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How to Get in a Locked Car: A Guide for UK Residents

Getting locked out of your car can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’re in a rush or far away from assistance. However, with a few simple techniques, you can regain access to your locked car and be back on the road in no time. Here’s a guide on how to get in a locked car in the United Kingdom.

1. Use a Coat Hanger: Straighten out a wire coat hanger and create a small hook at one end. Insert the hook through the top corner of the car door and try to catch the lock mechanism to unlock the door.

2. Call a Locksmith: If you find yourself unable to unlock your car, don’t hesitate to call a professional locksmith. They possess the necessary tools and expertise to unlock your car without causing any damage.

3. Utilize a Tennis Ball: Cut a small hole in a tennis ball and place it over the keyhole. Apply pressure to the ball to create a seal, and then push hard against the ball. The air pressure created inside the ball can potentially unlock the door.

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4. Seek Assistance: If you’re unable to unlock your car, it’s always wise to seek help from a nearby police station, car dealership, or a roadside assistance service. They can provide the necessary tools and support to get you back inside your car.

5. Spare Key: Always keep a spare key somewhere safe, whether it’s with a trusted friend or family member, or in a secure location. This will save you from the hassle of trying to unlock a locked car.

6. Be Prepared: Consider investing in a portable lockout tool kit, which includes various tools specifically designed to unlock car doors. These kits are easily available online or at automotive stores.

7. Stay Calm: Getting locked out of your car can be stressful, but panicking will not help. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and try one of the methods mentioned above or seek assistance.


1. Is it legal to unlock a car without the owner’s permission?
No, it is illegal to unlock a car without the owner’s permission in the UK. Always make sure you have the owner’s consent or contact a professional locksmith.

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2. How much does it cost to call a locksmith in the UK?
Locksmith costs can vary depending on the time of day, location, and complexity of the lock. On average, expect to pay around £70-£120 for a locksmith service call in the UK.

3. Can I use a slim jim to unlock my car?
Slim jims are not commonly used in the UK, and their use may cause damage to modern car locks. It’s best to consult a professional locksmith for assistance.

4. Are there any DIY car unlocking tools available in the UK?
Yes, there are various portable lockout tool kits available in the UK that are specifically designed for unlocking car doors. These kits can be easily purchased online or at automotive stores.

5. Can I break a window to unlock my car?
Breaking a car window should be a last resort, as it can cause damage and is potentially dangerous. It is advisable to seek professional assistance or use alternative methods to unlock your car.

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6. What should I do if I lock my keys in the boot of my car?
If you’ve locked your keys in the boot, you can try accessing the car through the rear seat or by using the methods mentioned above. Consult a professional locksmith if needed.

7. Can I rely on my car insurance to cover lockout expenses?
Car insurance policies may differ, but most do not cover lockout expenses. Check your policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the coverage details related to lockouts.