Who to Call When You Lock Your Keys in Your Car

When you've locked the keys in the car, you have a few good options. If you are in a safe location and you have your cell phone with you, prepare to call for help. Don't worry, the phrase, "I'm locked out of my car," is something every police dispatcher has heard thousands of times.

It's crucial to understand that if there is a pet or child in the car, you must call 911 right away. Don't try to break the glass; you could injure your pet or child. Police will have the equipment needed to safely open your car door. Even if your car is empty, if you don't feel safe, that's also a good reason to call 911 and ask for help.

Check All Doors and Windows

There are a lot of reasons you may be locked out of your car. Absentmindedness, keys falling out of your purse or pocket as you exit the vehicle, and even malfunctioning locks could leave you without a way to get back into your car. Before you do anything else, check every door. If one door is not locked, your problem is solved. If not, you may have a faulty lock on one of the doors that will allow you to gain access.

If you left one of your windows open a bit, you may be able to stick something through the opening to push the unlock button located on the inside panel of a door. Be sure to check the sunroof, as well. If your car is locked and running, try to push a window button to get easier access if it's more conveniently located than the unlock button. 

I Locked My Keys in the Car — Who Do I Call?

Once you are sure you can't get in, and you aren't in a situation that warrants a 911 call, you'll have to figure out who can help. If you have a spare key at home and there's someone who can bring it to you, that's a good (and inexpensive) choice. Avoid phoning your friend who bragged at a party about how he could break into cars using a slim jim. Slim jims and amateur thieves cause damage to modern vehicles and could leave you with an outrageous repair bill.

If you have roadside assistance, hopefully, you programmed the number into your phone when you bought the car. Aceable also offers Roadside Assistance in addition to their driving courses. If neither of those free options work for you, it's time to call a tow truck. Make it clear to the person you speak with that your keys are locked in the car.

"Roadside assistance professionals (and many thieves) have special tools for unlocking car doors," said Mia Bevacqua, Chief Mechanic at CarParts.com. "Should you find yourself locked out of your vehicle, you'll want to call roadside assistance or a tow truck company to unlock the doors. Be sure that you're in a safe location while you wait for help to arrive."

Another piece of advice — if the tow company you call doesn't offer that service, ask them for the number of another tow company in the area that can help.

Fortunately, even if you lock your keys in the car, you have options. Be careful to immediately tell the person you call, "I locked myself out of my car," so they know exactly what kind of help you need. Want to feel even more prepared? Take our defensive driving class, where you'll learn how to become a better driver, especially in uncommon situations like these.