Will the police unlock your car for free?

Being locked out of your car can be a valid reason to call the police. However, they may not be able or allowed to unlock your car unless there's an emergency, such as a small child or pet locked inside. Even so, without specific tools and skills, they'd likely need to break in just as you would. For non-emergency lockouts, the police will usually call a car locksmith or tow service, but you'll have to pay for it.

How much does it cost to unlock a car?

The cost for a locksmith to unlock a car typically ranges from about $50 to $250, according to eLocal.com. Towing services or car dealerships can be expensive too. For peace of mind, many people purchase roadside assistance through an auto club, credit card company, or as additional coverage on an auto insurance policy.

For peace of mind, many people purchase roadside assistance through an auto club, credit card company, or as additional coverage on an auto insurance policy.

Quick tips for when your keys are locked in your car

Many people lock themselves out of their cars each year. It's normal to feel embarrassed, but don't let the inconvenience feel monumental. You can get through it calmly by keeping the following in mind:

  • Remember if and where you may have a spare key.
  • If your spare key is at home, ask a friend or family member to bring it to you. Or, if you parked your car in a safe place with no people, pets, or valuables inside, consider using a rideshare service.
  • Know or think you might have roadside assistance? If you have your phone with you, search your email inbox for a previous coverage confirmation or call the company you believe covers you and ask them to look you up.
  • If you're striking out with the spare key and roadside assistance, the next best option might be to choose a tow service or locksmith.

Want to make sure you have the right car insurance coverage? Get an auto insurance quote with Progressive.

Does roadside assistance cover locked keys in the car?

Roadside assistance can be a huge relief when your keys are locked in your car. This coverage isn't usually included in a standard auto insurance policy but is available from many insurers as an optional coverage. Vehicle lockout is almost always a covered event for roadside assistance, but the exact terms and coverage limits may vary. Roadside insurance might also cover towing costs within a specific radius if a locksmith has difficulty unlocking your car due to new technology, a faulty lock, or other challenges. Know your policy and keep the information on hand.