Losing your car key can be maddening.
You’ll tear your home apart, searching high and low for it.
If, after all your efforts, you still can’t find the key, you’ll want to tear up the place, even more, when you find out just how much it’ll cost to replace the key.
It’s enough to turn the calmest person into a raging Hulk.
Because of the technological advances in car keys—like keyless entry and keyless start remotes—it can be very expensive to replace a lost or damaged car key.
Find out just how much you can expect to pay to get a new car key.
Average Cost to Replace a Car Key
Replacing a car key can cost you anywhere from $50 to $500.
Newer key fobs are generally more expensive to replace due to the technology involved with them.
Older basic car keys are usually the cheapest to replace.
Types of Keys You Can Replace
There are a handful of different types of car keys. The type of key you have will heavily determine the cost of replacing it. Keep reading to learn what you might have to pay to replace your specific type of car key.
Basic Key Fobs
These are the standard remote fobs for getting in and out of your car, but not for starting it.
To replace a key fob, you’ll likely have to pay around $50.
These days, it is almost universally standard for car keys to be transponder keys.
This is a form of anti-theft. The keys have a chip in them that essentially sends a signal to the car that the key is valid.
If the car doesn’t receive that signal, the immobilizer will keep the car from starting.
This is slightly more complicated than a basic key. To replace a transponder key, you’ll pay anywhere between $70 to $250.
Transponder Switchblade Keys
This is the type of car key that folds into the key fob.
Since this is technically a transponder key and fob, you can expect the cost of replacement to be pretty steep.
You’ll pay around $150 to $300 to replace an entire switchblade key.
Laser-cut Car Key
These keys are uniquely cut by laser and cannot be replicated by locksmiths.
You will have to go to the dealer to replace a laser-cut key.
To add to the complication, laser-cut keys usually also have a transponder chip.
You will likely pay $200 to $300 to replace a laser-cut key.
Keyless remotes allow you to open your car and start it without ever touching your key—the remote still needs to be on you.
Keyless remotes are becoming more and more common, but that doesn’t mean they are any cheaper to replace.
Keyless remotes can usually only be replaced by the dealer or manufacturer.
You’ll likely have to pay $200 to $500 to get a new keyless remote for your car.
Where to Get a New Car Key
You can get a new car key from an automotive locksmith or through a dealership.
The dealership is always going to be the most expensive option.
However, in the case of laser-cut and keyless remotes, the dealership may be your only option.
If you can replace a key with a locksmith, keep in mind that your replacement key may not look exactly like the original key.
Can you get a new key without the original?
If you lost your key, don’t worry, you can absolutely get a replacement even if you no longer have the original.
Locksmiths or dealerships should be able to make a replacement for you without a hitch.
Even without the original transponder, locksmiths and dealerships will be able to program a replacement key for you.