Have you stressed out family members by vehemently safeguarding your one and only car key? Even worse, have you misplaced it just minutes before you are expected to pick up your kids at school, be at work on time or make it to an important event? Do you fear dropping your set of keys somewhere you can’t retrieve them from? Maybe you have already dealt with the hassle of locking yourself out of your vehicle – which is undeniably the worst-case scenario. Fortunately, there are relatively simple and cost-effective solutions from Pop-A-Lock to ensure that you never experience that stress again.
Every driver should have an extra car key (or multiple keys) in case one is misplaced. For safety, it’s also a good idea to have a duplicate accessible to your trusted loved ones in case of an emergency. If you’ve ever had to take someone to the hospital or have faced a similar crisis, you’ll understand how critical it is to have an extra key available, just in case. Let’s face it; car keys are lost or misplaced every day somewhere in the U.S. Don’t wait for an emergency to put a back-up plan in place.
What If I Only Received One Key Initially?
When you buy a new car, the dealership will typically give you two keys. But, if buying a used car, quite a few consumers are surprised when they receive only one key and are informed that it might cost them a few hundred dollars to buy an additional one. This happens for a variety of reasons, including:
- The previous owner lost or failed to return the other key when selling the car
- The vehicle was repossessed, and the recovery agency only bought one set of keys to save themselves money
- The dealer (usually a subprime finance lot or pay-on-the-spot dealership) will keep a key to make repossession easier if car payments are not made
Ultimately, you’ll find that it is never a good idea to have a single key for your vehicle. Vehicle keys are small and easily misplaced, and if you only have one key, you could find yourself unable to drive your car when you need it the most.
Will Insurance Cover a Lost Car Key?
According to the experts at Insurance.com, vehicle owners will typically have to pay out of pocket for the replacement of a lost car key. While many policies include Emergency Roadside Assistance coverage, these services usually only cover the costs of towing your vehicle someplace safe. Replacement of your car key will often be an out-of-pocket expense. Even if your comprehensive and collision coverage does cover lost, stolen, or damaged keys, insurance experts say that the cost of filing a claim (which could have a deductible of, say, $500 or $1000) is not worth the expense of merely buying a new key yourself.
How Do I Get a Second Key Made?
In spite of what many people think, car key duplication is NOT something that only the dealership can do for you. That also goes for electronic keys, VATS keys, remotes, and dealer chip keys. Many people don’t realize that they could quickly obtain a duplicate smart key or transponder key for their vehicle, without paying steep dealership prices.
Because most modern vehicles use these key fobs or remote control keys, getting a second key is not as easy as stopping at the hardware store to use the machine to cut and grind out a metal key that fits your ignition. Fortunately, it IS as easy as calling Pop-A-Lock’s trusted vehicle lock professionals, who can duplicate and program an extra smart key for you! In almost every case, buying a back-up key from a local locksmith service like Pop-A-Lock will be significantly less expensive than buying a key from the dealership.
If you find yourself in a tough situation and need to have a key made, follow these steps:
- Make sure to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) on hand. Your vehicle’s VIN will be a combination of seventeen letters and digits, and can usually be found on the driver’s side dashboard, visible through the window. On newer vehicles, the VIN might also be etched into the glass on the driver’s side window. The VIN will often be stamped or displayed on other parts of the vehicle, including the engine block, rear wheel well, door jamb, or trunk. Your automotive insurance paperwork will also have the vehicle’s VIN on it, so review your insurance policy if you need to locate the number there.
- Know the year, make, and model of your vehicle. The locksmith service will need to know this information to make and program a new key!
- Call your local automotive locksmith. Before you pay expensive dealership prices, be sure to contact a smart key duplication and programming professional like those at Pop-A-Lock. Their prices are often significantly less than a dealership, their services are typically much faster, and their professionally trained technicians can perform the programming of transponder, VAT, and smart keys for any make or model vehicle.
Once you have the duplicate key made, be sure to keep it in a secure place that you can easily access. You can let your family and trusted friends know where the key will be stored, so they know where to find it in case of an emergency.
Ask anyone who has lost their car keys in the past, having a spare key will come in handy when you least expect it, and you’ll be relieved that you planned ahead!