Losing your car keys is a very frustrating experience. It brings on even more of a headache when you’re running late for an important meeting. If you have a spare set then you’re in luck. However, a good number of cars (especially fairly used ones) don’t come with a spare car key.
So, what to do when you lose your car keys? Well, there are several options when it comes to tracking or replacing your keys. We’ve listed a few below.
1. Prepare your vehicle information and documents for your locksmith
If your car keys aren’t in the usual places, such as under the couch cushion, on the shelf, in your jeans pocket, etc., then you may have permanently misplaced them. In this case, you’ll then have to replace them as soon as you possibly can.
Firstly, try to collect as much vehicle information as possible. This will make it easier (or possible) for your locksmith to help out. The most commonly requested documents include; the model and make of your vehicle, the car’s registration, and identification number as well as your personal identification (so they can be sure that you’re the real owner of the car). It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of a proof of address, just in case the locksmith has to come your way.
2. Consider what type of key you use
There are generally two categories of car keys; non-remote keys (also known as transponder keys) and remote keys.
Remote keys are of three types; the remote fob with key (which is where the key and the remote system come separately), the remote entry fob with an integrated key (the key is part of the remote fob), and the remote keyless system fob (the remote fob functions as the key also).
Transponder keys come without any remote functions. If your missing car key is in this category, you won’t be able to start your ignition. Therefore, you’ll need a replacement transponder chip.
3. Make a budget
The next step would be to budget how much you’d need to get a replacement. In the UK, a car key replacement costs from about £25 to £200. The prices depend mainly on the vehicle model and how old it is.
The locksmith will also take into consideration what immobilizer system your vehicle uses. However, going to locksmith services like those offered by Fast Keys come relatively cheaper than using your car insurance or getting new keys from a garage.
4. Buy a new ignition lock cylinder
No doubt, some car models are very old or rare and in some cases, replacement keys are no longer available. In this case, it’ll help to get a new ignition lock cylinder with a corresponding key either from a dealer or from your usual repair shop. The average cost for a new ignition lock cylinder in the US is between £120 and £200.
5. Order a new key.
Since a locksmith can’t exactly just put together an already mechanized car key remote control (with no Integrated key attached), you might need to contact the main vehicle manufacturers for a new set of keys. For popular cars like Renault, the dealerships should be accessible in your city.
That being said, you’ll have to get the car towed to the dealership first. This will certainly come with additional costs, along with the cost of the new keys.