As a car owner, one of the worst things that can happen to you when it comes to car safety, other than getting your car stolen, would be to lose your only set of keys.
When something as annoying as this happens, your options are limited, and they usually mean you can’t assume the control of your vehicle for some time. That said, not all of the solutions for this situation are equally effective, as in some cases, you may have to summon a locksmith to help you out, while in other cases, all you need to do is contact the car manufacturer and resolve the issue in minutes.
What to do if you lost your only car key
In this article, we're going to give you a couple of advice about what to do if you manage to lose your only car key. As you will see, the best courses of action depending on the car model and the manufacturer's policy, but the good news is that there's almost always a solution out there that you can employ without breaking the rear car window.
Here’s the deal.
Get A Locksmith To Help You Out
If you have an older car without the central lock system, finding the way in sans a key can be as simple as contacting your locksmith.
Typically, locksmiths have a wide variety of tools they can use to get in a locked car. Also, they have the tools necessary to produce a new key for you, even if they don't have one to replicate it off. Older car models don't have sophisticated locking systems, so breaking them in or making a car key is not that much of a problem.
With newer models that come with central locks, getting in without a car key may be a bit more complicated.
Still, a professional locksmith will have all the tools necessary to make it happen.
So, if you have a car with a central lock security system and have lost your one and the only key, getting a locksmith involved would still be the best course of action because modern-day locksmiths have the technology necessary to make and repair coded keys, too. For folks from Australia, KeyBay would be one of the possible locksmith workshops, for example.
Find And Write Down Your VIN
Whether you're an older vehicle or a newer one, the VIN (vehicle identification number) would be essential for looking into.
Now, the trick is, it can be challenging to see your VIN without access to the car’s interior in most cases, so the recommendation here would be to write down the VIN in advance and have it ready in case something like this happens.
Many models have their VIN printed out on the driver's side dashboard close to the windshield so that it can be seen from the outside, even if you cannot enter your car to retrieve this information as well.
The reason why you need your VIN is that it gives your locksmith or the car manufacturer if you contact them the necessary information about the car's model, the year of manufacturing, the serial number of the vehicle, as well as the factory it was made in. All of these pieces of info make it easier for a locksmith to concoct a new key because they would know all the most critical parameters of your vehicle.
Read also 7 Useful Car Accessories That You Need
Contact Your Insurance For A Possible Solution
One of the ways to get your key back when you’ve lost it hopelessly would be to have your insurance cover the costs involved with getting a new key.
Now, the thing is, what you need to do is look at the small print in your insurance contract to see if it covers those unfortunate cases where you lose your keys. Sometimes, your insurance company will include this.
Of course, you can ensure to add this if you're making a new contract, but since this is not much use to you, if you already have a contract, the next best thing to do is to check if it's there already.
Anyway, for future situations, you can set up an insurance contract where you can ask for this part about the loss of a car key to be included in the final draft, so to speak. That said, the overall cost of such insurance policy may jump a tad as a result, but if it tends to happen to you to lose your keys all the time, this may be a great way to ensure you'll be covered in case something like that happens again.
If You Have A Newer Car Model, Trying Opening Your Car Remotely
Many car manufacturers nowadays have an advanced system in place for accessing your car via satellite in case something goes wrong with it, it gets stolen, or you lose your key.
The way this works is that each of the cars has its code, which the manufacturers already know about, so they are able to use it if you contact them and request them to do so. This is a sort of safety system used to make sure that you don’t get locked out of your car.
So, if you’re a proud owner of a newer car and you’ve lost your only car key for it, you can simply contact the manufacturer and then simply ask them to open your car remotely.
Consider Making A Backup Key
For future situations, the best thing to do to prevent not being able to access your car when you lose your car keys would simply be to have a spare key ready.
A locksmith can make a spare key for you fairly quickly, so you don't have to worry about spending an arm and a leg to make this happen.
All in all, losing your only car key is an annoying occurrence that can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere, or that can make you break your car's window in order to get in. That said, if you cannot open your car remotely, or have the insurance company find a solution, a professional locksmith will usually do the trick.
Mia Ackerson is a Melbourne-based writer who is interested in business, technology, interior design, home improvement, gardening, baking, cooking, books, movies, and music. You can follow her on twitter.