Misplacing car keys is frustrating, but it’s even worse when you come to the realization that your keys are lost and you are going to need a replacement. If you’re on a budget, you may wonder just how much it is going to cost. The answer depends on many different factors. Some of these include
- The year, make, and model of the vehicle
- The type of key or fob
- The location of the vehicle
- Whether you have a working key
Generally, the newer and fancier your vehicle is, the more it will cost to get a replacement key fob. Cars made before 1981 will likely use a standard key, which won’t cost as much to replace because no programming is necessary. Most cars on the road will have a transponder chip, a remote push to start the transponder, or a key fob. Luxury cars often have more complex programming and will cost more to get you keys that let you drive and access all the features you are used to.
If there is a copy of the key somewhere, it can make the replacement easier and less costly. If you recall a place where a spare key is kept, or remember your spouse has their own copy, it’s worth your while to track them down.
If there simply is no other copy, most people will pay between $75-$200 for a new key from an automotive locksmith. An older standard key may be less, and a luxury car key may be several hundred dollars. Luxury cars that are even more rare or elite may cost even more. Talking to a locksmith directly will get you the most accurate estimates and limit any surprise costs. There may also be additional charges if your car is somewhere other than your own garage or driveway, since there may be additional towing charges.
Information You Need to Get a New Car Key
If you do find you need a replacement car key, your most economical option is to go to a locksmith that has automotive services, like Express Locksmith in Houston, TX. Many dealerships will also offer this service, but ultimately, they will need to hire a locksmith to help. Skipping the dealership will likely save you money. You will need to have the following information handy so that the locksmith can verify that you own the car and can make sure that they can access the right type of key. You’ll need to know
- The make, model, and year of your vehicle
- Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is located on the driver’s door or dashboard.
- Your vehicle registration
- The title to your car
If possible, this information should be written down and kept in an easy-to-access place where you can get to it in an emergency.
Other Factors That Could Affect the Price of Your Car Key Replacement
When service goes above and beyond whatever is typical, it usually costs more. This applies when you need to replace your car keys. At Express Locksmith in Houston, TX we are available for a wide variety of lock and key emergencies at any hour of the day or night. However, our standard hours are Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. if you need a locksmith on the weekend, over a holiday, or after hours, it will cost more. If you aren’t in dire need to access your vehicle immediately, it can save you to hold off until regular business hours. It may also give you time to find your keys. Just getting back into your car can cost between $65-$165 depending on the size and type of vehicle it is.
Getting a new key made varies in price depending on the specifics of your vehicle. Transponder keys for vehicle makes such as Buick Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, and others start at $169. Keys with remote heads or fobs for the same makes can run close to $300, Keys and Fobs that use Smart technology will cost close to $400. Luxury vehicles are more. All of our rates are variable, however, and it is best to talk to your locksmith for the most accurate pricing information for your situation.