Lost car keys? Don’t panic and read our advice

lost car keys

Lost car keys are no reason to panic. Although losing your car key is always inconvenient, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world – and your Toyota dealer can certainly help. Read on for our advice on what to do if your car keys go walkabout.

What should I do if I’ve lost one of my car keys?

Don’t worry. Usually cars come with two sets of keys. If you are in possession of another key and want a replacement for your main key, your Toyota dealer can supply a new one for you relatively simply.

Give them a call (find their details here) and arrange an appointment. They can examine your car and the remaining key, and organise for a new key to be ordered, cut and programmed for you. It usually takes one or two days to arrange lost car keys in this way.

If you do not live within close proximity of a Toyota centre, many police forces recommend contacting a member of the Master Locksmiths Association.

Keyless entry

What should I do if I’ve lost all of my car keys?

This is a trickier scenario. If you don’t have any of your car keys and your car has remote locking or other similar features, it will likely have a code that will need to be reprogrammed. It’s also possible that your car will need a new ECU. Toyota has to comply with legal standards when supplying security products, so each process must be carried out by the book.

Due to the security technology within a key and the work involved in replacing lost car keys, losing all your keys can be expensive. The exact costs varies by model but will usually be several hundred pounds or even more. It will also usually take one or two days for the keys to be ordered, cut and programmed.

If you cannot move your car due to lost car keys, you may need to arrange for it to be recovered to your dealer. And if you do not live within close proximity of a Toyota centre, many police forces recommend contacting a member of the Master Locksmiths Association.

What should I do if I’ve locked them in the car?

Locking the keys in a car is a rarer problem than a few years ago, as smart entry or keys with transponders make it much harder to do.

However, if you do manage to lock your keys in the car you should call Toyota Roadside Assistance or your breakdown provider.

Do you have any other advice?

True, this might not sound very helpful if you have lost your keys, but the best course of action is to not lose sight of them in the first place. Get into the habit of keeping your keys in a regular place. Whatever suits you, as long as it’s safe and out of immediate sight.

If your car has so-called ‘keyless entry’, we recommend not leaving your key fob anywhere close to where you park your car, because it could present an opportunity for thieves to use a device known as a ‘relay transmitter’ to remotely access your car.

Why are car keys expensive?

While it might seem that cars keys are simple – they just open the car, right? – they are actually pretty complex. This is one of the reasons why Toyota Car Insurance policies include key cover (vehicle, house and office) as one of the many benefits for policy holders.

From remote locking to keyless entry and start for more recent models, a key can contain a sender, receiver, the physical key itself and other parts – most importantly, the coding that lets it only communicate with your car. It’s the reprogramming process that costs money, as strict control is needed over codes. Like other manufacturers, Toyota must comply with regional standards.

Depending on the car you have, parts may need to be ordered and this can take time. Re-coding keys can be relatively straightforward but nevertheless takes time and labour.

Read more How to look after your car’s rubber

160 comments

  1. I am considering buying a secondhand Toyota auris, 2011. It has only one key. Could you tell me how much a second key would cost me?

    1. Hi Celia,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Your nearest Toyota Centre would be best placed to assist with this. They can examine your car and organise for a new key to be ordered, cut and programmed for you.
      You can find your nearest centre here – https://fal.cn/3hbhq.
      Thanks.

    1. Hi Catharine,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Your nearest Toyota Centre will be best placed to assist with this.
      You can find your nearest centre here – https://fal.cn/3hbhz.
      If you cannot move your car due to lost car keys, you may need to arrange for it to be recovered to your Toyota Centre.
      Thanks.

  2. I’ve a 21 Yaris which comes with a fob and a spare key (no fob for unlocking etc). The spare key sets off the alarm when I unlock the door. What am I meant to do?

    1. Hi NickCooke,
      Thanks for your comment.
      If you believe there is a problem with your vehicle, your nearest Toyota Centre would be best placed to assist and advise you.
      You can find your nearest centre here – https://fal.cn/3hbhO.
      Thanks.

  3. Hi there, I have a 2017 Avensis Business Edition Plus. Burrows Toyota in Sheffield quoted me £221.77 for a replacement key in March 2019 and this morning they have quoted me £318.20 for exactly the same key – a 44% increase in just over 2 years. I questioned Burrows on whether this was correct and a very rude man there told me it is correct and that I should “blame Toyota – they set the prices”. Can I check if Burrows Toyota are telling me the truth – has the cost of a key really gone up by 44% since 2019? Thanks.

  4. Hi sir
    I have lost one of my Toyota prius 2007model key. I have spare one to use at the moment.
    What I am concerned about is that if someone has found the key and try to steal the car?? Can someone steal the car? How can I prevent it to happen?
    Help me please…

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