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Replacing Car Keys: Tips and Tricks

on July 28, 2021

Replacing Car Keys: Tips and Tricks

on July 28, 2021

If you have recently lost your car keys and have no way of finding them.  You might be freaking out a little bit because car keys nowadays are very high-tech and expensive.  Car keys have pros and cons to their expensive manufacturing because while they are now becoming very expensive, they are also much more safe, secure and convenient with abilities such as keyless entry, and keyless start.  

If you lost your car keys, we will teach you the best and easiest ways to get a replacement without breaking the bank.  

Lost Car Key Replacement Costs

The most expensive car key type is a Smart Key Fob, which is usually found in a lot of the new high technology vehicles.  These are the types of keys that can unlock and start your vehicle while staying in your pocket based on your proximity to the vehicle.  

These types of keys can cost you up to $500 to replace due to the type of vehicle you are driving.  If you lose your car keys while out with your vehicle, more than likely you will need roadside assistance, as getting a replacement key can take a few days.  

A switchblade key and a remote keyless entry key can cost you between $100 and $300 dollars.  The remote keyless entry allows you to unlock a car door with the push of a button, while a switchblade key allows the metal key to pop out from a plastic holder.  

A transponder key will cost you between $50-150 dollars because these keys have a security chip built into them that signals for the car’s ignition and door lock.  These are the most popular keys between the early 2000s up till 2010.  


Finally, a basic key that is found on older model vehicles is super cost-effective, only costing around $10 to $20 to replace, but you might need to prove ownership of the vehicle to have a locksmith make you a new one.  

Cheap Car Key Replacement

If you have an older vehicle, or simply just need a physical key and don’t really need the technology built into your car keys, you can go to a locksmith for a replacement key.  This is generally a much cheaper alternative than going to a dealership.  

When you go to a locksmith, it is mandatory that you will be able to provide evidence that you are the direct owner of the vehicle.  This is a safety precaution so that they are not making a key for someone that does not own the vehicle.  

Another alternative to car key replacement is to search for after-market key fobs.  Typically, if you have a vehicle that is at least 5 to 8 years older than the current year, you can find after-market key fobs at a locksmith or even online.  

Typically these after-market key fobs will be much cheaper than getting an official one from the dealership, and they may lack in quality and functionality but they should still be able to integrate with your vehicle’s technology.  The only cars that do not have after-market key fobs will be the smart key fobs.  

Finally, if you are feeling up for it.  You can attempt to do the key fob programming by yourself.  Some automotive companies actually provide you with instructions on how to do it yourself via the owner’s manual, but otherwise, the information can be found online very easily.  

The problem with this method comes in the fact that typically you need to have a key in order to program another one.  This is why it’s incredibly important to have a spare key stored in a safe place.  

Car Key Conclusion

Regardless of the type of car keys, it’s always best to have a spare key stored in a safe place at your house.  If your vehicle does not have a secondary key, now might be the time to get one. 

This is why used car dealers will typically give you more money for your vehicle or charge you more if the car comes with two keys.  No matter the case, if you lose your keys out in the world.  You might need roadside assistance on standby, which is why we always recommend having a DriveSmart auto warranty.  If you lose your keys, just call our free 24/7 roadside assistance hotline that is provided with your warranty coverage.  Always remember to stay safe on the roads, and DriveSmart!  

Written by: Stephen Lubas

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