How much does a replacement car key cost?
29th September 2014
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How much does a duplicate car key cost?                                                                                                                                     
This is a question that we are asked everyday now and the honest answer is that all vehicle keys have different prices depending on the option you think will suit your needs and your budget. See below for some guideline prices...

Many people are still unaware that all cars are now fitted with some form of immobilizer system built into their vehicle so that there is an electronic transponder component and not just key cutting that is involved. We have the odd customer who like to argue until they are blue in the face that they do not have one of these fitted into their car!

Since 1995, all vehicles have been required by law to have some form of immobilizer system built into the vehicle. This is one of the reasons why the price of car keys has risen so dramatically over the last 20 years - it is not all bad news, at the same time car theft rates have dropped significantly!

So then, how much could you expect to pay for a car key today?

The short answer is if you find a reputable local locksmith with the latest equipment, in our experience costs for a full replacement can be anything from £25 to £110 depending on a number of factors (see below). Replacing a remote locking key on average is about a £100, worst case, it could cost you £200. A cheaper option is to cut door keys only e.g. if you have locked your keys in the car and you just want to retrieve them. Prices for door key cutting is from £3 to £20.

Note that going to a main car dealer for remote locking car keys could be a lot more expensive than a specialist locksmith. Our advice would be to first check with a recommended, local, specialist locksmith who should be able to give you a clear indication of costs over the telephone for your make of car and circumstance.

See below for more detail on the options and costs that are available to Thomas Locksmith customers in the city of Brighton and Hove and wider Sussex, Surrey and Kent...

Cloned Ignition and Door Keys

Usually the most common way of getting a car key reproduced is by bringing your car key into either our Brighton Branch or our Burgess Hill branch and then we can duplicate your key and "clone" the transponder device in your original key.

We have the latest cloning equipment to be able to clone around 80% of the vehicles on the road today.

This can cost from £25 up to £75 depending on the car and immobilizer system that you have. 

Programmed New Ignition/Door Keys

Over the years technologies have changed on these immobilizer systems and some have become more difficult to clone and duplicate while others have become a lot easier.

If we are unable to clone your key. We have the technology to be able to program new keys into your vehicle diagnostically.

This unfortunately will increase the price of the key to around £50-£110 as there a number of different factors involved with each car.

The good news is that we can usually overcome the problems to get you moving again.

Remote Car Locking Devices

Now most vehicles on the road today have some form of remote locking device which many people believe they must go back to the main dealer for if lost. PLEASE DON'T, THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE!!! Thomas Locksmiths have all the latest equipment and supplies to be able to get these reproduced for you at a fraction of the price and again at our Brighton Branch or Burgess Hill branch.

You can turn up on the day (stock permitting) and  get these done instantly instead of paying a large amount of money to the dealer and you will most probably have to leave the vehicle with them for half a day to a day.

Most remotes can  be programmed into a vehicle within 5-10 minutes. 

Prices again vary from vehicle to vehicle but a rough guide-line price for these would be £80-£200. Having said that, the average price for a remote key cut and programmed for vehicles at one of our branches is about £100.

Cutting Car Door Keys Only

One final option which a lot of our customers have also opted for is to get a spare key cut that will actually not work the ignition but will open the doors.

This is a very cheap alternative to having to call our Auto Locksmith out to open up your car if the keys are locked inside or locked in the boot. Prices range from £3-£20. 

Are your Car Keys Insured?

We would also advise to check with your insurance company to see if they offer a car key insurance policy which is usually a free add on or for a small fee that will insure you for losing a car key.

If you are still not clear on the costs for your situation, feel free to call us on 01273 796216 and our experienced staff will be able to help you out with any questions relating to any car key or immobilizer problems. Visit our website here.

It won't cost you a thing to do ask for advice and a quote and you may save some money!

Visit us at:-

Brighton Locksmith Branch

97 Portland Road
East Sussex

Tel: 01273 796216 

Burgess Hill Locksmith Branch

169 London Road
Burgess Hill
West Sussex
RH15 8LH
Tel: 01444 245204


The future of car keys? See below an image of the new BMW Smart Remote. I think this may be an article for another day!

About the Author

Paul C

Member since: 30th September 2013

Paul Clunes is the manager at at Thomas Locks. They are trusted, local locksmiths with a shop in Portland Road, Hove, serving customers in the city of Brighton and Hove and throughout Sussex.

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