Locked Out of Your Car? Here's What to Do


Towing Winnpeg
January 1, 2021

Locked Out of Your Car? Here's What to Do

If you get locked out of your car, don't worry, it can happen to anyone. Some methods to fix the problem are more embarrassing than others, but regardless of how you got locked out, you need to keep your cool and follow these tips if you want to get back in.

Stay calm and think about your options

Panicking in a tough situation is common. The last thing you want to do is call for help just to find out you had an unlocked door the whole time. Double-check each door and the trunk before making that call.

Know where the spare key is located

Do you know where a spare key is? Think hard—there's probably someone who could bring it to you. Investing in replacement keys may pay itself back over time, and you'll often be thankful you did it.

Figure out if you have roadside assistance

Car Insurance:

Verify you have a policy that provides roadside assistance by checking with your insurance agent before disaster strikes. Most car insurance policies don't automatically include roadside assistance. Don't be fooled by "comprehensive coverage" – even if you have this type of policy, roadside assistance may not be covered. Even if you have this coverage, it's possible that not all services will be covered.

If you do have coverage, save your roadside assistance information in your phone. Take a picture of the card on your phone or email it to yourself. Keep it in your wallet in the event your phone battery dies.

Coverage limits vary, but if you have roadside assistance it will probably cover a lockout of a vehicle. A lockout is usually one of the cheapest roadside assistance features. 

Warranty Service:

New cars come with warranties, and many of those warranties provide roadside assistance.  If you're lucky, it will cover the costs of a lockout. Know exactly what your warranty covers so that you don't lose out on some important benefits.

It's a wise decision to use your warranty-covered roadside assistance without purchasing redundant coverage. If you have a newer car, calling the dealership can speed things up.

Credit card:

Your credit card might come with roadside assistance. The chances of having coverage increases if you pay an annual fee—these cards usually carry more powerful perks. Most cards no longer offer compulsory roadside assistance, but it's often still available to purchase.  Call your credit card company to find out what your card offers.

Auto club or program membership:

If you belong to a non-profit auto club like the CAA, they'll generally provide you with lockout assistance. Check the details of your service type to ensure you're covered. 

Try to Unlock the Door Yourself

Tow companies, such as Sprinter Towing, are professionals, which means they have the proper tools to do the job. For a DIY door unlock, you're going to need a few tools.

How to Unlock a Locked Car Door

  • Slide a deflated blood pressure cuff into the top corner of the driver's side door.
  • Blow the cuff up until there is a small gap creating an opening in the vehicle.
  • Don't over-expand the cuff because it could damage the door.
  • Use a wire coat hanger or other long, skinny object that will fit in the gap created.
  • Squeeze the coat hanger into the opening and hit the unlock button.

It will probably take some manoeuvring to get the cuff into the door. Be careful about bending the door by overinflating the cuff. A damaged door can cost a whole lot more to repair than hiring a tow service, entirely defeating the purpose of doing it yourself.  The best and simplest way to get your vehicle unlocked is to call roadside assistance, so don’t hesitate and call Sprinter Towing at any time!

Call a Tow Truck Service

Usually, the most convenient way to get your vehicle unlocked is to call a tow truck service. Calling the one that is closest to your location can help speed up the process.

No Out-of-Pocket Cost

In order to get your unlock covered by your car insurance carrier, it's important to report the claim directly to your insurance company or your roadside assistance plan. You need to be able to:

  • Provide the vehicle's location
  • Leave a good contact phone number
  • Know your policy number

After that, your insurance carrier would most likely call one of their preferred tow truck service providers. The tow service would then contact you to verify details and would be dispatched to come to unlock your vehicle. The bill would then go directly to your car insurance carrier and you would pay zero out of pocket.