What to do when you lose your keys

What to do when you lose your keys
Losing your car keys is a stressful experience for any driver, so it is important to keep calm and sort the problem as soon as possible.

If you don’t have a spare set, then it can mean that you are locked out of your vehicle.

However, if you believe that it has been stolen, contact the police immediately.

In this guide, we look at the steps you’ll need to take after losing your keys.

Lost car keys – what to do next?

After realising that you have lost your car keys, it is important to remain calm and try and retrace your recent movements to see if you can find it.

Often this is the most common way to find them – especially if you have been at home for a while.

However, in some cases, you may still be looking for your car keys.

Search your house and car thoroughly – and no matter where you park, safely look in the area to see if you dropped them out of your pocket or bag.

If you think that it has been stolen, contact the police and your car insurance provider.

For drivers who think they may have lost them when they were out in a public place, call the places where you have been to see if anything has been handed in.

In the instance where you simply cannot find them, contact your car insurance provider and see if they can help get you a replacement. You may also need to speak to your local dealership for the manufacturer of the vehicle for more details.

At the RAC, members can purchase Keycare Cover to help cover the cost for any lost of stolen keys.

Does your insurance cover lost car keys?

Car insurance companies in the UK may offer the option to add in cover for your car keys, but it will not come as a standard option.

Speak to your provider to see what your options are, and if you can add it in to your insurance contract.

Lost car key replacement

The process for replacing a lost car key is simple and won’t take very long to organise.

After contacting your car insurance provider, they will either sort it for you, or ask you to take the following steps.

Contact your local dealership for the make of your vehicle, and provide the details (make, model, year, number plate, etc). If you have your VIN number, this will be very helpful.

A new key will be sent either to the dealership or to your home.

It will need to be programmed to work with your vehicle, as the transponder should only work with your vehicle.

If it is a physical key, rather than a modern electric one, then it is worth getting a copy (or copies made) at a local locksmith.

How long does it take to get a replacement car key?

In some cases, a car key replacement can be sorted within a few days. However, for some makes and models, this can take up to a few weeks to sort out.

Your insurance provider or local dealership can help with the timeframe that you will receive your new set of car keys.

Lost car key replacement cost

If you are looking to get a replacement or spare car key, then you are looking to pay between £250-£300.

However, this price can vary due to the made, model and age of the vehicle.

Also, if the car uses keyless entry and needs to program the stop/start functions of the vehicle, then the price will be more expensive than just a physical key.

Sometimes there may be an extra fee to program or code the modern key.

Tips to not lose your car keys

Now that you have either found your keys or have ordered a replacement, here are some steps to take to ensure that you do not lose your car keys again:

  • Create a space to leave your keys: Once you get home, leave a permanent spot on a counter, table or shelf somewhere free for your keys. After a short amount of time, you will associate that space with where to leave your keys.
  • Attach to house keys and leave them in the front door after you lock up: After getting back home safe, lock the door behind you and leave the keys in the door. This only works if no one else needs to use the front door after you as they won’t be able to enter the premises.
  • Use a keychain: Attach your keys to a brightly coloured or distinctive keychain – making them easier to spot.
  • Keep spare keys in a safe: This will mean you always have a spare in the most secure part of your property.
  • Wear suitable clothes: If you have small or loose pockets, either change into something else or use a bag, purse or another item where you can secure your keys in a safe place when you are out and about.
  • Use a tracking device: This can be applied to many personal, high value items. Consider using a Bluetooth tracking device that attaches to your keys or keychain. This way, if you do misplace your keys, you can use your smartphone to locate them at all times.

Hopefully you have found your keys or are now looking forward to receiving your replacement car keys.

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