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When You’re Locked Out of Your Car

Without the Keys to a Locked Car

As hard as we try to avoid it, we often run into little mishaps like getting locked out of our own cars. It always seems to happen at the least convenient time, such as during a rainstorm with the phone inside while the engine is still running. It’s a natural reaction to panic or stress about your current situation, but try to relax and remember to follow these tips to get through the next misadventure.

Spare Key

Make sure to always have a spare key nearby, and try to keep it in a storage space outside of your car. For example, if you have a truck, store it in your tacklebox. For cars with spare tires outside the car like jeeps, hide your key inside the bag of the spare.

Law Enforcement/Security

See if you can get a friendly law official to help you out. Call 411 and have them transfer you to the police department and simply explain that you need an officer to let you into your car. Make sure you have proof of ownership if your local police department offers such a service, though some cities may not allow this. If you’re on a college campus, campus security may be able to help or at least escort you to someone who can.


While this service has to be paid for, a locksmith is usually a sure bet to help you during a lockout. Similar with law enforcement and campus security, you will need to prove the vehicle is yours. Depending on the job, you should be able to get back into your car for less than $50.

Tow Truck

Again, you do have to pay for the following service, but a tow truck can greatly help in a lockout situation. AAA and most insurance companies may offer a tow truck at a reduced rate, but if not, you could end up paying $100 or more for their service.

Break the Window

This is probably the most expensive option, so it’s best to save this as a last resort, but you can also break a window. When you consider repairs and expenses for parts as well as the amount of time it may take to repair, breaking your window should only be done under extreme circumstances. If it’s an emergency like a child or pet locked in the car, then by all means break in. During such an event, waiting on a service to arrive could be an even greater issue.

Think you or someone you know is in need of Behind the Wheel Training? Training Wheels is an Egg Harbor Township driving school specializing in teaching new teen drivers how to stay safe on the road. For more information on our lessons, please click here.

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