November 30, 2023
Lost Car Keys? Here’s What To Do
It’s a scenario familiar to many yet always unexpected: you’re about to head out, you pat your pockets or dig through your bag, and your heart sinks as you realise your car keys are missing. Lost car keys can disrupt your day, trigger anxiety, and leave you stranded. However, this common mishap doesn’t have to derail your entire schedule. So, before panic sets in, take a deep breath and let us walk you through the various solutions to find, replace, or bypass the loss of your car keys.
Initial Steps to Take
Stay Calm and Retrace Your Steps
The first and most crucial step after realising that your car keys are lost is to stay calm. Panic can cloud your judgment and make it harder to remember where you might have left them. Take a deep breath and start by thinking back to the last time you remember having the keys.
Retrace your steps in your mind and then physically. Were you recently at a restaurant, a friend’s house, or maybe they slipped under the car seats? Sometimes, taking a moment to mentally revisit your day can jog your memory and lead you straight to your misplaced keys.
Check Common Areas
Often, car keys are found in the most obvious and common places. Check areas where you typically place your keys such as key hooks, purses, backpacks, countertops, or in the pockets of recently worn clothing. Don’t forget to look in less obvious places too – under cushions, in the bathroom, or in the laundry room. It’s also worth checking the lock on your car door; in a rush, it’s not uncommon to leave them in the lock or ignition
- Using Spare Keys
Having a spare key is always a good practice and can be a lifesaver in situations like these. If you have a spare key, now is the time to use it. Remember, using a spare key is not just about gaining access to your car; it’s about continuing your daily life with minimal disruption. If you don’t have a spare key, consider getting one made as soon as you regain access to your vehicle. Store the spare key in a secure but accessible place for emergencies.
- Contacting Family or Friends
If you don’t have immediate access to a spare key, your next best option is to contact family members or friends who might have a copy of your key. If that’s not feasible, they might at least be able to offer you a ride to where you need to go or assist you in other ways, such as giving you a place to stay while you sort out a solution. Remember, it’s okay to ask for help – losing car keys is a common occurrence and most people are more than willing to assist.
- Contacting Your Dealership
If you’ve lost your keys and don’t have a spare, contacting your car dealership is a reliable long-term solution. Dealerships can provide replacement keys specific to your car model. It’s important to provide them with your vehicle identification number (VIN) and proof of ownership. While this option may be more expensive than others, it ensures that you receive a key that’s guaranteed to work with your car, especially if it’s a modern vehicle with advanced key technology. Keep in mind, depending on your car model, this process might take a few days
- Keyless Entry Options
Modern technology offers keyless entry systems as an alternative to traditional keys. These systems allow you to unlock and start your car without a physical key, using a fob or your smartphone instead. If you’re considering upgrading, discuss keyless entry options with your dealership or a professional automotive locksmith. This could be a worthwhile investment, especially for those prone to losing keys.
Preventative Measures for the Future
- Creating Duplicate Keys
One of the simplest ways to avoid the inconvenience of lost car keys in the future is to have duplicate keys made. You can get duplicates from your dealership, a locksmith, or sometimes even at hardware stores for less sophisticated keys. Keep these duplicates in a safe, accessible place at home, or consider leaving one with a trusted family member or friend.
- Key Finders and Smart Technology
Embracing technology can also help in keeping track of your keys. Bluetooth-enabled key finders, for example, can be attached to your keychain and paired with your smartphone. If you misplace your keys, the app can help you locate them by showing their last known location or by making the key finder emit a sound. This tech is not only affordable but also a wise investment for those often misplacing their keys.
- Safe Key Storage Tips
Finally, developing good key storage habits is vital. Always place your keys in the same spot, such as a key holder by the door or a specific compartment in your purse or bag. Avoid leaving them in random places, especially in public areas. For those with keyless entry systems, ensure the fob is kept in a secure location to prevent unauthorised access to your vehicle.
Insurance and Lost Keys
Checking Your Policy for Lost Key Coverage
When you lose your car keys, it’s essential to check your car insurance policy or roadside assistance plan to see if they cover lost key replacement. Many people are unaware that their insurance might offer this benefit. Typically, comprehensive car insurance policies are more likely to include coverage for lost keys, but it can vary greatly between insurers and specific plans. If you have roadside assistance, they may also provide services for lockouts or key replacements. Review your policy documents or contact your insurer directly to understand the extent of your coverage.
Cost Implications and Coverage Options
If your insurance or roadside assistance plan covers lost key replacement, be aware of the cost implications. There may be a limit to how much your policy will pay towards key replacement, which can vary depending on your insurer and the type of policy you have. For instance, some policies might cover the full cost of replacing your lost keys, while others may only cover a portion, leaving you responsible for the remainder. Additionally, consider if claiming for lost keys will affect your no-claims bonus or result in higher premiums in the future.
When discussing options with your insurer, inquire about the process of claiming for key replacement. Some insurers might require you to use specific locksmith services or dealerships to qualify for reimbursement. Others may allow you to choose your service provider but require you to submit receipts for reimbursement later. Understanding these details upfront can save you time and ensure you make the most of your coverage.
The Zagame Way of Solving Car Troubles
Losing your car keys can feel like a small misstep that leads to a mountain of inconvenience, but as we’ve explored in this guide, there are practical and efficient ways to resolve this issue and prevent it from becoming a larger problem. Just like a lost key, it’s often the small details that make the biggest difference, whether in daily life or when it comes to car care.
At Zagame Autobody, we understand the importance of details – both big and small. We recognise that any car-related issue, from a minor scratch to a major collision, can be a source of stress. That’s why we’re committed to more than just high-quality repairs; we’re dedicated to providing peace of mind. With our team of skilled professionals, state-of-the-art equipment, and commitment to using original parts, we ensure that every repair job is done right.
Contact us today and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing your car is in the best hands.