If you locked yourself out of your car, you’re not alone. Every year, more than 4 million motorists lock themselves out of the car.

The moment you realize that your keys are still in the car and the doors are locked, it’s easy to panic. However, the most important thing to do in this situation is to stay calm.

Are you locked out and looking for options?

Stick with us for a bunch of unlocking tips to help get you back on the road.

Make Sure You’re Really Locked Out

Before you freak out, the most important thing to do if you’re locked out of your car is to stay calm. You might realize that you aren’t even in a pickle after all.

The first thing you will want to do is check every door of your vehicle to make sure that they are all in fact. For example, if you have an older vehicle, it’s possible that tiny mechanical pieces inside the lock didn’t actually close all the way. You also want to check the hatchback or the trunk.

Another thing you can do is check the sunroof and the windows. If they are open even a little bit this could allow you to reach in with something like a coat hanger to get one of the doors unlocked.

Think About Other People Who Have a Key

If you have determined that you are indeed locked out of your car,  you’ll want to think about whether or not anyone else has another set of keys. Perhaps your spouse, significant other, child, or roommate has a set of keys to your car. If this is the case, you will want to call them so they can let you in.

Call a Locksmith

One of the most foolproof ways to deal with having keep locked in your car is to call a locksmith such as AAA-1 Lock & Key. They will have the necessary skills and tools to get you back on the road in no time. While it costs money to hire a locksmith, it will likely be cheaper than if you mess around trying to break in and end up with a pricey repair bill.

Consider Roadside Assistance

If you are locked out of your car, think about whether or not you have roadside assistance service. Providers such as AAA or Geico Roadside Assistance might be able to help you get back into your car. AAA services are available 24/7, and they even might unlock your car for free depending on the level of membership you have.

It’s worth noting that it might take someone at least half an hour if not more to arrive. If you don’t have a membership that covers lockout services, you’re going to need to pay out of pocket.

Will the Police Help When You’re Locked Out of Your Car?

You will want to dial 911 if you are in a high-risk scenario. This means something along the lines of a child or a pet is locked inside the car and you can’t get in. They will arrive more quickly than roadside assistance or a locksmith.

The police will use a thin metal device or break your window in order to get into the car. You’ll end up having to pay for the damaged window if that’s what comes out of the situation.

However, you should only call 911 if it’s really an emergency. If you have simply locked your keys in the car and no one is in danger, you’ll want to explore one of the other options.

How to Unlock Your Car With a Cell Phone

Believe it or not, you might be able to unlock your car with your cell phone. A lot of newer vehicles offer apps that are free for both Android and Apple. However, you will need to have paired the key of your car with the app before the lockout event occurs.

How to Unlock Your Key With a Shoelace or a Hanger

There are a number of other tricks if you don’t have a newer car or roadside assistance and don’t want to call a locksmith.

The first is to use a shoelace for cars with manual locks. You can tie a loop the size of your index finger and wiggle the lace around the driver’s side door’s right corner. Do this until the knot you tied is inside the seam of the door. You can then slide the shoelace back and forth to shift it down towards the lock where you can maneuver the loop over the lock and pull the strings tight.

Now it’s time to pull up gently to unlock the door.

The hanger trick also only works with cars with manual locks. Use pliers to shape one side of the hanger so it’s straight. It’s then time to slide the hanger between the weather stripping and the window.

Once you have gotten the hook below the window, you can look for the control arm. Once you have found it, you can pull up to open the door.

Locked Out? The Most Important Thing Is to Stay Calm

It is very easy to panic when you realize that you are locked out of your car. However, it is important to stay calm. There is likely a relatively easy way for you to get back into your vehicle and back on the road.

Once you have unlocked your car, consider coming up with a plan to avoid this outcome in the future.

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