Cost of Replacing a Lost Car Key

It is important to be aware of the cost involved when you lose your car key. You can copy a standard key at any hardware store, whereas the smart key might require you to visit a locksmith or dealership.

There are ways to save money if your fob is not damaged and is not in need of to be reprogrammed.

1. Key Type

Car keys have a strange ability to disappear into unexpected places. They can be difficult to locate, no matter if they disappear from your pocket when you’re shopping, are stuck between your couch cushions or fall into the crack in the back of your car. In the past, you could pop into your local auto locksmith or hardware shop to purchase a new.

It’s costly to replace a key fob or remote transmitter if you have an automobile that is equipped with advanced technology. These systems use key fobs and remote transmitters, which are tiny electronic devices. They’re also stuffed with circuitry, making them expensive to replace in the event of a loss.

This is why you should think about purchasing a key fob replacement insurance plan, which will cover up to $400 for each lost or stolen key. These plans typically cost less than total Replacement Car key costs and include unlimited lost or stolen key replacements along with additional benefits like towing insurance and roadside assistance, among others.

The type of key that you own will also impact the cost. Some keys are more expensive to replace. For example, basic keys made of metal with no fob are relatively inexpensive, because they’re mechanical and can be easily replaced by a professional locksmith or mechanic. However, if your key is equipped with a transponder chip, it’ll require special equipment to duplicate. These machines are only available from car dealerships or manufacturers and could be a major factor in the cost.

Laser cut keys can increase the cost of a replacement key for a car replacement key, as they are more substantial. They are made from metal that is molded into the desired shape, and then are cut using precision lasers for an exact fit.

2. Key Fob

The loss of your car keys used to be a minor issue. A locksmith or car dealer could offer you a replacement key which was probably inexpensive. As cars have become more technologically advanced and so have their keys. This means that replacing a lost key could be more costly.

Key fobs became popular during the 1990s as an additional feature that allowed car owners to lock and unlock their car without the need for a physical key. The small plastic fobs come with an electronic button that when hit by the user signals the onboard computer to lock or unlock the vehicle. Some have a button to activate the vehicle’s alarm system or open the trunk.

A locksmith for cars can cut a traditional key without a remote at the cost of a small fee. It’s exactly the same as keys that were made prior to 1990. Some locksmiths will replace the fob that was lost while they are waiting.

Fobs that have a transponder or another chip could be more expensive to replace than conventional ones. Reprogramming and pairing them can cost as much as $200 and are only available from the original dealer of the car.

Many businesses who work with cars such as auto repair shops and car dealerships might end up with a lot of spare fobs. Some of them could be sold to consumers, but others require special equipment and technical expertise to make use of, something that’s readily available to the average consumer. It’s a good idea to keep a spare key in your purse or pocket. You can also add GEICO Emergency Roadside Service as part of your policy to make things even easier if you need it.

3. Laser Cut Keys

Unlike traditional mechanical keys, laser-cut keys have deeper ridges and grooves. This makes them more difficult for car thieves.

They also have slits inserted into the sides of the key blade, which allows them to be placed into the door or the ignition cylinder lock in either direction. These are the most popular car keys available today. They are more sought-after than traditional key fobs because they provide a higher degree of security and comfort.

If you’re considering getting a laser-cut key for your car, it’s essential to make sure the shop that is cutting keys has the appropriate equipment. You’ll get keys that don’t work properly in the event that you don’t. You should also consider the quality of the knife as a low-quality one can harm your key cutting device or cause it to crack inside the ignition cylinder.

To cut a key using lasers locksmiths need to have your vehicle identification number (VIN). Once they have your VIN, they can run the data through a computer to retrieve the specifications of your vehicle. They will then use an CNC machine to cut the key based on these specifications.

They are generally only available through dealerships. However, they are less expensive than traditional key fobs and have the added bonus of being difficult to duplicate.

For a typical all-in-one laser-cut key you’ll have to pay between $150 and $250 for labor costs. This is because these kinds of key need to be programmed by the dealership. They are among the most convenient and secure keys for cars that are available today.

4. Switchblade Keys

A lot of modern cars utilize key fobs to lock and unlock the doors, as well as turn on the engine. Unlike older mechanical keys, that operate mechanically and are easy to duplicate by locksmiths or key cutters These newer car keys have transponder chips built in that need to be paired with the vehicle by the dealer or auto locksmith. These keys are more expensive. They vary from $50-$100 in the basic model, and up to $200 for models that include push-to-start functions.

Fobs that have what’s known as a switchblade key, which folds up when not in use, typically, they cost more to replace. These keys have shanks which retract into the fob, and replacement car key then are released when needed. They are usually much more secure than traditional keys, which makes them a powerful deterrent for thieves and are a good alternative for those in need of an extra car key to allow valet usage. The cost of replacing these keys ranges from $100 to $300 depending on the car and the type.

In contrast to the crank key of the past, which was difficult, heavy, and dangerous to handle keys made of electronic technology are light and easy to handle. These car keys also make it harder for thieves to steal them, as they are cylindrical. This stops the use of key-duplicate machines that criminals use to copy your car key.

The keys are entirely electronic and communicate electronically to open the doors and begin the engine. Some are even able to do so without having to be taken from the pocket of the driver. These types of keys are expensive to replace and require an excursion to the dealer, which may include a towing fee.

5. Transponder Keys

Unlike mechanical keys, transponder keys have a chip in them that relays a radio frequency signal to the car whenever it is inserted into the ignition. The signal is then read by the car’s computer system to determine if it matches the serial number of the key. If it matches the key’s serial number, the vehicle will allow the key unlock the door and start the engine. This is done to avoid car thefts by making it harder to connect a car’s hot wire and also to start the engine.

In theory, this is effective However, smart car thieves are constantly finding ways to beat this technology. The chips inside these keys are also not as durable as many would like to think. They are prone to being destroyed quickly, which could lead to the key not functioning at all.

The cost of replacing transponder keys could be costly. The key blank can cost as much as $50, and then there’s the added expense of programming it. This process requires a special machine that’s only found in dealerships for cars.

It is therefore recommended to find a locksmith professional who has the necessary equipment for programming transponder key. It is also a great idea to have your vehicle’s details prepared, such as the year model, make, and year of the vehicle. This will ensure that the correct key blank is used, which could save you money in the end. A locksmith can program a transponder-type key typically for $150, but for cars with push-to-start capabilities with key fobs and remote transmitters it could cost up to $180. These keys require a special programming service that can be performed only by a licensed locksmith.