How Much Is a Locksmith for a Car?
What's a Fair Price?

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Car locksmiths are experts at aiding people in gaining access to their vehicles. Car locksmiths are helpful whether you’ve locked your keys in the car or cannot access your vehicle for another reason. Car locksmiths address many car-key and car-security-related issues; the most frequent ones are keys left in vehicles.

Over time, the locksmith industry has grown increasingly intricate. We can attribute this to improvements in technology for automobile manufacturing and security systems.

Services Provided by Car Locksmiths

Unlocking Cars

  1. Getting back into your automobile is the first thing a car locksmith performs for you. However, how do they manage to do this without the car’s key? Here are a few of the tactics they employ to get in. These strategies, however, vary with the type of car and the lock system.
  2. The most popular technique is to “jimmy” or a hanger to open the lock. However, the Jim is a safer option with less risk of damaging the car. The locksmith will take a slim jim and slide it between the window and the weather stripping to access the lock. Jimmying is effective with older vehicles using real keys and without modern alarm systems.
  3. Modern vehicles don’t use car keys and have more sophisticated security systems. These stylish cars use keyless remotes instead of door keys. To unlock such a car, a car locksmith will reprogram the code.

Removing Broken Keys

Car keys may break off due to wear and tear or an abrupt wrong turn, and this is not a frequent occurrence but requires specialized services. Getting it out may be challenging, and you obviously can’t start your car with a damaged key.

Whenever a key breaks in a keyhole or the ignition, the slim part of the key’s crevices are typically exposed. A car locksmith would use Key extraction kits and tools to connect to these crevices to retrieve the key.

A key extraction kit includes an extraction tool but with some extra perks. The device is a thin metal item with two tiny hooks used to link with the key. Small tools resembling pliers are also employed to help hold both sides of the key.

Attempting to extract a key broken off in the ignition is not advisable. Should the extraction go wrong, it might cost you far more and even cause more damage.

Replacing or Duplicating Car Keys

Car locksmiths work with two kinds of automobile keys. The first category is automobile keys without a fob or other electrical components, which are relatively easy to recreate and like duplicating house keys.

It is, however, trickier working with car keys connected to a fob. Many of these keys also function as transponder keys, and such keys have a chip precisely programmed for that vehicle. Skilled locksmiths can reprogram transponder keys or create new programmed keys.

The automobile won’t start if the ignition can’t read the chip-programmed code. A car locksmith can easily duplicate the key part of the key fob. However, you’ll dig deeper into your pocket if it’s a transponder key.

Keyless ignition fobs and transponder keys prevent you from locking your keys inside the car. However, buying a backup key for storage is a good idea, and you never know what can happen to that one precious key.

Other services provided by car locksmiths include;

A. Fixing a Car Ignition

Auto locksmiths can repair or replace car ignitions. They can also fix other problems with a car’s ignition, such as resetting the computer or installing an ignition from another car, which may include wiring and other parts.

If somewhere in a parking lot, the car locksmith might be unable to perform this from there. Car ignitions are brand and model specific. The locksmith will, thus, need to order parts and finish the work later. However, the locksmith ought to be competent enough to start your car so you can drive home.

B. Fixing Locks on Car Doors

Locksmiths are also skilled at changing standard car door or trunk locks. Car locks wear out, and security concerns or other difficulties may also develop. Having a new replacement lock installed can be quite beneficial.

Car Locksmith Charges

You should not attempt to open your vehicle with a coat hanger as we did in the 1990s. You’ll probably cause damage, and you may fail. If your car warranty or insurance does not cover roadside help, you will have to hire a locksmith out of pocket.

The cost of having a locksmith unlock your car varies depending on;

  • The area in which you are in
  • The hour of the day (you will pay more for after-hours services)
  • The travel time the locksmith will take to get to you

The average price range for auto locksmiths is as below;

Car Locksmith Charges Image
  • $50 to $100 is the standard hourly wage. Prices will increase from $75 to $125 per hour after business hours and emergencies
  • You will spend between $50 to $100 to unlock a vehicle. The complexity of the lock (key or keyless) will likely determine the cost
  • An entire lock change typically costs $75 per hour. However, for complicated locks or other impediments, the price may reach $200.
  • Rekeying a car can cost anything from $50 to $300. Rekeying is helpful when you have multiple keys for unlocking and starting the vehicle. Although this is a wide range, prices typically fall in the lower half, averaging between $50 and $150
  • It costs between $10 and $150 to make new keys, which increases if rekeying techniques are more sophisticated or need chip programming. However, the cost should remain reasonable if it’s just a standard key
  • The cost of a new ignition switch, including installation and parts, ranges from $125 to $275
  • Key extraction expenses range from $75 to $140
  • Rekeying an ignition in a car might cost $50 to $150
  • Costs for key programming range from $90 to $160


Remember that these are only average ranges. You could spend less or more on the vehicle’s make and model. The difficulty of the service will also determine the cost. For high-end cars, the locksmith will employ various unlocking techniques and tools. The necessity to get around all of the vehicle’s security upgrades could also shoot the price.

Contact Able Lock Shop for Locksmith Pricing

At Able Lock Shop, we specialize in locksmith services. for Nassau and Suffolk County. As a leading locksmith trusted across Long Island, we provide superior service for residential, commercial, and automotive locksmith needs. As a member of the New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce with over 55 years in business, we’re proud to serve the community.

Contact us at (516) 352-8316 or 888-LOKOUTS (888-565-6887) to for your automotive locksmith needs. You can also reach out to request a quote here. We look forward to hearing from you.