What are Your Options If Your Car Key is Lost, Stolen or Becomes Non-Functional?

When using your car, you must always be prepared to face situations like the malfunctioning of the car key, which can happen without any notice. Even if you had safely parked your car the night before, do not be surprised if you find the next morning that the car key is simply not working. Despite trying all tricks known to you in starting up the car, the car engine may not respond to the key movements. Car keys can suddenly stop working, and it can also happen if it is damaged from wrong handling, mostly in the case of attempted theft.

There might be other instances when the car key just disappears due to carelessness on the part of the user. Once again, you have no means of starting up the car unless you can manage to get a new set of keys. In such a scenario, you can either check with the dealership for a new set of keys or take help from locksmiths who can arrange for a replacement key. In this article, we will explore the options available for when your car key is either lost or has stopped working due to damage.

Car keys are prone to disappearing

Losing your car key would make you realize that the expenses involved in replacing it are much more than the inconvenience that you face. Although the best option is to take proper care of the key so that you do not lose it, life does not always follow the simple rules that could make things easy for you. Moreover, it may happen that you lose the car keys under such circumstances that are completely out of your control. Yes, thieves preying on car key are quite common as almost 20 percent car owners experience it. A survey has revealed that 26 percent of drivers reported that they had fallen victims to lost car keys.

Replacement is expensive

It is impossible to predict exactly how much it would cost to get a replacement key from the dealership, but you can rest assured that it is expensive, especially for newer models of cars that use modern technology. Moreover, you have to bear with the time it takes for replacement when you would not be able to use the vehicle, which compounds your woes further. Making a car key by cutting it out from a metal sheet may cost just about a dollar, but the main expense relates to the programming of the electronic chip in your car’s key. A car key has no use unless it is duly programmed to match with the computerized system of the car.

Look for a cheaper option

Approaching a locksmith who is experienced in car key repair and replacement is a much better and more affordable option when you are looking for a replacement key. It should not be difficult to locate qualified and experienced locksmiths who are capable of programming keys in the same way as done by dealerships, which usually charge a lot of money. Locksmiths, on the other hand, can provide you a replacement key that is fully functional and identical to the original at a much lesser price. However, you must test the key thoroughly to ensure that it is properly working before you take delivery from the locksmith. Regardless of what happens to the original key, if you have to replace it, you must be ready to bear the expenses. It is not always necessary that you pay from your pocket if you can explore the possibility of claiming it on your auto insurance policy.

Recovering the expenses

You may not have thought about covering the cost involved in car key replacement when you had purchased the car and taken an insurance coverage for it. Now that you have actually faced the situation, you can fall back on the insurance policy to check if it covers the cost of key replacement/repair because some policies do have such provision. Even if there is provision for claiming the expenses, figure out if it is beneficial even after paying your part for the claim. There is no point in paying excess than what you have to spend actually.

Stand alone car key policies

For situations when you might have to replace the car key, some stand-alone plans are available that provide key cover. Such policies offer much extensive coverage that takes care of the cost involved in replacing keys that are stolen or lost. Another option is to keep a set of spare keys with some companies that keep it in their custody by charging some fees, and you can get it back at the right time so that you do not have to suffer the inconvenience that is a nightmare for drivers and car owners.

The bottom line is that there is no alternative to treating your car key as a valuable possession.