Your questions answered
Locked my keys in the car, what to do?
Car lockouts can be a stressful event, especially if you have somewhere important to be. You may also have a child or dog locked inside the car. The first thing to do is search for ‘Auto locksmith near me’ or ‘car unlocking services’ An auto locksmith will have the quickest and most cost-effective solution to get back into your vehicle with no damage. Smashing and replacing a car window can cost up to £350 and take days to replace. Most locksmiths will charge between £80- £160 depending on location and time of day.
Why are car keys so expensive?
The car keys themselves are generally not the costly part of the job, although there are some exceptions. Some cars are only compatible with dealer keys and tools, these can cost up to £800. However, in most cases, aftermarket car keys can be programmed to the vehicle meaning the cost of the key is not as high.
The majority of the cost charged goes towards key programming equipment, key cutting machines, diagnostic equipment, insurance, Van costs, subscription costs, stock levels and ongoing training. Most decent locksmiths have invested around £50,000 before they even arrive at the scene to assist you. Some very experienced locksmiths carry £100,000 worth of car key stock alone. They do this so that if you were to lose your keys in the middle of the night and the key is rare, they are still able to assist you on the spot. Many machines also cost a monthly subscription, which has to be accounted for.
Can a locksmith replace any car key?
Yes. Auto locksmiths try their best to have as much coverage as possible on all car brands and models. There is more than one way to make a car key, however, a very small portion of car manufacturers do an exceptional job of encrypting the immobiliser data, meaning only dealer tools can program the keys. Auto locksmiths can also order keys from the dealership and program them with dealer tools. This saves the need for a recovery truck to the dealership. It’s always worth asking an auto locksmith before calling a dealership, as they can usually help, whatever the situation.
How to become a locksmith?
The locksmith industry is vast, with many locksmiths choosing to specialise in sectors such as Residential, Automotive, Commercial and Safe opening.
Solid foundations are always a must when entering a new business. There are plenty of locksmith courses available on the internet. Do your research before picking one. Watford Car Keys provides a 1 on 1 auto locksmith course. Make sure you have a concrete business plan and a crystal clear understanding of all the start-up, operating and marketing costs.
My car keys have been stolen, what should I do?
You should get your stolen keys deleted, program new keys in and then change the ignition and door locks to match the new keys. Many insurance companies will require this. It’s always worth checking their requirements. An auto locksmith can help with this procedure, alternatively, you can get the work completed at the dealership.
Do you operate 24 hours a day?
I strive to be available as much as possible throughout the day and night, however, being a sole trader it is hard to be available every minute of the day and night.
Is there any warranty?
Yes, all my work is guaranteed for a minimum of 1 year.
Can I program a car key myself?
No is the short answer. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet claiming that you can program a car key yourself. This information refers to programming the remote buttons to lock and unlock the vehicle and not programming the transponder to start the vehicle. On some Fords, Hondas and Toyotas it is possible to program the remote yourself by manual procedure, however, you will still need to get the blade cut and the transponder programmed. It’s best to pay a professional Auto locksmith to complete the whole job.
Why doesn’t My key doesn’t turn in the ignition?
Ignitions and door locks are full of small moving parts, and over time these inevitably wear down. The key blade may be at the incorrect height or the wafers inside the ignition may have worn down to the incorrect height. The ignition may have to be replaced. An auto locksmith can replace ignitions at the roadside.