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


  1. I have just purchased a 2013 RAV4 which only had one key. The dealer (Toyota franchise ) neglected to tell me there was only one key until the deal was done… They say a key is on order but may take ‘a few weeks’. This is different to the detail in the blog. Can you confirm how long it should take? Also, should an ‘approved used Toyota’ be offered for with no spare key? Thanks.

    1. Hi Simon. We have the same experience, Can I just ask if your local Toyota dealer provided the spare key for free if you can still remember? As my local Toyota dealer neglected to tell me that there’s only one key until the deal was done as well. Thanks!

      1. Hi! My local Toyota dealer sorted it out already, after all Toyota got good customer relation! Thank you!

  2. Hi Simon,
    Thanks for your post. We have taken note of your email address and someone from customer relations should be in touch with you very soon to assist with your query. Hope this helps! Many thanks.

    1. Hi Rose,
      You would need to speak to your local dealer about this! If you need any help finding your nearest dealer, please let us know.

  3. hello there I have recently misplaced my remote key to my aygo (64) plate I have the spare although enquired about a replacement remote fob and was quoted in the region of £90 plus vat. When i purchased the car I asked the salesman to provide a second remote fob key as a precaution which never happened. It seems a lot of money to replace a key? £55 plus vat i can just about justify but a further £35 to program it?

  4. Hello I may have lost my car keys for Toyota aygo 2013. On estimation how much would it be to replace. I don’t have any spare car keys. Only received one key when purchased.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      We would advise speaking to your local Toyota dealer. Your nearest dealer should be able to tell you exactly how much this will cost and the timescale of this! Hope this helps 🙂

    2. Hi my key is work but remot is damaged. Remot not work. How to replace? Toyota yari 2010 1.4

  5. Hi there my Toyota Yaris 2008 key is not being recognised by my car. How much wil it cost to sort out?

    1. Hi Nazmeen,
      We would have to advise contacting your local Toyota dealer; they will be able to give you price! Many thanks 🙂

  6. Hi I have a Toyota aygo 55 plate.

    I need to replace my key as the buttons have worn away and I am no longer able to open or lock it remotely, can I still ask my dealer or is my car too old? Haha

    1. Hi Hayley,
      Thanks for getting in touch. Your warranty has expired for this model, therefore this is a parts availability question for your Toyota Centre. Parts for a vehicle of this age should not be a problem. Hope this helps!

  7. I have just paid my local dealership £235 for a replacement key for my 07 Hilux Vigo.They had the vehicle for a whole day and now tell me that they cannot programme the key but I can use it manually! A very Expensive exercise – I could have bought a blank and had it cut for around £20. I welcome your comments.

  8. Hi Jackie, we’re very sorry to hear this. For further assistance please contact our customer relations team here: po.st/O3vN72

    1. Any ideas would be welcome. My local dealer who sold me the key (over a month ago) still cannot solve the problem.

  9. I’ve lost my main automatic-locking key to my 2009 Toyota Aygo Blue, which I’ve had from new. I have the spare, which is black and has a grey strip of plastic, with a number, stamped on it. But the spare is only manual, it won’t auto-lock or auto-unlock. I cannot lock the boot. The manual says that if I take the spare to a Toyota dealership they can make another.

    I went to the Toyota dealership and showed them my spare key. They said spare keys are simply not possible at all and it would cost me over two thousand pounds to have the ECM replaced.

    1. Hi Martyn,
      We’re sorry to hear that you’re having problems with your key. Have you contacted customer relations about this issue? Many thanks.

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