“Help! I’ve locked my keys in the car!” It’s something we hear all the time – and it’s much more common than you’d think!
So, don’t worry; you’re far from alone and we’ve put together some top tips to help you remain calm and regain access to your vehicle.
Double-Check You Really Are Locked Out
As silly as it sounds, double-check that you really are locked out. You’d be surprised by the number of call-outs we make to customers who think they’re locked out of their cars – only to discover they’re mistaken. People get flustered and logic goes out of the window.
So, keep calm, think logically and follow these simple steps:
- Check your pockets and your bag(s). Thoroughly check all pockets, handbags, wallets, pouches and shopping bags – you might not have put your keys in their usual place. For example, you might have a particular pocket in your handbag, or pants, where you always keep your keys, but it’s quite easy to absentmindedly put them elsewhere as you go about your busy day.
- Check all car doors. Check that all car doors, are definitely locked. Even with modern central-locking systems, there are occasional incidents whereby not all doors lock properly. The lock could be faulty or there could be something obstructing the door closure. The last thing you want to do is pay for a callout locksmith only to find that there is an unlocked door after all.
- Check the boot. Again, you need to be certain that you cannot retrieve your keys, before calling out a locksmith. So, don’t forget to check the boot. If the boot is unlocked, there is usually a way to access the body of your car. With four-wheel-drives it’s super easy to just climb through and with hatchbacks the back shelf can be lifted to gain access to the car.
Is There a Spare Key?
If you have a spare key, think about where it is, where you are and how long it would take to travel between the two. If it’s not too far, consider whether a family member or friend could pick up the spare and bring it to you. If it would only take up to half an hour, then give them a call.
Anything half an hour or more, then it’s probably not worth it. Time is valuable. So, be considerate of their time. It’s often worth spending a bit of money to get a locksmith out to save your friend or relative their time. Emergency locksmith call-outs are also often less expensive than people imagine.
Don’t Force the Car Door or Smash a Window
As tempting as it may be when you’re stressed or in a hurry, don’t force the car door or smash a window – it can end up costing you a small fortune.
Unless, of course it’s an emergency. In an emergency situation, such as a child or dog trapped in a hot vehicle, drastic measures may need to be taken.
Do You Have Roadside Assist?
If you have roadside assistance you may be covered for lockouts, so call them to check.
While they’ll be able to unlock your vehicle, if you need a transponder key replacement, they’re unlikely to have the skills or tools required to cut a new transponder key. For this, you’ll need a specialist locksmith.
Call a Locksmith
An emergency locksmith call-out commonly provides the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective solution.
Professional locksmiths can usually reach you quicker and provide you with a replacement key cheaper than any car dealership. Even main dealers don’t always carry the necessary parts and equipment for this sort of work.
While replacement transponder keys used to take weeks to arrive from Singapore or Europe – and cost an arm and a leg – specialist locksmiths equipped with special diagnostic technology can replace a transponder key within the hour – and at a fraction of the price a car dealer would charge.
The special diagnostic machines enable locksmiths to synchronise a new key with the car’s onboard computer – providing you with a new key and immediate access to your vehicle.
But not only do you want help quickly, you also want a quality key that works. Before requesting the call-out, check the locksmith’s credentials. You need to be sure you’re dealing with a reputable company. What are their Google My Business and Facebook reviews like? And are they members of any industry organisation, such as the Master Locksmiths Association (MLAA)?
For quick, easy and cost-effective car key replacement, contact the friendly team at Lock Stock & Farrell today!