car key replacement

How to Save Money on Car Key Replacement

With the ever advancing technology and features available with modern cars, we enjoy lots of convenient features. Those conveniences are clearly evident with all the fancy new smart key technology on the market these days. For lots of new makes and models, you might not even have a traditional metal key at all, but rather a transponder or remote that either fits into a slot or just has to be in close proximity to do everything from crank the engine to pop the trunk. And while all of this is great news for car owners, one hidden truth is the incredible increase in costs associated with replacing these high-tech devices. No longer is a lost key just a simple call to the locksmith for a new cut, nor can you take the modern key remote to the hardware store to make a copy. Instead, most manufacturers will try to tell you that car key replacement is only available by visiting the dealership, or one of a very few authorized shops. Sure, you can follow that advice, but let’s talk about some of the costs you can expect to pay, and how you can save money by seeking alternatives for car key replacement.

car key replacement

Car Key Replacement Costs

Starting with transponder keys in the 90’s and transponder key fobs, costs started drastically increasing, with a dealership replacement running close to $100 for the transponder with chip. In many cases, the key is built into the transponder, which adds even more to the average cost of replacement, sometimes exceeding $250! Another advance in technology came with laser cut keys, with distinctive winding cuts and also including built in chips. Again, security was increased, but so was replacement cost. The combination transponder/laser-cut key can also run anywhere from $200-250 for a replacement, and requires a special device for cutting in addition to dealership or locksmith programming. Similar to laser-cuts with combination of laser cuts and key fobs, switchblade keys hide the key inside the fob. The added sleek look and feel also mean that the cost to replace is even higher, sometimes approaching $300 to replace a fob, key and get programmed properly.


This leads to the latest trend in convenient car access technology, the modern smart key. These fobs are button push, without any traditional metal key, and have all sorts of high-tech security and convenience such as rolling security codes that communicate with your car’s computer. This allows for remote keyless entry, startup, and more great features, but also leads to very costly replacements. For smart car key replacement, most brands will try to get you into the dealership for service, but here is where you can really save money if you call the right locksmith. Many car locksmith companies are not able to offer help with smart keys, but if you can find one that has access to the necessary computer technology to program and replace dealer issued keys, you will not only save significant amounts of money, but also time. Many dealers quote $400 or more, and predict wait times of 3 days or more. Don’t be discouraged! Instead, search your area for an ALOA certified locksmith to get the job done. If you’re anywhere in metro Atlanta, call Apollo Locksmith and get on-site, affordable car key replacement for almost any make or model on the market today. Besides saving on the smart keys, of course we’ll help with laser cuts and transponders, again at significant time and money savings when compared to the dealership! So call us today Atlanta!