Understanding Car Key Replacement Costs

by Daniel on

Many variables affect the final cost of car key replacement. That being said, we will do our best to sort through the complexity and give you the most concise summary of car key replacement costs. There are three main options for replacing your car keys, each with a different car key replacement cost. From there, there are an additional three factors that are going to change the final car key replacement cost.

The Average Hardware Store Car Key Replacement Cost

A hardware store is certainly an option for car key replacement, but just as it will have the lowest car key replacement cost, it will always be the most limited in the keys that can be copied and key copying methods. In terms of the actual car key replacement cost, you can expect to pay $1.25 on the low end, and around $2 on the high end.

The reason for the low car key replacement cost is because you need to have a spare key on hand to duplicate, not every type of key is provided, and often there will be no way to program the electronic elements of the key. Car key replacement is cheaper at a hardware store, but it is less comprehensive.

The Average Locksmith Car Key Replacement Cost

There is no type of car key replacement that a professional automotive locksmith cannot provide. The basic car key replacement costs range from $1.50 to $4. You will have more key blanks to choose from, which is perfect if your car is older or less common. Any car key remotes, car key fobs, and transponder keys can also be programmed by the locksmith.

The more complicated car key services start at $120 and can go up from there depending on the type of parts and the number of services required to complete the car key replacement. With a $15 service call charge, you can also have a locksmith show up at your location and handle the full car key replacement onsite anywhere in Los Angeles.

The Average Dealership Car Key Replacement Cost

Car dealerships are likely to quote you the highest car key replacement cost with prices that almost never fall below $150. Unless your car is under a special warranty that covers replacement car keys (this is uncommon), chances are you will end up paying the most when you go to the dealership.

A dealership is similar to a locksmith as to the range of services they can provide, but they fall short. You will have to go to the dealership to have the car key replaced, and not every dealership will bother to handle car key replacement for older models, especially if they are considered classic (20 years old).

What is the final car key replacement cost based on?

1. Who Makes The Keys

The reason that car key replacement cost varies depending on where they have been made (as you have seen above) is that different businesses have different concerns. A hardware store can keep prices low because they can move more units, but they only stock the most popular items and lack any personnel with specific car key related training.

A dealership doesn’t care about making car keys because they make their money off of maintenance and vehicle sales, so they keep their car key replacement cost high so it is worth it for them. A locksmith offers everything a dealership does and has fairer prices because it is their profession and every job matters to them.

2. Make & Model

The type of car you have determines the key that will open the vehicle and start the engine, and that affects both the cost of the key and the process of replacing it. For example, if your car uses a transponder key, the key is more expensive, and it will need programming in addition to being cut. With the variety of cars in our city, the make and model might be the most important variable to car key replacement cost in Los Angeles.

3. Replacement Method

The replacement method means what needs to be done to copy the key. This does not just mean the complexity of programming but also covers whether or not existing keys and remotes need to be invalidated by accessing the car’s onboard computer. Also, there is more work and time required when a car key needs to be replaced and there is no spare that can be copied.

Final Thoughts

The car key replacement cost in Los Angeles if service you need is not being offered. The type of service you could need varies too much to detail out car by car, but as long as you know what your options are, you can contact the right company for an exact quote. Calling a locksmith should always be your first move, so you can figure out what you need and know that you can get the required service.

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