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 car
- 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 services.
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 near you;
- 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.