It’s never fun asking “What do you do if you lose your car keys?” Replacements aren’t cheap: The average cost to program and replace a transponder key ranges between $150 to $225. That’s money many people can’t afford to shell out, especially considering how 64% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
That’s why knowing what to do when you lost your car keys can not only reduce stress but also save you time and money.
And depending on the make, model, and year of your vehicle, replacing a car key can cost you several hundred dollars. For these reasons, we’ve created this blog to guide you during those moments when you ask yourself, “I lost my car keys, what do I do?”
What To Do When You Lose Your Car Keys
Whether we admit it or not, we’ve all been there before. Well, before you consider getting your car towed (assuming you have no spare key), let’s recap what may not seem so obvious at the time you’ve lost your keys in 5 quick steps:
- Search Around the Area: After you’ve discovered your car keys are nowhere to be found, it’s important to remain calm and retrace your steps. Oftentimes, a lost car key can be found hiding in plain sight – but if your search is coming up empty, it’s time for the next course of action.
- Check Your Vehicle: If you’ve combed through the area thoroughly and still can’t locate your car keys, it’s worth giving your car a once-over, assuming it’s not locked. With any luck, your keys may be inside. Should you discover your key inside, it would be wise to consider getting a spare key.
- Gather Your Vehicle Information: If you’ve made it to this step, it’s time to gather some information about your vehicle (specifically, your VIN), and call a locksmith or your local car dealership. Additional information that may be needed to replace your lost keys to your car include:
- Get a Car Key Replacement: Once you’ve determined you need a new car key, scoping out the cost to replace your keys is the next step. For older vehicles, replacing lost car keys tends to be significantly cheaper with an automotive locksmith than a dealership.
- Create a Spare Key – Now that you have your new key, it’s time to get a spare. Alternatively, you can just order two keys at the same time too – whichever suits your needs and budget best at the time will do.
Did You Know?
Locksmiths charge up to 20% less than car dealerships to replace car keys? Say goodbye to overpriced keys and never again ask yourself, “I lost my car keys, what do I do?”
Lost Car Keys – What to Do Based on Type of Key
The types of car keys you have will determine your approach. Therefore, let’s take a look at the following instances:
Car Key Fob
If you misplace the fob, there’s no need to worry. You can still access your vehicle by using the key to unlock and start it. In most cases, replacement fobs are inexpensive (usually less than $20) and can be replaced at dealerships, auto part stores, or online.
Traditional Car Key
The easiest solution is to contact a locksmith to unlock your car and create keys for you on the spot (Quicksmith’s auto locksmith can take care of both of these things for you.) Alternatively, you may need to purchase a new ignition cylinder lock and key from the dealership.
Switchblade Key and Car Key Fob
These keys are more expensive than a plain fob, and typically cost about $125 to replace. These are most easily found at a dealership, where they may be cut and programmed on-site. Additionally, they are available online.
If you don’t have a spare key, you’ll have to tow your car to the dealership, order a key (assuming they have one in stock), then have it paired with your vehicle. Replacement costs average over $300 – and that doesn’t include the price of towing.
The last thing you want to say for these keys is that “I’ve lost my key for my car.” Like smart keys, if you don’t have a spare, you will need to tow your car to the dealership, present proof of ownership, then replace your key – which costs around $200 to $250 (not including the cost of towing).
What Do I Do When I Lost My Car Keys?
Call your trusted Chicago-area locksmith for fair pricing and fast service.
What To Do If You Lost Your Car Keys – 4 Common Scenarios
Finding yourself in the, “I lost my car key, what do I do,” scenario is never fun. Let’s look at the steps you should take for the following scenarios:
- What to Do When You Lose Your Car Key in Public – You’re confronted with the what to do if I lost my car key scenario. First, remain calm and begin searching the immediate area by retracing your steps. If you’re in a facility, contact security and search the lost and found for your keys. The last step is to call a locksmith or car dealership.
- What to Do if I Lose My Car Key Inside My Home – Take a deep breath, don’t panic, and start by searching where you last had your keys. Check places like your tables, shelves, drawers, and countertops. Next, check your car. If your search fails, consider calling a locksmith. They’ll get you back in your car and make new keys if needed.
- What To Do If I Lost My Car Keys At An Airport – Check nearby areas and your carry-on bags. If unsuccessful, inquire with airport staff, like security personnel. If you rented a car, contact the rental car company. If not, connect with a locksmith and make sure to file a report with the airport in case your keys are found later.
- What to Do If I Lost My Keys in My Car – Begin by checking all the car doors to see if they’re locked. If your vehicle supports keyless entry mode, you should be able to unlock your car by pulling the driver-side handle. If not, it’s time to call a locksmith – otherwise you’ll be stuck towing your car to the dealership, which will increase time and costs.
Still Not Sure How to Find a Lost Car Key?
Or need help replacing your key? We’re ready to help, 24/7.
Rapidly Replace Your Lost Car Keys with Quicksmith
Still stuck with the dilemma of “what to do if I lost my car keys?” Then it’s time to reach out to Quicksmith.
With over a decade of experience, our automotive locksmiths provide customer-dedicated, fast service, 24/7. Replace and make new keys on the go with our mobile key-making service.
Best of all, we are fully licensed and insured – meaning, for those moments when you’re saying, “oh no, I lost my car keys…again,” you can rest assured knowing that we’re not only here to get the job done. but to ensure it’s done the right way – and without breaking the bank.