Brits shell out £98 million for lost car keys

08 October 2007
One in ten UK drivers does not keep a spare car key, resulting in a total replacement bill of £98 million a year according to new research by Britannia Rescue.

The latest study from the vehicle rescue company has revealed that the cost of replacing an everyday car key is now four times what it was a decade ago, as makers of popular cars develop ever more advanced locking systems.

What’s more, nearly three million British drivers admit to having permanently lost their keys at least once in the past and 2.8 million motorists confess to not having a spare available.

Martin Milliner at Britannia Rescue explains: “Accessing vehicles built since 1998 is generally more time-consuming and expensive for drivers due to the introduction of increasingly sophisticated alarms, immobilisers, and shielded locks. The cost of getting back behind the wheel could really rocket if work is needed on the ignition or security system as well, but one clear way of avoiding this issue is to look after your spare key and keep it in a sensible place.

“We get many call-outs from customers who need help getting back into their cars. Some common but unsuitable places to keep spare keys include hand-bags, man-bags or on the same key-ring as the main set, which is not much help if you lose them. Some drivers even admit having locked their spares in the glove compartment.”

Today’s technologically advanced keys no longer cost a few pounds to replace. Instead, a modern key is estimated to be around £200 to design, create and programme. However, while it can be frustrating losing a car key, spare a thought for the owners of Nissan Micras who have to fork out up to £326 to replace their key while Ford Focus drivers cough up £266.

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