Lost your car keys? Here's what you need to do...

5 minutes

All of our content is approved by our in-house advisory board of experts

Wallet. Phone. Keys. Wait, where are my keys? Losing your car keys is frustrating and can cause security issues. 

  • Know what to do when you lose your key and how to get replacement car keys.
  • Recognise important information you need when requesting a replacement.
  • Understand the insurance claims process and how to protect yourself in the future.

We've all been there, but don't panic...

The realisation that you’ve lost your car keys can be unnerving, but knowing how to get replacement car keys will mean you’ll be back on the road in no time. Keys have to be one of the most commonly misplaced item - we've all been there, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Lost car keys? Here’s what to do.

You can order replacement keys from car dealers, but it can be an expensive option, costing around £200 a set. If your car key is lost or stolen, you may be able to claim on your car insurance policy. It’s  worth checking your policy documents to see if this is included. 

Insurance that covers lost car keys often includes processes to help get you on the road as soon as possible. Regardless of whether you claim or not, it’s important to let your insurer know you’ve lost your car keys as theft can lead to security issues.

Getting replacement car keys 

Report your lost keys to your insurer as soon as you realise they’re gone – even if you have spares. Any lost keys could be used to steal a vehicle and become a security risk for your car and even your home. Insurance can cover the loss of keys, while others may pay to send someone to get into your car if needed.

  • Once you’ve reported the lost keys, the vehicle should be moved to a secure location and then taken to a garage. 
  • Some policies will arrange a courtesy car. This can be a useful option to consider when taking out insurance as it will prevent additional disruption caused by lost keys.
  • The garage should arrange for all the door and boot locks to be changed and replacement keys, car entry systems and transmitters to be provided.
  • Once the replacement is complete, the garage should then arrange the return of your car and the new set of keys. 
  • If you’ve managed to lock your keys inside your car, a recovery service will be able to safely enter your car and retrieve them for you. 

Before you call

Have this information ready for your insurer and the locksmith before making a claim. It might be useful to write these details down.

  • Know the make and model of your vehicle.
  • Know your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) – this is on your V5 document in your vehicle's logbook.
  • Provide documents that prove you own the vehicle, as well as your driving licence and proof of your address.
  • Have your insurance policy information nearby to refer to so your provider can access your details.
  • Know your precise location so a locksmith can be sent out to your car.

What to do if your policy doesn’t cover you 

If you don’t have insurance that covers lost keys, another option may be to call out a locksmith. This is likely to cost around £200 but can sometimes be more expensive. It depends on the make, model and age of your car. If the locksmith doesn’t have your keys in stock, they may need to order a new set, which could take a week or more. They may also need to reprogram the vehicle so any lost or stolen keys can no longer be used. Some high street locksmiths can offer key replacement services, which can be cheaper than garages and dealerships. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a way to track my car keys?

Unless you have a Bluetooth tracker attached to your keys that syncs with your phone, it’s practically impossible to track your car keys. Once they’re lost, it’s best to report it and organise a replacement set.

I’ve lost my only car key, does it matter?

If you lose your only car key, you’ll need to follow the same steps as outlined above. You’ll need to buy a new set of keys and the car system may need to be reprogrammed to prevent any lost keys falling into the wrong hands and causing security issues.

How long will it take to get a spare set of car keys?

For more popular car models, spare sets of car keys will be readily available, and if locksmiths have them in stock, you may be able to replace them the same day. However, for models with more complicated locking systems, keys may take up to a week or more to be ordered and replaced.

While losing your car keys can be very inconvenient, there are steps you can follow to get back on the road quickly. Having the relevant information handy and understanding the process will mean your replacement car keys can be easily sorted. The chance of losing your car keys at some point is high, so you might want to add it to your insurance policy if it’s not already included. You can speak to our team to find out what’s included in our policies.