Getting home and realising you can’t find the keys to your house is a frustrating experience and panic can quickly set in. And losing your car keys is no fun either! But with a few simple tricks, you can make the situation a bit less stressful - read on for some handy tips.
The first steps to take
Keep your cool
It sounds obvious but it’s easier said than done, because losing the keys to your home or car often results in wasted time and hassle. But you’ll have a better chance of solving the problem quickly if you’re able to stay calm.
Check the obvious places
- Search your pockets and bag, or your inside your vehicle if you’ve lost your car key.
- If you have access to them, look in the bags you were carrying and the clothes you were wearing the day before, for example.
- If you’re indoors, look around you: maybe you’ll spot your key on a table, in a chest of drawers etc...
Retrace your steps
Try to remember where you’ve been since you last held your key in your hand. Retracing your steps can help you remember places where you might have left it, so don’t hesitate to do so if you are able to.
Contact places you stopped at
If you’ve recently been to any shops, restaurants, offices or other public places, contact them to check if anyone has found your keys and handed them in.
You can also contact any transport service you’ve recently used, such as your local train or bus company, to see whether your keys have ended up in their lost property office.
Contact people you’ve spoken to recently
Ask your friends and family if they’ve seen your keys, or if they’ve borrowed them by mistake. Maybe a loved one used your car and forgot to put the key back?
Reporting lost or stolen keys
You can contact the police to report a lost key. That way, if someone finds it and hands it in, you’ll be notified. What’s more, if you lose your entire keychain, you’ll need to give details of each key for identification purposes.
Can you open a front door without a key?
If you’ve looked everywhere and still can’t find your keys after a thorough search, you can try opening your door without using your key. There are a number of ways to get into a house without one. However, you need to be careful when using these techniques or you might damage the lock, and the cost of a new one could be a lot higher than calling out a locksmith! For instance, you could:
- Use a sheet of X-ray paper
- Try to pick the lock
- Use a screwdriver
- Call a professional locksmith: These techniques may not work on new, high-security locks, so if you can’t manage to open the door yourself, it’s best to call on a professional locksmith. They have the expertise and tools they need to let you into your home or car without causing any further damage.
Lock and unlock your front door by inserting your Smart Key like any other normal key… or use your smartphone! With the Smart Door Lock, you’ll never get locked out again because you’ve left your keys inside.
Key duplication: how much does it cost?
The price of key duplication does vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of key and lock, the place where you have the copy made, the city or region where you are located... Here is roughly what you can expect to pay for this service:
- Standard keys: For common types of key, such as standard front door or car keys, the cost of getting a copy cut can vary from a few pounds to around twenty pounds, depending on where you have it done.
- Security keys: For more complex keys, such as those with special security features, high-security car keys or high-quality locks, it can cost more to have copies made: prices range from 20 to 100 pounds or more, depending on the complexity of the key.
- Electronic keys or transponders: The electronic keys or transponders used in modern cars have electronic chips that need to be programmed to work with the vehicle. Getting a replacement for this type of key can be more expensive, generally ranging from 50 to 250 pounds or more, depending on the make and model of the vehicle.
- Special and older keys: If your key is special or very old, it might be harder and more expensive to get copies cut, as locksmiths may need to source or order specific spare parts. Costs may vary according to the rarity and complexity of the key.
Bear in mind that replacement key prices can vary from one locksmith to another, and from one key cutter to another. So it’s a good idea to compare the market in order to get the best price. What’s more, some stores offer discounts if you get several keys copied at once. If you lose a house or car key, make sure you have proof of ownership or ID to prove that you are the rightful owner of the key you want to have copied. This is often required for legal reasons. Many car insurance policies now offer lost car key insurance as an optional extra. If you don’t have lost key cover, or decide you don’t want to make a claim on your main car insurance policy, you might be able to use your breakdown cover to get a replacement key if the original is lost or stolen.
Tips to avoid losing your keys
Have a spare
Whether you keep it or give it to someone you trust, remember to get a duplicate set of keys made so you have a fallback if your original house keys are lost or stolen.
Avoid putting them in your pockets
Keeping your keys in your pocket increases the risk of them being stolen or lost.
Invest in a GPS key finder
You can buy key fobs with built-in GPS devices, allowing you to track your keys using an app on your phone if you ever lose them.