We’ve all been there before. You’re already running late and about to race out the door. But wait. Where are your keys? After a quick tantrum and mad scramble around the house, until it looks like you’ve been broken into, the car keys are nowhere to be seen.
Losing car keys is an expensive (and ridiculously annoying) proposition. These things never happen at a convenient time, either. And no matter how organised you are, we have all experienced the frustration of losing keys. Maybe even more than once! Here’s what you need to do if you’ve lost or misplaced your keys:
Make Sure They’re Actually Lost
It seems obvious, but misplacing your keys and losing them are very different things. Replacing car keys, especially modern cars equipped with technology, can be expensive. So, you want to make sure they’re actually lost first! Save yourself the money by diligently searching all areas where a missing key may end up.
There’s always a tendency to misplace keys and write them off as lost. Check immediate surroundings and your car – it’s surpassingly a common occurrence to find car keys locked inside the vehicle. But if it’s really gone, then gather necessary information and move onto the next step.
Send an SOS to your Local Locksmith
To organise a car key replacement, you’ll need to speak with a car locksmith or dealership. For them to help you though, you need to provide them with the details. Have everything handy – your vehicle’s VIN number and its make, model and year. These specifics are vital in getting you the right key.
Depending on how old your car is, a locksmith may be able to come to you on site for a new key. Older cars may be able to benefit from a temporary workaround with a simpler valet key. This won’t come with remote access, but it can get you by if you need more time to determine whether your key is misplaced or lost.
Locksmiths are generally more cost-effective than dealerships. Many new cars are equipped with telematics systems however, which may be able to give you remote access to your car through a subscription service. Through a phone call to your dealership or an app, some newer cars can be unlocked and started.
What Type of Key Have You Lost?
In most cases, a locksmith will be able to provide you with an exact replacement for the car remote, lock recoding and replacement transponder. You’ll be able to get a quote over the phone, to save any nasty surprises when they come to replace too.
Modern keys are naturally more expensive to replace because each car is specially programmed for every individual key. On average, new car transponders will set you back $395+. A car can be unlocked for about $120-$150 if you have locked your keys inside, and a new electronic/standard key can cost anywhere from $180, depending on the make / model / year.
Eliminate Losing Them in the First Place
Having a second backup key is crucial for moments like this. Not only does it eliminate having to completely disable your car, but it’s the best preventative step for next time. If you’re replacing your only key, don’t forget to get a spare cut in the process too. That way, you won’t be completely at a loss should they get lost or misplaced again.
It can be a smart idea to leave a spare key at a nearby trusted friend or family member’s house if you have a bad habit of misplacing things. If you do leave the spare at home, keep it a secure spot you’ll remember for emergencies. Forking out funds to grab two keys may seem unnecessary and costly at first, especially if they have to be re-programmed, but it’ll certainly pay off in the long run!