My very first car was a 1997 Subaru Forester and all it came with was a simple turn key that both started the car and unlocked the door.
But keys have come a long way since even my early driving days. Some automakers have ditched the classic key altogether for high-tech fobs, while others are giving classic keys an aesthetic upgrade.
Here are some of our favourites:
It's only suiting that a car as high-tech as the BMW 7-series would come with a key fob to match it.
It comes with four buttons to lock and unlock the car, pop open the trunk, and panic. But it also comes with a full-colour 2.2-inch touch screen that lets you swipe to see information like whether all the doors are locked and your current fuel range.
You can also use the key to control the climate in the car and toggle the lights. But by far the coolest part is that you can use it to park the car remotely.
When locking and unlocking the doors of a Koenigsegg, you'll need something that can make as big of a statement as the car itself.
Koenigsegg's metal shield key doesn't have any hugely crazy special features, but what it can give you is the sense of authority and a firm reminder that you drive an insane Swedish supercar.
If driving one of these insane supercars doesn't give you the thrill or feel of power you were looking for, holding this awesome shield key fob just might.
First of all, it's a key with some weight to it. It's smooth and big enough that it's enjoyable to hold without being too clunky. Its functional purpose is hidden on the back, where there are three buttons to lock and unlock the doors as well as pop open the trunk.
To start the car, you stick the key in the ignition and then press a separate button on the steering wheel. In that regard, the key really only has an aesthetic purpose. But hey, with the classic prancing horse and deep red colour, it's not something I would mind lugging around.
Unfortunately, the key only comes with older Ferrari models like the FF. Even Ferrari has given up the traditional key or a fob, but this one is still among our favourites.
Though it can only really handle the tasks of an average key fob, the aesthetics of this key make it much more special than most others out there.
Inserting this crystal key into the center of an Aston Martin's dashboard never gets old.
If crystals aren't really your thing, maybe lightweight carbon fibre is.
McLaren's key has three buttons and is backed with a carbon fibre rear.
Because you can never have too much carbon fibre.
It's a fob with the best of both worlds.
On one had, it has this really neat, smooth packaging so it fits squarely in your palm. It also offers all of the traditional functions of a fob, like the ability to lock, unlock, and pop open the trunk of the car.
But on the other hand, in the fob is still a good ol' fashion key that swings out.
It's a fun mix of old and new.
Though Porsche and Tesla have similar offerings, Pagani's key fob is the one that truly stands out.
First, it's the perfect cool looking desk ornament.
Second, it's also a USB flash drive.
Third, it's still a key.
How's that for multi-functional?
Most 900makers stick to a rounded shape for their key fobs, but Corvette's black box fits the vibe of the souped-up muscle car.
In addition to the typical fob functions, it also lets you remote start the car.
With the F-Pace's Activity Key, by holding your wrist up to the Jaguar badge on the rear of the car, you can lock or unlock the vehicle. And it's waterproof!
The Activity Key is available as a $400 option.
But if you hate even what we consider the crème de la crème of car keys, there's good news: Volvo is going to start getting rid of keys altogether.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.