What is the cost to replace a car key?

You have one option if you've lost your car key: get it replaced. It costs how much to replace your car key. This depends on several things, including where it will be replaced and the type of key.

This guide will show you how to calculate the cost of key replacement. The price is determined by many factors. We will also discuss the benefits of hiring a locksmith instead of going to a dealer. We discuss how to replace your key so that you don't get caught unawares. 

Índice de Contenido
  1. Average price to replace a key for a car
    1. 1. Basic Keys/Fobs
    2. 2. Transponder Keys
    3. 3. Laser cut keys
    4. 4. Switchblade keys
    5. 5. Keyless/Proximity Remotes
  2. There are many factors that affect the cost of replacing a car key.
    1. 1. Locksmith/Dealership
    2. 2. Key type
    3. 3. Car Model/Make
    4. 4. Localization
  3. Use a Locksmith to Replace Your Car Keys
    1. 1. Lower Cost
    2. 2. All Makes/Models
    3. 3. Turnaround Time
  4. How do I get a new car key?
  5. Questions about Car Keys
    1. Why is it so costly to buy car keys?
    2. Is it possible to make a key from the VIN number of a vehicle?
    3. Is insurance available to cover lost keys?
    4. Is it possible to program the key online without visiting the dealer?

Average price to replace a key for a car

Depending on the complexity of your key fob, or transponder keys, it might run you $25-$425 to replace. Laser cut keys, keyblade keys, proximity keys and keyless entry remotes, on the other hand can be more expensive due to programming. 

1. Basic Keys/Fobs

The cheapest cost of replacing a key is if it's still a standard one. Modern cars come equipped with an electronic key fob. Also known as a transmitter, remote, or a transmitter, these keys can be used to control the car's functions. It could cost up to $150 to replace. This key fob needs to be programmed again.

You can program it yourself if you buy an aftermarket key fob. It should be possible to program the fob using a certain combination of push buttons to turn on and off ignition. Your owner’s manual might give you the procedure, or you could find it online.

RELATED : Where can I get car keys made?

2. Transponder Keys

This must be added if your key contains a transponder chips in the keyhead. Otherwise, the ignition will sense the wrong key is being used and it won’t start the engine. 

You must program the transponder when this key is replaced. The cost of this key could be anywhere between $100 and $425, depending on whether you need a fob. 

RELATED: 5 Signs of a Bad Immobilizer or Transponder Key (& Replacement Cost)

3. Laser cut keys

The laser cut key looks different than a traditional key because the shank is thicker and there aren’t conventional grooves cut into it. They are sometimes called sidewinder keys. Locksmiths will need to invest more in order to purchase a machine capable of cutting these replacement keys. 

The keys may also come with transponder chip built in, and will require programming. You could spend anywhere from $150 to $375 on all this technology. 

4. Switchblade keys

The switchblade key has a shank that folds into the fob when it’s not being used. A button pushes the key, and it pops open. You can cut them either as a simple model or laser cut. 

The components of the switchblade key can be bought separately which may lower their cost. If the top is still in good working order, but the key is damaged, you can replace just the part that doesn’t work. This will save you $50-100. You might spend 200 to 350 dollars to replace the whole assembly.

5. Keyless/Proximity Remotes

The most costly to replace are smart keys. These keys can either be inserted in a slot next to your steering wheel, or they can stay on you. 

This type of key is standard technology in high-end automobiles. You could end up paying a lot if you have to replace one. Your bill may quickly reach $800, particularly if your vehicle is a luxurious one. 

READ ALSO: Program Transponder key without the original

There are many factors that affect the cost of replacing a car key.

1. Locksmith/Dealership

Everybody gravitates to the dealership when they need to make keys. There’s an advantage to calling the dealership because they can cut the keys without you being there. They will have all the vehicle information.

The dealership will charge you more than the locksmith. The service could take longer. We recommend that you take your car to the dealer if it is a more recent model. 

READ MORE: How much does a locksmith cost to unlock a car?

2. Key type

The major keys are listed above. It is easy to see how the price will vary depending on which type of key you require.

Basic key will be much less than smart key. This is one thing you can't control. 

3. Car Model/Make

Each manufacturer has its own key technology and type. It is sometimes more challenging to reproduce keys from certain manufacturers. 

The dealership might be the most cost-effective option if there are many security precautions in place. Otherwise, you can go to a locksmith for a cheaper cost, but they may need extra time if it’s a key they aren’t used to working with.

4. Localization

The going rate for the service will be used by both the locksmith and dealership. You will pay more if you are located in large cities.

You might consider getting quotes from smaller towns and driving a bit to get them. A short drive could make a big difference in what you end up paying. 

Use a Locksmith to Replace Your Car Keys

1. Lower Cost

You can usually expect to pay more for a dealer. Dealers typically charge more for labor than average locksmiths.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Call your local dealers to find out the cost of a replacement key. You will be amazed at how much the prices are different. 

2. All Makes/Models

You must ensure that the dealership has the knowledge and expertise necessary to service your model. Many dealerships will only supply keys for models or makes sold at their location. 

The locksmith can work on all types of cars. It doesn’t matter if you have a brand-new American vehicle or an older import, the locksmith has the equipment to replace and duplicate any of the manufacturer’s keys. However, locksmiths can’t do the programming for some modern vehicles and in this case, you may need to go to the dealer instead.

3. Turnaround Time

You could wait longer if you make a reservation with a dealer. If computer chips or other components are involved, it may be necessary to order the key from the factory. 

A locksmith can handle the entire technology right on-site, thanks to his advanced equipment. You shouldn’t be waiting nearly as long to get an appointment with a locksmith. You can spend more of your time driving and enjoying your vehicle with this quick turnaround. 

How do I get a new car key?

Before you can have a car key created, there is some information you’ll need to have on hand. Whether you go to the dealership or locksmith, you’ll need the VIN and proof of ownership. Neither location is going to cut you a new key until you can prove it’s your vehicle.

The active key must be provided in certain situations. This key creates a duplicate key. It is difficult to get a replacement online.

READ MORE: I Lost My Car Keys & Have No Spare (What To Do?)

Questions about Car Keys

Why is it so costly to buy car keys?

It is not uncommon for car keys to be very expensive. Car keys often come with sophisticated security features, which can be costly and difficult to duplicate. For example, keys now have transponders that send a coded signal to the car’s ignition system and must be programmed to match the vehicle’s specifications; without the right code, the car will not start.

Is it possible to make a key from the VIN number of a vehicle?

A VIN number can be used to make a key. Every VIN number is unique for a specific vehicle. Therefore, it can be used in order to make a key that works only with that particular car. You must prove that you own the vehicle with the VIN number.

Is insurance available to cover lost keys?

The details depend on what car insurance policy you have. Most policies provide coverage for lost keys. However, you may have to pay a deductible. For questions, be sure to review your policy and call your insurer.

Is it possible to program the key online without visiting the dealer?

You can usually save money by going to a locksmith to make your car keys. There are certain car models, however, that can only be programed by dealers.

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