How To Break Out Of A Car's Boot

Let's face it: sooner or later, you're going to get abducted. We live in dangerous times, and it's a more dignified way to meet new people than, say, Craigslist personals. So, yes, you'll probably get abducted, but that doesn't mean you have to like it.

Picture by Mike Cogh

One of the most tried-and-true methods of grabbing and kidnapping someone is the classic throw-them-into-the-car-boot method. It's fast, cheap, and disorients, restrains and secures for transport all in one stroke. As a kidnapper, why wouldn't you do it that way?

Now, in many cars built after 2002, there is a nice, glowing handle inside the boot, so getting out is relatively easy. However, you can be sure anyone in the abducting business won't be using a car so equipped. This guide will show you how to get out of most car boots you may find yourself crammed into. I've done this on a variety of cars, and shown many folks how to do it, as well, adults and kids. You can do it, and, I suggest you actually try it, with a pal around to let you out, just in case. Or, if you have folding rear seats, lower those so you have an escape route. It's fun!

The first thing to keep in mind when you're flung into a boot is that you're not going to suffocate in there. No cars are built tight enough for that. Next, you'll want to orient yourself so your face and hands are facing the rear of the car. It's OK if you can't see, or have a burlap sack over your head — you mostly need to be able to do a bit of grabbing. It's also good to remember that car boots are made to be secure from the outside in — no car company is wasting money making a Houdini-proof lid, especially from the inside.

How Boot Locks Work

Most cars have an internal boot release (or trunk release, as the US would have it), and this is the key to a rapid exit. Almost all of these systems work the same way, since there's no real advantage for a car maker to have a totally proprietary latch system. That kind of detail just doesn't sell cars.

The locks usually work on a simple hook-and-post principle. There's a post or rod on the lid, and a hook mechanism on the body catches it to keep the lid shut (the post or latch may be on the body or lid — either way works the same). When the boot release is pulled, or the key is rotated in the lock, what happens is the hook is rotated so it is no longer engaging the post, and the lid can be raised. The inside boot release simply pulls a long cable connected to the hook so it's free from the post — power systems do basically the same thing, but with a solenoid.

Get Your Bearings And Get Out

What you'll want to do is feel around the inside of the boot — by the rear hinges is a good place to start — for a stiff cable. This is actually a sheath for the inner cable, but very often tugging the whole thing back to the front of the car will pop the release. You may have to move carpet or pop off cardboard panels, but that release cable will be there, snaking from the hinge area, along the sides of the boot on the driver's side, to the lock mechanism at the centre of the rear face of the lid. You may be able to get a better grip on it near the centre of the lid where it connects to the lock assembly. It'll be inside the boot lid itself, between the outer skin and the inner metal structure. If you can grab it here, pull towards the driver side. In most cases, this will pop the release, then you can simply push up on the lid (after the release pops — otherwise, it'll stick) and open the boot.

Or, try this way out

If, somehow, this doesn't work, or the kidnappers are such cheapskates they found a car with no internal release, you can still open the latch by finding the lock cylinder. It will be on the rear face of the boot lid, on either side or in the centre. The lock cylinder (again, it should be accessible through open areas of the sheet metal lid) will have a rod or similar connecting device to the latch mechanism. Grab this and pull side to side to see which way the lock pulls the rod to pop the latch.

Free at last!

That's really all there is to it. Since many cars have a dash light to indicate an open boot, I suggest feeling out the various parts first, and actually doing the deed only when you feel the car has stopped. Once the boot is open, just get the hell out. Run, get off the road. If you're quick and quiet, you can close the boot and maybe even sneak away before they get to the organ farm or sex dungeon or wherever and realise you're gone.

So there you go — now that you can get out of a car boot, you're that much closer to making your city's kidnappers your own personal taxi service. Enjoy.


    LOL is this an early Friday Funny as it's Xmas?

      yeah.. hilarious... had me rolling on the floor...?

    It's stuff like this (and articles on how to clean all and sundry with baking soda) that got me reading LH in the first place.

    If you're in the US you just pull the bright fluorescent yellow handle in the boot to open it.

    Also does the image on the from page remind anyone of Adam Hills' joke about the US & how they call the boot of a car a trunk?

    Being that cars were first mass-produced in the USA, it's actually sillier that the Brits and Aussies changed the word "trunk" to "boot". Normal people store things in a trunk, not an item of footwear.

      so they stick it up an elephants nose instead?

    so um how exactly do i pull of all those pieces of the interior while im inside it?
    last time i checked, it wasnt very easy to get them off with bare hands, even worse if they tie you up first... :S

    We should put in the writer in the trunk in the first place to try what they have got to write.

    It's more than likely that a person would be tied up to prevent them from using the latch, so we would need to know how to use that as well.

    great info. not quite what i was looking for but know i know what Aussies call the trunk, and how to get out if I find myself in one. now to google again because i was looking for a locking boot key for the boot that cops put on your car in Philly. not that i need to break out, but it would be good to know. anyway, thanks.

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