Past generations didn’t have to worry about being locked out of their cars; it was easy to replicate car keys. Over the past 20 years, car key technology has rapidly advanced to prevent theft, but that also means the cost of replacing them has increased exponentially.
Many car keys today have transponder chips that prevent the ignition from starting without a specifically programmed chip present in the key. This is one of the main technological advancements that make key replacements so expensive. There are also other factors, like key fobs, laser-cut technology, and smart keys.
To find the best solution when locked out of your car, read the guide below.
Call Roadside Assistance
There are multiple sources for roadside assistance, and you may not even realize you have it. Car insurance, warranty services, credit cards, and auto clubs all may provide it.
Car Insurance Roadside Assistance
To find out if you have roadside assistance covered in your policy, contact an insurance agent with your company. Provide them with the details of your situation, as not all types of roadside assistance may be covered.
Warranty Service Roadside Assistance
If your car is still within warranty, there’s a good chance roadside assistance is included within your warranty services. This assistance not only covers being locked out, but also any car trouble that leaves you stranded. This is why the owner’s manual should be kept in the glove compartment, as all the details should be within there.
Credit Card Roadside Assistance
Not all credit cards offer roadside assistance, but many do. This is more often the case for customers who pay an annual fee or have travel perks. To find out if yours does, give your credit card company a call.
Auto Club Roadside Assistance
If you’re a member of an auto club like AAA, it’s likely that you’re aware of your roadside assistance coverage. There are also other programs, like AARP that offer roadside assistance.
Call a Professional
When all else fails, it’s time to call a professional. There are plenty of professional locksmiths out there, like Champion Lock & Safe Company, that will service the ignition, extract broken keys, reprogram transponder chips, and generally get customers safely driving again.
Many tow truck services also provide roadside assistance. However, not all of them do, so you may have to call around. They may have a basic lock-out kit for repossession jobs, but likely nothing as sophisticated as a professional locksmith.
Plan for the Next Time You’re Locked Out
Getting locked out happens to even the most responsible car owner. As the saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
To prevent a bad situation from becoming worse, prepare a spare key and keep it somewhere accessible, like with a family member. There are even some products created specifically to keep a spare car key hidden somewhere in the exterior of the car.
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