How To Avoid Locking Your Keys In Your Car

Posted on: 15 April 2018


Locking your keys in your car is annoying, but it's even more annoying if you keep doing it. You're human, so a mistake once in a while is understandable. But if you do this again and again, you need a strategy for not doing it ever again. Breaking habits can be tough, and chances are it's a habit that's putting you in this position. But it can be done.

First, a Safety Issue 

One option is to keep a spare key in one of those magnetic boxes that you hide on your car. Those are handy, but keep in mind that many people know that those boxes exist -- and that means thieves will search for those boxes. You may want to use those only as a last resort or as a temporary measure because of that security risk.

Figure out Where Things Go Wrong

Are you leaving your keys in the ignition and getting out without removing them? Are you tossing your keys on the seat as you grab something from the car? Do you just tend to drop them at the wrong moment as you close your car door?

When you can identify the moment or action that leads to the keys being locked in the car, then you can do something. For example, if you're always leaving your keys in the ignition -- many newer cars have alarms that sound if you open the door with the keys in the ignition, but older cars don't -- start taping notes in spots you look at before getting out of the car. If you put your keys down before grabbing something from the car, work on wrapping the keys in your hand, placing the key ring over a finger, or placing the keys in a pocket before reaching back into the car.

Rehearse the New Movements

Part of what's happening is muscle memory, and when you're in a rush, that memory takes over as you get out of the car. Practice making a new memory. Go over, both in your mind and through movement, the steps for removing your keys from the car. Make taking the keys out of the ignition and putting them in your pocket, or wrapping them in your hand, a move that's second-nature. If you have to, sit in the car (with a spare key in your pocket) and get out, going through all the motions required while keeping the keys safely out of the car.

Eventually, you'll get it, and you'll stop locking your keys in the car all the time. In the meantime, keep the number of a good tow truck company on hand so that you know who to call if you still lock your keys in the car as you try to change your habits. Check out a website like for more information.