Have you lost your car keys without having a spare? It is not the time to lose your head because you are not alone in that. This has happened to a quarter of car owners at one point in their lives. We have all been there. You don’t have to lose your head over that. We have all been there
So, if you have misplaced your car keys, searched everywhere including your pockets, drawers, and every nook and crannies you can think of and still couldn’t find it. You only need to stay calm and explore the options available to you – even if you have lost the car keys without having any spare.
Don’t let the security issues or the inconvenience the situation might cause you to make you ruin your day. In this article, I am going to walk you through the solutions to get the situation resolved. So if you have been asking for what to do because you lost your car keys without a spare, consider this post as just what you need for the moment.
What Should You Do Now?
You have searched and searched and still couldn’t find the key. What you first need to do is to keep calm. Panicking or getting your head worked up cannot resolve the situation but only make things worse. This is a very important fact you need to understand.
Although lockout situations are no fun at all and it is pretty easy to get tempted to want to start panicking, just try to keep yourself cam as much as possible so you can find the right solution to get yourself back on the road in no time.
After you have calmed yourself, the next thing to do is to identify what type of key your car uses. Since you don’t have a spare key, you will need to be able to tell the right type of key you have lost so you can get a copy cut for you.
Types of car keys: which of them have you lost?
Gone are the days when car keys are less complicated. When things are as easy as having a car key that corresponds to your car and you are already on the road. Because of the several advancements in technology, things have really changed these days. Keys are not made the same way and so not all of them are universal, so when you lost your car key without having a spare, it is important you are able to identify the exact type of key you have lost so you can get the right key replacement.
Below are the types of car keys, so you need to stay calm and try to identify which of them your car uses.
- Traditional car keys
This is the oldest form of car keys and it is often seen in older vehicles. Traditional car keys have been around for years, and when it comes to replacing or getting a duplicate when you lose them, it is pretty easier.
Although this type of car key doesn’t offer much security, they are very easy to replace when you lose them and without a spare. With a traditional key, you can get a new copy cut for you right at the spot.
- Transponder keys
If your car is a fairly modern type, chances are that the car uses a programmed transponder key. If your car is manufactured around the late ’90s, it might have also probably come with a transponder key. Looking at a transponder key, it is slightly different from the traditional keys because it involves a pairing process between the key and the car to provide an added layer of security.
This type of keys maximizes communication between devices and so in turn, makes your car much more secure than traditional car keys. However, as much as transponder keys offer better security, it can also be a problem to replace when you lost one. It also costs more to get a replacement.
- Car key fob
This type of car keys is also often referred to as keyless entry remotes. This is the type of keys found in newer model cars. They communicate with your car and hence makes your car more accessible to you.
There are many benefits that come with using a car key fob (keyless entry remote), but the only issue is that it can create a lot of hassle when you lost your car key and have no spare. Compare to traditional and transponder keys, keyless entry remotes can be expensive.
- Smart keys
These keys are also referred to as keyless ignition. A smart key is often found in vehicles having a start button positioned on their dash. The technology built into this type of car keys functions due to a proximity sensor placed in the vehicle which automatically detects your key when it is nearby. The key helps unlock the vehicle and also allows it to start with just a push of a button.
If you lose a smart key without a spare, you may need to get the vehicle towed to the dealership where you can order for the key and have it paired to your vehicle. Together with the towing charge, replacing a smart key can be very expensive.
What to Do When You’ve Lost Your Car Keys and Have No Spare
It already happened and it’s not the time to start pointing fingers at anyone. The best thing is to get the solution to get you out of the mess. Like I earlier said, when this kind of situation happens, what you first need to do is to stay calm and identify what type of car key you have lost.
This is an essential process that will make it easier for you to figure out the best solution for the situation. If you have lost your car key without a spare, here are the things you need to do.
#1: Search to confirm it is not in your immediate area
This point reminds us again of how important it is to stay calm whenever you have a lockout issue. Only when you are calm will you be able to assess your immediate environment to be sure the key is not there. Before you conclude you have lost your car keys, you need to search your environment properly.
Search your pockets, drawers, house, office, that restaurant you just had your lunch, search to be sure you did not drop them while packing to get set for office or the event. Most times, people declare their car keys missing even without having first searched their immediate environment to be sure the keys cannot be found.
Take your time to search your immediate environment again to be sure the key is actually lost. While this might sound stressful or kind of unnecessary, it can save you time and money getting a replacement car key.
#2: Check your vehicle
After having searched your environment and couldn’t find your car key, the next place to look is your car. Most times, the reason people lose their car keys is due to forgetfulness. They simply forget their car keys anywhere and finding it locked inside a car is not uncommon.
If you are able to locate the key inside your car, then things have just become much easier for you. In that case, you won’t have to bother yourself with not having a spare key again. All you will need to do is to find a reliable locksmith who will be able to retrieve your keys and get you back in your car without causing any damages to the car.
However, if you aren’t sure which locksmith to trust or not trust, then you can use our finder here to find a reputable locksmith near you to help take on the job without any waste of time.
#3: Decide which to call; a dealership or a locksmith
If you can’t find your key in your immediate area or inside your vehicle, you may not have any other option than to consider a replacement since you don’t have a spare key. In that case, you will need to choose between a dealership and a locksmith. The only way you can bypass either of these professionals is if you know someone that has the equipment and skills to do the job at a lower fee or without charging you.
Choosing to use either a locksmith or dealership each comes with its unique advantages and challenges. So it is better you have a clear cut understand of them before making a decision. If your vehicle is the type that is somewhat older, then your best choice will be calling a locksmith to help.
Calling a locksmith instead of the dealership is a smart way to bypass the expensive costs of getting a replacement for your lost car key. Because the car is a bit of an older model and requires no programming of any kind, a locksmith can help do the job. He can cut a new copy of the key for you at a much cheaper rate and also right at the spot.
However, if your vehicle belongs to the newer car models, some locksmiths might not be able to work with the intricacy and complexity of such a car key. So in that case, the only option you’ve got is to contact your dealership to get a new key.
#4: Get the necessary vehicle information
Whether you are choosing a locksmith or the dealership, the next step is to gather the necessary information they need to make another copy of the key for you. They will need some essential info about your vehicle. The specific information you provide them is what will help them get you the right key that you need to operate your car.
Knowing the type of key your car needs does not only end at identifying the type of key you have lost. Certain information needs to be provided by you to help them get you a new key when you have lost your car key and you’ve got no spare. Below are some of the information you will need to gather to get the job done:
- Your vehicle model and make
- The registration number of the vehicle
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Personal data to prove the ownership of the vehicle
- Your current location
You may wonder why you need to provide all of this information. Apart from helping the locksmith or the dealership ascertain the type of key you need and also to program it, they also need the information to confirm the vehicle really belongs to you. Imagine if a locksmith did not take his time to verify the ownership of a vehicle before going ahead to make a key copy, that means anybody can walk up to a locksmith to get into any vehicle they wanted.
#5: Both the cost and reliability are important factors to consider
Whenever you lost your car key without having a spare or get involved in any type of lockout, always try not to get swayed by just the cost. It can be tempting to want to go for the locksmith with the most affordable cost. But in this case, it is important you consider more than the cost. You also need to consider reliability.
I am not saying you shouldn’t explore the more cost-effective options, but you should also consider how reliable the service of that professional is. You don’t only want to spend less, but also want to get a key that will serve you long enough. Remember your keys are an important part of your automotive security, so it is worth investing time and money to make sure you get nothing but the best.
Don’t be tempted to want to go for the cheapest option you can find, take your time to vet the options available to you and go for the best.
#6: Relax and get your key made
The hardest part of this whole thing is to decide which option to explore. Immediately that is done, you only need to sit back and relax while a new car key is made for you. This means after a short time after making a decision, you can have your new car key in your hands and get back on the road as soon as possible.
However, I will recommend you take advantage of the situation and request that an additional spare key be made for you. This will save you from such a mess again in the future. While some people often think spare keys to be an addition that has no value, they often see how important a spare is when they lose their original keys. Getting a spare won’t cost as much as getting a new key made for you when you lost the original. Prevent the occurrence of such situations again in the future. Ask your locksmith to also make a spare for you once and for all.
How Long Does It Take To Make A Spare Set Of Key Without The Original?
Creating a car key doesn’t take much time. Depending on the type of key and complexity of the transponder system involved, you should get a new car key between 10 to 30 minutes. In some cases, where your locksmith does not have a black key in stock – which is very rare, you can be sure the key will order for you, and you will have your spare key as soon as possible.
So when you lost your car key and you’ve got no spare, don’t panic. In less than an hour, you will have a new key made for you, and you can get back into your vehicle.
How Expensive Is It To Replace Lost Car Keys Without A Spare?
The cost of replacing a lost key is not what you cannot afford. Depending on the model and make of your vehicle and the overall scope of work, a locksmith will cut a new key for you between $40 and $300. The best way to go about this in order to have the service delivered at a cheaper cost is to obtain quotes from more than one locksmith.
However, remember the most important thing to consider here is not only the cost but also the reliability of the service. So make sure you are going with the best locksmith that provides the service at the most reasonable cost.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the situation and ask that a spare be also be made for you in addition. Remember that once the locksmith is there, it won’t cost much extra to cut another key for you.
Losing your car key when you’ve got no spare can be really frustrating, but I’m sure if you have found yourself in that situation now, this post must have provided useful information on how you can take care of things. Remember to stay calm so you can rightly assess the situation and explore the best option.
If you are merely reading this as a preventative measure, I wish you won’t find yourself in the situation soon and start asking “I lost my car keys without a spare, what should I do.” If it happens, contact a reliable locksmith or use the dealership to get you out of the mess in no time.