Lost your car keys? How to get a replacement
It’s frustrating, but losing keys happens to the best of us. So, don’t panic – here’s what you can do if you simply can’t find those car keys anywhere.
Claim replacement keys on your car insurance
Check your car insurance policy to find out if lost car keys are covered as part of your plan. Some insurers include this as standard, whereas with others, you might have to bolt it on as an extra.
As with any policy, check the wording, there may be terms and conditions about what you can claim for and when. For example, your policy may stipulate that keys covered under the insurance, must be attached to a fob provided by them.
Different insurers will offer differing levels of cover, but don’t underestimate the cost of getting a car key replacement. A 2018 survey by the RAC found that the average cost of new keys is over £176 – a total bill across of the UK of more than £180 million.
Take out a stand-alone key cover policy
This probably won’t help you much if your keys are lost right now, but it’s worth considering for the future. When you’re looking at features on stand-alone policies, it’s a good idea to think about the following:
• Is there a 24-hour, 365-day emergency helpline?
• Will you be charged an excess?
• Does the policy also cover call out charges and replacements locks?
• Is car hire included if keys cannot 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?
Can your breakdown service help?
Just a split-second lapse in concentration and before you know it you’re staring at your car keys through a locked window. If this happens to you and you have breakdown cover, then your recovery service may be able to help you.
Bear in mind, if your breakdown service can’t get to your keys, you might end up paying for a locksmith to help you.
How much are replacement car keys?
That’s down to how much your dealership charges, but costs may be heftier than you realise, here’s a list of example average prices as of 2018:
Source: KeyCare – correct as of Jan 2018
You’re not obliged to use your official car dealership and many independent key cutters will be able to help you for a fraction of the cost, depending on the type of key you have.
Some key cutters might even be able to replace remote locking keys as they’ll be able to program new copies. Don’t forget proof of ID and car ownership for the key you want replacing as you may be asked for it.
Getting the best from your car insurance
When it comes to finding the right car insurance, there are lots of things to think about – like whether key cover should be part of it. So, before you take the plunge, take the time to find out what features are available with our helpful guides – so you can find the best cover for you.