Losing your car keys or leaving them inside your car can happen to anyone and can be quite stressful. But there are a few different ways to get back into your car if it ever happens to you.

Call a family member or friend

If you have a spare set of car keys at home, the quickest and simplest way to get back into your car is to call a family member or friend who has the keys to your home and ask if they’d be able to bring the spare key to you.

If that works, you can be back on the road in no time, with minimum hassle – and whoever was able to come to your rescue will be deserving of a big ‘thank you’.

Claim on your car insurance

You may be covered for the loss or theft of your car keys on your car insurance policy. 

Some insurers include car key cover as standard in their policies, while others might allow you to add this cover as an insurance add-on for an extra cost.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the cover provided by each policy may differ depending on your insurer. Your no claims discount may not be affected if you claim just for the replacement of your keys, but this will also vary by insurer. Your policy documents will provide this information. Be sure to read them so you understand the terms of your insurance cover.

It’s also worth noting that any claims you make under your policy may impact the price of your insurance in the future.

Claim on a key cover insurance policy

If you have a specific key insurance policy to protect you if your keys are lost, stolen or accidentally damaged, then you could claim on it.

This type of policy typically costs from around £20 to £35 a year[1] and some providers offer extra perks. For example, if you are stranded because your vehicle keys have been lost or stolen, your insurer may reimburse the costs of car hire, public transport or taxi fares.

Call a locksmith

If you’re locked out of your car, you could call a locksmith to open it. This service is likely to cost a minimum of £75, according to the Master Locksmiths Association[2]. But the price will depend on your vehicle’s model, how far the locksmith has to travel and the time of day.

If you’d like to get a new car key from a locksmith, bear in mind that most modern keys need to be programmed. They may be able to do this for you if your car manufacturer has released their digital codes to locksmiths, but this won’t always be the case as manufacturers do this at their discretion.

You can find a recommended car locksmith using the Master Locksmiths Association or the Auto Locksmiths Association.

Buy a new set of keys from your car’s manufacturer

You could contact a franchised dealer for your car brand to get a new set of keys. This is likely to be the most expensive option, as most modern keys are costly to replace and will have to be programmed.  For example, if you have a Ford Fiesta, Britain’s most popular car[3], then it could cost you £261.70 to replace your key[4].

No driver ever wants to get locked out of their own car but knowing what to do if it happens can help you get back on the road with peace of mind.

Read more about car insurance and driving at Solved.  


[1] https://www.moneysupermarket.com/car-insurance/car-keys-cover/

[2] https://www.locksmiths.co.uk/services/auto-locksmith/locked-out-car/

[3] https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/94280/best-selling-cars-uk-2020

[4] https://www.webuyanycar.com/guides/selling-and-buying-cars/replace-lost-car-keys/