If you lose your car keys, it can be an almighty headache, and getting a replacement can be extremely expensive. If your keys go missing, there are several options when it comes to getting back into your car, and you can even save yourself some money if you’re clever. These five methods can be used to recover lost or stolen keys, including some useful hints to make the process as simple as possible.
Start by writing down the VIN number of your car. In the search for replacement keys, this information will be helpful to dealers and parts traders. Most newer cars have this displayed on a dashboard plaque, visible through the windshield. For older vehicles, consult the vehicle’s logbook (V5C).
Find an Auto Locksmith
Possibly the best and most cost-effective way to replace lost or stolen car keys. Auto locksmiths in Darlington or anywhere else for that matter usually offer a mobile call-out facility meaning they will come out to you wherever you are. You can usually find the nearest auto locksmith by searching the internet. The Master Locksmiths Association website will hold details of all accredited companies in the area. Most cars can be easily accessed by an automotive locksmith, and they can reprogramme your car to prevent thieves from using your old keys again if they are found at a later date.
Purchase Some New Keys from a Dealer
Although this is the most time-consuming and expensive option, it ensures that you’ll get a set of replacement keys that can unlock your car on the first try. There could be a waiting time of up to 10 working days, depending on whether your local dealership has the necessary equipment and expertise, and you can expect to pay upwards of £200.
Make a claim on your Insurance Policy
There are some insurers that offer key cover as a standard, which can save you a significant amount of money. Your insurer may cover you for anything from a simple key replacement to an aftercare package with a rental car while yours is being repaired, depending on the type of policy you have.
Don’t forget to read the small print in your policy. To ensure you keep your car insurance rates as low as possible, it may make more financial sense to pay for replacement keys from your own pocket, especially if claiming for lost keys will affect your no-claims discount.
Contact Your Breakdown Service
Mobile key replacement services are offered by some Roadside Assistance providers, and they are usually included in their coverage. For drivers living in rural areas where there aren’t as many mobile locksmiths to choose from, this is a faster and cheaper option than going to a dealership.
Get a Key Cut at a High Street Key Cutter
This is only an option if you still have at least one key to your vehicle, so realistically is only useful when you are looking for a spare key as the result of an emergency. The good news is that if you do use a high street key cutting service the service is usually quick and considerably cheaper than using a main dealer.
In an ideal world
You would never mislay your car keys, however, if you do hope the information in this article will help you get a replacement quickly and without spending over the odds.