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See What Replacement Car Keys Cost Tricks The Celebs Are Using

How Much Do Replacement Car Keys Cost?

Losing your car keys is never an enjoyable experience. GEICO’s Emergency Roadside Service can help you quickly get back on the road.

Before you lose your key it is recommended to make a backup. We have put together a guide on the cost to replace a car key.

Mechanical Keys

It wasn’t long ago that misplacing keys or losing it was not a huge deal. You could purchase an extra and put it in the ignition. However, today’s cars are more technologically advanced and it is more expensive to replace keys that have been lost.

The cheapest way to do this is to hire an auto locksmith. They are usually capable of copying a standard metal key and do so at a cost of $50 or less. This kind of key doesn’t have chip and therefore will not be able to unlock doors or start engines.

This is because modern automobile keys come with transponders or chips that have to be programmed to work properly. This can only by done by a professional who knows what they are doing, like a local locksmith or a car replacement keys dealer service professional.

The cost of a mechanical key is relatively affordable, however the programming chip in a modern car will usually cost you more than $300. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you have a backup key, and that you keep it in a safe place.

It is important to determine the type of car key you own before seeking assistance. An older, standard car key has a traditional double-edged metal key that can be inserted into the ignition cylinder, and turned to start your car. These aren’t common anymore however, you should be able find them at your local hardware store for less than $10.

The second type of car key is a transponder key, which has an embedded security chip that transmits an alert to the vehicle’s computer system to unlock the doors and enable the engine to start. This type of key is more difficult to copy than a basic mechanical key, and can only be copied using specialized tools that only a locksmith or a dealer can access. The cost of this service can be up to $500 or more, depending on the model and make of your vehicle.

Transponder Keys

Cars equipped with transponder keys utilize a microchip inside of the key that communicates with your car. When the key is put into the ignition or placed close to your vehicle, it sends an encoded code that allows your car to start. This is an excellent feature to have as it discourages theft. It also makes it more difficult to steal your car because a burglar will need both the key and the transmitter to turn it on and drive off with it.

The cost of a new transponder keys is typically a little more expensive than a conventional key, Replacement Car Keys Cost but only because it has to be programmed. Most locksmiths will be able to program keys that have transponders, but it is recommended to ask your dealership if they can do so also. This is because they usually have the most experience with these types of keys, and may be able to provide you with the most competitive price.

Many automakers have their own anti-theft mechanisms. This is why it’s essential to research all the key options prior to buying your next car. You should be able to figure out which type of key works with it and whether it requires an electronic remote to unlock it.

Certain newer cars are equipped with a transponder system for passwords. They are more complicated as they require special tools to program them. However they are more secure since they use rolling code encryption that changes the password each time they’re used. This means that even if your key has been copied, it will not work with your car.

Whatever type of key you have, it is crucial that you do not attempt to open the door of your car yourself. This could raise red flags with insurance companies and will cause a lot of mechanics to refuse to help you out in the event of evidence that the car has been tampered with or opened. It will be very difficult to obtain a new key, so contact a Mesa mobile auto lockout specialist.

Laser-Cut Keys

It’s likely that a key cut with lasers is much more difficult to steal or lose than a key made of metal. The keys don’t have notches cut along the edges of the blade. Instead there’s a groove which cuts to a specific depth across the middle of the key’s face. When looking at the key from above, it is easy to determine if it’s a fake or not. They are easy to spot and you won’t be locked out of your home if your key gets lost while you’re working or running errands.

If your key is laser-cut you’ll need to call locksmiths that have equipment for making these kinds of replacements. Your local hardware store will not be able to create an alternative key that is laser-cut, as they lack the equipment to cut and program this kind of key fob.

Locksmiths use an instrument that resembles the drill used in standard homes to cut the key’s metal. This will cut all the surface to the desired length. The unique key’s code is then extracted from the VIN and the key is cut to your vehicle’s specifications.

Contrary to transponder keys that are normally used, laser-cut keys don’t have any electronic components or chips inside of them that can be replaced, so they must be completely destroyed and replaced with a brand new key. Laser-cut keys can be extremely expensive because they require a complete rebuild of the key.

It’s a good idea to keep at least one spare key on hand in case you happen to lose your car keys. Then, you can call an locksmith to have the key cut and programmed so that you can be back in your vehicle without having to pay for it to be tow back to the dealer.


You may not have an old-fashioned car but your vehicle probably has one of the most modern high-tech fobs that can unlock and start it without the need for a traditional key. These keys are equipped with special computer chips that must be programmed to function with the vehicle you own. Fortunately, some locksmiths can do this reprogramming for you but it’s generally recommended to let your dealer handle it. They have the tools needed and are knowledgeable about the specific vehicle you have, which can ensure it’s done correctly.

The cost of having your car’s key fob replaced can cost as high as $500, depending on the type of key you drive and whether it’s smart or just remote-controlled. This does not include the cost of a mechanical backup key you may want in case your fob gets lost or stolen.

The loss of your car keys was once a source of frustration. Now it’s a serious issue. The reason is that modern cars have made the keys so easy and reliable that thieves can now take keys, according to Richard Reina, training director at CARiD. The advances in the technology of car keys have made it more difficult for thieves.

The new keys are available in different sizes and shapes, however the one that comes with transponder and a mechanical key is the most expensive. This “smart” key has an elongated shank that is spring loaded and folds into the fob like an e-switchblade. It is less likely to get lost or put into a coat pocket. They are generally more expensive than regular remote-controlled ones and may require the assistance of a dealer to replace.

If you have a spare key fob that works in your vehicle and could be copied, you might want to try to save money by purchasing an aftermarket replacement from a firm such as Amazon or a third-party locksmith and key company that can program your automobiles. You may be able to cut and program your own fob for much less than what a dealer charges which could save you as much as $200 or more. Be sure that the new key and fob you purchase is the same year, year of manufacture and model as your previous so it can be coded to work with your vehicle.

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