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Can I Unlock My Car Via My Smartphone

Do you use your phone to pay in stores? Do you know that you can also use it to lock/unlock your car? One may think that this is insane, but believe us, digital car keys will probably become the primary type of keys in the near future. Sure Lock & Key is a locksmith company with over 35 years of experience in the Locksmith and Security industry. We’ve seen the change from mechanical keys to keys with chips. Then we experienced the appearance of smart keys and now we believe the next big boy on the block, when it comes to key types, will be digital car keys. Sure Lock & Key is always ready to give you a hand when some hard locksmith-related questions appear. So, keep reading. All the answers are below!

What Is NFC And How Does It Work

NFC technology has eased our lives over the past ten years. Many of us already use it to pay in stores. It's quick and highly convenient. You won't have to carry cash or cards.
The abbreviation NFC stands for Near Field Communication which actually explains the thing concisely and precisely at the same time. This cutting-edge technology allows you to share data between two devices equipped with the NFC at a distance of a few centimeters. These two devices can be your smartphone and your car. Due to its short connection range, NFC is more secure than Bluetooth. So, the technology is beneficial and relatively secure as long as the key was created correctly and a person uses it carefully. Even so, it's not infallible and the risk of data breaches or hacking is still present. However, the chances are super low.

What Is A Digital Car Key

A digital car key is a security protocol that allows NFC-equipped devices, like your iPhone, Android, or even your Apple Watch, to control an NFC-capable vehicle.
Cars aren't equipped with this technology as a standard. So, you have to implement it yourself with professional assistance. The essential functions like locking/unlocking the door and starting the engine will be available but other functions will depend on your car's make, model, and year. It should be noted that not all cars are compatible with digital car keys. Older cars, unfortunately, are unsuitable, at least for now. Not all smartphones can be used for digital key creation as well. If you're an owner of Android, make sure it is at least the 12 version of its operating system. The iPhone has to be XS or later, and an Apple Watch has to be Series 5 or later.
digital car key
digital car key

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How To Get A Digital Car Key

Some car manufacturers already have special apps for this purpose. In this case, it will be pretty easy. Open this app or an email link from your car manufacturer and follow the instructions to set up a key. The process may vary depending on your car's make, year, and model, so the instructions will differ as well. Generally speaking, we need to pair a car and a phone so that they can work together.
We recommend you not to use shortcuts to get a digital key if it's officially impossible for your car model. Such a solution could leave your car unprotected. Also, companies that offer this type of service for old cars may turn out to be scams.
Today, more and more car manufacturers are developing this car key type. As we said earlier it will be among the standard options in the near future and probably, there will also be a solution for older cars too.

How To Use A Digital Car Key

The main rule of using a digital key is to ensure it's safe to do so. Before relying on your new key completely, check and double-check whether everything is working correctly. Give it some time and don't get rid of all other keys until everything is complete. Also, you have to be ready if something happens (any car key can fail, and that's the sad truth), so a backup plan is necessary. You should therefore, keep a spare key somewhere in a reliable but easy-to-reach place in case of an emergency.
digital car key and key fob
digital car key and key fob


Digital car keys are new and relatively unknown technology to a broad audience. There is a lot of work ahead before people can rely on their vehicle security when using a digital car key. However, there was also a time when smart keys were something new and suspicious. It's hard to say with 100% certainty that these new keys will completely displace other kinds of key types. However, if you like trying something new, or if you're among those who are all about innovation, why not give it a shot? It may be for you.

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