The car key is gone. You have lost it or maybe it has been stolen. The best thing to do now is to keep cool and act quickly. Here you can find out what you should do first, who you should inform about the loss, and how you can get a replacement key
We live in the high-tech age. So it is not surprising that today’s car keys with immobiliser and remote control are almost like little computers. Some even have a chip on which vehicle data is stored. So it’s not just a piece of metal, but a high-value item. It can get expensive when you need a new car key. A replacement can cost between £50 and £200 and even more than that depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The necessary reprogramming of the vehicle at the authorised workshop comes on top of this, and can quickly lead to total costs of several hundred pounds given their hefty hourly rates. That’s pretty steep and can make a big hole in your household budget.
Can you track a lost key?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to locate the car key, because the it only briefly sends a signal to the car when a button is pressed. If no button is pressed, it does not send any type of signal, which is why it is technically impossible to locate it.
In case of loss – first contact your insurance company
Naturally, you think about whether you can possibly get the money back from your car insurance company. This can depend on the type of insurance you have. Some include key cover as part of the policy, with others it is an option that you can buy separately. Take a look and make sure you know exactly what is covered and what isn’t before the “worst case scenario” becomes reality.
No matter whether you have lost your car key, or it has been stolen, inform your car insurance company as soon as possible. If the key has been stolen, you should always report it to the police first, and then inform the insurance company immediately afterwards. This is important for your insurance cover because your car insurance may only pay for the damage if you have informed the police about the loss of your car key beforehand. Keep in mind that you have to act quickly, because if the vehicle is stolen, there may be restrictions on the claim if you cannot produce the original key. This will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Lost car key – what to do next
Go to the authorised workshop. They will order the duplicate key on presentation of your driving license and vehicle registration. As soon as the new key arrives, the garage will notify you. Afterwards, the vehicle electronics must be adjusted – and also the duplicate, otherwise it will no longer work.
Valuable tips and tricks against key loss
To prevent it from slipping out of your pocket or suddenly becoming “invisible” in your home, you should attach it to a key ring. This makes it more secure and easier to find. The bigger or heavier a group of keys is, the less likely they are to slip out of your trouser pocket – or disappear. A healthy routine can also help prevent annoying key loss. It is therefore a good idea to always have a fixed place for keeping them at home – for example, right by the front door.
If you can’t find them, try to remember systematically: how did your day go? Mentally go through everything again. Where was the last place you saw your key – and what happened after that? Was the key misplaced during my lunch break? Check all jackets, trousers, and shirts. If necessary, even in your socks and – of course – in the car under the seats and between the upholstery. Keys can develop a life of their own and really hide in the smallest gaps and pockets. If that doesn’t help either, walk the route to work or ask in shops where you went shopping or in restaurants you were in during your lunch break.