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True cost of lost car keys revealed

Lost car keys - RAC

New research suggests that millions of unfortunate UK drivers have been forced to spend a staggering £181m replacing lost car keys.

An RAC survey found that one in 20 motorists (that’s almost two million) admit they have lost their keys for good and 6% of these say they have actually managed it twice.

When questioned where they thought they had lost them one in five (18%) thought it was somewhere outdoors, 9% lost them in the house, 5% lost them at work and the same number said it happened when shopping. Another 4% said they vanished when they were out socialising, 14% said they were stolen, but a quarter (23%) simply didn’t have a clue what happened to them.

Four in 10 (39%) of those who permanently ‘misplaced’ their car keys just made do with their spare key, but over half (54%) said they bought a replacement key at an average cost of £176.20 which equates to a UK-wide bill of over £180m.

The RAC Opinion Panel survey of 2,068 motorists also revealed that absent-minded drivers spend two minutes 10 seconds on average looking for their keys every day – adding up to almost 14 hours a year.

It wlould seems that women are more prone to mislaying their keys, with 45% saying they frequently forget where they last put their keys, compared with 38% of men.

However, when it comes to locking keys in the car, men are the most careless with 30% admitting to the mistake, compared to 23% of women who have done it. In total, a quarter of drivers (10 million)admit to having locked their keys in their car.

To recover the keys and access their car 31% of these drivers called the RAC or another breakdown provider, 32% used their spare key, 20% found another way to open the door and 3% called a locksmith. But for a desperate 3%, or 300,000 drivers, they had to resort to smashing a window.

“Locking your keys in your car is perhaps one of the most frustrating experiences that any of us face resulting in maximum inconvenience and stress,” said RAC spokesman Pete Williams .

“The RAC dealt with over 57,000 members with key-related problems including lock-outs and faulty locks in 2017 so it is always good to know where your spare key is so a friend or family member can find it in a crisis.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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