We’ve all been there. You’re about to head out the door, and you can’t find your car keys anywhere! Or you arrive at your car with a cartload of supermarket shopping and your bag seems suddenly empty of keys!
In these cases, you often find your keys in a weird place: under your entryway console, in a disused jacket pocket, inside a shoe. Of course, if you lost a car key outside, the situation is a bit more serious.
No matter where you lost your keys, if you can’t find them again, it’s an emergency. Read on to learn what to do next.
Gather Together Information About Your Car
If you’ve lost your car keys, remain level-headed and take some time to gather together all the information about your car. A locksmith or car repair professional will need:
- Type of key
- VIN (vehicle identification number)
- Year of car
- Make and model of car
It might also help to take along the purchase information you received when you bought the car, including any warranty, guarantee, and payment plan documents.
Get Some Help
Whether you’re dealing with stolen car keys or you just lost them, you’ll need to find a way to get back into your car.
Calling a locksmith or your local car repair company is a far better idea than breaking a window or trying to break into your car by yourself. The latter can do a lot of expensive damage to your car’s exterior.
If you’re not sure which company to call, ask your friends and family for referrals. Otherwise, a quick Google search should reveal the most popular and closest professionals.
Order a Replacement Key
For responsible car care, getting a car key replacement should be the top priority. You need to ensure your car is as safe as possible as fast as possible.
You can usually order a replacement through your car dealership or locksmith.
Rarely you’ll need to contact the manufacturer directly. Typically, older and top-rated models of cars can be managed by a locksmith because the key types are standardized or less complex. You’re better off going to an authorized dealer for a new car or luxury model.
Hide a Spare Key in a Safe Place
Once you’re back into your car, avoid future vehicle emergencies by getting not one but two (or more) new keys prepared. This way, you can hide your spare key in a safe place in your home—we recommend a lockable, fireproof safe—so you can simply go and get it out if you’ve misplaced your primary key.
Of course, if your car key was stolen, still be sure to report the theft at your local police station, even if you have a spare key on hand. And don’t forget to order another key to replace your backup at your earliest convenience.
Recovering from a Lost Car Key Incident
From calling the locksmith to getting a replacement key, the solution to fixing a lost car key is likely going to cost you. Try to have some emergency money put aside to ensure you’re never caught short if this regrettable situation happens to you—which, unfortunately, you likely will at some point!
For more advice on everything automobile, browse the other articles on our blog.