I Lost My Only Car Key, What Should I Do?

We highly recommend having a duplicate made before you end up in this situation. Losing your last and only car key can be a costly and challenging problem. The best solution is simply to find it. While this can be a difficult task on the beach, it is still possible. There are local small businesses in our area that specialize in this service. There are multiple options to have a replacement made when you have no luck finding them.

Call a locksmith

With a bit of luck, you could have new car keys the same day. This can prevent travel delays and other costly expenses like missing time off work. The locksmith will need to have the required parts in-stock, must be able to service your particular vehicle, and have an opening in their schedule. Some locksmith shops offer after-hours mobile service but expect to pay a premium especially on holidays or weekends.

Tow your vehicle to the nearest dealership

Most branded car dealerships are happy to service your vehicle on their next business day. Their service department has similar prerequisites to a mobile locksmith: have parts in stock and have a service appointment opening. The potential added expense here is the cost of a tow truck, unknown wait time for completion, and any additional costs that may come up. Be sure to ask for the total cost of parts plus labor before deciding to use a dealership to replace your keys.

Hybrid solution

Most vehicles equipped with anti-theft systems have a security password / pin code to access the system. It is listed on the vehicle security item page and kept in a secure online system at the dealership. This page also contains detailed key information which a locksmith can use to generate keys. The vehicle owner may request a copy of this page from a dealership for a small fee, usually less than $25. You will need to provide proof of registration and a matching driver's license at the dealership. Some locksmiths may offer a hefty discount (~$100) if you provide the security item page because it makes their job easier.

Twist-n-go key (Euro)

Most vehicles require special tools and programming to authorize each key before it will start your car. These are an exception to the rule and only available on a few models of European vehicles. Some European models have up to 6 pre-programmed keys available from the factory. The car usually ships with 2 leaving up to 4 others available. These keys are held in a secure system and can be mail-ordered from the dealership. These can be made by an automotive locksmith but will be more costly.

Plan ahead

The best solution is to plan ahead and get a spare. This is more affordable and will prevent a stressful situation from ever happening. We can make spare keys for most vehicles in about 30 minutes if you drive it to our shop.