Losing your car keys can be an extremely frustrating experience. Whether they were misplaced, damaged, or stolen, not having access to your vehicle can majorly disrupt your daily life. When you find yourself in need of replacement car keys in the UK, there are a few options to consider.
The Traditional Dealership Route
The most straightforward option is to contact your car’s dealership. Most dealerships have the ability to make you a new set of keys for your specific make and model. However, this option tends to be more expensive than other alternatives. Dealerships frequently charge £200 or more for a basic replacement key. This cost goes up significantly if you need a technologically advanced key with remote access, transponder chips or other features.
While dealerships are convenient, the high price point leads many people to seek out other solutions. Luckily there are a number of cost-effective ways to get a replacement car key made in the UK.
An experienced locksmith will have the skills and equipment necessary to cut and program new car keys. Well-established locksmith shops can make keys for the vast majority of makes and models. The advantages of using a local locksmith include convenience, quicker service, and usually lower prices than the dealership. You can typically expect to pay £80-£120 for a basic key from a locksmith. More complex key replacements with remote fobs and programming can run £200 or more.
To find a qualified automotive locksmith in your region, search online directories and read reviews. Make sure any locksmith you consider has solid experience with car keys and the diagnostic machines to program keys and extract codes. Using an unqualified locksmith risks damaging your car’s ignition or immobilizer.
Online Replacement Services
Rather than driving to a local dealer or shop, you can also order replacement car keys online. Online services like CarKeysExpress.co.uk allow you to buy car keys on the internet 24/7 and get them delivered directly to you. The major benefit of online key replacement is convenience. You don’t need to leave your house or wait around a shop. Your car keys are produced at a central facility using your vehicle records and delivered to your door in just a few days.
To use an online replacement service, you’ll need to provide details like your VIN number, car registration, make and model. Once your information is entered into the system, a new key can be made and coded to match your car exactly. Most online services guarantee their keys will work or provide refunds. You can expect to pay £60-£200 for the online key replacement process, which is generally still cheaper than dealership prices.
Mobile mechanics and auto locksmiths are another option for getting car key replacements without going to a shop. Mobile technicians come to wherever you are located with equipment to cut and program new keys. This can be the most convenient option if your schedule makes it difficult to leave home.
Expect to pay similar rates for mobile key replacement as you would at a locksmith shop. Rates start around £80-100 for simple mechanical keys. Electronic keys with immobilizer programming, remote fobs and other features raise the cost. Make sure any mobile tech you call is qualified, licensed and insured.
When you need a replacement car key in the UK, the method you choose mainly comes down to convenience and cost. But here are a few additional tips to smooth the process:
- Make sure to get all your keys replaced at once if possible. Having just 1 new key programmed can deprogram the other working keys you have.
- If you’ve lost all working keys, be prepared to provide proof of ID and ownership to get replacements made.
- Ask about warranties on the key replacement work. Know who to call if your new key fails to start the car.
- For the safest key copies, provide the locksmith or dealership with an existing working key to copy.
- Certain vehicle makes like BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen use specialized keys and programming. Replacement costs will be higher.
When you need car keys made in the UK, companies like carkeyleicester.co.uk offer fast and affordable online ordering. Their experts use your vehicle VIN to cut, program and deliver new keys within days. Avoid the high dealership prices and get your car keys conveniently replaced.