What to do when you lock your keys in the car

Yellow Mazda RX7 key lockout

Getting locked out of your car is a real pain. Especially as it nearly always happens when you’re in a rush. Whether it’s because you’ve damaged, lost or locked the vehicle, we help thousands of Members get back into their cars every year. 

9 tips on what to do when you find yourself locked out of your car 

  1. Stay calm – the world won’t stop turning if you’re late. If you’re running behind for an appointment, call ahead and advise of your situation

  2. Do a quick lap around the car. You may find a window down or a door, including the boot unlocked

  3. If accessible, consult your owner’s manual. Some cars often include a metal key hidden in a keyless remote. Most car owner manuals can be found online if yours is locked in the car

  4. Do you have a spare on hand, or does a friend or family member have a spare that you can access? If so, give them a call

  5. Consider your situation. Is it an emergency or can you use alternate transport and worry about the car later?

  6. If the car belongs to you and you are a member of the NRMA, give us a call. Roadside assistance covers all members for key lock-ins and, depending on your level of coverage, we also provide assistance towards a locksmith if needed

  7. If a child or pet is locked in the car, your request will immediately be prioritised whether you are a Member or not. In this case, call 13 11 11 immediately

  8. If you don’t have roadside assistance your options include calling us and signing up on the spot, call a locksmith or try to open the door yourself. However, in the case of the latter, unless your car is fairly old, a shoelace, packaging tape or coat hanger won’t be of much use

  9. If you’ve lost your car key, get another made as soon as possible. If you lose all your keys, replacements can be very costly

To avoid locking your car keys in future:

  • Keep a spare key in your bag, home or work or other convenient location
  • Give a spare key to a friend or family member
  • Get roadside assistance before you need it

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