How Much Will a Locksmith Charge if You’re Locked Out of Your Car or Lose the Keys

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Have you locked your key in the car? Did the key break in the keyhole? Did you simply just lose your key?

There are several reasons why you might not be able to get in your car and start it.

A good locksmith can help you solve most of these issues. 

Locksmiths can get you back in your vehicle with a car key that’ll start it up, but they aren’t going to do it for free.

Here we’ll look at just how much it costs for a locksmith to service your car.  

How Much is a Locksmith for your Car

The average locksmith will charge anywhere between $50 to $150 for a standard job on your car.

Keep in mind, however, that the price could creep well over that average depending on what you need.

A transmitter key fob replacement, for example, could cost over $200. Also, rates may be higher on nights and weekends. 

If you need an emergency locksmith service outside of their normal business hours, you can expect to pay more as well.

Are car locksmiths covered by your auto insurance?

Typically, locksmiths are only covered if you have supplemental roadside assistance coverage in your plan.

This is usually an add-on that will increase your total premium.

However, it tends to be one of the more affordable coverages, costing as low as $15 per coverage period. 

Learn more about roadside assistance and towing costs.

Services a Locksmith Can Provide for your Vehicle

You may not know it, but a qualified locksmith technician can do more than just open your car door for you.

Here are some of the most common locksmith services offered

  • Lockout service/Unlocking your door.
  • Clearing a keyhole.
  • Rekeying your car.
  • Replacing key or key fob.
  • Replacing ignition switch.

1. Car Lockouts

Lock your keys in the car? A locksmith can open the door for you and get you back on the road. 

This is one of the most common services automotive locksmiths are called in for. Don’t be embarrassed.

Estimated average cost: $50-$90.

2. Clearing a Keyhole

If your key breaks in the door’s keyhole or the ignition keyhole, a locksmith can use tools to clear out the keyhole.

This can also be useful is dirt, grime, rust, or other debris have rendered a keyhole unusable.

Estimated average cost: $70-$150.

3. Rekeying your Car and Changing Locks

A locksmith can rekey your car’s lock and ignition if needed.

Estimated average cost: $50-$150.

4. New Key or Key Fob

Locksmiths can replace a basic key or transmitter key or key fob.

Basic keys are much cheaper to replace than key fobs.

Locksmiths may not be able to replace a keyless entry/starter remote—you’ll have to go to the dealership for chip keys. 

However, some technicians are capable of key programming as well.

Estimated average cost: $50-$200.

Learn more about how much it will cost for a new car key.

5. Replacing Ignition Switch

Locksmiths are also able to replace your car’s entire ignition switch, including the cables and wiring.

Estimated average cost: $120-$180.

How Long Will It Take a Locksmith to Work on Your Car

Generally, most locksmith jobs for cars are pretty fast.

You normally will be waiting between 10 and 60 minutes for the locksmith to complete the job. 

The bulk of your wait may actually be made up of the time it takes for the locksmith to actually arrive.

After you call the locksmith company, they will generally dispatch the job out to available locksmith, and depending on how busy they are and other factors like location and weather, it could be hours before they finally reach you. 

Most locksmiths will not take that long to get to you.

You’ll likely see your locksmith within the hour, after requesting assistance.