What To Do When You Lock Your Keys In Your Car

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The moment you realize that you’ve just closed your locked car door with your keys inside the vehicle can be very stressful. Your natural reaction may be to panic, but that won’t improve your situation. Instead, use these tips to help you stay calm and retrieve your keys without losing your cool.

Assess the Situation

Are you locked out of your car in a safe place, during daylight hours? If you happen to be in a dangerous situation or location, consider calling 911 to get help as quickly as possible.

If you feel safe, you can take a little more time to decide what you need to do to retrieve your keys. If your engine is running, call an emergency auto locksmith to retrieve the keys for you.

Check for Trunk Access

Many newer vehicles allow you to access the car’s interior through the trunk, so if you can open the trunk you may be able to get in to the car from this rear access point.

Call a Locksmith

You may be tempted to try and pick your car’s lock using a metal clothes hanger or other tool, but you could end up making the problem worse. Many newer cars are designed to prevent these types of tools from unlocking the door as a security measure against thieves.

You could actually damage the locking mechanism in your car door if you aren’t careful, so leave it up to a professional locksmith to unlock the door for you.

Consider Keeping a Spare Key

The best way to retrieve your keys when they are locked in the car is to have a spare key that is kept separate from the one you use every day. What if you don’t have one? You could have a spare made at the auto dealership where you bought your car, but that can be expensive. Check with your auto locksmith to see if they can make one for you. They can often provide you with a replacement key much more cheaply than an auto dealer can.

If you use a magnetic box to keep your spare key on the vehicle, make sure that it is well hidden so that potential car thieves won’t be able to see it and access your vehicle. Consider keeping on your person or leaving it with a family member.


To avoid having to retrieve your car keys from a locked car, consider having a keyless entry system installed in your vehicle. An auto locksmith can usually do this for you, and they can help you avoid having to call them out to unlock your car again in the future.


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