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How to Get Locked Keys Out of a Car in the United Kingdom

Locking your keys inside your car can be a frustrating and stressful experience. However, there are several methods you can try to retrieve your keys and gain access to your vehicle. Here are some tips on how to get locked keys out of a car in the United Kingdom.

1. Call a locksmith: The most reliable option is to contact a professional locksmith who can safely unlock your car without causing any damage.

2. Use a coat hanger: Straighten out a wire coat hanger and create a hook at one end. Slide it down between the window and the car frame to hook the lock mechanism and unlock the door.

3. Use a shoelace: Tie a small loop in the middle of a shoelace. Insert the lace between the door and the frame, near the top corner. Maneuver the loop around the lock and pull it up to unlock the door.

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4. Use a wedge and a rod: Insert a wedge, such as a thin piece of wood or a plastic wedge, into the top corner of the door to create a small gap. Then, use a long, thin rod to press the unlock button or pull the door handle from inside.

5. Utilize a tennis ball: Cut a small hole in a tennis ball and press it against the lock. Squeeze the ball, creating pressure that may force the lock to unlock.

6. Contact your car manufacturer: Some manufacturers offer roadside assistance programs that include lockout services.

7. Try a smartphone app: There are apps available that claim to unlock car doors remotely, but be cautious as they may not work for all car models or could potentially damage your vehicle.


1. Is it illegal to unlock a car without the owner’s permission?
Yes, attempting to unlock a car without the owner’s permission is illegal in the United Kingdom.

2. Can the police help me unlock my car?
The police may assist in exceptional circumstances, such as if a child or pet is locked inside, but it is not their primary responsibility.

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3. How much does a locksmith service cost?
Locksmith costs can vary, but expect to pay around £60 to £100 for their services.

4. Will using a coat hanger or shoelace damage my car?
Improper use of these methods can cause damage, so it’s best to consult a professional locksmith.

5. How long does it take for a locksmith to arrive?
Response times can vary depending on your location and the locksmith’s availability.

6. Can I prevent accidentally locking my keys in the car?
Consider carrying a spare key or using a keyless entry system to avoid lockouts.

7. Should I attempt to unlock the car myself or call a professional?
It is generally recommended to call a professional locksmith to avoid damage to your car and ensure a safe and efficient solution.