Welcome to replacecarkey.org, where you will be able to replace lost or missing car keys at much better rates than going to the dealership. You may have already spoken to a dealership and gotten an expensive quote to replace your keys. But there are cheaper and faster ways to replace lost car keys, keep reading to learn more.
Lost Your Car Keys?
Everyone hates losing their keys. And it happens to everyone – even the most organised people end up losing their keys at some point.
While replacing keys used to be just time consuming and expensive, nowadays lost car keys also becoming very expensive. Even if you lose your keys just once, it can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in replacement costs. Not to mention the time it takes to organise replacements.
Modern car keys are not as simple to replace as they once used to be. Modern keys have transponder chips which are coded specifically to the car. This means that keys not only need to be cut, but also programmed to the car as well. Replacing these keys through the dealership is often expensive and frustrating.
Here you’ll find information on how to get a replacement set of keys quickly and cheaply. We’ll give you step by step guides on finding and replacing keys for your vehicle type.
We also have a partner site where you can also look up affordable options on how to replace a Windshield. You’ll be able to see what a Windshield replacement costs and how you can get one replaced on a budget.
How to Get a Replacement Set of Keys for Less
Think that only the dealership can help you if you’ve lost your keys? Think again. There are a number of options available if you want to replace your car keys that don’t involve the dealership.
Normally people go to dealerships because that’s where they normally take their cars for any sort of repair. But what they often don’t know is that, going to the dealership is often the most expensive option for getting replacement keys!
Going to a professional local locksmith is often much cheaper method than going to the dealership. A professional locksmith can not only be cheaper but because they’re mobile they can often be faster as well.
Want to know more?
Here are a few companies you can call to get you keys replaced quickly.
The other, less known option for getting replacement keys is Amazon. Yep, the same Amazon where you find your favorite books and movies is also a good place to buy replacement keys for your car.
Now, the key’s at Amazon aren’t ready to go on your car straight away. They still need some work. Key’s bought from Amazon are known as ‘Blank Keys’ and they will still need to be cut and coded. But getting these blank keys through Amazon is often cheaper than getting them through dealerships and locksmiths.
Always make sure you check at amazon first, add your vehicle and search for a key or fob.
Using a ‘Car Key’ provider
A ‘Car Key’ provider is exactly what it sounds like, a company that provides replacement car keys. They offer a valuable service but not a lot of people know about them. That’s because they’re often called: Locksmiths.
Generally locksmiths open and replace locks that you don’t have the key to. They get you back into places that you have locked yourself out of. But replacing keys is a much different game. As we mentioned before, modern keys now feature electronics which make the car almost impossible to steal without the right key. But they also make copying the key a lot more complicated as well.
In addition to opening locks, a locksmith that is also a Car Key provider has the right training and tools to cut and program a new set of transponder keys for you car.
This makes Locksmiths experts in car key replacement.
They are many different providers all over the country and they have several benefits over dealerships.
The main one being that they’re generally more affordable. But the other lesser known one is that they often can create keys for a wide range of cars. So if your car is a little older or a bit obscure, then you have a higher chance of locksmiths helping you.
Premium European dealerships often can create keys for almost all of their models (for example, Mercedes dealerships). But domestic dealerships can sometimes only work on keys for cars that are around 5 years old. If you’re lucky enough to be near the head office or a major dealership, then you may be in luck as they may have more features – but you’ll still have to call and check.
Why you should always try a locksmith
Dealerships are always seen as the easy option – they know your car and can always do a great job. Right?
Not always. Most dealerships nowadays are raising prices and looking for ways to upsell or outright charge you more. Dealerships always take a long time to do jobs such as replace keys. Plus, they can’t come to you, meaning that if you’re stuck with no keys, you need to pay to tow your car to them.
Locksmiths are much more convenient than dealerships and they tend to be much cheaper as well. A locksmith comes to you and can get you back on the road a lot sooner. And they’re not interested in getting you to upgrade a new car and simply get you back on the road with a new set of keys.
Yes, the dealership does look like the ‘safe’ place to take your car to, but they’re not always the smartest choice. Especially if you’re looking for car keys near you.
The other thing you’ve got to remember is the difference between transponder keys and key fobs. Transponder keys the actual physical keys which you use to start the engine. While the key fobs are the little remote control units which feature buttons to lock and unlock the car and even open the trunk.
Very new cars (5 years and under) often have the key and fob combined as one unit but when you lose them the problem is always the same:
You have to clarify to the dealership which component you’ve actually lost.
Losing a key fob is often easy enough to replace. Sure, fob needs to be reprogrammed to your vehicle but it’s a lot more simple and straightforward than getting a new key.
If you’re speaking to a locksmith, chances are they know that you’ve lost your keys (especially if you’ve locked yourself out.). But sometimes dealerships can make the mistake of thinking you are looking for a key fob not an actual key replacement.
Get more than one set of spare keys made
If you’ve lost all, or the only, keys to your car, then of course you’re going to get at least one set of keys made for your car.
But if you’re already going to all that trouble of getting the key cut and coded. Then just spend a little extra and get a second or even three sets of keys made. Sure it may cost a little more now, but it will no doubt be cheaper than going back to the locksmith (or dealership) if you lose your keys again.
Could you do it yourself?
Depending on the age and type of vehicle, you could actually be able to do some of the programming work yourself.
While a dealership and locksmith will use computers and specialized software to reprogram keys, most cars have a series of manual maneuvers that you can use to code the keys to the car directly. They normally involve things like, taking the key in and out of the ignition a set number of times, turning the key to a certain position a set number of times etc. Theoretically you could use these maneuvers to reprogram your new key yourself but there are two catches.
1. You’ll need a ‘master key’
Self-programming only works if you still have one key left to use with the car. You’ll need the main key to put the car into programming mode. Then once the car is ready, then you’ll be able to program the new key. So if you’ve lost all the keys to your car, then this method won’t work and you’ll have to call a locksmith.
2. You still need to cut the new key.
The key that you buy from Amazon online will come as a literal blank keys. You will still need to go to a locksmith to get it cut to match your specific car. Again, if you’ve got one set of keys, that is no problem. But, if you’ve lost all the keys then how do you know which is the right pattern for your car?
A locksmith or dealership can find out for you. But if you’re going to all that trouble to call dealerships and locksmiths, you might as well get a locksmith to do the entire job. That way you can save yourself a lot of time and effort.
In case you’re still not sure
Still not sure if a locksmith is the right person to get your keys replaced? Then just remember this:
Locksmiths are often much faster than dealerships at replacing keys. Depending on which make and model of car you drive, a locksmith can sometimes get you back on the road within a few hours!
If you provide the locksmith with enough information, and make sure you know that you have no spare car keys, they can come to site with all the tools and equipment needed to get your car keys made right there on the spot.
Now compare that to a dealership which will take at least a few days to replace a set of keys. Don’t believe us? Call up a dealership and a locksmith today and see what timeline each of them give you.
Want to see the specific steps to getting a new set of keys for your car? Click the correct link below and read our guide.