What should you do if you lose your car keys?

Chris Lee
Written by: Chrissie Lee
Posted on: 1 September 2015

Mobile. Check. Bag. Check. Keys…

When you lose your car keys, don't lose your head. It’s happened to a quarter of car owners at some point, and a further 5% have had their keys stolen 1. It can be a huge pain, and you also have to consider security issues. Plus, modern car keys with transponder systems are more complex than old-style ignition barrel keys, which just adds to the hassle.

But stay calm! You still have options.

Did you get key cover in advance?

Some insurance policies cover the loss of keys, while others will pay for someone to get into your car if your keys or valuables are inside.

However, check if claiming will affect your no claims discount, as replacing them yourself might be more cost-effective in the long run. Alternatively, for an annual fee, specialist companies can recover or replace lost or stolen keys, and some will provide a temporary car while you wait for your replacement set.

Stuck without keys

If you're stranded without your keys, and don't have a service that will provide you with a replacement set, as long as you have your vehicle registration document (V5) and driving licence as proof of ownership, then you can still get help.

Get a new set of keys from a franchised dealer

Due to the programming and coding needed to activate the alarms and remote locking in a modern car, new keys aren’t cheap, so expect to pay upwards of £200. Plus, this isn’t a quick fix; if a part has to be ordered, you could find yourself waiting up to 10 days for a replacement.

Find a specialist auto locksmith

You can do this by looking on the Master Locksmiths Association website. They provide replacement keys for most car manufacturers, and they can also reprogram the vehicle so that any lost or stolen keys can no longer be used. Another advantage of using an auto locksmith is that many of them have mobile services, so they can come to you (as long as you have all the necessary documentation).

Remember: whether you plan ahead, or find yourself in a pickle, you always have options.

1. Lloyds Banking Group Car Insurance Research poll, August 2013

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