How to Open a Locked Car

Lock technology has moved with the times and unlike older vehicles from the 80’s and 90’s most new cars are equipped with digital keys and electronic door openers that don’t allow you to lock your keys inside your vehicle. However, these keys can be expensive to replace if they get lost, and in some cases, the vehicle may need to be towed to a dealer who can order a new key.
The tips below are really only helpful to drivers of vehicles with older style locks fitted, but there are some things you can do before an emergency occurs so you’re prepared and know what to do should you find yourself locked out.


If you’re someone who regularly loses your keys, or locks them inside your vehicle, it may be worth considering getting a spare set to leave with a trusted friend. Another option is to purchase a small magnetic key box which can be attached to a discrete place somewhere on your vehicle, so you know you always have a spare to hand in case of emergencies.

If you’ve locked your keys in your vehicle, here’s what you need to do:

1. You need a wire coat hanger, (or the rib of an umbrella will do.) Straighten out the metal rod and make a small hook at the end. You will use this to grab the handle and open the door from the inside.
2. Pry your vehicle door open slightly, and use a rubber doorstop, or some other similar object to act as a lever to keep the door ajar while you work. Make sure that whatever object you use is not going to scratch your paintwork. The door needs to be open about a half inch to gain access to the interior handle.
3. Insert the wire down the side of the door jamb and attempt to hook it onto the handle. Now give it a yank!
Bear in mind that if your handles are recessed, this is going to be quite a tricky manoeuver to perform. In some cases it may be easier to attempt to pull up the little buttons on the window ledge by making a loop with the wire, and hooking it over the top.
If you have an electronic key device, you may still be able to open the door, but if the key is lost, you still have the issue of starting the ignition. Some vehicles have override switches, so it may be worth checking your manual to see if your vehicle can be started by another method.

If all else fails, it pays to call professional help. Professional Locksmiths offer an emergency roadside service which operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We aim to get to you within 15 minutes, regardless of your location.
Tip: Car keys are coded by the manufacturer, so if you have a note of the number and some personal identification, our locksmiths can provide you with a new key. Always ensure you have a note of the number in case of emergencies.
For more information about our vehicle lock out services click here, or call our team on 1-877-864-4134 today.