Having your car keys lost or stolen can be an extremely stressful and inconvenient situation. Not only are you unable to access your vehicle, but you also run the risk of someone else potentially breaking into it. That’s why it’s crucial to get your car locks changed as soon as possible if your keys go missing. But how much does this service typically cost in the UK? Let’s take a look.
The Costs of Changing Car Locks
The costs of getting your car locks changed in the UK can vary quite a bit depending on a few key factors:
The make and model of your car:
More complex, modern car locks tend to be more expensive to replace than simpler ones. Luxury vehicles also usually cost more.
Whether you go through a dealership or locksmith:
Dealerships will generally charge significantly more, with labor costs ranging from £200-£500. Independent locksmiths tend to be much more affordable.
Prices can vary across different regions of the UK. Locksmiths in more rural areas may charge less than those in busier cities.
The number of locks being changed:
If you need multiple locks on your car rekeyed (e.g. driver’s door, passenger door, boot, ignition barrel, etc) it will cost more than a single lock.
The time and complexity of the job:
More complex situations like damaged/stuck locks or ignition barrel changes will take longer and therefore cost more in labor fees.
On average, to have a car lock changed by an auto locksmith in the UK, you can expect to pay somewhere between £50-£200 depending on the factors above. This would typically include the call-out fee, labor, and the supply of new locks and keys.
Going through a main dealer could cost £200-£500+ for the same service. However, for most drivers, using an independent locksmith will be the more cost-effective option for car lock changes.
Why Change Your Car Locks if Keys Are Lost/Stolen?
Once you discover your car keys have gone missing, it’s crucial to act fast and get the locks changed. Even if you initially lost your keys somewhere harmless, there’s always the chance someone with ill intent could find them and access your vehicle. Some key reasons it’s highly recommended to change locks when keys are lost or stolen:
If someone has your keys, they have everything they need to be able to steal your car. New locks will stop this possibility.
Even if they can’t drive your car away, lost keys could allow someone easy access to break in and steal belongings, or cause malicious damage.
Most insurers will require you to replace locks before they class a vehicle as secure after lost keys. Not doing so can void your cover.
Peace of mind:
Knowing unauthorized access is no longer possible provides great peace of mind and reduces stress.
So the potential costs of not changing locks far outweigh the costs of replacing them when keys disappear. It’s a small price to pay for security and peace of mind.
How to Find Affordable Car Lock Replacement:
While car dealerships may be the most convenient option, they are often far from the most budget-friendly. Instead, here are some tips to find affordable car lock changes near you:
Search for “auto locksmiths near me”:
Online searches will help you find well-reviewed independent locksmiths in your local area that offer competitive rates.
Check comparison sites – Websites like HelpLocksmiths allow you to compare quotes from different locksmiths to find the best deal.
Ask for quotes over the phone:
Get a rough idea of costs from a few locksmiths before making your decision.
Consider mobile locksmiths:
These professionals can come directly to your location which saves travel costs.
Avoid premium/emergency call-out fees:
Book ahead if you can, rather than requiring an emergency out-of-hours visit.
Ask about discounts:
Some locksmiths offer discounts for students, seniors, veterans, AAA members etc.
Get a referral:
Friends, family, or contacts may know of a quality affordable auto locksmith they can recommend.
Here at [carkeyleicester.co.uk], we work with trusted independent locksmiths across Leicester and the rest of the UK. If you ever find yourself locked out or in need of car lock changes, get in touch for cost-effective solutions.
What Does Replacing Car Locks Involve?
When you hire a professional auto locksmith to come and replace your car locks, what does the process involve? Here’s a basic overview:
The locksmith will begin by examining your locks to determine the make/model and assess if they can be repaired vs fully replaced.
Door panel removal:
For the lock to be accessed, the interior door panel needs to be carefully removed. This is usually done with specialist tools.
Old lock taken out:
The lock cylinder is detached from the door and extracted. This may require drilling if corroded in place.
New lock installation:
The new lock unit is carefully fitted into the door and attached. The locksmith will ensure smooth operation.
Modern car keys are electronically coded. The new key will be cut and programmed to match your car’s security system.
Once the newly coded key is tried and confirmed to unlock/start the car, the job is complete.
Finally, the inner door panel is reattached securely to complete the professional service.
The exact process can vary slightly by car make and model. But reputable auto locksmiths will ensure minimum disruption to get your new lock fitted promptly. Many provide warranties on parts and labor for peace of mind.
Extra Services & Costs to Consider:
Beyond the car lock replacement itself, there are a few other related services and costs to potentially keep in mind:
You may need replacement keys cut to match your new locks. Remote fobs may also need programming.
Your locksmith may recommend lubricating locks to prevent future sticking and seizing up.
Damaged ignition barrels often need expert repair or replacement.
Transponder chip keys:
These modern digital keys are more advanced and therefore a bit more costly.
You may want to max out security by adding locks e.g. to the boot, rear power locks etc.
Emergency call-outs outside standard hours usually incur premium rates.
Discuss any specific requirements with your locksmith upfront so you’re aware of any extra charges. Most will be happy to provide a breakdown of all costs.
We hope this guide has helped explain average car lock change costs in the UK and given some tips for finding affordable solutions. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the professionals at [carkeyleicester.co.uk] if you ever need assistance with any car key issues. With extensive experience providing car key replacement in Leicester, you can count on us for fast, hassle-free service.