With the Olympics and Paralympics in full swing, I wanted to try and place the worst of the worst car keys on the the podium, so new owners of second-hand cars know what to expect from the keys they are passed on.


So in Ist place and in Gold medal position (it’s nothing to be proud of…)

Vauxhall Astra J and Insignia Keys

Badly designed and poorly made. If I had designed these, I’d be ashamed….. Surely the team that designed and manufactured this key were either in a hurry on a Friday afternoon, or, they had some help from a group of primary children. Actually it’s a good job the primary children did help them otherwise the key would be much worse.

For a start, the blade is held in a hinge, that quite frankly might as well be made out of chocolate. On top of that, it has a pin to hold the blade in place. The hole is so close to the edge of the blade that it will fracture and snap if you so much sneeze near it. This means that one day, you’ll press the button to flip out the key blade and it’ll be missing! We see the problem every week and rescue lots of stranded owners, because of this problem.


Next, we have the spring arrangement that is supposed to flick the key out. Maybe if it’s brand new, and you have a following wind, and the day of the week has the letter ‘g’ in it you’ll be ok, otherwise don’t expect too much from it.

Lastly the rubber buttons….what can I say.


Rice paper, Butterfly wings or cake icing may have done a better job. Once you get a fingernail in there, they can easily break and then the water gets in and then the key packs up and you find yourself on the back of an AA truck (other recovery services are available).

Am I being too harsh? …..I don’t think so. Mr Vauxhall man, or lady,  please take this in the spirit that it’s intended. You are still selling these keys on the latest models… Get it sorted out.

Look out for the Silver medal soon…

Want to fix your own key? click the link to watch our ‘How to’ video




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