What to do When You’ve Locked Your Keys in the Car

locked keys in car

If you’ve locked your keys in your car, there’s no need to feel embarrassed. According to the RAC, 1,624 drivers lock themselves out of their car daily – and that’s in WA alone!

Missing keys, damaged keys or keys that have been accidentally locked inside are all inconvenient and have no doubt happened when you’re in a rush.

If you’ve locked your keys in your car, here are a few tips to help you get access again quickly.

Are all the Doors Locked?

Double check you are really locked out of your car before panicking.

Ensure there are no available access points, such as a window down or a door or boot unlocked. It’s amazing the little things you can miss when you’re in a rush.

You’ll want to do a thorough search for your keys before declaring them missing or locked in your car. Studies prove that emotions affect logical reasoning. If you’re flustered and running late, take the time to check pockets, bags and all car access points. You want to be certain your keys cannot be retrieved before calling someone out or paying for a locksmith service.

Stay Prepared with a Spare Key

Have you got a spare key?

Having access to a spare key is the most cost-effective solution for locked keys in a car. Spare keys should always be kept in a safe and easily accessible place, with a trusted friend or family member, or at your home/work.

Call Roadside Assistance

If you have searched everywhere and know for sure your key is locked in the car or missing, roadside assistance may be able to help.

Drivers with insurance can have roadside assistance included in their policies. This will enable you to call someone out to have the car unlocked. Whilst this option is handy, you may have to wait sometime for help to arrive.

Call Your Local Locksmith

Instead of calling for a tow truck, which can be an expensive option, call your local locksmith.

Professional mobile locksmiths provide on-the-move locksmithing to assist in such moments. Locksmiths can provide access to your car and arrange for another key to be cut.

Even transponder keys, which only start a vehicle with the transponder’s unique signal code, may be replaced. This saves the hassle of waiting to order a replacement from the manufacturer, which can take a lot of time if they’re overseas. However, through the services of a locksmith, you have a quicker and more efficient way to access your car.

A locksmith will come to you with diagnostic technology to replace keys on the spot.

Some locksmiths and dealerships may also provide a cheaper, temporary key which opens the door but doesn’t start the car.

Avoid Breaking into Your Vehicle

As tempting as it may be, avoid breaking into your car to retrieve your keys. Performing this manoeuvre can cause costly damage, injury or chipped paint.

If it’s an emergency (child or pet locked inside), you can call your closest roadside assistance, whether you are a member or not, who will prioritise the call, or 000.

Check Your Warranty

Some car warranties include assistance options, including servicing locked cars.

New cars, in particular, may include warranties offering roadside assistance. Some pre-owned cars may also have a similar warranty. Check with your dealership to find out.

Gather Information

Whether you call your local locksmith, dealership, insurance provider or a tow truck, you’ll need to cover the following points.

  • Location: Use your phone GPS to provide an exact location to avoid delays
  • Make and Model: Relay important information about your car to help find the best way to unlock it
  • Relevant Policy Numbers: Having your policy number will help to process the assistance call faster

Prevention is Key

Avoid getting locked out again by always keeping your keys in your hands when exiting the car.

Prevention is key to avoiding the annoyance and costs that can come with locked keys in a car.

Keep a Spare Key

Replacement keys can be costly. If you permanently lose your car key, get another made as soon as possible. Locksmiths can provide immediate access to your car and a new key. If your current keys are your spare keys, use this as an opportunity to get a spare key cut for future emergencies.

Buy a Car with Benefits

Many new cars come with built-in assistance systems, keyless entry and other modern technology to prevent locked keys in a car.

Some cars won’t lock with the power-lock button if they key is in ignition and a door is open. Some newer vehicles also have a door-mounted keypad that allows you to tap in a code to unlock doors.

If you have a new car with telematics systems such as Hyundai’s Blue Link, you can call a toll-free number to have the car remotely unlocked.

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