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 a Toyota Corolla1.6 vvti 2006. I lost the spare key but still have the original. Id like to get a replacement spare key, no need for the electronics in it, just want the cheapest way to replace one. What would be the price and how would I get one

  2. Hi for Toyota avensis 2009 petrol SK09UXF what type of engine oil I should use?what about the oil filter?

      1. thank you very much for your answer.
        and i want to ask also as a brand can i use any other then toyota ?….like castrol,mobi..etc

  3. Hi,

    I have a 2010 Toyota Aygo mmt which we got about 6 months ago. I have 2 keys, a remote one with buttons and another without. Both keys worked fine until recently. The remote key suddenly stopped working. I tried a number of times to start which resulted in a flat battery. I contacted a local mechanic and his diagnositic reader was showing b2795 – unmatched key code. Some how it looks like the key chip got damaged internally or the ECU key code got wiped. Luckily the other key still works. Perhaps this key without the buttons is the master key. How can I fix the remote key?


  4. Hi Abid,

    Thanks for getting in touch. As mentioned in the above advice regarding lost keys, if the car has remote locking the code may need to be reprogrammed and it’s possible that your car will need a new ECU. We would recommend contacting your nearest Toyota to discuss this further as they will be able to order the necessary parts and carry out the work. You can find your nearest centre via this link: https://www.toyota.co.uk/forms/forms?tab=pane-dealer


  5. Hi, I recently have lost my remote car key, I still have my spare key with me. Due to Convid-19 all the branches has temporarily close. When can I contact my nearest Toyota for key replacement?

  6. My Toyota Key fob no longer connects to the car- I have to manually open the door and wave the fob around the start/stop button for the engine to turn on however it does take quite a while! I have replaced the key batteries however it still doesn’t work-how can i re-programme the key? I’m an NHS worker trying to get my car to turn on by getting the car to sense the key is actually in the car takes forever when i go back and forth to work! Please advise me what i can do

    1. Hi Shah,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We’re sorry to hear about the issue you’re experiencing with your Key. In this case we would recommend discussing this further with your nearest Toyota centre as they are best placed to help. We will email you directly to gain additional details and put your nearest dealer in touch with you directly.

      In the meantime, in your owner’s manual you will be able to find advice on ‘steps to take in an emergency’ which includes details on what to do if the electronic key isn’t working properly. You can find your owner’s manual here: https://www.toyota.co.uk/tme#/my-toyota/eManual


  7. Hi

    I have a 2000 Celica (7th gen)

    I have lost both my master keys, but still have the valey/sub key..

    My local Toyota Dealership says that nothing can be done besides changing the complete ECU/Immobiliser system + locks..

    Is this really true??

    I have access to techstream, if that helps??

    Please help


    1. Hi Isaac,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We’re sorry to hear about this. We would recommend contacting Toyota in your region for further help with this.


      1. Hi my key is work but remot is damaged. Remot not work. How to replace? Toyota yaris 2009 1.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *