What to Do If You’re Locked Out of Your Car

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Sometimes accidents happen. Whether you forgot to get something at the grocery store, missed a doctor’s appointment, or skipped a meal, life doesn’t always play out as we expect it. But occasionally accidents can happen that are more troubling, like getting locked out of your car. For those in this scenario, don’t panic. Know these tips on what to do if you’re locked out of your car so you’ll be prepared.

Stay Calm

The first thing to do in this situation is remain calm. While your important belongings, papers, ID, money, or other items may be in there, getting anxious may lead you to make irrational decisions. Perhaps a family member has a spare key you can use. Maybe one side is locked and the other isn’t. Still, if you are locked out, then take a deep breath, count to ten, and consider the following options.

Dial 911

When in doubt, always notify the authorities. They’re called first responders for a reason: they come to your aid when you need it—especially if you feel you’re in danger. Police or firefighters will try to unlock your car, but if they can’t, they will likely call a tow truck, which you will likely have to pay for.

Use Roadside Assistance

Assuming you have it, roadside assistance is a great resource for this situation. AAA, Allstate, AARP, or any other roadside-assistance program are services designed for this situation as well as other roadside disasters. Subscribing to an auto club costs money for their services, so be sure to pay your membership fees.

Call a Locksmith

If you don’t feel your situation requires police attention and you don’t have roadside assistance, consider calling a locksmith. Locksmiths are professionals who specialize in unlocking your car or house without breaking the lock. Although some new cars utilize keyless or electronic devices to unlock their cars, locksmiths still have the proper tools and knowledge to reset the digital key and open the door. Locksmiths can also make you a new key so that you have a spare.

Pick the Lock Yourself

For the DIY type who doesn’t want to spend money on additional services like a locksmith or towing company, you can easily pick the lock yourself if you have the right tools. It’s best to get a car lock pick set in case you find yourself in this situation. In these sets you’ll find auto jigglers, slim jims, car door wedges, and inflatable lockout door wedge kits. All these tools are designed for your convenience. Just be sure to have proof of ownership so people don’t think you’re conducting criminal behavior.

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