Every day, thousands of Americans are locked out of their car. Misplacing or losing a set of car
keys is one of the primary reasons that millions of Americans call for roadside assistance every
year, so it’s certainly quite common and unfortunate.
Although newer technologies like keyless entry and smartphone apps solve one of the main causes,
forgetting your car keys inside of the car, they too can run into problems and may need to be
reprogrammed to gain entry to your vehicle.
Roadside assistance can help with a variety of services for motorists across the US, which can
get you back on the road in short order.
How can roadside assistance help with vehicle lockouts?
Most roadside assistance providers in the US provide auto locksmithing services for vehicle
lockouts, wherever and whenever you need them. For most Americans, calling AAA or your insurance
provider is all that’s needed to have roadside assistance dispatched to your location.
With over 253 million cars on our roads, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that vehicle
lockouts are extremely common. Nearly half of all Americans lose or misplace their keys twice
per year. In many cases, it’s simply a matter of having forgotten them on the kitchen
countertop, for example.
But when your car keys have been mistakenly left inside of the car and there’s no way back
in, you may be wondering how to regain access to your vehicle. Wedging open the door or breaking
the window simply to get the keys back can be far costlier than simply calling a reputable auto
locksmith near you.
Which services do auto locksmiths provide?
There are somewhere between 26,000 and 35,000 locksmiths operating in the USA today, and by far
the most common area of specialization is auto locksmithing. Although professional licensing is
only required in 14 states, reliable locksmiths will have plenty of accreditations and
experience to offer their customers.
Some of the services that auto locksmiths provide include:
- Car & ignition key cutting (including on-the-spot cutting)
- Vehicle entry - locked out of
- Spare keys & replacement keys
- Keyless entry system reprogramming and entry
- Key fob reprogramming
- Ignition cylinder and switch repairs & replacement
Insurance coverage for auto lockouts
Depending on your insurance policy or benefits from your automobile club, vehicle lockouts may be
completely free, meaning you don’t pay out of pocket when making a claim for locksmithing
If your insurance does not cover auto lockouts, you can still find plenty of affordable options
near you if you use a reputable website like Auto Locksmiths. Costs vary, but expect to pay
somewhere around $50 to $250 for vehicle lockout services if you must pay out of pocket.
Locksmiths and roadside assistance providers found on TowGator or Auto Locksmiths can help you
with all of the insurance paperwork, and in most cases if you are insured for vehicle lockouts,
you won’t need to pay a single penny.
Safety tips for auto lockouts
If you’ve been locked out of your vehicle, stay safe with the following tips:
- First and foremost, if you’re in a dangerous situation and fear for your safety, call
911 immediately. Your safety is more important than your car keys.
- Contact your auto club, insurance provider, or an emergency roadside assistance provider
- Explain the nature of the problem and make sure they provide vehicle lockout services;
- If it’s nighttime, wait in a well-lit area (or indoors if you’re at home and the
car is nearby);
- When the locksmith arrives, let them perform their duties but take note: if they ask you to
sign a waiver for damages, this may be a red flag. Perhaps the locksmith has a poor track
record of damaging vehicles. Always opt for non-intrusive entry techniques if possible.
How can I break into my car?
First, ask yourself if it’s worth breaking into your own vehicle to retrieve the keys. The
damage to the door/window can easily cost far more than hiring a locksmith, who will endeavor to
use non-destructive methods to retrieve the keys for you.
If your car is old with roll-down windows, you may be able to break in with an unbound coat
hanger and - with lots of patience - hook the keyring like a fisherman and regain access to the
car. Spatulas and wedges can be used to break open the door, but of course you’ll be
damaging the lock and door in order to do so.
How to find reputable auto locksmiths near you
Most of the roadside assistance partners listed on TowGator provide basic auto locksmithing
services, so click on “GET QUOTES” enter your ZIP code and find a reputable lock and
key technician near you today. Also check our sister website Auto Locksmiths for professional car, van, SUV,
and truck locksmithing services anywhere across the United States.