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.”