Losing any of your belongings is annoying, but car keys are something else. And it’s not always just your car key on the keyring; many people also carry their home keys on the same bunch.
A survey by the RAC revealed one in 20 drivers permanently lose their keys, and spend an average of 14 hours every year looking for them.
If, like many motorists in the UK, you drive a Ford Fiesta — the UK's best-selling car with over 77,000 registered last year (2019) — you’d be looking at paying an average of £230 in car key replacement costs, according to The Autolocksmith's 2018 data.
But while cost may not be everything, the inconvenience of replacing lost keys is certainly an issue. But, you do have a few options.
I’ve lost my keys, what should I do?
- Check your car insurance or home insurance to see if key cover is on there (many don’t offer this as standard). However, some companies offer extras which can be added on if you haven’t already lost, broken or had your keys stolen – we’ll explain more on this a little later
- If you have breakdown cover, check your policy to see if key cover is included. Many of the big names – RAC, Green Flag and the AA - offer policies which will help you get into your car if you’ve locked the keys inside, which will recover and get a spare set to you or help with the cost of replacing lost keys
- Contact franchised dealers to get a new set of car keys; however this may not come cheap, or quickly. Most modern keys are expensive to replace and will have to be programmed. Make sure you shop around to get the best price
- Speak to an auto locksmith who'll be able to cut and programme a new key as well as disable the lost or stolen one so it can’t be used to access your vehicle. If your key’s stuck inside your car, they’ll be able to gain entry for you
If you have spare keys, make sure you keep them somewhere accessible in the event of your main set going missing. If you keep your car and home keys on the same bunch, don’t keep your spares at home as you may not be able to get to them. Ask a family member or friend to keep them safe at their home so you can access them if you ever need to.