Locked out of your car? Here’s what you should do next


It’s bound to happen to all of us at some point, so try not to worry – if you’re running late for work or a meeting with someone, call ahead and let them know. Then, follow the steps below to get back into your car as fast as possible.

Act quickly if kids or pets are locked in the car

If a child or pet is locked in the car, treat it as an emergency. In summer, the inside of a parked car can become 30 degrees hotter than outside temperatures – and very quickly, too. If someone is at risk, call 000 immediately.

Double check windows, doors, and boot

Have a quick look around the car and see if any of the doors or windows may have been left open. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people end up getting back into their car this way.

Find your spare key

Most cars come with a spare set of keys, so try and locate where you put it or ask the friend or family member you gave it to.

Do you use a fob to start your car? Inspect yours to see if there is a mechanical backup key hidden inside. There may be a switch or button to reveal the key.

Call AAMI Roadside Assist

Get help 24/7 with AAMI Roadside Assist by calling 1800 154 810.

AAMI Roadside Assist covers you for unlimited, Australia-wide roadside callouts for things like:

  • lost or locked-in keys, by spare key delivery or locksmith attendance
  • changing a flat tyre or charging a flat battery, and
  • towing your car to an accredited repairer.

For the full details and exclusions, check out the AAMI Roadside Assistance T&Cs.

Roadside Assist is available as an optional cover on your AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance policy for an additional premium. Remember to sign up ahead of time as it only kicks in 24 hours after you add it to your policy.

Get an AAMI Roadside Assist quote 

Contact a locksmith

If you don’t have Roadside Assist and none of the above strategies work, you may need to contact an auto locksmith.

Resist the temptation to try DIY unlocking methods you might’ve seen online. Most modern cars have sophisticated locking systems – so attempting to force your way in could lead to damage and repairs that’ll cost you more than having a professional unlock the car.

What if you leave your keys in an unattended car?

We’ve all been in that scenario where you’re in a rush and you forgot to grab your phone, so you consider popping back inside the house for just a quick second.

However, try to avoid getting in the habit of leaving your keys in the car at all – whether they’re left in the ignition or on the passenger seat. After all, you probably wouldn’t leave your house keys stuck in the front door or on the welcome mat, and so as a car owner, you shouldn’t leave your car keys in the ignition either.

Not only can this be unsafe, but if your car is left unlocked with the keys inside and is stolen or damaged, the theft or damage will not be covered by your policy. This includes when your car is inside a secured property, like a locked garage.

Tips for preventing future lockouts

We know how frustrating this experience can be for you – and your wallet. So, we’ve compiled some handy tips to avoid lockouts in the future.

Make two spare keys

Give one to a trusted friend or family member and store the other in a safe place at home or your workplace.

Try a key hook

Try hooking your keys onto a clip that hangs on your belt, belt loop, or pants. You’ll be more likely to take your keys with you when you exit the car.

Use a digital key

Many cars can now be set up to unlock with a digital key through a secure mobile phone app. Research to see if your car is compatible with smart access technology and check if it’s within your budget.

Get cover for accidental loss or damage

While you may be able to reduce the risk of a lockout, you can't plan for all situations. That's where car insurance comes in.

AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance covers your car for damage from a range of events such as:

  • collision
  • severe weather – like hail, storm, or bushfire, and
  • theft or attempted theft.

In certain circumstances you may even be eligible for new for old replacement cover – that is, we'll give you a new car of the same or similar make and model after a total loss. However, please note that accidental damage caused by you trying to re-enter the car after being locked out may not be covered. See the PDS for the full details and exclusions.

Don't wait until it's too late. Make sure your car is covered in case of the unexpected, so you can get back on the road faster.

Get an AAMI Comprehensive Car Insurance quote 

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AAMI Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.