If you have ever found yourself in the unenviable position of having lost your only car key, then you already know that getting a replacement (whether from the dealership or through an auto locksmith) can be extremely expensive. With all the latest security features on car locks and ignitions, getting a replacement key is no longer as simple as going to the hardware store and having one cut. Ordering a replacement from the dealership can run hundreds of dollars. With all that said, how can you save money and still get a new key that works?
Have a Spare
Yes, it sounds so simple, but one of the easiest ways to save money down the line is to have a mechanical key cut. For newer cars, it generally won’t start the ignition, but will ensure that you aren’t locked out. Having a mechanical key that fits your car also makes it easier for an auto locksmith to not only come out to your location, but also program a transponder to your car, eliminating a crucial and potentially very expensive step.
Again, this seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people wait until they need that spare to order it. In this case, a little preparation can save you a lot of money down the line.
Call Your Insurance Company
Believe it or not, many insurance companies will cover all or part of the cost of replacing lost or stolen car keys. Whether you order them from a dealership or have them cut by an auto locksmith, it’s definitely worth finding out if this is covered by your policy. If you are unable to find any information about lost or stolen key replacement, try giving your insurance agent a call. It won’t take long, but it has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars. Plus, some companies will even pay for a hired car in the event yours is out of commission for a few days.
Store Your Information
You know that little tag that comes with new car keys, the one that has a little code on it? Save it. Keep it somewhere safe, as that little tag can save you a lot of money in the long run. The thing is, that code is the key code. It can tell your auto locksmith exactly which key goes with your car. This means that in the event you lose your keys and don’t have a spare, the locks will not need to be pulled. Pulling locks is a lot more expensive than having a key made, so if you can tell your locksmith which key that you need, it will save you a ton of money.
Getting locked out and losing keys happens to everyone, and as stated, getting replacement car keys can be a lot more expensive than getting other keys made. Luckily, with these tips and preventative measures, you can potentially save yourself a lot of money. Of course, using a well-respected locksmith with experience is also a great idea!