The fact is there’s nowhere in a standard automobile that counts as a secure storage space, and if your pistol is stolen from the vehicle you could be held liable in some states.
The best solution is a compact car safe that can be secured to the frame of the vehicle, either permanently or with a locking cable. A good one will protect your handgun against any but the most prepared thief, as well as keeping it out of reach of children. Here are the top two gun safes for your car that we highly recommend.
TOP PICK: GunVault MV500-STD Microvault
There are two striking features about the MV500-STD Microvault. The first is its slimline notebook-like profile, making it easy to store or conceal inside a car. The second is the patented “No-Eyes” keypad. This is a good compact option for keeping your handgun safe when you’re out and about. It’s made of 18 gauge steel, so a determined thief could probably get it open eventually with the help of a few tools, but as protection against a smash and grab theft or from inquisitive small hands it’s absolutely ideal.
The safe itself has interior dimensions of 10.7 x 6.5 x 2 inches, so there’s plenty of room for a large semiautomatic and spare magazines. If you prefer compact semiautomatics you should be able to fit two in, but for a gun the size of a 1911 or SIG P226 it’s really a single-weapon enclosure. Its low profile means it’s not for revolvers. The interior is lined with soft foam to prevent any scratches and keep the contents in place.
Of course you can lock the Microvault in the trunk, but if you want some extra security it offers you two options. There are four mounting holes in the base, allowing it to be securely bolted to any surface. It also comes with a steel cable, which you can simply wrap round a solid object then lock the end into a recess in the safe. Once the safe is locked it’s securely held by the cable. Again the cable could be cut with large bolt cutters, but the opportunist thief will certainly be deterred.
The keypad and lock is an especially nice touch. GunVault’s “No-Eyes” keypad is designed to be opened easily in the dark, and to let you get your fingers onto the buttons the profile of a hand is molded into the lid. It quickly becomes natural to fit your hand into the profile, bringing your fingertips right over the buttons. The lock itself can be programmed to open when a set sequence of buttons is pressed, and it allows either single or combination presses. GunVault say there are over 12 million possible combinations, and if repeated attempts are made to guess the code it will block access. An anti-tamper feature also lets you know if someone has tried to open it while you’ve been away. As standard the lock beeps after every successful key press but there’s also a “stealth” mode to let you open it silently.
If you need a secure place to store a handgun in your car the MV500-STD Microvault won’t let you down. The attachment options make it very versatile and the easy to use lock gives a high degree of security. It’s also more than sturdy enough to deter an opportunistic attack and is a fantastic choice for a gun safe for your car.
RUNNER UP: GunVault NV200 NanoVault
The NV200 Nanovault is a simpler, and even smaller, alternative to the MV500-STD. It has an extremely slim, flat profile but it’s still large enough to hold a large frame semiautomatic. Again it’s lined with foam to protect the contents and has a security cable for locking it to your car. The NanoVault is made from 18 gauge steel and meets TSA standards for airline carriage, so it’s a great choice if you travel a lot.
The NV200 is secured by a simple key lock and comes with two keys. The lock resisted our attempts at picking it, and of course it has the great benefit of any key lock – it’s almost impossible for it to go wrong. If you’re on a budget or need the most concealable car safe going, the Nanovault would make an ideal choice.