What to do if you locked your keys in your car

Last updated: January 1

Countless drivers have been there. You press the lock button and close the door only to find your keys still in the ignition. It can be embarrassing as it is aggravating. But aggravating as it may be, there are ways to help remedy the issue and keep calm.

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Tips if you locked your keys in the car

If you’ve locked your keys in your car, go through this checklist to get your car unlocked so you can get back on the road.

Call roadside assistance

Auto insurance companies typically offer roadside assistance plans. Yours may have a mobile app that can connect with the nearest roadside service provider. Roadside services typically include lockouts, flat tires, towing, locksmith services, fuel delivery and more.

Call a friend

Call a friend or relative to deliver your spare key, if you have one. If you don’t have a spare, they can give you a ride to the nearest auto body shop.

Contact your dealer

A local dealer might be able to give you a replacement key, according to Edmunds. Proof of ownership may be required, however – such as a driver’s license along with the registration or title.

Check to see if your car’s warranty covers the cost of a new key fob, advises Consumer Reports. If your vehicle is new, your dealer might offer key fob insurance.

Call a locksmith

A locksmith can help get into your vehicle without causing damage, according to Forbes. They may also be able to rekey your vehicle if you don’t have a spare.

Can the police help unlock my car?

Definitely call the police to unlock your vehicle if it’s an emergency. For instance, if a child or pet is trapped inside. Otherwise, calling the police for lock-out services should be a last resort, says DriversEd.com.

How much does it cost to hire a locksmith?

The cost of a locksmith for your car will depend on the services you need. If you simply locked your keys in your car, you may pay between $75 and $150, according to Forbes.

If you’ve broken off your key in a lock or lost your key, you may have to spend money on rekeying the lock. These services will cost more.

Should I call a tow truck to unlock my car?

If you don’t have a roadside membership plan through your auto insurance company, you could call a local towing service. They likely have the tools needed to get into your vehicle without damaging it.

Make sure your vehicle is protected

Auto insurance could help cover everything from your liability to replacing your vehicle if it’s ever stolen – depending on the coverage you choose.

It’s also worth looking into any roadside service plans your insurer provides. Allstate offers 24/7 roadside assistance plans that are trackable through your phone, plus countrywide coverage that’s quick and reliable.