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When you're using a rental car, it's easy to make little mistakes. After all, it's not your usual car and your not in your usual routine. Sometimes a mishap can occur—like locking the keys inside that rental car.

 

4 Options If You Lock the Keys in Your Rental Car

 

What should you do if you accidentally lock your keys in your rental?

 

Option 1: Call the Rental Company's Roadside Assistance

 

Your first call might be to the rental car company's customer service number or dedicated roadside assistance line. If you paid for the rental company's roadside assistance—typically $4 to $9 a day—this is the perfect time to make use of it. With such coverage, the rental car company is responsible for sending someone to unlock the car for you, and it also covers if you get a flat tire, have a breakdown, or need to get the car towed to a nearby service facility.

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Hertz's Premium Emergency Roadside Service, for instance, includes locksmith services, as well as flat tire, fuel, and battery service—and comes with both a 24/7 hotline and a 90-minute roadside service guarantee.

But keep in mind that there can be limits to the level of such help. Some rental companies don't guarantee how quickly you'll get assistance, and there are stories of renters waiting hours for help. Plus, roadside service plans ordinarily only offer limited coverage for driver-induced incidents like locking those keys in the vehicle or running out of gas.

 

Option 2: Tap Your Own Memberships

 

If you didn't buy that roadside assistance protection plan, don't panic. You may already have other options. If you have a AAA membership, not only can you take advantage of great discounts but you can use AAA's roadside assistance with any rental car in the U.S. or Canada. Similarly, if you're a member of AARP, you may have roadside assistance through your membership along with access to car rental discounts.

 

Option 3: Consider Your Credit Card or Auto Insurance Benefits

 

Likewise, the credit card that you used to book your rental car might offer its own form of free roadside assistance, which may cover lockout services, dead batteries, tire changes, or fuel delivery. Your personal auto insurance, too, might include roadside assistance that extends to rental cars.

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Option 4: Try a Pay-Per-Use Roadside Assistance Platform

 

Other options include pay-per-use platforms like Urgent.ly or the Honk app, which are affordable (services typically start at flat fee of $50 to $75) and fast.

 

Cheat Sheet: Car Rental 24/7 Roadside Assistance Hotlines

 
  • Alamo: US/Canada 800-803-4444
  • Avis: US/Canada 800-354-2847
  • Budget: US/Canada 800-354-2847
  • Dollar: US 800-235-9393; Canada 877-354-5391
  • Enterprise: US/Canada 307-6666
  • Hertz: US/Canada 654-5060
  • Enterprise: US/Canada 307-6666
  • National: US/Canada 367-6767
  • Payless: US/Canada 800-PAYLESS (729-5377)
  • Thrifty: US/Canada 877-283-0898

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