Stuck outside your car? Sucks doesn’t it. Especially because you can maybe even see your keys on the dashboard there, or on the driver’s seat. If only you could somehow reach through the glass. But alas. So near and yet so far!
Fortunately, there are people you can call, and there are people who can help. Let’s dive in and get you back on the road.
Friends and Family
Quickly cast your mind back and ask yourself: does anyone else have a copy of this key? There’s a good chance that you might have given a spare to your partner, and if not, then it’s possible you would have given it to a friend or relative. If the answer is still no, then calling a friend or relative can be a good idea simply to have someone to wait with, someone to take you home, or someone to take you back to your house.
Better yet, perhaps you have a friend or family member who knows a thing or two about cars? There’s a good chance that if you know a mechanic, they will at least be able to point you in the right direction – if not help you to break in!
An automotive locksmith is very much like the name suggests – a locksmith service that specializes particularly in car locks and car keys. An automotive locksmith needs a particular set of skills other than those needed for a regular lock – so don’t assume that any locksmith will automatically be able to handle this kind of situation.
Instantly, you can see this when you look at the fact that the key to the car door is more than just a key to a car door – at the same time it is also the key that turns on the engine so any fault that traps you outside of your car could very well leave you unable to enter your vehicle. Thus, an automotive locksmith service is going to need an additional knowledge in basic car mechanics and certainly in the ignition.
Even just the way the whole car lock works is entirely different from how the lock on an ordinary door works. This is why you need to ensure that the locksmith service you use also offers automotive locksmith services so that you can be sure you’ll be able to get into your car when it matters. Ideally, you should also make sure they offer a 24-hour service and you should get a quote, as this can be significantly more expensive than a regular locksmith.
Unfortunately, the unique nature of car locks means that not even every automotive locksmith will be able to help. In some cases, the locksmith may require the original key in order to make a copy. In other cases, they might be able to help you to break into the car, but not to get your key back out. If your car key is locked inside though, this won’t be a problem.
If you have breakdown service from your insurance company, then there’s a good chance that they will be able to help you. Their job is to get you back on the road, and that can include helping you to break into your own car.
A breakdown service has lots of tricks up their sleeves to help you get back on the road. They may be able to help you break into your car by inserting a tool down the window gap for instance, or they might even offer to carefully break the window (which is much safer than attempting to do so yourself). They might also be able to help by towing your vehicle back to your house, which at least means you’ll no longer be stranded.
The methods available may well depend on whether you deadlocked the car or not, as well as on the make and model of the vehicle. Again, try getting a quote from the company before you agree to anything.
And Finally – The Manufacturers
Finally, there is a chance that you will need to go directly back to the car dealer/manufacturer that made your car. In some cases, there is just no other way to get a new key. This won’t be a quick process, so a locksmith is certainly preferable. But if all else fails, get taken home – have your car towed – and then order a new key from the source.