Auto locksmith prices

When you need the help of an auto locksmith, you’re certain to need that help quickly. Being locked out of your vehicle is no joke, nor is finding that your key has broken off and you have to get a key replacement right away. In an emergency, it’s important to know who to call on, and where to find them, and you don’t want to be charged too high a price to get you out of trouble, so what should you do?


Before you start trying to force your way into your vehicle, or smash a window to gain access, leaving your vehicle damaged and unprotected, call in an automotive locksmith. A professional locksmith will be able to get into your vehicle without damaging the glass, doors or paintwork, and if it’s a replacement key you need, they will often be able to prepare and supply one for you there and then. But how do you find a local locksmith who can come to you the same day? Simple, on the Auto Locksmiths website you will find contact details of all the trusted technicians around your location, wherever you are in the US.

Our network of car lock and key experts was designed to ensure that the people who needed rapid access to auto locksmith services, could avoid all the hassle of searching online for help, by providing all the information, in one place. Members of our network are skilled and experienced independent auto locksmiths, and by joining, they have committed to the provision of a rapid response, combined with high-quality customer services and affordable pricing. Simply contact one or more of our locksmiths, and they will provide online quotes for the solution to your lock and key problems (quotes are totally free of charge and no-obligation). Choose the deal you like best, and the auto locksmith will be with you as soon as possible to deliver their professional services, which include:

  • Non-destructive entry to your vehicle.
  • Broken key extraction from door locks or ignition.
  • Key replacement for cars, vans, SUVs, or pickup trucks.
  • Programming or reprogramming for new and damaged keys
  • Replacement for lost or damaged key cards.
  • Repair or replacement for remote key fobs.
  • Security lock fitting.

When you need a cheap auto locksmith of any kind, you can relax in the knowledge that we have a network of more than 400 automotive locksmiths. They are available across the USA, and they are all primed and ready to leap into action whenever and wherever you need their help.

Date Job Locksmith Location Quote
May 11, 2023 New door lock and key for a 2004 Chevy Tahoe Aurora Colorado Locksmith 247 Aurora, CO $275.00
Mar 14, 2023 Key fob supplied and programmed for a 2012 Ford F-150 Lucky's Locksmith Arlington, TX $200.00
Dec 30, 2022 New key fob supplied and programmed for a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica. Houston Lockout Service LLC Houston, TX $275.00

Table of contents:

Why auto locksmith costs vary

You may be wondering why searching online for ‘car locksmith near me’ brings up a list of apparently similar services, all at different prices, service levels and guarantees. Some locksmiths will offer an immediate response, others may ask you to wait, and they will get back to you within a set period (usually 24 hours). There are many and varied reasons for differences in prices and service offerings, here are just a few:

The level of complication

As you can probably imagine, the more complicated a job you need doing, the longer it will take, and therefore the more it will cost. This applies to everything in life, and so it is not a surprise that the more complex your lock and key needs for your car, van, SUV, or truck, in general terms, the higher the cost will be. One thing is certain though, calling on your local trusted auto locksmith will often be significantly cheaper and faster than contacting your main car dealer.

Take a lock-out as an example – if a key has simply been locked inside your car, but otherwise the locks are working as they should, a skilled locksmith can quickly gain access by picking the lock – the whole process should take less than half an hour. However, if the lock-out has been caused by a bent, damaged or broken-off key, the locksmith will need to approach the problem with a bit more caution. This type of fault requires patience, skill and delicacy so as not to cause internal damage to the lock. To avoid causing a further problem and having to fit a new lock, the locksmith will take a bit more time.

The type of lock or key

There are any number of combinations of locks and key types in use in the wide range of vehicles on our roads, and some of them are more secure than others. So, the more secure the lock, the harder it is to pick, and therefore the more time the technician will need in order to gain access for you in a lock-out situation. Complex and high-tech locks and keys also cost more to buy, so a replacement will usually tend to cost more than a replacement for a simpler type of mechanical lock and associated key.

Where your vehicle is located

Our network members are all independent operators, and they are located across the US. This geographic spread means that although they all make a commitment to high quality services at the best possible prices, some of them are located in higher-cost areas, and therefore are forced to charge higher prices to cover their costs than some who may be covering lower-cost locations. This is simply a fact of economics, and is out of the control of our members.

Having said that, where the population density is higher, in areas such as major towns and cities, there is usually a higher number of auto locksmiths in operation, leading to some cheap prices, as all of them try to attract your business. In more remote areas, where travel distances and times are longer, there will probably be a smaller number of locksmiths available to choose from, and added mileage may tend to increase prices somewhat. 

Using the Auto Locksmiths website gives you access to more or less every auto locksmith in your own area. Our site makes it easy for you to ask for several no-obligation quotes, which means you can quickly weigh up the options, and make an informed decision on which of the various deals on offer is best for you.

The speed of service you want

If you need help in an emergency, the quote for that service may be higher than if you could afford to wait a day – this is a simple fact of life. Our auto locksmiths usually offer an emergency call-out service, and if you need them to get to you on the same day, or in the most urgent cases within an hour, the chances are that they will have to drop other (less urgent) jobs to fit you in. This means that their ‘urgent service’ price may be a little higher than the standard or next day price. If your job really could wait until the next day, the locksmith may be able to combine your call-out with another one nearby, and the price quoted could therefore be lower – everyone benefits.

The great news is though, that whatever your needs and wherever you are, there should always be an automotive locksmith on hand to come out to you when you call.

Find a cheap auto locksmith near you

It’s always a good idea to shop around, even if it’s an emergency, and we recommend that before committing to call out a particular auto locksmith, you ask for multiple quotes for comparison. Quotes are simple to obtain, no-obligation and free, so why wouldn’t you ask for more than one? Our network members are independent operators, which means they have control over their pricing and service offerings, so getting multiple quotes ensures that you can be sure you are getting the best available deal for your circumstances, and you could make some substantial savings.

Average auto locksmith prices

This is just a brief rundown of the various elements that affect the cost of automotive locksmith services, but there are others that can have a significant impact too. We appreciate that you may be short of time and in urgent need of help, so to make the process as transparent as possible, we have carried out a survey among our network to identify key price points. From this information, we have produced a guide on average costs of auto lock and key services, which we hope you will find helpful and illuminating.

Nationwide automotive locksmith prices

Since most automotive locksmithing jobs are quite unique and differ in terms of labor, complexity, and other variables as mentioned above, a general average price for automotive locksmithing jobs is pretty vague so take it with a big pinch of salt.

Generally, the average price in 2023 for a callout during normal business hours is around $85, ranging from around $65-$110. After hours callouts tend to cost an average of $120. All other things being equal, a callout tends to have significantly variable prices depending on location. 

The average callout prices by region are approximately:

  • Large metro area: $110
  • Midsize city: $100
  • Small city: $75
  • Rural area: $70

In brief, callouts to automotive locksmiths tend to be more expensive in bigger metro areas, e.g. NYC, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Chicago, than in smaller cities and in rural areas.

Hourly labor rates

Automotive locksmiths almost always charge an hourly rate for labor, which is normally baked into the quote. If you’re unsure, always ask your locksmith if the quoted price for their services includes the labor charge. Some of the most common locksmithing jobs such as unlocking a locked door or programming a new key fob typically only take 15-30 minutes, so the hourly rate is generally just for one hour for these types of jobs.

On average, the hourly labor rate for an automotive locksmith is around $90 during normal business hours and around $140 after hours. Again, these rates can vary significantly based on geographic location, with higher fees to be expected in major metro areas.

Indeed, the total cost you will often be expected to pay for a locksmith callout roughly correspond to the hourly labor rate, sometimes being marginally higher to account for parts and mileage. For example, the average hourly labor rate in a large metro area is around $120, compared to the average callout fee being $110.

Car key duplication & programming services

One of the most common services provided by automotive locksmiths is key duplication, which includes physical laser key cutting and programming keys of all sorts for all types of makes and models of vehicle. Naturally, since there is so much variation in key technology amongst the various makes and models, the complexity of the job and the cost can vary as well.

The average costs for duplicating and fitting car keys are approximately:

  • Standard physical key: $90
  • Transponder key: $140
  • Transponder key programming: $85
  • Sidewinder key: $170
  • Motorcycle keys: $115
  • Creating new keys without any originals: $230
  • Ignition lock rekeying: $105

Two of the biggest variables in prices for duplicate car keys are the make and model of the vehicle and whether the vehicle is domestic or foreign. In particular, luxury European vehicles and high-end supercars tend to have extremely complex and secure key and lock systems, so it is not abnormal to see quotes of $400 or more for car keys for these types of vehicles.

Car unlocking & key extraction services

If you’ve accidentally locked your keys inside of the vehicle and need to get your door unlocked, automotive locksmiths can help. Vehicle unlocking is one of the most common services they provide, and these services often go hand-in-hand with car key duplication.

Auto locksmiths can also unlock other doors such as popping the trunk as well as extract broken key pieces that have been jammed inside of a lock or in the ignition cylinder.

The average cost for vehicle unlocking and key extraction services are approximately:

  • Car door unlocking: $75-$150
  • Car trunk unlocking: $85
  • Broken key extraction: $80-$200

Car rekeying & lock replacement services

In the event of a burglary or if you’ve lost your car keys and are concerned that your vehicle may be vulnerable to theft or burglary, you may wish to have your car’s locks rekeyed or replaced if they’ve been damaged. Lock repairs, while possible, are often far more expensive than simply rekeying or replacing the lock altogether.

Rekeying requires a new lock to be installed, which in turn means that you’ll need a whole new set of keys as well. This also means that the locksmith will generally have to make two trips, so expect to pay more for rekeying services.

Lock replacement services are often far cheaper when performed by a professional locksmith than at the dealership, so shop around before engaging anyone for these services.

The average costs of vehicle lock repair, replacement and rekeying are approximately:

  • Rekeying one car door lock: $50-$180
  • Door lock replacement: $75-$220
  • Ignition cylinder rekeying: $50-$225

Certain makes and models, such as luxury European cars and vehicles with proprietary lock and key systems such as app-based locks, numpads, or other remote entry systems can be far more complex and therefore cost more to replace. Speak with a qualified locksmith and obtain a quote before engaging them for services.


Auto locksmith near you

Questions and answers about auto locksmith prices

Is it worth it to hire an automotive locksmith?

Yes, it is worth it to hire an auto locksmith if you’ve lost or misplaced your keys, or if you’ve locked yourself out of your vehicle. Many automotive locksmiths provide 24/7 assistance and can help you regain access to your vehicle. Locksmiths have the skill, expertise, and tools required to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

How do I know which locksmiths are trustworthy?

Calling a locksmith in an emergency can unfortunately be like taking a shot in the dark. There are many unskilled and unqualified locksmiths out there looking to make a quick buck from your misfortune, which is why it’s important to at least do a little research before calling out an automotive locksmith to your location. Use Auto Locksmiths to find vetted and approved car locksmiths near you.

Why does it cost more to program a key fob?

The cost of programming a key fob can cost anywhere from around $55 to over $400, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. The reason why it tends to cost significantly more to program a key fob is that the head of the key contains many transmitters and codes that require costly hardware, time and skill to duplicate properly.

How can I avoid getting price gouged from an automotive locksmith?

If you’re worried about getting price gouged from an automotive locksmith, it’s important to only do business with legitimate and qualified locksmiths near you. Furthermore, try to provide as much detail as possible to the locksmith over the phone. This will allow them to give you a far more accurate quote beforehand. Most people that end up overpaying for automotive locksmiths fail to provide the locksmith with enough information.

Can I use a slim jim to open my locked car door myself?

Yes, slim jims can be used to open the door of many older vehicles, but there is still a chance that you will damage the door if used improperly. For newer vehicles with barrier blocks or lock cylinder shrouds, as well as for older vehicles, your best and safest bet is to hire an automotive locksmith from the Auto Locksmiths network.

How much can I expect to pay for a car unlock service?

If you’ve been locked out of your car, the cost for an automotive locksmith to unlock it can vary from around $65 to $250. There are so many variables, however, that can affect the total price you may end up having to pay. For this reason, it’s important to always deal with genuine local automotive locksmiths and to obtain a no-obligation quote over the phone before spending a single dollar.