How Much Does An Auto Locksmith Cost To Hire For Your Car Unlocking?

Forgetting the key in the locked car is the most frustrating thing that has ever happened. Knowing how much an auto locksmith costs gives you an advantage when dealing with the locksmith in your area.

Auto locksmith prices depend on the service being provided and the location where you want the service. Auto locksmiths are helpful if you have locked your keys in the car or are unable to access your vehicle.

Auto locksmiths deal with many car security and key issues. The most common are keys left in vehicles. The cost ultimately depends on why it’s locked.

A simple case of keeping your keys in the car locker costs less than repairing your car door lock or losing your keys entirely. In this case, the vehicle must be unlocked and the locksmith can cut and program a new set of keys.

In this guide, we explain when you should call a locksmith to unlock a car. We also look at the rates of popular locksmith services in top USA cities.

When Should You Hire A Locksmith To Unlock A Car?

We suggest you whenever you find there is any issue with your car keys or lock, you should call an experienced and well-skilled auto locksmith for service. For your safety, it is the foremost task for you to unlock the vehicle as soon as possible.

The most common reason people turn to an auto locksmith is when they have lost or misplaced their keys. Maybe you accidentally lost your keys while shopping at the market, or maybe your house is full of kids and they keep playing with your car keys.

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The other situation is when you lock the doors of your car with the key in the ignition. This can be very frustrating as your keys are right in front of your eyes and you cannot use them. Last but not least, if you accidentally lock your child in your car, you will have to call the locksmith.

How Much Does An Auto Locksmith Cost?

The average cost of hiring an auto locksmith is about $145 per car, with an average high of $195 and a low of $95. The mixed average price is because no locksmith charges the same hourly rate, rate labor, or call fee.

The cost of hiring a locksmith varies from state to state, even from one locksmith to another in the same city, but they all fall within a certain price range. The difficulty of the service also determines the cost.

In high-end cars, the locksmith uses various unlocking techniques and tools. The need to bypass all vehicle security updates could also increase the price.

Locksmith Charges For Their Services – Locksmith Cost Factors

As we have already discussed, the locksmith offers different services in different circumstances. And their fees are also different for each service.

On weekends and nights, the cost of unlocking your car falls at the higher end of the range. Take a look at locksmith services and their prices.

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1. Unlock the Car Door

Unlock the Car Door

Most of the time, a locksmith will charge $55 to $75 to show up on-site. However, to open the door it should only cost another $10-$20, for a total of less than $100. If the call is made after midnight, the cost could double.

If you have roadside assistance as part of your insurance policy or a premium credit card, in most cases it can be free or heavily discounted.

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2. Rekey Your Car

Rekey Your Car

Using a mobile locksmith company to change your car door key can cost anywhere from $100 to $200. A mobile locksmith company will charge additional fees for a visit. However, It costs less if you do some of the work yourself, like if you remove the lock yourself and take it to a locksmith.

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3. Program Transponder Key

Program Transponder Key

Transponder keys gained popularity in the 1990s. They’re just like any other key with one difference, they have a chip that communicates with the vehicle.

Most locksmiths can program these keys and they cost 20% less than going to a dealer. On average, it costs between $150 and $225 to program and replace a transponder key.

4. Rekey Ignition

Rekey Ignition

If the ignition is worn out, you need to re-ignite it. You can take it to the dealer to have it done, but you’ll pay more than you have to. You save more money by taking the services of an auto locksmith. You can only spend $50-$20 on this route.

5. Lost Keys

Lost Keys

If you can’t open your car door because you lost all your car keys, you’ll need to get new ones made by a local locksmith. The cost to replace a car key depends on the type of key you need to replace, ie: Is your car key a simple mechanical key, a transponder key, or something more complex?

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Auto Locksmith Prices For Different Locations 

The locksmith prices vary according to the size of the market, the locations of the locksmith shops, and the living costs of the cities.

Prices in San Francisco and New York City, for example, are among the highest in the country, much higher than in smaller cities far from major metropolitan areas.

The average price range for auto locksmiths in major cities is as follows:

A. Auto Locksmith in New York City

The auto locksmith charges in New York City largely depend on the type of service provided by the locksmith and the time required for it. Most of the time the charges go up from $75 to $125, however in some circumstances the charges go up to $300 and more.

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The price of an emergency service may vary depending on the experience of the locksmith. If you need a locksmith quickly, a New York City locksmith can charge you up to $300 for a single emergency call.

B. Auto Locksmith in San Antonio

The basic hourly rate for a San Antonio auto locksmith is $50 to $100. Calling an auto locksmith after hours will add $75 to $125 an hour to the rates. Unlocking a car costs between $50 and $100, with the price most likely depending on the difficulty of the lock.

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The price for an entire lock change is $75 per hour, it may go up to $200 if there is complexity in locks or other handles present. As usual, it will likely cost you a lot more to have this done at a dealer.

C. Auto Locksmith in Los Angeles

The standard fee for a locksmith in Los Angeles for a service call is $25. This is standard and does not include the initial amount charged for the services requested by the locksmith.

No matter how careful you are, one day you will either forget your keys in the car and lock the car or leave them in the trunk and lock the car. You will need the services of a car locksmith and the price ranges from $15 to $150, Your car will be unlocked and your keys recovered.

D. Auto Locksmith in San Francisco

For basic locksmith services in San Francisco, unlocking a car can cost anywhere from $50 to $100. In some cases, blank keys cost anywhere from $7 to several hundred dollars.

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As usual, Locksmith fees also change according to the locksmith’s expertise and the time needed to complete the service. For example, a key with a chip can cost up to $150. Likewise, a recoded ignition switch can cost anywhere from $150 to $300.

Who is an auto locksmith?

An auto locksmith is a well-experienced locksmith that focuses on vehicle keys and locks. You may have heard of them as vehicle locksmiths or car locksmiths. Their job is very similar to that of a general locksmith, except, of course, they work with vehicles instead of doors on buildings.

Most auto locksmiths work as common locksmiths after that they become experts in the automotive industry.

How much does it cost to unlock your car?

The basic cost of having your car unlocked at an auto locksmith always starts with the $15 service call. From there, auto locks start at $35, with the potential to increase depending on the overall complexity of the job as well as other contributing factors.

This amounts to a base price of $50. If your car keys are broken and you don’t have a spare car key, you need to consider the potential cost of making a car key.

How do locksmiths unlock a car?

If you kept your keys in your car, chances are your locksmith uses a skinny Jim to get into your car. In short, slide the Slim Jim between the glass and the weather stripping of your car window and unlock the car from the inside.

If your car comes with a keyless entry system feature, then the locksmith needs to reprogram it to unlock your car doors.

Can I unlock my car myself?

Yes, if you have a screwdriver and a metal bar, you can also try unlocking your car door if you don’t have your keys.

Use the screwdriver to free up a bit of space and then take the metal bar and push it into the lock to see if it opens. You should use these tools carefully to avoid any damage.

What is the point of calling a locksmith?

Well, if you want to save money and at the same time get the service you need, then choosing a locksmith is your best bet. Professional locksmiths have all kinds of tools to make a new key and program a new remote.

Also, some car owners prefer to bring their new cars and keys/remotes to the dealer; instead, they can get them from auto locksmiths at a lower cost and better quality.

Can a car lock with keys inside?

The short answer is “It depends”. In most cars, if you get out of the car and don’t touch any locks, the car will remain unlocked even with the keys in. However, if you lock your car and accidentally leave your keys inside, you may not be able to open it.

On most keyless models that use push-button start, the car has a proximity sensor that detects where the key is.

Final Thought

Kindly note that these are just the average charges of auto locksmiths that we have discussed. You could spend less or more on the make and model of the vehicle. The difficulty of the service also determines the cost.

In high-end cars, the locksmith uses various unlocking techniques and tools. The need to bypass all vehicle security updates could also increase the price.

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