How to replace your car keys if they are lost, damaged or stolen

Listed Under: News and Advice

How to replace your car keys if they are lost, damaged or stolen Full Width Image

Losing track of where your car keys are – and then not being able to find them – is perhaps every driver’s persistent fear.

Whether they get lost, damaged, or stolen, misplaced car keys prevent you from accessing or driving your car and even potentially give someone else that ability.

In any case, it’s crucial to get a replacement set of car keys as soon as possible. In this article, we’ll explain how to go about that and how we can help.

What needs to happen when car keys get lost?

When car keys get lost, the first and most important thing to do is get a spare set. With these, you’ll be able to continue using the car as normal.

You’ll then also need a replacement car key for the one lost. It’s essential always to have two keys, so there’s always a way into your car.

Finally, if the original key was stolen – or lost but could’ve ended up in the wrong hands – you’ll also probably want the key’s transponder unit and the car’s radio receiver reprogrammed. Doing this effectively makes the lost key redundant. The transponder code won’t match the value the car expects, and therefore can’t be used to start the ignition.

What happens when a car key breaks?

Like everything, keys can bend, snap, crack or otherwise become malformed, as well as wear down over time. If you reach the point where the car key no longer fits in the locks or ignition, it’s time for a new one.

Head on down to your local automotive locksmith to get a replacement car key cut.

Suppose the key breaks off inside the exterior lock or ignition. In that case, it’s best to call out an emergency automotive locksmith rather than trying to remove it yourself. Locksmiths are trained in the safe removal of keys in this situation and are less likely to damage anything.

Precautionary steps you could take in advance

Being prepared for such eventualities could mean saving significant amounts of money. In this case, getting a spare key cut long before the original gets lost is probably the best course of action.

Having a spare key – and keeping it in a separate location from the original – is an excellent way to make sure you always have access to your vehicle.

Grays’ replacement car key service

Our replacement car key service covers total replacements, transponders, remote fobs and flip keys, constructed using factory-recommended materials and parts.

We can replace keys for around 95% of cars on the road. You’ll receive your new key quickly and at a cheaper cost than many competitors.

As mentioned earlier, transponder reprogramming is potentially one of the most important things to do when a key gets lost. It’s also one of our specialities here at Grays Locksmiths.

What other options are available?

When you need a new car key (or set of them), you could choose to use an automotive locksmith or regular car mechanic. This mechanic could be a workshop or a local dealership.

You are, of course, free to go with any option you deem best. However, we would always recommend going directly to an automotive locksmith.

Most car mechanics won’t have their own car key cutting machines on-site. If you take your car in for a replacement key, they’re most likely to subcontract the work out to an automotive locksmith. In this case, you’ll end up paying the same amount plus the garage’s mark-up (which they’re completely entitled to do).

That won’t necessarily be true for all garages. Some may have mechanics who specialise as automotive locksmiths or even have in-house workshops dedicated to it. Most, however, won’t.

Your other option is your local dealership. While going to a dealership usually ensures you’ll get OEM parts and specifications and usually comes with guarantees or warranties, it’s often the costliest option too.

Why is a locksmith the best option?

Here at Grays, we can often provide car keys at less than half the price a dealership would charge. These keys are still made with original or verified aftermarket parts, meaning quality is maintained.

Grays Locksmiths is a Master Locksmith with over thirty years of experience. Our work is always completed to the highest standards, quickly and at competitively low prices.

If you’ve lost a car key or want to get a spare key cut just in case, you’re welcome to get in touch with us using the contact information provided.