How Much is a Replacement Car Key in the UK?

The price of replacing a car key now is different than replacing a car key years ago. The simplicity of traditional keys makes it easier and cheaper for them to be replaced. Without the complexity of modern car keys, purchasing or cutting traditional keys can be serviced by any home improvement stores. However, due to the car manufacturers’ goal to upgrade their vehicle’s security, car keys now are more intricate than ever before. Even the act of replacing a modern key may cost hundreds.

The multiple technological advancements in recent years skyrocketed the price of modern car keys. Luckily, the cost of car keys varies from car manufacturers, their vehicle make, and model. Keys of high-end cars will definitely be more costly than other cars. The cost also depends on the complexity of the electronic devices present in the key. Programming will be another factor, and so is key cutting.

Expected Cost

The price is different when approaching a locksmith and approaching a car dealer. A locksmith with up-to-date gear dealing with ignition and door keys would range from £30 to £100. Modern keys like remote keys would range from £100 to £200. However, going to a car dealer would be much more expensive. The price will definitely go above £200. The up-to-date “smart keys” will likely go beyond £250. Replacing smart keys are usually done by car dealers, a locksmith may not have the necessary gear to try, regardless of how recent the gear is. Still, there are pros and cons for approaching a locksmith and a car dealer.

Approaching a car dealer would be always the best option when you own a recently made car. Car dealers would be better equipped to tackle replacing new car keys. Locksmiths would have a difficult time with newer car keys. However, if you own an older version of a vehicle, locksmiths can get the job done. It always depends on what version of a car the person owns.

Factors Affecting Replacement Costs

We outlined some of the factors affecting the cost of replacing a car key. The type of key, the make and model of the vehicle, and the year of registration. We also talked about this a bit in our previous articles. Now, we aim to detail this at length.

Make and Model

Different models of different manufacturers will use different keys. There is no set price of keys for a certain car brand as there are no set keys for it. A newer version of a vehicle would have a newer version key that would definitely be expensive.

Year of Registration

In line with the model of a vehicle, the price will alter depending on the year it was registered. You should expect a car key of 2020 would be more expensive than a car key from 2010.

Special Editions

While there are different models for a vehicle make, there are car manufacturers who put in the effort to create a unique car. Creating this would also create a key unique to that type of car and unique keys come with unique prices.

Type of Key

There are different types of car keys and their prices vary. We talked about this more in our article, “Replacement Key Cost. The main thing about it is that the car key replacement price depends on the amount of technology inside the key. The complexity of the electronic device, programming codes, and the programming itself will dictate the overall price. Transponder keys, remote keys, and remote keyless keys are some of the types of keys that have electronic devices inside them.

Other Factors

Price undeniably varies from brand to brand; more expensive vehicle brands would definitely have more expensive car keys. The locality of the locksmith or dealer would also influence the brand, modern cities will certainly have a higher price than other places. 

The Key, The Cutting, The Programming

While the factors detailed above influence the car key’s price, these three are the main elements you will be paying for. When ordering a replacement key, you will be paying for a blank, uncut, and unprogrammed key. You will then pay the cutting process of the key. Finally, programming the car key. This is the most expensive element, specific tools are needed to program the key and these tools do not come cheap. Thus, the bulk of the price of replacing a key lies with the programming element.


Having insurance is a way to cut the cost of replacing a car key. Check with the car dealer you purchased a vehicle from or your insurance company. See if they offer a car key insurance policy. Usually, a car key insurance policy would freely replace a key or asks for a small fee.

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