Locked Out of Car - How to Get Keys Out of a Locked Car

Locked Out of Car? How to Get Keys Out of a Locked Car

If you are a car owner, chances are you have experienced losing your keys or accidentally locking them inside your car at least once. Whether you’re on a road trip or making your way back from the grocery, getting locked outside of your car can happen without warning. Being locked out of car can be embarrassing and stressful too. It certainly does not help if you do not have the spare keys to open your car at that particular moment. You may be thinking, “I locked my keys in my car. Who do I call?” Don’t worry. You do not have to go through it alone.

As a part of their heightened car security features, newer car models make it harder for people to open the car without the help of the key. However, if you are among the lucky ones who own an older model, there are easy steps to open your car door when you are locked out of car.

How to Get Keys Out of Locked Car

Breaking your windows can be tempting when you are locked out of car. However, it is not the only option or even a last resort. Leaving your keys locked inside the car is an unpleasant situation to be in, but you’ll be surprised to know how easy it is to open your car even without the keys. So, how to get keys out of locked car? Here are some workarounds involving everyday household items that you can use when locked out of car.


When you find yourself locked out of car, your sneakers can be a solution to your problem. Who would have thought, right?

Create a small loop in the middle of your shoestring and attach it to the locking mechanism inside the car. Tighten the loop once you are successful in attaching it and start pulling. This technique may require a bit of skill and may take time, but your shoelaces are an accessible tool that can be handy when you’re locked out.

Tennis Ball

This procedure is a bit more complicated than the shoestring method. Create a small hole in the center of the tennis ball and place it in the keyhole of your car. Push the tennis ball tight, enough to release air. The air and pressure coming from the tennis ball will push the locking mechanism of the car door open, allowing you to retrieve the locked keys in car.

A word of caution: This method has a 50/50 chance of being successful. Many people have tried this particular method, and it often comes with different results. It may work on specific types of old cars, though. It may be worth a try, but not when you’re in a hurry and frustrated by being locked out of car.

Coat Hanger

Like the shoestring maneuver, the coat hanger serves as the contraption to pull the locking mechanism up, unlock the door, and get the locked keys in car. To do this, untwist the coat hanger and mold the hook portion to allow it to enter the car via the closed windows.

Once the coat hanger’s hook has successfully slipped through the closed window, use it to pull the locking mechanism to unlock the door.


If you have, in any case, a spatula with you, this can be very handy in opening a locked car door. Since the spatula has a flat head, you can use this to pry open the locked door a little. Maximize the thinness of the spatula head by pushing it through the tiny opening and pulling the locking mechanism.

Rod and Screwdriver

How to get your keys out of a locked car with the rod and screwdriver technique? Use the screwdriver to pry open the locked door a little, and with the support from the rod, use it to maneuver around and pull the locking mechanism open. This technique works on older cars. You can use any rod you find; the longer, the better.

Plastic Strip

Like the shoestring and coat hanger methods, using a plastic strip is also a clever way to get locked keys in car. Bend the long plastic strip into a U-shape, slide it through the door jamb, and lift the lock. It sounds pretty straightforward. However, this technique only works with pull-up type locks.


With the advent of smartphones and smartphone applications, car security is now dependent on phones too, including how to get your keys out of a locked car. Most modern cars include smartphones for owners to monitor their cars’ safety carefully.

In line with this, these smartphone applications are developed for emergency purposes, like locked keys in car. Newer car models can now efficiently resolve this problem through a tap on the smartphone to save time conveniently in opening the car door to get the keys locked inside.

Who to Call When Locked Out of Car

If you do not have any of the items mentioned to help you open your locked car, calling for help is always a wise decision.

You can reach out to a family member or a friend who can bring you the spare key, or in the worst-case scenario, call 911. The operator will ask a few questions regarding your location and the model of your car and will immediately send help.

Aside from 911, you can also call a professional automobile locksmith to assist you on how to get your keys out of a locked car. Automobile locksmiths have the necessary tools to help open locked doors easily. If you have a newer automobile model – the one that uses a transponder or remote keys – a professional automobile locksmith can help you reprogram the keys and open your doors with no problem.

Professional automobile locksmiths can also give you ideas and advice on what to do when locked out of car.

How to Avoid Getting Locked Out of Car

Knowing what to do when locked out of car can be a handy skill when the situation calls for it. However, there are also best practices you can start doing to avoid the stress and frustration of dealing with a locked car. Here are some tips to help you get going:

Lock the Car From the Outside

After turning off your vehicle’s engine, grab your keys immediately. Once you are outside your car, ensure that you hold the keys before locking the door.

Developing the habit of locking your car from the outside minimizes the hassle of leaving the keys locked inside. It ensures that you already have the key and can also give you a chance to retrieve it if you forget it inside.

Having an exit routine will help you develop a habit of checking and counter-checking everything before getting out of the car. This practice will ensure that your keys will be in hand once you exit your car and prevent frustrating events—such as getting locked out—from happening.

Use a Lanyard or a Carabiner

One of the reasons people accidentally lock themselves outside of their cars is that they are not aware of where they put their keys. They often think that their car keys are already in their jeans or coat pockets, but there’s a possibility of keys falling off inside the car.

Using a lanyard or a carabiner minimizes the loss of car keys and ensures that you will have them with you whenever, wherever.

Keep a Spare Key

Keeping a spare key is probably the most important and practical tip. Avoid accidentally locking your keys inside the car by placing the spare in a location you can easily access, such as a wallet, card jacket, or coin purse. Invest in some magnetic boxes or key holders, and place your spare car key inside. Put the magnetic box or key holder on the car’s underside. You can also share your spare key with someone you trust who can come to your aid if you get locked out of your car.

Replace Malfunctioning Locks

If you have a relatively old car, it is not surprising that most of its features will start to fail, including the locks. Sometimes, you will find yourself struggling to open your car door due to faulty locks. Old cars tend to have simpler locks available in most automobile shops.

Consult an automobile locksmith to replace the malfunctioning locks on your car and prevent getting locked out of car.

Alpine Lock & Safe Can Help You Avoid Getting Locked Out of Cars

If you need an Automotive Locksmith in Vail, Alpine Lock & Safe is your best bet. Avoid getting locked out of the car by having your locks checked and fixed. Alpine Lock & Safe has trained professionals who can get the job done in no time if you get locked out of your car.

Wondering who to call when locked out of car? With Alpine Lock & Safe, you can expect a quick response from our professional locksmiths who only use the latest technology and equipment. Keep us on your speed dial.

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