What To Do If You Lose Your Car Keys
Losing your car keys can be a nuisance and can cause major issues, especially if you need to get somewhere important. A lot of us regularly misplace our car keys and can often be seen frantically running around the house before work because, without a car, many of us would be completely lost. People spend, on average, two minutes and 10 seconds looking for their car keys every day and it can make your day a lot more difficult if you discover they’ve been stolen or lost.
Realising they’re really gone is a bigger problem, whether you’ve been a victim of theft or you dropped them somewhere, it can cause a big inconvenience. Because car keys have been fitted with tighter security measures to reduce car theft, they are often more difficult to replace.
Here’s what to do in the event you’ve lost your car keys.
How to find your car keys
If you think you’ve simply misplaced your keys, it may just be a case of finding them somewhere you don’t normally leave them and this can save you a lot of hassle. Here are some tips to find your keys:
- Retrace your steps- This may seem obvious and it’s probably the first thing you did, but make sure you go back to the unlikeliest of places because you never know where you may have dropped them. If you’re out and about, go back to all the places you visited and ask if anyone has handed them in.
- Check places you may have put them– You might have left them in a coat pocket without realising or somewhere that might surprise you. Look underneath furniture, down the side of the sofa and in handbags or inside shopping bags.
- Search cluttered places- It may be the case that you just can’t see them because they’re hidden under a pile of letters or got put in the drawer where all the clutter gets hidden out of the way.
- Ask everyone in your house- They might have taken or moved them or, at the very least, may have seen them somewhere more recently than you, so double-check with them.
- Think about the last time you used the car- If you haven’t driven your car in a few days it can be harder to pinpoint where your keys may be hiding. Think back and try to remember what you were wearing, what bag you were using or what you did when you came through the door. If you can remember these things you can go back and hunt out where they could be.
If you find yourself regularly misplacing your keys, it may be worth buying a Bluetooth key finder which is a keyring that connects to your phone and tells you where your keys are.
If your key has been stolen
It may take you some time to notice your car keys have been stolen. Common ways that keys are taken are, stolen while the owners are asleep or in the garden, when keys are left hanging in the front door lock or fished through the letterbox, among many others. Once you realise they have been stolen or lost, let your insurer know as you may be covered by your policy. If they have been stolen, the theft needs to be reported to the police and you can get a crime reference number to make a claim with your insurer. However, if you’ve left your keys in the ignition and your car gets stolen, your insurer will not cover you.
If you don’t have a spare key, you’ll need to make a claim with your insurance company and get a replacement.
Making an insurance claim
Replacement can be expensive, depending on what kind of key you have. So it’s great if your insurance can cover the cost of your replacement. Some policies have key cover as standard so check your documents to see what kind of policy you have. Key cover isn’t normally included by third-party, fire and theft, so make sure you know what you’re covered with before you make a claim. You can always call your insurance company and they will be able to give you more information.
If your car key has a remote control to unlock doors or a coded ‘electronic transponder chip’ read by the car when the key is inserted into the ignition, then it may require altering the engine control unit and alarms to reprogramme the car. Some comprehensive car insurance policies may pay over £1,500 to cover the cost of this and may even provide you with a courtesy car until the new key can be collected. It’s worth considering if the claim will affect your no-claims bonus, as it may be more economical for you to pay to replace them yourself.
Check all this information in your policy as some insurers only offer key cover as add-ons or at a higher rate.
Contact a locksmith
You will need help from a locksmith to regain access to your car and to get a replacement key. They will be able to provide a variety of services depending on your needs and take care of all the tricky stuff for you. Your key will usually have three functions in one. A mechanical key to release the steering lock, a coded ‘electronic transponder chip’ and a remote control to unlock doors and turn off the alarm. Keys with these three features are the most expensive to replace, so if you only have a mechanical key that needs to be replaced, it will be significantly cheaper. You can expect a new set of keys to cost around £200 or sometimes up to £500, depending on the type of reprogramming.
In order to get a replacement key, you’ll need to supply the locksmith with a form of ID, your car’s make and model, your car’s vehicle identification number and your V5C logbook to prove you own the car. A locksmith will have the technology to cut and program an identical car key, even after you have lost the original one. A locksmith will also be able to help you with roadside assistance, removing broken keys, fixing issues with central locking systems and immobiliser resetting.
How to avoid losing your keys
Once you’ve got your new car key replacement, take some precautions to make sure you don’t lose it again! You can do this by getting a spare key cut at the same time as your replacement which will be cheaper. Don’t leave your keys unattended when you’re out and especially don’t leave them in the ignition and keep them in a safe place at home. When you initially buy a car, it’s wise to ask for two sets of keys from the dealership or private seller and keep them on separate keyrings so that you always know where one is.
Campbell & McGovern: Reliable mobile auto locksmiths in Liverpool
Campbell & McGovern provide replacement car key services if your key is lost, damaged or stolen, to help you gain access to your car no matter the model or type. Our experts can answer your call 24/7, 365 days a year, so if you ever find yourself in a tough situation, we’ll be there to help. We provide comprehensive key services such as gaining access to your vehicle, replacing keys and carrying out the reprogramming for the engine management system. If you need a car locksmith in Liverpool, we’re your best option, with friendly and experienced staff, fast call-out times and quality service.
We also offer 24-hour locksmith and security services for a range of different requirements such as for your home, safes and multipoint locks as well as CCTV systems, UPVC door cylinders and all types of master key systems. To find out more and to see how we can help you, visit our website or call us on 0151 922 4085.