There is nothing to get your blood pumping like returning to your car with a full cart of groceries, only to realize you've locked your keys inside. Instead of panicking and breaking the window, take a few deep breathes and follow the course of action below:
1. Get The Spare Key
If you have a spare key in your wallet, now is the time to use it. If you prone to locking your keys in the car, you should consider buying one of those little metal key boxes and hiding it somewhere under your car. Just make sure it's in an easily accessible spot, yet also not in a place where it will easily fall off or be seen. If you have asked another person to hold onto a spare car key for you, give them a call and ask them to bring your key to the grocery store.
2. Try To Get Into Your Car Without The Key
First, take note of the type of locks in your car. If the locks are recessed inside the interior door handle, you're only choice is to call a professional for help. You can call a professional locksmith to come to you in the grocery store parking lot, or you can call roadside assistance.
If you have an older car with the tall button locks located on the winder ledge, then you can use a wire coat hanger to unlock the doors. Simply straighten out the coat hanger, but make a small hook at the end. Push the coat hanger through the seal between the window and door frame. Then maneuver the coat hanger until the hook goes around the pull-up lock. Then pull up on the coat hanger to unlock the door.
If the trunk happens to be open, you may be able to push a portion of the back seat forward, and climb through the hole. Then you can grab the keys you left inside the car and unlock all doors.
3. Call For Roadside Assistance
If you are a member of AAA, this is when you can take advantage of that membership fee. Pull out your membership card and dial them up. If you don't have AAA, maybe you are a member of Allstate, or some other type of roadside assistance program. Its always a great idea to have your roadside assistance program's phone number programmed into your phone in the event of an emergency such as this.
You will need some patience after contacting AAA, because it can take a while for them to get to you. If you find yourself in this situation and have perishable food such as ice cream with you, bring it back into the grocery store and ask them to put it into the walk-in fridge for you. They will be happy to help you.
4. Call The Professional Locksmiths
If all else fails, call in the professionals. A licensed locksmith has a wide variety of tools to get into locked cars and retrieve the keys. The specific tool that will help you depends on the make and model of your vehicle. You may have to pay a rush or emergency fee, but in most cases, that fee will still be less than the cost to repair a window if you smash it to get the key that was locked inside.
If you have any questions about how to get into your car when you've locked the keys inside, no matter where you are located, call the local licensed locksmith. He or she will be happy to help you.