Losing car keys is a nightmare that every driver tries to avoid by all means. It raises numerous fears, the worst being that your car could be stolen. This is a common fear among California residents in recent months as car theft instances have been escalating during the pandemic.  Sometimes, car key problems entail breaking keys, key fob complications, or locking the keys inside the car.

The process of acquiring a new key can be daunting if you do not know the process of acquiring a qualified locksmith. The car key replacement options most people turn to end up being costly and time-consuming.  Learn the best approach, as we explain the different options at your disposal.

The Question of Car Dealerships

Ask typical drivers, and most will recommend you seek out a car dealership. Most drivers run to dealers who specialize in their vehicle model. What some do not know is that acquiring dealer services is a complicated process that is time-consuming and ends up being a costly affair.  Therefore, it would be best to first make inquiries such as the cost of reprogramming a key fob and key replacement costs. Another complexity of dealing with a car dealership is that you have to transport your car to the dealer, unlike mobile locksmiths who respond to your emergency by coming to you.

Dealers also need to order gadgets as most do not possess their own. This might take more time, which is unsettling for most car owners. Besides, most end up hiring local locksmiths who have the tools, and the experience to remedy the situation. By doing so, they end up being brokers of auto locksmith services and charging their clients more.  Like many other non-emergency auto locksmith service providers, dealers do not operate outside the working hours. This makes renowned professional locksmith companies near you best suited for car owners seeking replacement car keys.

Dealing with your Car Insurance

Insurance providers require that you alert them as soon as you incur a covered loss. However, they do not assure compensation. In most cases, unless you have an independent key cover, they would not indemnify for lost car keys. However, some cases may lead to compensation, in the long run, depending on the incidence’s relation to the policy.  Some insurers offer car key policies as a standalone, which would require you to pay extra premiums to your usual car insurance cover.

Claiming car key indemnification could prevent you from acquiring insurance bonuses but it is worth it if your insurer is willing to compensate your loss promptly.

Like car dealerships, insurance providers also hire qualified local locksmiths. You get more value for your money if you learn to identify and hire a specialty locksmith yourself for basic auto locksmith obligations like duplicating a car key copy, key fob replacement, lost car key emergencies, or any other car key complication. You get to negotiate your terms without the middle person.

Self Service

The cheapest way to get a key replacement is by doing it yourself. However, this path requires considerable effort to ensure you get top-of-the-line tools and the necessary know-how not to damage your valuable car.  You first have to understand the key type you wish to replace, to order the right parts. Basic car key terminology is also necessary.  Considering that you need to code, basic programming skills are critical to the task. Besides, you have to read and understand the different options available before choosing. With access to a budget-friendly and mobile locksmith service, you do not have to go to the trouble.

Identifying a Professional Locksmiths

Unlike others who have to order key parts and machinery, locksmiths possess their own equipment since dealing with lock issues is their specialization.  They also charge reasonable prices for key fob reprogramming, since they have the equipment.  They do the hands-on, hence, charge cheaper than dealerships and other options, by almost half the amount. Besides being their main job, they provide additional auto locksmith services including free consultations and quotations.

With an auto locksmith, you also get to enjoy the assurance of getting solutions for every car type, as they have all the necessary equipment. They also operate all round the clock and deliver mobile services. Therefore, you don’t have to spend extra money on transporting your vehicle to their premises.  Apart from solving key issues, locksmiths make key copies, open locked cars, and repair damaged keys and locks.  The main shortcoming in hiring a locksmith yourself is that you might choose a non-professional locksmith who could cause more damage. Always do a background check to confirm a locksmith’s credentials.

Local Garage

If you run out of options, you might consider consulting a local garage. But, this option comes with drawbacks too. Firstly, most garages charge for diagnosis.  Secondly, solving locks issues is not the main purpose of garages. Therefore, most have outdated tools which might not serve newer machines’ problems effectively.  Lastly, locks and keys engineering is a complex art that requires experience and specialization, which most garages lack due to their diversified nature of services.

The Final Word

Key replacement ranges from around $50 to $100. The price may also vary depending on the car type and key design.  Nevertheless, each of the solutions comes with its disadvantages. Therefore, unless you choose to hire a locksmith, you have to compare and see which works best for you. We advise you to contact each of the options available to you, to enquire all necessary details before settling for any.  Nevertheless, it all depends on the quality you wish to get. You also have to be careful when choosing a locksmith as not all deliver outstanding services. Always entrust your security to a professional locksmith.