You’re in a rush. Your mind is focusing on a thousand things at once. As you reach into your purse or pat your pockets, you realize you can’t find your keys.
You backtrack and look into your vehicle’s windows to see them sitting on the seat or dangling from the ignition. Frustrated, you let loose a string of expletives and realize you don’t know how to get into a locked car. Not without those keys, anyway.
Now isn’t the time to bust a window or jimmy your door lock. You likely aren’t able to, anyway. On the bright side, there are still plenty of options available to help you get back inside.
Continue reading to learn why you shouldn’t try breaking into the vehicle yourself. Then, find out reasonable ways on how to get into a locked car without the keys.
Why to Not Break Into the Vehicle Yourself
When you accidentally lock your keys in your car, your first thought is to break into the vehicle yourself. There are a few reasons this is a bad idea.
But don’t fear.
After we discuss the reasons you shouldn’t (or can’t) break into the vehicle yourself, you can learn about many different options available to you. Which is the best option might depend on your situation and location.
You’ll Damage the Car
The biggest concern when breaking into the vehicle yourself is that you’ll damage the car. You can break the door or the windows. It’s possible to damage the locking mechanisms, which means anyone can break into your car after.
You Almost Definitely Won’t Have the Tools on Hand
There are several different ways you could break into your vehicle yourself. Each of them requires various tools. A few of the tools these different ideas need are crowbars, rope, blood pressure cuffs, and jimmies.
You don’t carry these around with you.
If you do happen to carry a crowbar in your back pocket, that’s great. Realistically, nobody has these tools with them. If they do, they’re in the trunk of your car, which you can’t open right now.
It Makes You Look Suspicious
When attempting to break into your vehicle, a passerby might mistake you for breaking into a stranger’s car. Then, the cops will likely be called, and you’ll have to explain your situation to them. You probably won’t get into trouble, but do you want the hassle?
Of course, there is a positive part of this downside. Cops usually have devices in their cars that can break into locked vehicles. You might end up getting your vehicle open, after all.
How to Get Into a Locked Car Without Breaking Into It Yourself
There are multiple options for getting back into your vehicle. Which one is best will depend on your unique situation.
By far, the most efficient way to get back into your car is to either call someone with a spare key or call a locksmith. If it’s an emergency, you’ll want to call 9-1-1 instead. All these options and more are discussed in the sections below.
Make Sure You Really Can’t Access Your Car
Before diving into the options to get into a locked car, consider whether you really can’t access it. In a moment of panic, you realize you’ve locked your keys in your vehicle. At this point, your brain might not be thinking and realizing there are other options for getting into the car.
Before panicking, you want to check all possible entry methods. Ask yourself the following to be sure you’ve really locked yourself out:
- Are the passenger doors locked?
- Is your trunk locked?
- Are there any windows open? Or, are they cracked enough you might be able to reach a hand through?
If you checked these and found you still can’t access your vehicle, go ahead and try the options below.
Call Someone With a Spare Key
If someone has a spare key to your vehicle, this is the easiest option. Call that person and ask them to come to unlock your car for you.
But what if you left your phone in the car with your keys?
If you can walk to a nearby store, most will allow you to use the phones at customer service in an emergency. You might also be able to ask someone if you can use their cell phone.
What if the person with your spare set of keys can’t come out? Consider moving on to one of the other options detailed below.
Consider a Nearby Car Dealership for a Temporary Key
Sometimes you’ll get lucky and be near a car dealership who sells your make of car. For example, if Chrysler, Chevrolet, or Toyota make your vehicle, you’d have to find a dealership who sold that car brand.
To get a temporary key, you’ll need to prove ownership of your vehicle. The most common form of accepted proof is your title. You’ll also need to find a ride to the dealership after you have your proof of ownership.
The temporary key the dealership provides will only work to open the trunk and doors. It will not allow you to drive the vehicle. Once you’ve gained access to your car, you’ll also need to return the temporary key.
Call Roadside Assistance
Most roadside assistance programs include a lockout program that can help you get back into your car. Not sure if you have roadside assistance? There are many ways you might have it.
A few ways you might have roadside assistance include:
- Through the actual roadside assistance company
- Through your car insurance company
- Through your credit card company
- Through your car’s warranty (if the vehicle was purchased at a dealership)
- Through your cell phone company
These are only the most common ways you might have roadside assistance. If you’re not sure, it’s best to look into it ahead of time. You never know when you’ll end up in an emergency (like this one) where you need professional assistance.
Call 9-1-1 If It’s an Emergency
If there is a true emergency, you should call 9-1-1 right away. This is the quickest way to get your vehicle unlocked safely.
But what constitutes a true emergency?
Generally, a situation where you’ve locked your keys in your vehicle constitutes a real emergency in only one circumstance. If you’ve accidentally locked your young child or pet inside the car, it might be an emergency.
When you call 9-1-1, make sure you explain to them you’ve locked your vehicles in your car and why it’s an emergency. Otherwise, they aren’t likely to take you seriously.
Call a Locksmith
Calling a locksmith is one of the most effective methods of getting back into your vehicle during a lockout. These professionals have the tools and skills necessary to unlock your car without a key. As a bonus, they can also make a new set of keys if you somehow lost yours.
Many locksmith companies can get to your location quickly and offer around-the-clock emergency services. You may want to call them instead of 9-1-1 if you’ve locked your pet inside, and the weather isn’t too warm. In some circumstances, a locksmith can be to your location faster than emergency services.
How to Find a Locksmith Near You
Many people haven’t called a locksmith before, so they aren’t sure how to find one near them. The best way is to type a query into your favorite search engine. This will show you locksmiths who work in your area.
If you aren’t in an emergency, you can take a moment to look at your local locksmith company’s online ratings. These will help you understand the quality of service offered. If most ratings are positive, you can expect a positive experience.
Some areas may not have any alternative choices. In rural areas, for example, it isn’t uncommon to have only one locksmith company that services your area. In this case, you’ll have to go with the only choice available to you.
Preventing Future Lockouts
Once you’ve gotten back into your vehicle, you want to take steps to prevent future lockouts. Or, to make it easier to access your car in the event you lock your main set of keys in your vehicle again. There are several things you can do, as discussed below.
Personal Spare Keys and Hide-A-Keys
If you don’t already have a spare set of keys for yourself, now is the time to make them. You can choose to leave these at your home for emergencies. This isn’t recommended for people who live alone, however.
You can also choose to keep a spare set of keys in your purse, or even tuck a single key inside your wallet. This would be helpful if you didn’t lock your purse or wallet in the car, too.
Hide-a-keys are great options if you’re smart about where you hide them. It’s essential never to hide them in an obvious place because it makes your vehicle easy to break into.
There are small magnetic boxes you can purchase to hide the keys on your vehicle’s exterior. Before leaving the spare, double-check it isn’t apparent to someone standing near your car.
Create a Spare Key for Someone Else
You can also create a spare key for someone else. Make sure this is someone who’d be able to come to unlock your vehicle in case of emergencies. Great choices include parents, spouse, grown children, or nearby neighbors.
Get an Electronic Key Set
There are a few modern technologies that make it less likely you’ll lock your keys in your car. One of these are electronic key sets specially designed to prevent lockouts. The way they do this is by not allowing the doors to lock if the keys are still inside.
These are an excellent option for people who routinely lock their keys inside their vehicle. These keys are more costly to get and replace but might be well worth the extra money for some people.
Consider Keyless Door Entries
Another modern technology you might want to invest in is keyless door entries. These are panels on the side of your door that allow you to access the vehicle without a key.
The most common alternative entry method used is a passcode. This allows you to open your car’s door by using a unique sequence of numbers. You should never give this password away because anyone who knows it can open the door.
Although this was originally the only keyless option, there are other alternatives available now. Fingerprint scans, voice recognition, and other personalized entry options are now available.
Create a New Habit
Another useful option is to create a new habit for yourself that doesn’t allow your keys to be locked inside the vehicle. Although it will take some time before the practice becomes routine, it’s possible.
When you lock your driver’s side door, always do it with your key. You’re likely already in the habit of locking your doors before you leave your vehicle, so it’s only learning an extra step.
People are creatures of routine. By forcing yourself to lock the doors from the outside, you’re programming your brain to do this every time you exit the vehicle. Within a few months, you’ll do this without thinking about it.
You can’t lock your keys inside the vehicle if you use them on the outside. This is a cost-effective method for people who need a solution with little to no cost.
Do You Have More Questions About How to Get Into a Locked Car?
There are many options to get into a locked car without your keys. It’s recommended you avoid breaking into the vehicle yourself and use one of the safer, more effective alternatives discussed above.
Do you have more questions about how to get into a locked car? Or, do you need a locksmith to help open your car door for you in a lockout situation?
Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have. They can help get a locksmith to your location quickly, too, if desired.