Wednesday 20th January 2016
Have you seen my car keys?

How many times have you searched the house from top to bottom to look for your car keys - which you swear must have been moved – and yet, they're always in the same place, right? Luckily we're terrible at doing much more than providing ourselves a short-term annoyance. If you have lost your car keys, what are your options – and more importantly, how much is it going to cost you?

Roll Hull, The Mail Online, reports:

Typically when you think you've lost your car keys, you haven't. Which is a good job because the cost of replacement keys has soared by nearly 30 per cent in two years.

If you've checked the last place you had them, patted down every jacket you own and rummaged through all the drawers in the house and they've still not turned up, you'll be faced with a £215 bill to have them replaced.

That's according to Keycare, which has analysed the data of 1,482 claims it collated from motorists who had misplaced their keys last year.

The £215 figure is a 29 per cent increase on the average cost of replacing a lost car key in 2013, the insurer said.

Just replacing the key alone for a Ford Fiesta — the UK's best-selling car with more than 133,000 models sold last year — costs an average £262.

The price has rocketed by 61 per cent from 2013 for Ford's favoured supermini, which could be due to the Key-Free System, which unlocks the vehicle and starts the ignition without having to take it out of your pocket, becoming more widely available in the Fiesta.

But car owners with less advanced systems face even higher bills if they need to replace a central locking key and all the door locks on the car.

An average lock sets now costs £689, according to the data.

For some car makes and models lock sets are in excess of £1000, for example a Lexus SC 430 Auto Convertible replacement lock set (including labour and VAT) is now around £1490.

With keys becoming more advanced, offering keyless entry and keyless start for most modern models, it's no surprise the price of replacing them is becoming steeper.

Replacing a lock set, including all the door locks and the keys, is even pricier, in the region of £700 a time.

David Robertson, CEO of Keycare said: 'With the pace of new technology in our cars today, replacing lost car keys is an increasingly expensive mishap and motorists are often shocked by how much it costs to replace vehicle locks or a lost or stolen car key.

'We’re all so busy rushing around that it’s easy for keys to drop out of pockets, become misplaced or get locked out of your house or car, and when that happens it’s both really inconvenient and worrying.'

Keycare is one of the firms that offers an insurance package for your car keys in case you do lose them.

It said that the cost of replacing a lost set of car keys was on par with misplacing the average mobile phone, which 6.7 million Britons currently have insurance cover for.

The average cost of a policy for a handset is £15 a month while car key cover costs around £24 a year.

The extortionate price of car key replacement  certainly makes you think about taking a car keys insurance policy. Regardless, it’s worth checking how much replacement keys would cost for your particular make and model of car, giving you a better idea of what might lay ahead should your car keys play their vanishing act on you again.

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