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Locked Your Keys in the Car? Did you know that, on average, AAA assists more than 4 million people with car lockouts every year? The dog days of summer are some of the worst days for lockouts. If you’re hauling groceries, taking children or pets from place to place, or even taking a road trip, your plans can easily get thrown off course with a lockout. High temps can make lockouts more unbearable – and even dangerous. So, what should you do if it happens to you?

If you ever find yourself in an emergency lockout situation – for instance, if a child or pet is trapped inside your vehicle – always call 911 first. If you are in a non-emergency situation, here are some steps that can help reduce your anxiety and your wait time during a lockout.

Locked Your Keys in the Car?


The first thing to do in any tough situation is to take a moment to breathe. Stress and anxiety take a physical toll on the body, and that’s not going to help you think clearly. Depending on your lockout situation, you may find the following questions helpful to consider:

  • Where did I last see my keys?
  • What happened the last time I exited my vehicle?
  • Who else may have seen my keys?
  • Where can I go to safely determine my next steps?
  • Do I or someone I know have a spare key?

In some instances, you may know exactly what happened and how it happened. But for those moments when you’ve looked everywhere and still can’t find your keys, remember to take a breath before taking action.


Car lockouts usually happen at the worst possible moment. If you are away from home when it occurs, be sure to find your bearings and seek out a safe place to gather your thoughts. If you are in a public parking lot or on a road, seek out a business or other location for shelter. This is especially important at night or when you are alone. Don’t make yourself a victim to crime or a traffic incident while you wait for help to arrive.


If you have determined that your keys are out of reach, it’s time to call for assistance. You have options on who to call, depending on the scenario. Each option may have different pros and cons as well.


In times of stress, calling a loved one can help ease your mind. If someone you know has access to a spare key, now is the time to phone in for assistance. Could a loved one give you a ride somewhere safe while you sort out the situation? At least, letting family or friends know where you are and what happened can help ensure your safety as you wait. Someone may be able to wait with you for help to arrive.


When many people think of car lockouts, they think of AAA. This national service is available to help with a variety of auto concerns. AAA members are eligible for one free lockout service per year. However, non-members can still call in for help for a fee. AAA is a trusted service that can help with lockouts.


Locked Your Keys in the Car?

Professional locksmiths work quickly and diligently to resolve car lockouts and a variety of other key and lock issues. They are often more readily available to help and can arrive to the scene quickly.


The best way to resolve car lockouts for good is to prevent them. New vehicles today come equipped with a variety of safety features and digital options that can help make lockouts less likely to occur. Even if you don’t have the latest and greatest features on your vehicle, there are a number of ways to keep your keys handy and prevent stressful, even dangerous, lockout situations in the future.


The most tried-and-true advice for any lock situation is to keep a spare key handy. This could be a single key placed in your purse or wallet, to be carried with you at all times. You may choose to keep a spare in your home or give it to someone you trust. If your vehicle did not come with a spare key with you purchased it, you can have one created. A locksmith can create as many duplicate keys as you need in most cases.


Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, you may be able to take advantage of digital keys. These may come in the form of apps on your phone, cards you can tap on your door handle, or even codes you can enter into a keypad on your vehicle. Research digital key options and rest easy knowing you’ll always have access to unlock your vehicle.


One of the most common reasons for lockouts is simply misplacing keys. Create a key routine so you always know where you can find your keys. This may include always placing keys on a shelf or rack when you enter your home, attaching keys to a lanyard in your pocket or bag, or keeping your key in a slot on the case of your smartphone.

However, when selecting the permanent home for your keys, remember to prioritize safety over convenience. The last thing you want is to have your phone stolen, for instance, and give the thief access to your credit cards and keys at the same time.

Locked Your Keys in the Car?

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