Everyday fate randomly chooses a person to play with, giving them a rough time. One normal act that fate does is to whisk away our car keys. Placing them in places we don’t expect to find or, in some cases, disappearing entirely. A sinking feeling of dread will be the first thing you will feel when they can’t find their key in their pockets. A different feeling of dread will be entirely felt when you realize your car key was inside the pocket of your coat you tossed into the washing machine. Losing or breaking a car key is a whole nightmare entirely, replacing one is an awful experience all in itself.
We made a separate article on the costs of replacing keys and the types of keys. The article is, “Replacement Key Cost”. This time we will be focusing on remote car keys. By a press of a button, remote keys are designed to unlock a vehicle from a distance. This makes this type of key convenient and also popular. There are some remote keys that the remote itself is a separate piece, making it much easier to replace if only one of the pieces is damaged.
With traditional keys, it was easier to steal a car due to the level of security with old keys. Now, car manufacturers found a way to beef up a car’s security by creating remote keys that makes car theft much more difficult.
Lost/Stolen vs. Broken Car Key
Losing your key is much more of an expensive endeavor than breaking one. In terms of remote keys, the “remotes” themselves are sophisticated and far more complicated than an average key. The cost of replacement will depend on the amount of technology inside the remote, the more the amount, the higher the price. Also, stolen keys must always be reported to the authorities. You never know, your key might return.
A broken key is fortunately a cheaper situation to deal with. As stated above, there are some remote keys that the remote itself is a separate piece. If one piece of your remote key is broken, replacing that specific piece is much cheaper than replacing the whole key. If you have a much older remote key, you might not find an original replacement. This is due to older keys that might be discontinued, but don’t worry. For the remote piece of the key, aftermarket products could help you. The quality varies but they work well as the genuine versions. On the other hand, the key blade could be cut by a locksmith.
Generally, you will need to find a dealership that deals with new cars if your vehicle was built within the last five years. Due to the technology used for recent car keys, it is much safer to go to a car dealership. There are cheaper versions online, but you need them to be programmed, commonly by car dealerships. However, you don’t have to go to a dealership if you have a car that is 10 plus years older. Many of these less advanced car keys can be programmed by an auto locksmith, a mechanic, or even by the customer. If you want to go for a less expensive route, ordering aftermarket keys is a great alternative.
Replacing a key entirely, whether you are losing or getting it stolen, will cost anywhere from £200 – £600. However, this price range will only be applicable if you have a spare. Losing both keys and running to get a replacement will be more expensive. Dealerships will have to program the key and reprogram your vehicle’s computer. The price will likely reach about £3000. There are also hidden costs in replacing lost keys. An example if you’ve lost both main and spare keys, you’ll have to pay to tow your car back home or to a local dealership.
Replacing a broken key is less of a headache than replacing a lost or stolen key. Generally, locksmiths can easily replace broken keys for less than £200. This is for both key fob replacement and the newly cut key blade.
Replacing both broken and lost keys are expensive. A good plan is to always have a spare. Dealerships usually give out two keys when purchasing a vehicle. If you lost one and you fear the costs stated above, you can save money by purchasing aftermarket keys. These keys’ quality varies but they generally get the job done like genuine keys. If you don’t want to go through this messy experience, give purchasing an aftermarket car key a thought. Also, please take care of your keys.