What Do I Do When I Lock Myself Out of My Car?
You probably know the dreaded feeling that comes when you realize that you have accidentally locked your keys inside your car — it often happens at the least convenient moment, when you are at the store, on your way to a big meeting, or late for work. Instead of trying to get into the car yourself, you will have the best outcome if you hire an automobile locksmith who has the professional skills and training to get you back into the car quickly and easily.
Newer Vehicles Have More Security
Unless you drive a much older vehicle, the days when you could use a coat hanger to unlock the doors are gone. Many new vehicles are designed to reduce the chance that someone could quickly unlock your car—which is great from the perspective of reducing the chances a thief could take your car, but it means that a car locksmith will need specialty tools and techniques to get into the car without causing damage.
Avoid “Do-It-Yourself” Techniques
As described above, many vehicles today have added security that makes it harder to break into the car. For that reason, it’s best to avoid do-it-yourself locksmith techniques. If you have never done it before, these techniques can cause significant damage to your vehicle and may not be covered by your insurance policy (since it was damage inflicted by you on purpose).
Think Locksmiths First
In many towns and cities throughout Chester County, PA and the Philadelphia area, the local police are no longer able to respond to a car lockout calls unless it is an emergency situation (such as a child stuck in the vehicle). In an emergency, many locksmiths will also prioritize your call and open the vehicle without any charge. Additionally, a mobile car locksmith may get to you quicker than the police, depending on how busy the police are. In non-emergency situations, police departments often don’t want to risk damaging vehicles, and today they won’t invest in the tools to unlock newer vehicles.
Find a Reputable Locksmith
As with any profession, there are some great locksmiths and there are some that are not as good. You want to make sure that you have a locksmith that has the skills and experience to get into your car without causing damage, and who you can trust to charge a fair price. It’s also a good idea to research an automobile locksmith in advance and save their number in your cell phone, wallet, or purse so you have a number when an emergency arises.
Some of the things you should look for in a reputable car locksmith include:
- A business that is local and can get to your location quickly. Be wary of companies that have several different (and potentially similar) names listed online or in a phone book, but route you to a distant call center in another city. (Note: Read this article on locksmith scammers
- A company that answers the phone with a specific business name and not just a generic phrase like “locksmith services.”
- A company that offers fair pricing (and doesn’t give you a low estimate only to increase the price when they arrive for the job).
- Locksmiths that will provide you with identification, along with information about their licensing if it’s required in your state.
- Locksmiths that use a service vehicle instead of a personal vehicle.
- Car locksmiths that try to pick the lock before they get out the drills
At Great Valley Lockshop, we understand that car lockouts can be very frustrating. We take pride in our quick response time and large service area. Next time you are locked out of your car and are in the Philadelphia area, call us and we will get you back in the drivers seat quickly and at a fair price, without causing any damage to your vehicle.