What To Do When You Lose Car Keys?

loose car keys
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The majority of us always keep our car key on the keychain. However, we sometimes encounter bad luck and lose or get our car keys stolen. Especially, when we are least ready. The trouble with being locked out or unable to start your car is terrible. You will not have an opportunity to take a cab home in order to collect your spare key and use it to come back and jumpstart your vehicle. Because not everyone has one. Then what?

Things to Do When You Lose Car Keys

loose car keys tips

Follow the following list that is for you and others who have lost their car keys:

Stay Calm and Retrace Your Steps

The initial response to losing car keys is usually panic. But it’s essential for you to be calm. Think straight, and recollect where you last held them up. This advice may sound trite or irritating while you search frantically. But just give yourself a moment to think.

Common Places to Check

Start by looking in the normal places where people usually lose their keys from. Search through pockets, bags, tables, countertops, or other surfaces that might have been left there. Sometimes they end up somewhere unexpected. So, it’s worth checking inside or near the car itself.

Determine the Kind of Your Car Key

It is important to establish the category of keys you have lost. Because this will enable you to undertake necessary replacements once they are genuinely gone.

Traditional Mechanical Keys

These plain keys are commonly found in older vehicles. They usually do not have electronic parts making them easy to replace.

Transponder Keys

This type of key was introduced in the 1990s. It has a microchip that talks to the car’s ignition system. A new key is cut while programming the chip is involved when replacing a transponder key.

Keyless Entry Remote Fobs

These remote fobs allow you to lock and unlock your car without any physical key. The process of replacement involves programming it to match with your car security system.

Smart Keys

By having this advanced key, one could start his or her vehicle with the key in pocket. When replacing a smart key, complex programming and synchronization with your vehicle’s security system would be needed.

Switchblade Keys

The metal part of such keys flips out from its fob because of their foldable design. To replace it, one will need to cut both the key and program his/her fob.

Laser-Cut Keys

They contain highly sophisticated designs as well as additional security features. These actually necessitate accurate equipment required for duplication purposes. They can also come with transponder chips that require further programming at an extra cost.

Come in contact with a Car Locksmith

Car keys are often lost; therefore, it is not uncommon to find professionals who can help. Automotive locksmiths specialize in replacing and programming car keys. As they are often quicker and more cost-effective than dealerships. Book Car for rent:

How to Locate a Good Auto Locksmith Near Me?

It may be difficult to locate a trustworthy car locksmith. But ensuring you choose one that is trained is imperative for your safety. Consider the following tips when looking for a good automotive locksmith:

Credentials and Experience Assessment

Search for locksmiths with verifiable credentials and previous professional automobile projects they have handled. Analyze their qualifications to differentiate experts from learners.

Avoid Uncertain Prices

Locksmiths who quote such general price ranges or avoid disclosing pricing shouldn’t be approached. Most reputable locksmiths would give you an estimate without baiting on the phone. As long as you provide the details of your vehicle and key models.

Alert on Low Pricing Traps

Service call prices that are too low (e.g., 36 AED or 49 AED) should put you on guard. This could also signify bait-and-switch scams where customers get overcharged even for simple tasks. Be cautious of such swindles while checking reviews.

Confirm Local Presence

Make sure that this is a local business otherwise. If its name gets passed down through national call center operators, then it will result in increased costs and poor-quality service provision. A genuine local locksmith will answer the phone by stating the business name directly.

Online Footprint Review

Check for social media presence or Google reviews. Call them up directly. So that you can enquire about customer satisfaction levels from the company itself. It will help you to identify reliable locksmiths and avoid potential scammers.

Watch out for Misleading Advertisements

Some companies pretend to be local businesses while they are actually national call centers. Ask very specific questions, verify their answers, confirm their location as advertised.

Ensure Right Tools and Knowledge

Find a locksmith who can do the right job for your car based on its specific requirements. Without a proper knowledge of how to, trying to program keys may endanger your car.

Service Types Necessary for Key Replacement

The services that need to be provided by a locksmith vary depending on the type of key. Traditional keys may only require cutting. While more modern ones might necessitate programming which takes longer.

If you are not sure about what kind of key it is, take a description of it. Tell the locksmith the brand, model and year of your car. They will usually be able to identify what key type it is. Alternatively, use Auto Key or similar services where you can search by make and model.

Check the validity of your Vehicle Insurance

Some motor insurance policies cater for lost keys replacement expenses. Go through all your policy details to see if you get one. If they do not, but you believe it will be a benefit, then contact your insurer. Ask them if it can be included at a later date.

Insurance Claim for Key Replacement

Notify your insurer about key losses if that is what your coverage extends to. Be ready with any necessary credentials or information that may be required from you. However, this is usually done by reaching out to the locksmith first. He would then have his fees covered by the insurance firm. Although, you should also check this in your policy terms.

Resort to Using Your Extra Key

Using an additional key can readily solve that hiccup. Nonetheless, this still means a need for another car key. If the spare gets misplaced, relying on just having a backup isn’t safe enough.

Understand How Much It Costs to Replace Them

The cost of replacing car keys varies depending on key type and services needed.

Factors Determining Cost per Type of Key

Ordinary keys are generally cheaper than other types when it comes to replacements. Smart ones as well as those without keys like fobs can be expensive. Due to sophisticated technology and programming requirements. They are sold between 100 AED and 600 AED based on what you choose.

Prepare Necessary Documentation

To access key replacement services, prepare:

  • A proof of identity
  • Proofs of vehicle ownership
  • All other documents requested

Put in Place Strategies against Losing Keys

car keys loose

Preventing future misplacing of keys can involve adapting practices. It ensures better tracking systems are in place so as to minimize cases of lost items. Making good habits helps lessen losing our keys.

Efficient Ways of Avoiding Future Losses

  • Tech aids: Use Bluetooth trackers and key finders.
  • Grouped-up: A designated spot such as a key rack or specific drawer. It should always store them neatly arranged in.
  • Scrutiny: Regularly check your pockets especially when you have a tendency of losing them.

What Do You Think About Keyless Options for Your Next Security?

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Changing to keyless entry and ignition systems can help improve safety and convenience. It reduces the chance of keys getting misplaced.

Benefits of Keyless Entry and Ignition Systems

These entail more secured features like encrypted signals as well as the ease of not having a solid key among others. Nevertheless, there are some possible disadvantages:

  • Hacking: Rare instances still exist where hacking keyless entry is witnessed.
  • Signal interference: Sometimes other devices can be affected by those that are keyless ones.
  • Forgetfulness: Not locking doors properly can aid unauthorized access into the vehicle. Although, most vehicles lock themselves within minutes.
  • Technical issues: Complicated systems come with increased chances of technical hitches.

Insurance and Breakdown Cover Benefits

car insurance

You can have added convenience of already comprehensive insurance to breakdown cover. It may provide peace of mind including key loss protection. Look for policies that also cover key loss and theft. It may be worthwhile paying more for this extra cover.

Cost of Replacing Car Keys

Traditional Keys: 50 AED – 100 AED

Replacing traditional keys is the cheapest. A locksmith might charge between 50 AED – 100 AED. Possibly with an additional fee if they are coming to your location.

Key Fobs: 100 AED – 200 AED

Prices for key fobs differ depending on what car you have. Typically, you should expect to pay no less than 100 AED, but some fobs can cost even up to 200 AED or more. Dealerships that specialize in making auto replacement keys at lower prices could be locksmiths.

Switchblade Keys: 500 AED

For switchblade keys that have a removable metal piece resembling a knife, the price is higher. For example, most dealerships offer replacements at around 500 AED.

Transponder Keys: 600 AED

This wireless feature increases the cost of transponder keys compared to conventional ones. In general, dealers demand about two hundred dollars for them. Other locksmiths may also provide these products using appropriate tools.

Smart Keys: 300 AED to 600 AED

The most expensive keys to replace are smart ones. They are the newest and technologically advanced types available today. They range from 300 AED to 600 AED depending on the make, model and year of your car.

Time Required to Replace Car Keys


Locksmiths: 20 to 40 Minutes

Most locksmiths can make a new key in about 20 minutes. Sometimes as fast as forty minutes if they carry all necessary equipment in their vehicles. So, as not to keep customers waiting for long.

Dealerships: A Few Minutes to a Few Days

If you get lucky enough that the dealership has stock of your key type. They will be able to reprogram a new key within as little as just a few minutes. However, if the keys need to be ordered, then dealerships may take several days.

Preventing Future Lost Car Keys

lost keys

Use an Electronic Tracker

Affix an electronic tracker to your keyring. Some known brands are Tile, Cube, AirTags and Chipolo. These items can all be located via bluetooth using an app on your smartphone. This makes finding your keys simple.

Designate a Spot for Your Keys

Always have a place where you put away your keys. Such as having them hang by the door or placing them in a small container. The routine helps when it is time to leave home.

Use a Lanyard or Keychain

Needless to say, keepers with bright lanyards or big keychains are easy to recognize. Moreover, they are unlikely to fall off unintentionally.


If you lost car keys with a chip, there are two options you can use to get another one. You could go to one of the car dealerships for an original duplicate key. Alternatively, talk to an auto locksmith who specializes in high-end models like yours. With specific software programs for computers, they can copy any blank chips and customize them for use with identical car settings and make new keys too.


Costs range from 100 AED for traditional keys to 600 AED for advanced smart keys.
A locksmith can usually replace a key in 20 to 40 minutes, while dealerships may take a few days if they need to order a key.
Yes, most locksmiths can replace traditional, transponder, key fobs, switchblade, and smart keys.
Yes, you'll need proof of identity and vehicle ownership.
Some insurance policies cover the cost; check your policy details to confirm.
Use electronic trackers, keep keys in a designated spot, and attach a noticeable keychain to help prevent loss.
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AED 39 /day
AED 1070 /mo.
AED 49 /day
AED 1350 /mo.
AED 69 /day
AED 1370 /mo.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to replace a car key?

Costs range from 100 AED for traditional keys to 600 AED for advanced smart keys.

How long does it take to replace a car key?

A locksmith can usually replace a key in 20 to 40 minutes, while dealerships may take a few days if they need to order a key.

Can a locksmith replace all types of car keys?

Yes, most locksmiths can replace traditional, transponder, key fobs, switchblade, and smart keys.

Do I need any documentation to get a replacement key?

Yes, you'll need proof of identity and vehicle ownership.

Does insurance cover the cost of replacing lost car keys?

Some insurance policies cover the cost; check your policy details to confirm.

Can I prevent losing my car keys in the future?

Use electronic trackers, keep keys in a designated spot, and attach a noticeable keychain to help prevent loss.