According to the American Automobile Association, more than 4,000,000 motorists lock themselves out of their vehicles ever year, so odds are that at some time in your life, you’ll end up on the outside looking in. What causes the most lock outs? The AAA states that keyless ignition and advanced digital anti-theft systems are responsible. All the same, if you end up locked out of your vehicle, it’s essential that you stay calm and take the required action to resolve the issue.
1. Dial 000
It may seem a bit drastic, but it’s important to take care of your safety first and foremost. So, if you end up locked out of your vehicle and believe you’re in danger, call 000. In most cases, a law enforcement officer will be dispatched who can open your vehicle’s door, and if they can’t, the officer will call a tow truck. Obviously the tow will be on your tab, but at least you’ll know you are safe while you wait.
2. Contact Roadside Assistance
Many drivers are protected by some form of roadside assistance whether you realize it or not. If you signed up to RACQ, NRMA, or another organization that provides kerbside services, contact the organization directly. If you don’t subscribe, you may still be covered. Many new vehicles are protected with assistance during the basic warranty period, and several auto insurance plan now provide roadside protection. If you don’t fall within one of these forms of protection, you can still get assistance from a patrol truck that offers emergency aid on a major highway, so it’s worth considering all of your options.
3. Call a Tow Truck
If you’ve used up your free options and are still stuck with your keys locked in your car, it’s time to call a tow truck. Most towing companies provide lock-out services. If you have no idea the number to the closest provider, Google to find the services available in your immediate area.
4. Request a Temporary Key
Some dealerships may be able to provide an affordable temporary key that will unlock your doors but not start you vehicle so that you can obtain your actual keys. In this particular case, you’ll likely need your vehicle identification number to prove that the car belongs to you. (You can view it through the bottom edge of the driver’s side windshield.).
5. Find a Auto Locksmith.
If you have misplaced your key or are otherwise unable to get into your locked vehicle, you’ll require the services of a reputable local locksmith. In many cases, you’ll pay upwards of $200 for a substitute key, but it’s worth it to have a key and get back into your car or truck free from doing any damage to your car. Bear in mind that key substitutes for higher-end models may actually cost several hundred dollars and only be available from a dealer who must configure the remote for you. If that’s the case, you’ll also be in charge of picking up the tab of a costly ride to the dealership on the back of a flatbed.
Once you’ve gotten into your locked car, you’ll want to ensure to take necessary safety measures to avoid a repeat of the situation. Consider stowing away a spare key in your handbag or wallet or in a magnetic box on the underside of your car. Or, just invest in a car that won’t lock if the key is in the vehicle.