Losing your car keys can be very costly. Everyone would have experienced a panic moment when you don’t find your car key where you have kept it. If you find it, you would have heaved a sigh of relief. If you don’t find the keys, you are in trouble. Whether you have misplaced the key, lost it, or the key is stolen, you need a duplicate. You need to quickly get a duplicate car key made, so you can get access to your car.
The problem with replacing car keys
Earlier, getting a replacement for your car key was very easy. There were many stores where you can get a copy of your car key made. With a duplicate key available, losing a car key would not be a problem. The situation has changed today! With car thieves becoming more innovative, technology has improved giving rise to advanced car keys that are difficult to copy.
This makes cars safe as even you lose your car, a thief can’t create a duplicate key easily. However, this puts you in trouble if you lose your car key. You cannot make a duplicate key so easily now. If you want a duplicate key for your car, you may need to approach the car dealer or the key manufacturer. The more higher end the car, the more expensive is the cost of the car key.
How costly is replacing a car key?
If you want to replace your car key, it’s quite expensive. A car key has two main parts today. One is the actual key part. The other is the electronic part, known as the electronic hob. It is this electronic hob, which is expensive. It may cost you up to $100 if you want an electronic hob replaced by your dealer.
You must note that your dealer will also charge you labor costs for programming the electronic hob key. If you don’t go to the dealer, ensure you get the replacement from a locksmith who is a member of the ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America).
Types of car keys and costs
Some car keys have a flip key where the key part is foldable and goes inside the hob. This makes it easier to store. When you need to use the key, you can remove the key from the hob. For such types of keys, the total replacement cost can be up to $300, making it an expensive proposition.
A sidewinder key (also known as a laser-cut key) needs to be made with a special type of machinery, which is expensive. Such keys would have a transponder in them. Replacing this type of key would require around $250 that would require programming.
Some cars use technology and have smart keys. This smart key has a radio pulse generator making it easy to lock and unlock the car. This technology is fairly complex and hence replacing the key is expensive. You may need to pay up to $400 for this.
Almost all cars that were manufactured after 1995 would have a transponder chip in them. These keys are not easy to duplicate. You need to go to the dealer or to a good locksmith who has the machinery and the technology to program a new chip. The charges for getting a new key with the hob programmed would thus be around $200 or $250.
Plan and be prepared
You need to be plan and be prepared for kind of a contingency. This is why it is better you plan ahead. Don’t wait for the moment when you lose your key. Have the details of locksmiths with you so you can handle such a situation.
Do not go merely by search engine results as they can feature bogus locksmiths. Shortlist locksmiths based on their reputation and their membership of ALOA. Spend some time creating a shortlist of good locksmiths in your area. Keep their contact details readily available.
In case, you lose your car key then you can contact them immediately. This will help you get in touch with them in case of an emergency. You can thus be prepared and also save money since you know who charges how much.