We’ve all been there. Standing by our car doors, hunting in pockets and emptying out bags to try and find the keys, while actually wondering if we’ve left them at work, dropped them in the street or locked them in the car.
Most of the time, we manage to find them, but, if you can’t, what are your options? Read on to find out…
Am I covered?
Every car insurance policy is different, so you’ll need to check your policy documents to find out whether your car insurance includes car keys cover. Some insurers include car keys cover as standard with their comprehensive cover, others consider it an extra, while some don’t offer it at all.
Some insurers will give you a hire car until your new car keys arrive, and won’t make you pay an excess, but others will. If you’ve got car keys cover and are thinking of claiming, it’s worth checking whether this will affect your no claims discount. If it would, you may decide not to claim, as losing this is likely to drive up your premium price in the future.
If you aren’t covered and need to buy a replacement set, it can cost £176.20 on average. Keys are high-tech smart devices in their own right, with ignition software, immobilisers and alarms all built in, so they don’t come cheap. If you have a car with a Key-Free System, whereby you don’t even need to take your key out of your pocket to open or start your car, you should expect to pay even more.
It’s possible to buy standalone keys cover from selected insurers, which will cover keys for your home, car and/or motorbike if they’re lost, stolen or damaged. If you make a claim, it won’t affect your car insurance’s no claims discount and you won’t have to pay out for a replacement set yourself.
A typical keys cover policy costs less than £30, and, as well as covering you for replacement keys, reprogramming your alarms and immobilisers may also be covered, depending on your policy and insurer. Plus, you could also get help towards alternative transport costs.
If you’ve locked your keys in your car and have a spare set at home, you could choose to get your spare set and come back – or get a friend or loved one to bring them to you. If this isn’t an option, because you’re too far from home or don’t have a spare, you could ring your breakdown company. In most cases, they should be able to retrieve them for free, but if they can’t gain access to your car, you may need a locksmith.
To replace a central locking key and the door locks on a car costs £689 on average, but the cost could go up to £1,000, depending on your car model, so it’s a big expense if you’re not covered.