Keys are constantly being lost, misplaced and more. Before 1990 this did not pose a large issue, as keys were easy to copy. Yet, this also made it easy for thieves to steal your car. Advances in key cutting technology have made it harder to have a key copied, but this results in costlier replacement keys. There are different costs associated with key replacement, of a range of different costs. These estimated costs differ between locksmiths, and locations. If you’re looking to replace your car keys visit http://www.fastkeys.co.uk/car-keys or if you just have some simple questions Fast Keys can help you out.
Basic keys are the cheapest to replace, as they have no security features other than unique cuts and grooves. These can be copied easily by machine with no extra equipment needed. They can be cut at a locksmith or at a car dealership. The only difference except for that of price is the branding of the dealership being placed on the key. Key cutting generally costs £3-5 at a locksmith, and £10-15 at a dealership.
Most modern cars have an electronic key fob, also known as a remote. The cost of replacing an electronic fob at a dealership ranges from £50-90, depending on the automaker and design complexity. All fobs need to be programmed, which may be done for free, or you may be charged for. You can dodge this fee, by looking in your users manual or searching for how to programme your fob online. Fobs are more expensive than basic keys as more work is required to make the key operate correctly. Locksmiths and online websites often offer aftermarket fobs. The quality of these varies but they are a cheap alternative to purchasing a fob from a dealership.
After 1990, manufacturers started to place transponder chips in the plastic head of car keys. This chip emits a signal to a receiver in the ignition. If this receiver detects the incorrect chip, the vehicle will not start, as the wrong key is in the ignition. The transponder key is simple to cut, but the chip must be programmed before it can start the vehicle. All dealerships have machines to programme transponder keys, and most auto locksmiths will possess this machinery. You are likely to be changed for the labour to produce these keys.
Some vehicles have keys with a fob and transponder key, adding to the cost of the key, and making it hard to get a spare cut. Car dealerships charge £120 upwards for a transponder key to be cut, with additional costs if a fob is required, too.
Laser-cut keys are similar to basic keys, as they have fewer carved-out grooves, with a winding cut. Machinery required to cut these keys is much more expensive than basic key cutting machinery, and is not as likely to be found at every locksmith. Laser-cut keys also are likely to have built-in transponder chips, which will need to be programmed. Including labour, the price of these ranges widely, from £120 to over £200.
Switchblade keys fold into the fob when not in use, and flip back out at the press of a button. They can have a basic or laser cut. The components of a switchblade key can be purchased individually, making it easy to replace one component if it