Car keys tend to disappear right as you need them. Losing keys usually isn’t an issue since you can get another at the car dealership, but what happens when the car is a rental, or more specifically, a U-Haul?
If you lose your U-Haul key, call and notify the U-Haul store where you rented the vehicle. Most stores provide replacement keys for a small fee. U-Haul also covers locked or misplaced keys through their Safetrip protection coverage.
So, what happens when you lose a U-Haul key, and does U-Haul have spare keys? In this article, I’ll answer both of these questions and more! Let’s get to it!
Steps For Dealing With a Lost U-Haul Key
If you’re like most people, you may not know what to do if you lost a U-Haul key. However, the first thing to remember is not to panic. You have quite a few options available depending on what type of move you’re doing.
Call the Local U-Haul Store
If you’re making an in-town move, the easiest solution is to call the U-Haul store where you rented the vehicle. Most U-Haul stores will have a spare key for your specific truck, so it’s just a matter of being honest and telling them you misplaced the keys.
You will, however, need to pay a replacement fee when getting the second set of keys.
How Much Is a Lost U-Haul Key?
So, how much does it cost to replace a U-Haul key?
Depending on the type of key fob, most lost U-Haul keys shouldn’t cost more than $25. If you buy U-Haul’s additional Safetrip protection along with your rental, U-Haul will replace your keys for free.
They’ll do that whether you’ve completely lost the keys or simply locked them inside the rental truck.
Call U-Haul’s Emergency Road Service
If you’re instead making a one-way move and don’t have Safetrip coverage, the process is a little more involved. You’ll have to contact U-Haul’s roadside assistance.
You can find the roadside assistance number in one of the following places:
- On your paper contract
- Behind the driver’s door on the van box
- The U-Haul webpage
The caveat here is that U-Haul’s roadside assistance can only help if your keys are locked inside the rental, not if you lost or broke them. You can still open the vehicle without the key, but you’ll likely have to get it towed afterward.
Use a Towing Service
You’ll have to get the truck towed if you cannot contact U-Haul and have no other options.
Depending on where you need to tow the truck, this option will cost a hefty amount of money. The most significant determining factors are:
- The towing company
Every towing company will have different rates, so you must call around if you want the best deal.
On the cheaper end (for local towing), the minimum cost is usually around $50. It can add up to a few hundred dollars on the higher end. See also How to Keep a U-Haul Trailer from Being Stolen
How Do You Unlock a U-Haul Without a Key?
Sometimes contacting U-Haul isn’t an option. Whether it’s the middle of the night or your U-Haul store doesn’t have a spare key, you still have a few other options.
To unlock a Uhaul without a key, you’ll likely either have to call a locksmith or use a dedicated car unlock kit. You may also be able to contact roadside assistance to help you out.
Let’s examine each of these options below.
Reach Out to a Locksmith
Worst case scenario is you’ll have to call your local locksmith. I say worst case because it’s often the most expensive solution depending on the locksmith’s rates.
Most locksmiths can also make a new key for your U-Haul rental since most of their vehicles are variations of Ford or GMC manufactured trucks. A good locksmith will have access to the equipment needed to cut a new key for you.
Whether you need to unlock your car door or rekey the vehicle, the service charge can range between $50-$300. The cost may seem steep, but it beats getting the car towed and risking a late fee from U-Haul.
Use a Car Unlock Kit
If a locksmith or towing company is out of your price range, a car unlock kit can save you from a heavy bill if you know how to use it.
The kit I’d recommend is the Symynelec Car Tool Kit from Amazon.com. It has durable long-reach tools and an air wedge pump necessary for this method to work.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to use the kit to unlock your rental:
- Slide the air wedge pump between the upper part of the passenger side door.
- Begin pumping until there is enough room to slide the long-reach tool inside.
- Locate the unlock button or door handle. Have someone direct you from the driver-side window if necessary.
- Use the long-reach tool to press the unlock button. If there is none, wedge the L-shaped reach tool behind the door handle.
- Twist the tool, so it pushes the door handle away from the door until it pops open.
- Congrats, you’ve opened your U-Haul!
The above is a visual process, so here’s a video of it in action so you have a reference while you attempt it yourself.
Contact Your Roadside Assistance Company
Some roadside assistance companies, such as AAA, provide lockout services for their members. If you have a membership with one, it’s a safe bet that they’ll try to unlock the vehicle for you.
For example, AAA will attempt to unlock the car, and if they can’t, they’ll reimburse you the cost of a locksmith. Depending on your coverage package, they’ll reimburse up to $150.
Since vehicle lockout is a standard event covered by most roadside assistance companies, you can go with whichever service you want, the most popular provided by:
Losing your U-Haul key isn’t as bad as most people assume. You’ll rarely be left stranded with no options. The most important points to remember are
- You can always contact your local U-Haul store or roadside assistance.
- Towing services are available 24/7 if you’re out of options.
- A locksmith can unlock or rekey your car for a fee.
- A car unlock kit can save the day if you’re handy with tools.
With the above in mind, you’ll be ready if you lose your U-Haul keys.