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How Much Does a New Car Key Cost

  • Car Care Tips
  • Barrett Mohrmann
  • 5 minutes

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In the past, misplacing or losing your car keys was not a big deal. However, these days the mistake of losing a car key comes with a high price. The cost of replacing a car key can put quite a dent in your budget. Car key replacement costs differ widely depending on the model.

Unlike now, in the older days, the keys lacked a chip. Now almost every car key has a built-in chip. The basic rule of thumb is that the older key is, the cheaper and simpler it is to replace. In the case of the older cars, you have another option you could just buy a new ignition cylinder with new keys and do it yourself or hand over the technical and mechanical works to a mechanic. 

For the newer cars, if you have the key code (usually found in the glove compartment) specific to your car model and make, most third parties would charge you starting from $35. The chip-in key would cost around $100. The rest of the part, namely the key fob, the key with the integrated fob, and the switchblade key, would cost about $350 if we included the programming. 

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How much does car key replacement actually cost? 

Straight to the point – the costs vary in range considerably. Depending on the vehicle brand and the type of key being, the cost could range from a mere $10 to $500.

Where can you get your car key replacements? 

Dealerships and local auto locksmiths are the two most common places to get a car key replacement. The cost of getting a car key replacement can vary slightly between different locksmiths, but dealerships in the same state usually maintain more consistent pricing.

Getting it done at a third-party mechanic workshop would be the cheaper option, but it has pros and cons. The quality or lifetime of the key from a third party would depend on the particular workshop. If you are getting the key replacement from a third party, ensure it is from a reputed workshop. On the other hand, getting the car key replacement from the dealership or authorized service center would be more reliable if you are willing to spend a few extra bucks. 

What are the factors affecting the cost of car key replacement? 

These are some factors that affect the cost of car key replacement. 

  • The vehicle’s value (Premium car manufacturer’s keys would be more expensive than normal manufacturers)
  • The key’s design 
  • The geographical location (New York, California, and Washington, DC, are likely to have the most expensive dealers.)
  • Timeliness (faster key replacement is likely to be more expensive)  
  • Extra features and
  • The technology embedded within the key determines the Car key replacement costs. 

How much does it cost for different types of keys?  

  • Mechanical keys range from $10 to $25 
  • Standard Valet Keys range from $30 to $50) USD 
  • Standard Automotive Keys range from $75 to $150 
  • Transponder Keys range from $100 to $300 
  • Keyless Fobs range from $300 to $600

Does insurance cover the replacement of car keys? 

 The insurance company will likely cover the key replacement cost or at least a percentage of the total cost unless specified in the terms and conditions. Check the company policies for accurate clarification. Sometimes in the case of new vehicles, the key replacement may be covered by the car’s warranty, roadside assistance extra add-ons, or an extended bumper-to-bumper warranty. 

Some dealerships may offer a one-time free key replacement for new vehicles. If you lose your key once, the dealer will cover the cost of replacing it. If you lose your key a second time, you are financially liable for it. 

How much does it cost to replace a car key battery?  

If your car key runs out of battery, there is no need to replace it entirely; instead, replacing the battery would be enough. Manufacturers these days make it relatively easy and quick to install a new battery, though you may need a small screwdriver to pry open the key fob. These batteries cost less than $10, although some fobs require two batteries. Since it only takes a moment to replace a battery, battery specialists and dealers frequently do so without charge. If you’re mechanically inclined, you can save time by purchasing a battery from a hardware store or the Internet and replacing it yourself. 

What can you do to start your car when the Key fob is dead? 

If your vehicle offers keyless entry and engine start, you can still access it with a keyless remote. The key usually has a physical key inside. 

You can also start most keyless entry cars by holding the key fob close to the start/stop button. The owner’s manual will contain information specific to your vehicle regarding how to hold the key fob, as every Manufacturer has their way. 

 Contact your dealership or local auto locksmiths to determine the approximate cost of replacing your car key. 

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