Locking yourself out of your car is one of the most frustrating and inconvenient things that can happen. Whether you’re running late to work, have had a long day or are just feeling a bit frazzled, it’s all too easy to lock yourself out of your car when you’ve got a million things on your mind. We are all simply so accustomed to our cars that we don’t even think about the motions, meaning it’s easy to miss a step when we’re stressed, anxious or in a hurry.

If you find that this happens to you a little too often, or simply want to prevent it from ever happening to you again, we’ve compiled some tips to help you get back into your car or even avoid the whole hassle in the first place.

  • Check Every Door
    When you think you’ve locked yourself out of your car, check every door just in case. Many older models will only lock the driver’s door if you only push the fob button once, so it’s worth checking whether one of the passenger doors is actually open.
  • Check Your Fob
    Some fobs come with an actual key in the remote, so check if there is a switch or button to extract this key and get back into your car.
  • Have a Spare Key Handy
    If neither of the above works for you, or you want to plan ahead and prevent locking yourself out again, always have a spare key handy. You could hide a spare key somewhere on the outside of your vehicle, or use a product specially designed to help you do this. Run through several hiding spots before settling on one, as chances are that a car thief will also check many of the same spots you’ve thought of.
    You can also keep a spare key on yourself, whether that’s worn on a lanyard around your neck, in your bag or wallet, or at your workplace.
    Finally, you can give your spare key to your partner or other trusted loved one. Consider proximity and trust when deciding who to give your spare key to.
  • Have an Exiting Routine
    Train yourself to get into the routine of always grabbing your keys on the way out and locking your car from the outside, and of having the same exiting routine. When you scramble to pick up all your belongings in a different way every time you exit your car, it’s more likely that you’ll forget a step along the way. Try to always grab your keys with the same hand, or when you pick up your bag. This may be difficult to do at first, but the more you remind yourself of the motions, the quicker it’ll be ingrained into you as a routine.
  • Use a Large Keychain or Lanyard
    If you choose a distinctive or oversized lanyard or keychain, it’s unlikely you’ll miss it on your way out of your car. Choose a textured keychain or one that resembles an object (teddy bear keychains are common) so that the feel of the material itself can remind you.
    A lanyard also frees up your hands, meaning you’re more likely to remember your keys when your hands are already full of other belongings.
  • Mark your Door Handle
    You might feel a little bit silly trying out this method, but it’s helpful if you repeatedly lock yourself out of your car. Put a piece of tape around your door handle, so that every time you reach for it to exit your car, you’ll be reminded to take your keys with you.

The above tips will help if you are perpetually prone to forgetfulness, or simply want to avoid ever locking yourself out of your car and thereby throwing your entire day off track.

However, despite all the precautions you take, it’s always best to have the number of a reliable local locksmith on hand, in your phone or on your person in case you end up locking yourself out of your car anyway. This means that if you ever need a locksmith’s assistance, be it day or night, you’ll have a reliable professional on hand whose charges you can afford and whose reputation you trust.

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