How to get lost car keys replaced

Last updated by on April 13th, 2021

Losing your car keys is frustrating but it happens to the best of us. So, if you’ve searched high and low but can’t find them anywhere, here’s what you can do to get your lost car keys replaced. 

Go to a locksmith

A locksmith is likely to be one of the quickest and most cost effective ways to get hold of a new set. Some high street locksmiths will have the equipment needed to make a brand new set there and then. If not, then an auto locksmith is a specialist who’ll be able to help.

The advantage of using an auto locksmith is that they usually offer a mobile service and will have the widest range of equipment available to cut or reprogram a new set of keys immediately.

If you’ve locked yourself out of your car, an auto locksmith should also be able to help you get back in it. You can search for an auto locksmith near you at the Master Locksmiths Association

Needless to say, in most instances where you’ve lost your car keys you’ll be expected to show proof of ownership (like a vehicle logbook).

Buy a new set from a car dealership

You could also buy a new set of keys from the dealership you bought your car from (or from any other franchised dealership). 

Bear in mind that this is likely to be the most expensive way to get replacement car keys. This could also take a lot longer than finding a locksmith yourself as new keys may have to be shipped in from the manufacturer.  

Latest figures from CheckaTrade show that the average replacement car key costs £252 while keys for luxury car brands can stretch into the thousands. 

Ask a local garage

Your local garage might be able to cut or reprogram a replacement set but this will depend on the equipment they have available. If your keys work remotely, they may also need to be specially configured which can add further expense and complication. 


Call a car breakdown service

If you’re out and about and have ended up locking your keys in your car, you could call a breakdown service if you’re covered by one. However, depending on the number of incidents they need to deal with, this could be another time consuming option if you’re in a hurry. 

It’s also worth remembering that a breakdown service is only as useful as the tools it has on the day. If they don’t have the right equipment, they may have to call a locksmith or end up towing your car to a nearby garage if a replacement key can’t be made. 

Claim replacement keys on your car insurance

Some car insurers will cover lost car keys on your policy as standard (if not, you’ll usually be able to bolt it on as an extra). If it is part of your plan, you can call your car insurer to organise a replacement. 

As with any insurance policy, check the wording. There may be terms and conditions about what you can claim for and when. For example, your policy may say that keys must be attached to a fob provided by them to be covered. 

Claiming replacement car keys could also affect your no claims bonus and you could be expected to pay an excess. If this is the case, you should weigh up the costs and consequences of making a claim compared to going to a locksmith (for example).  

Take out a stand-alone key cover policy

This probably won’t help you much if your keys are lost right now, but taking out a standalone key cover policy could be a consideration for the future. 

As well as covering lost keys, some policies will provide a 24 hour helpline and courtesy hire car to help you get back on the road. 

Getting the best from your car insurance

Whether you opt for standalone replacement key cover or add it on to your car insurance policy, always double check any terms and conditions. Questions to think about include:

  • Whether you’ll be charged an excess and if so how much?
  • Does the policy cover call out charges and replacements locks?
  • Is car hire included if keys can’t be replaced quickly?
  • Are you covered for onward travel if your keys are stolen while you’re out?
  • Do your keys have to be lost for a specified period before you can claim?

Whatever policy you choose should give you peace of mind, knowing that you can get the help you need. 

To find car cover that you can rely on, compare quotes right here at You can start a quote online or if you prefer, you can speak to a friendly and expert member of the team on 0330 022 8814. 

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