What is a "smart" key, and what does it mean for me as a renter?

Many newer cars, in particular push-to-start models, are equipped with a "smart" key fob. A "smart" key fob is essentially a small computer, and remains in constant communication with the car it is paired to any time that it is within close vicinity. 

"Smart" keys offer many conveniences, usually including one or more of the following features:

  • Comfort Access: allows the person holding the key fob to unlock the vehicle through close proximity to the vehicle door, without needing to press any buttons to unlock. 
  • Driver Unlock Assist: allows the person in possession of the key fob to unlock the vehicle by pushing a button on the driver side door.
  • Push-to-Start: allows the person in possession of the key fob to start the car by simply pushing the start button when the key is in the car. 

Because "smart" keys communicate continually with the car they are paired to, they must be placed within an RF (radio frequency) pouch when left in the car. RF pouches block communication between the key fob and the car.   

A few issues can arise if a "smart" key is left inside of its paired car without being properly secured in its RF pouch:

  • The key fob battery may drain, often causing a dead key fob for the next driver
  • The car battery may drain, often causing a dead car battery for the next driver
  • The car may not lock properly: some cars with "smart" keys are programmed to block the locking mechanism if the key is within the car. You'll need to place the "smart" key inside the RF pouch before attempting to lock the car.

What is an RF pouch, and what does it do?

RF pouches are made of special materials that block communication between the car and the “smart” key fob. 

If you've rented a Getaround car with a "smart" key fob, you'll find the key located within the RF pouch. The RF pouch will look similar to the one below:

How should I use an RF pouch? 

Anytime you return a Getaround car equipped with a "smart" key, you should be sure to place the key fob into the RF pouch before stowing the key and locking the car. 

We recommend stowing the car key and RF pouch in the Getaround sun visor organizer. If the car key and RF pouch do not fit inside the sun visor organizer, you can also place the car key and RF pouch in the glovebox or center console.

If you have any questions about your RF pouch, please reach out to us via our help center 

If you are renting a car that you believe should have an RF pouch and it’s not present, please notify Getaround via our help center


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