Have you ever returned to your car after a long day at work, only to realize you can’t find your keys anywhere? After trying to look for your keys in your bag, did you suddenly find them still sitting in your car and locked in? If this scenario has ever happened to you, then you need to know how to get keys out of a locked car. 

How To Get Keys Out Of A Locked Car: Don’t Panic! 

The thought of being locked out of your own car when the keys themselves are sitting inside your car is both frustrating and scary. While it is easy to start panicking, you want to take a couple of breaths instead, get a drink of water if possible, and try to keep yourself as calm as possible so you can approach this problem with little issue. If you need to, call a loved one so that they can be on the phone with you while you try out any of the five methods for how to get keys out of a locked car. 

How To Get Keys Out Of A Locked Car: 5 Methods 

The good news is that there are different methods you can try out for how to get keys out of a locked car before calling a locksmith. These methods include, but are not limited to, the following:

Backup Key

If you are close enough to your home when you’re locked out of your car with your key stuck in it, you can call a neighbor or friend nearby and ask them to go to your house to retrieve a backup key. You can also see if anyone is still at home to take care of this task for you. However, this step requires being in possession of a backup key, knowing where it’s located, and being within a reasonable distance from your home. If your situation happens to check all three of those boxes, then the backup key is a good place to start. 

Shoelace Or String

A shoelace or a piece of string can be very useful if you need to get keys out of a locked car. The shoelace or string method is most useful if your car is older and utilizes manual locks. This method involves using the shoelace or string to tie a knot and create a middle-finger-sized loop.  Next, you wiggle it into the right corner of the driver’s door until it reaches the door seam. Once it’s in the door seam, move it downward in a flossing motion until you reach the lock. At this point, place the loop around the lock and gently pull open the door. 

Wire Hanger

The hanger method is another way to approach how to get keys out of a locked car if said car is old and manually operated. For this method, you must use the hanger and pliers in order to fish for the control arm. You’ll need to unravel the wire of the hanger with pliers so it can slide between the window and the weather stripping. The fishing itself will begin when you get below the window. 


Using a wedge is another potential answer for how to get keys out of a locked car. A wedge can be used to pry open a car door from the top. Using a wedge provided in an automotive toolkit is the best approach instead of picking any random wedge you find. 

how to get keys out of a locked car

Bobby Pin 

Last but not least, a bobby pin can also be a potential tool to get keys out of a locked car. The bobby pin method involves using two bobby pins. The first bobby pin is bent to a right angle, and the second one gets pulled apart, then bent at the tip. At this point, both of these go into the lock so that you’re essentially picking your car lock. However, experts advise against this method as incorrect execution can damage the lock of your car. 

What If None Of These Methods Work?

While it’s good to know how to get keys out of a locked car with the above methods, they won’t necessarily work all the time or be applicable to every situation. If you’ve exhausted these methods or don’t feel entirely confident about not accidentally damaging your car in the process, there is another way to solve this problem. Our locksmiths at ASAP Locksmith in Houston are trained for these exact situations, so contact us today and get your keys out of your locked car as soon as possible.