Hastings Direct — Car, Van, Bike & Home Insurance

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Lost or stolen car keys

If you're forever losing things, you're not alone. On average, we spend around ten minutes a day searching for our lost items and top of the list are our mobile phones, house keys and car keys.

More often than not, things do turn up in the end. But when they're well and truly lost, replacements can turn out to be expensive. In fact, research shows that the average person will fork out £4,480 over their lifetime replacing stuff they've lost.

The true cost of losing keys

Car keys might be small, but they're certainly not cheap. A recent study from Keycare found the cost to replace them has soared by almost 30% in just a few years and drivers now face a bill of around £215 for a replacement key.

If you drive one of the UK’s most popular cars, here’s how much the prices have increased since 2013:

  • Ford Fiesta - £261.70 (compared to £162.48 in 2013; a 61% increase)
  • Vauxhall Corsa - £176.20 (compared to £150.35 in 2013; a 17% increase)
  • Vauxhall Astra - £161.58 (compared to £132.36 in 2013; a 22% increase)
  • Volkswagen Golf - £202.44 (compared to £182.25 in 2013; an 11% increase)
  • Nissan Qashqai - £242.07 (compared to £180.40 in 2013; a 34% increase)

These increases are largely due to the fact that the technology integrated within them is becoming more and more advanced. They’re costing manufacturers more money to produce, so they cost more money to replace.

Top tips on what to do if you lose your car keys

Think you’ve lost or misplaced your car keys? Here’s what you should do:

  • Check, check and check again

Have you searched for long enough? Imagine how annoying it would be if you paid for a new set, only to later discover them in a drawer or coat pocket.

Check the usual places you keep your keys (they could be hidden by something) and if they aren't there, think about when you last used them and retrace your steps. Don't search haphazardly; take your time to thoroughly inspect all possible areas.

  • See if you’re covered

Your next step should be to get in contact with your car or home insurance provider to see if keys are covered. Bear in mind most insurance companies don’t offer this feature as standard.

If you have breakdown cover and your keys are locked in your car, get in contact with your insurance provider as there’s a good chance they can help.

  • Buy a new set

You can contact a franchised dealer to order a replacement key, but this is probably the most expensive option due to the programming needed to activate things like your car’s alarm system. If you choose this route it’s vital to do your research in order to get the best price.

Also, you won’t get the new key straight away and should expect to wait for around five to 10 days.

  • Get a key cut on the high street

If you’ve already got a key and just need a spare, a trip to a high street cutter can save you a lot of money. There are also mobile and online locksmith firms which offer this service.

Some companies charge more than others, so search around and bear in mind the fact some locksmiths only operate in certain areas. If you get a key cut on the high street, you’ll need to show your driving licence and vehicle registration (V5) document.

Car key insurance with Hastings Direct

For added peace of mind, you could take out insurance to safeguard you from the costs of replacing your keys.

A Hastings Direct car key insurance policy offers up to £1,500 worth of cover to replace keys if they’re lost or stolen. You’re also protected if your keys break in the lock or are locked in your car, home or office.

Other benefits include up to £75 per day (for up to three days) for car hire if your car's stranded, access to 24-hour emergency assistance; and no excess payable if you claim. Plus, if you do need to make a claim, it won't affect any discount you've built up on other car insurance policies.

All information is correct at time of publication. Hastings Direct cannot be held responsible for any misinformation displayed.

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