Cheap Car Key Replacement
Replacing a car key can be a very frustrating and stressful experience, especially when it happens as an emergency. Sometimes, we don’t lose the key but it got broken or bent. It can also wear down sometimes until it no longer functions well. Whatever the case may be, you will need to get a replacement key to help you get back on the road.
One reason losing a key is even more frustrating is having the thought of finding the initial key somewhere after going half-way with the process of securing a key replacement. But either you later find the original key or not, you will need the key to use the car.
However, while looking to get a replacement key, it is also important you consider your pocket too. It doesn’t matter if you are getting a duplicate made for you or getting a new copy cut, you need to look for the cheapest option possible to get a replacement for your car key.
So whether you have lost your car key, or it got broken or damaged, this article will help you with some tips on how to get a cheap car key replacement without breaking your wallet.
When Do You Need A Replacement Key?
Wondering when is the time to get a replacement key? There is a variety of situations that may cause you to get a replacement for your car key. Some of such are listed below:
- When you lost your key
It is not uncommon today to see people lose their car keys and have no idea where they have lost it. There are too many distractions around us today – from our mobile devices to the hustle and bustle that happen around us, all of these can make us forget our car key or lost them without even noticing it. So if you have lost your key, you will need to get a replacement, especially if you don’t have a spare. But if you have a spare copy of the key, you may not need a replacement immediately.
If you cannot find the original or the spare copy of the key, you will need to start making arrangements right away for replacement. Most places where car key replacement is being done don’t need the original copy to create a new key for you, so don’t panic because you already lost the original.
- When your key is damaged or malfunctioning
Sometimes your key may snap, bend, or wear down until it no longer retains its shape, which could cause the key to become useless. Some cars even have high-tech keys with wireless codes that send some information to the ignition before the car can start. While this provides an additional layer of security against theft, the key may become useless if anything happens to the code.
And in some cases, some cars use remotes which allow them to lock and unlock the doors of the car as well as turn on the car. But what happens when the remote start malfunctioning? Whenever there are any issues with your car key or locks, it is something that needs immediate attention, and in most cases, you may need to get a key replacement.
The Different Types of Keys
When looking for cheap car replacement, it is important you also know the type of key your car uses. This will not only help you meet the right person for the job but will also help you know the right questions to ask. Not all keys are made the same and so there is no one size fits all method for their replacement.
Car keys come in varying types, sizes, and shapes. It is no longer what it used to be back then when car keys are made just like your front door keys. Now, there are remote flip and transponder keys. All these are done to provide an extra layer of security to your car.
The latest type of car keys out there are also the Smart Keys. Just by having this type of key in your pocket or purse, you will be able to touch your car and unlock it. All these advanced types of car keys have inbuilt transponder chips that are programmed to your locks and immobilizer.
Different models and makes of vehicles have their own unique keys. You need to first identify what type of key your car uses before talking about getting a cheap car key replacement.
How Can You Get The Cheap Car Key Replacement?
The use of transponder car keys is on the increase nowadays as more and more car owners use them to prevent car theft. Although this comes with its own unique benefits, it also draws the disadvantage of cost. Replacing such an advanced type of car key can be expensive. However, there are a few ways you can get new keys for your car without harming your wallet. Below are some cheap options to get car key replacement.
#1: Use an Auto Locksmith
This by far the cheapest option for getting car key replacement. When you call a professional auto locksmith for car key replacement, it means you committing the job into the best hands without breaking your wallet. A professional auto locksmith will have all the tools and equipment he needs to replace any type of key and for any type of car model.
To get a replacement from a locksmith, all you need is proof of ownership of the vehicle and the vehicle’s identification number.
Using an auto locksmith is not only the cheapest car key replacement option but also the fastest. Most of these professionals offer a mobile service, which means they can be at your location any minute to cut a new key for your car.
Another advantage of using an auto locksmith is that if you are also locked out of your car at the same time, he will be able to help you open the door and replace your lost car keys, even when you don’t have the original. A locksmith can also help cut and copy current keys and reprogram remote car key fobs.
#2: Claim on Car Insurance
If you have lost your car or it got broken, you can register a complaint with the insurance company. You might be able to claim to cover the cost of replacing your keys. However, before you register a complaint, ensure that the lost keys have met the time conditions as stated in the related key lost policy.
There are some insurance policies that provide coverage for the cost of getting spare keys. And some cover for the cost of hiring a car in case you got stranded and can’t drive your car because of lack of keys, especially if you will have to wait for a couple of days for new keys to be shipped from another nation.
There are also some policies that only kicks into action only if the keys have been lost for a certain period of time. So be sure you carefully read between the lines and check the fine prints before registering a complaint about any car key replacement.
If you have lost your car key, one of the cheap car key replacement options that might save you a lot of money is giving your insurance company a call.
#3: Keep Spare Set of Car Keys
This is another option to save some money on car key replacement. So when buying a car, ensure you ask for the spare keys. You can always get this from most dealers, and it can save you some time and cash when it eventually happens that you lost your original car key. However, make sure you test the spares right there before you leave so you can be sure they are working. That way, you won’t be having any issues later when the time comes for you to use the spare keys.
In case you don’t have a spare of your car key already, you need to prepare for the raining days. Have one made for you as soon as possible. The cost of getting a new car key these days could be very high, but when you already have a spare, you can be sure that even when you lose your car key, it won’t be a major form of inconvenience for you.
#4: Get Shockproof and Waterproof Keys
If you happen to be one of the folks out there who enjoy such an active lifestyle, you may need to get car keys that are shock and waterproof. That way, you will be shielding yourself from having to complain in the future about wear out or breakage issues for a long time.
If you decide to go down that way, I will recommend you use your local locksmiths instead of the car dealers. That way, you will be spending less and save more as the locksmiths will get you quality water and shockproof keys at economical rates.
#5: Use Key Locator Device
If you lose your car keys too often and have no idea where you kept them from time to time, then you may consider getting a key locator device. That may be the ultimate solution you need to turn that around. These devices are designed in such a way that they can easily help you locate your car keys when at home or in your workplace. Whenever you are unable to locate where the keys are, the device will simply ring out. That’s really a great way to save on car key replacement, so it’s worthy of being included in this list of cheap car key replacement options.
What Other Options of Car Key Replacement Is Available Apart From Locksmith?
No doubt, using an auto locksmith is the cheapest and quickest car key replacement you can get around you. It has many advantages over the other options and being the most cost-effective is the most common. But using an auto locksmith is not the only option to get car key replacement. Each of the other options also comes with its unique pros and cons. But the truth is that if you are looking for cheap car key replacement, using an auto locksmith is your best option.
Below are some more options for getting car key replacement:
- Car Insurance Provider
Some insurance companies can sometimes cover car keys, but they could be very expensive. Every insurance companies have their unique terms and conditions, so check whether your policy covers you for car key replacement. Some companies offer a key cover as a premium add-on where you pay extra cash on top of your car insurance for them to replace your keys when you damaged or lost them.
Also, some insurance companies don’t cover issues like stolen vehicle keys. However, if you have the extra cash to spare on your insurance, this might be a great option for car key replacement.
- Franchise Car Dealership
Out of the several car key replacement options out there, this seems to be the most expensive. Going to your vehicle dealership may look like the easiest option as all the job is on your dealership, it is the most expensive and time-consuming. Unlike an auto locksmith, a car dealership may not have all the required tools and equipment needed to visit you.
And because most times, the dealership will need to order in the key blank, it often takes longer before they can get you a new key to run your car. However, to solve these problems most of the time, some car dealership does use the services of specialist auto locksmiths around them.
- Vehicle Breakdown Service
Whenever you lost your car key, some roadside assistance services can also come to your rescue. However, this largely depends on the type of equipment the roadside assistance has and the type of key you want replacing. But this can also be slow, especially if the breakdown service doesn’t have the correct key coding equipment. So it still can’t be compared to calling a locksmith who will cut you a new car key because they have the right expertise and equipment to do the job on site.
- Local Garage
This option is not only slow but it is also expensive. This is usually expensive because most of them charge for using the diagnostic equipment on your car. They also may not have the right key coding equipment on-site and so may cause the job to take a little longer than calling a locksmith. It can also be hard to find a garage that can actually replace and program new car keys because it requires some specialties. So they may not be the best option if you are in an emergency situation.
I want to use a locksmith. Can he make a new key for me without the original?
If you have lost the original copy of your car key, that is not a reason to panic. You can get a new key made for you even without the original. In the modern world we are today, locksmiths can do car key replacement without physically having the key that needs replacement.
Immediately the locksmith verifies your ownership of the car, he can use codes from your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to cut a new key for you.
Can a locksmith program my transponder key?
Earlier, we highlighted the different types of keys that might come with your car. And one of these keys is transponder keys. If you lost your transponder key, an auto locksmith can help program your new transponder key and get you back on the road as soon as possible. However, in order for this process to work, the transponder chip will need to be blank. But that is not something to worry about. A professional locksmith will know how to handle that.
I have a key fob. Can a locksmith program it?
Of course, an auto locksmith can program your new key fob. But you will need a new device which has not been used before to make this happen. Remember, once a fob has been programmed to a car, it cannot be reprogramed again. When you get a professional locksmith, he will help you acquire and program the key fob. They don’t waste time and you can be sure of getting the best quality of job compared to other options of car key replacement.
How to Get a Reliable Locksmith near You for Cheap Car Key Replacement
Now that you know the best hand for quick and cheap car key replacement is using an auto locksmith, so how do you determine the best and most reliable one near you for the job? Not all locksmith can replace your lost or stolen car key, you will need a professional that knows what he or she is doing. Below are some useful tips for finding a reliable locksmith near you for car key replacement.
- Ask people around for recommendations: let your friends and family recommend a reliable locksmith they have used in the past. That will save you from the stress of falling into the wrong hands, as well as save you time for searching all by yourself.
- Search for a locksmith online: if you can’t find anyone to recommend a reliable auto locksmith, you can use the internet to get the best for you. Search for “auto locksmith near me” and choose from the result.
- Ask for credentials and certifications: you will want to give your job to a professional. So ensure you ask the locksmith for any relevant papers, certification, or credentials.
- Check for reviews and feedback: this is one effective way to be sure you are giving your job to the best hand. Check for negative reviews on their website or on review sites like Google, Yelp. Facebook, etc.
- Ask for a quote: remember you are looking for cheap car key replacement, so bear that in mind while choosing the auto locksmith for the job. Make them send you a quote and compare the quotes to go with the one that best suits your budget.