In the UK, 16% of people lose their ignition keys each year. What’s more, around 3 million of Britons don’t even have spare car keys. Given modern keys are becoming increasingly sophisticated, the costs of replacing them might be quite expensive. For example, since 1998, by law all the cars manufactured and sold in the UK are required to incorporated an immobiliser system. This system works with special transponder keys with an embedded chip which responds to the vehicle’s computer signal emitted once the key is introduced into the ignition cylinder. This is meant to reduce the number of cars being stolen by preventing it from being started without the right keys which are, not surprisingly, difficult to duplicate. Nonetheless, this also means that a broken or lost chip key will result in you not being able to start your car. In these unfortunate cases, your car dealership or professional auto locksmith should be able to generate a new pair of keys for you. However, as these keys need to be programmed to disarm the immobiliser after being cut, will take longer to be made. The cost will also be considerably higher. Indeed, it might be as much as £250 upwards to get a new pair of keys.
Nonetheless, there are measures you can take to prevent such high costs incurred. For instance, many car insurance companies provide key recovery services as part of their comprehensive coverage or a separate option for as little as £15 per year. This will cover all the costs incurred including getting your car towed to their network or your home. Yet, do make sure to peruse your terms and conditions.
There are also other cheaper alternatives. You can opt for leaving your spare keys with London Motoring Club which will drop them to you when needed. Lostakey offers a similar service. They attach a keyring to your keys with your data, which in case of it being lost, the person who finds it can contact you in return of a reward paid by Lostakey.
I am sure there are many other options worth considering. After all, it is always good to take precaution so as to save time, money and hassle.