What To Do If You Are Locked Out Of Your Car

July 4, 2022

We have all been locked out of our cars at least once and it can easily happen again. As such, you need to be prepared. Due to advanced technology and newer models, locking yourself out is becoming less common. However, this does not completely eliminate the problem.

This article will discuss what you need to do in case of an emergency car lockout. Let us get started!

Do Not Panic

The first thing you need to do is stay calm and collected. Panicking will only make things worse. Instead, double-check whether you are locked out. Try to locate your key inside the car and see if there is anyone nearby who can help you. Having a plan can clear your mind and help you focus on the task instead of worrying.

Call Roadside Assistance

Roadside assistance providers can help you with an emergency car lockout. If you have a membership with one of these organizations, such as AAA, you can notify them of the problem and give them your location. Remember that it might take hours for professional help to reach you. If you do not have a membership, you have to pay out of pocket and have their number saved on your phone. In the future, it’s best to add roadside assistance to your auto insurance policy.

Call A Locksmith

So what do you do when you are locked out of your car? The smartest thing to do is call a locksmith. As mentioned above, waiting for roadside assistance can take hours. If you have your children or pets with you, you need help immediately. Locksmiths can help you open your door or may provide a spare key. Keep your local locksmith’s number saved on your phone at all times so you know there’s always help available when you need it.

Get A Spare Key

Prevention is key (no pun intended) to prevent another lockout. You should always have a spare key stashed in your bag. You can get a spare or temporary key (a key that unlocks the car door but does not start it) fashioned by a locksmith.

Stay In A Safe Location

Until help arrives, it is best to stay in a safe location, especially if you are locked out of your car in the middle of nowhere. You could easily get robbed or injured by a passing vehicle. Try to take shelter in nearby shops and stay calm and collected until help arrives.

How To Avoid Getting Locked Out Of Your Car

Accidents do not come with a warning, so there is little you can do to prevent emergency car lockouts. But maybe the tips mentioned below can help you stay vigilant when driving.

  • Have spare keys made and stash them in your house, purse, or with a trusted friend.
  • This is obvious but always check for your keys before closing the car door.
  • Become a member of a roadside assistance provider or have it added to your insurance policy.
  • Keep a locksmith’s number saved in your phone for emergencies.
  • If you have an electronic key, regularly replace the battery.
  • Use a brightly-colored keychain for your keys to make them visible and easier to remember.

How Do You Unlock A Car Without a Key?

If waiting for roadside assistance or a locksmith is not an option, you can always get creative and use items like shoelaces, bobby pins, etc., to unlock your car door. Let us see how that works.

You can try your luck with bobby pins for a manual car lock. Bend the first bobby pin at a 90-degree angle and pull apart the second pin, slightly bending its tips. Enter the bent side of the first pin into the lock and stick the second pin straight in. Hold the first pin-straight and wiggle the second pin until you hear a click. Remember, if done incorrectly, it can damage your car, so only use this as a last resort.

Similarly, you can also use hangers to unlock a manual car lock or a proper automotive toolkit. 

Now that you know what to do in an emergency car lockout situation, we hope you make the necessary arrangements and stay alert while you are driving. 

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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