Almost everyone who owns a car has locked their keys inside the vehicle. Consumer report states that AMA receives calls from over four million motorists locked out of their car annually. This mostly happens with cars that feature keyless ignition and sophisticated anti-theft systems.
Dial your Local Emergency Number
If you’re in a location where you feel you might be endangered, don’t hesitate to call your local emergency number, because safety comes first. Some policemen might be able to help you unlock your car door and if they can’t, they could wait with you until further assistance arrives.
Some car owners hide an extra key to mitigate this scenario but a thief could use a magnetic box to draw out the key. Unless you’re hiding the key in a hard to reach location where it won’t easily fall off, you would be better served, keeping an extra key in your purse.
Call Roadside Assistance or the AA
If you’re in a safe location, put a call to the AA and they will meet you wherever you are. They provide keys for most vehicles including radio frequency remote controls, transponder keys and hands-free proximity keys. Even when you don’t subscribe to the service, mot new vehicles in the UK come with a form of roadside assistance during the warranty period. Call your dealership and they’ll provide you with a number to call.
Get a Temporary Key from your Dealer
Your car dealer should be able to provide you with a temporary key that opens the door without turning on the ignition so you can retrieve your car keys. You’ll need a ride to the dealership and proof of ownership to get the car keys.
Call a Tow Truck
This is one of the easiest ways to get your vehicle unlocked. To get the cost covered by your insurance, report the claim to your auto insurance carrier. Know your policy number, provide the vehicle location and leave a contact number. Your insurance company will call one of the tow truck services under the network to come to your assistance.
Break into the Car
Your options here depend on the model of the car and the tools at your disposal. A wire coat hanger should suffice for old-style door locks. Straighten the hanger and make a small hook at the tip. Insert the hanger between the side window and rubber moulding. Hook it around the door button and pull up.
Call a Professional Locksmith
If you’re using a car that has a sophisticated lock system such as a digital lock, wireless lock, remote access or any type of keyless lock, your best course of action would be to call a locksmith service. “A master locksmith can provide replacement keys for almost any car model. They program a transponder to immobilize the car and start it with a new key. The services are mobile so they can come to you just like a roadside assistance service”, Ryan Brown, The London Locksmiths.
Most of the options require you to provide proof of vehicle ownership before any unlocking services or key replacement is performed. The cost of replacement keys depends on the sophistication of the key, how tricky it is to get into the vehicle and your location.