Chances are you’ve done it at least once. You’ve locked your keys inside your car! But what can you do? First don’t panic – there are plenty of ways to get back into your car and you’re going to be okay.
We know it’s a very frustrating experience and can leave you feeling very helpless. However it happens to everyone and is nothing to be embarrassed about! We’re here to help.
We’ve compiled 3 ways to handle being locked out of your car. Most of the time your choices are money related, time sensitive, or skill reliant. We’ve got all three covered. Pick the option that fits your situation best!
Do it yourself
If you don’t have the time or money to get a professional – you can try to get into the car yourself. Please note that this is only for your own car. Breaking into someone else’s vehicle is illegal and you face serious charges!
Locking mechanisms vary on different types of cars. Most newer cars have power locks with remote controls and most older cars have locks that are manual. Pay attention to your car lock system – do you need to push a button on the inside of the door? If you pull the handle, will that unlock the door?
You’ll need a few supplies. Something to pry the door open just enough to get something inside to trigger the mechanism. Most people recommend a door stop and a long metal rod. You can buy them at a hardware store and sometimes you can find them in a local business to borrow.
Wedge the doorstop into the top of the door to create a small opening. Then stick the long rod into the opening to push the unlock button on the inside of the door. If you need to pull the handle, just bend the metal rod into a hook. That way you can grab the handle with the hook and pull, causing the door to unlock/open.
One thing to note is that this method may cause damage to your door and exterior – so be cautious and weigh your odds!
Call the professionals
Are you concerned about trying it yourself or don’t have access to the tools you will need? It might be a better choice to call the professionals. This could be a locksmith, AAA, or security available on premises.
A yearly membership fee for AAA will cost around $100 dollars. But one of the benefits of a membership is that they provide roadside help wherever you are. Just call them up and explain the situation and they will send help.
They usually send a tow truck who will have the tools to try to get into the car for you. If they cannot, they might suggest towing the vehicle to a dealership or auto shop. Note that a dealership or mechanic may charge you for such services!
If for some reason AAA can’t send help, you can try contacting a local locksmith. Locksmiths can sometimes break into the car for you (see the do it yourself options in this article). Also, with proper identification a locksmith might be able to make you a new key.
Many new cars now come with keyless entry. They can be remotely locked and unlocked with the proper credentials. If your car offers this type of service, there are more options for you! You can contact your dealer and they might be able to unlock the door remotely for you. It’s a great feature that helps in a time of need. Just be warned that you’ll need to be able to properly identify yourself for security reasons.
If you are unable to contact anyone (maybe your phone is in your locked car too!), try to get help on the premises. If there is security on site – locate them and explain the situation. They can help assist you by contacting the appropriate help. They can also make sure you stay safe while you wait for someone to show up.
The best way to prevent emergencies in the future is prevention. Keep a spare key in your bag or at home. Or give it to someone you trust. Plan for the emergency today so save yourself tomorrow! You’ll save yourself a lot of headache and stress.
Then, if the situation occurs that you are locked out of your vehicle – you just get to the spare key. If you’re able to call your trusted source, they can come assist you. Again, if you are at a business or commercial location and you don’t have access to your phone – try to find security. They can help call someone you need. If you have to leave to go get your spare key – they can keep an eye on your vehicle while you’re gone.
Getting locked out of your car is no fun – but it is something you might have to deal with one day. While prevention is always the best choice – it helps to know other ways of dealing with the situation when it happens. Take notes, remember the tips, and stay safe out there!