How to Get a New Car Key

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Sometimes car keys get away without the car

Losing a car key is a big deal. Not only are you locked out of your mode of transportation, but you may have also locked important items in the vehicle as well, such as your wallet. So, what do you do when your car key goes missing? Replacing it is easier than you might think.

Lost Car Key? How to Get a New One

The first thing you should know about a lost car key is that you don’t need to panic. You have options when it comes to replacing car keys, so there’s no reason to be overly concerned. While you may be a few hours late and out a few hundred bucks, getting a replacement should be straightforward. There are two main methods you can use to get a new car key, including:

Call a Locksmith

The first method is also the most cost-effective. An automotive locksmith is a specially trained expert who can make new car keys on the spot, including advanced car keys that may have chips or transponders. You can Google the nearest automotive locksmith and they’ll dispatch someone to help you out. This is a great option if you have an older vehicle that won’t require a lot of programming to get things going.

Go To a Dealership

Your second option is to go to a dealership. Going to a dealership may cost more, but it can also be faster. Provided you can get to the dealership or that the dealership can come to you with a replacement key, the dealership can be the most fool-proof method of getting into your car quickly. Dealerships will have backup keys on-hand that will work with your particular make and model.

This may be your only option if you have a newer, more expensive vehicle with a switchblade key, transponder key, or smart key. These types of keys must be made and programmed specifically for your vehicle.

Have Your Information Ready

Regardless of whether you go to an automotive locksmith or call your dealership, you will still need information related to your vehicle to get a replacement key. Obviously, they won’t just let anyone into a locked car.

For example, you will need to know the make and model of the car, the year the car was made, the car registration and vehicle identification number, and the title to prove the vehicle is yours. You’ll also need to have your driver’s license number and a way to pay for the replacement key.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Car Key?

The cost of replacing a lost car key will depend on the type of key that is being replaced. For older cars, simple keys can usually be replaced for under $10. For newer cars, particularly keyless entry fobs and other keys that have electronic components, the cost of replacement can be a lot more. Sometimes, the cost of replacing key fobs and other electronic keys can be well over $250.

Different Types of Keys

There are a few different types of keys that are used to unlock and drive cars. The simplest one is a basic metal key not unlike the type you might use on your door at home. These traditional keys are usually used to unlock vehicles that are made before the 1990s. The next basic key will be an electronic key with a transponder inside and a fob either built-in or separate on a key ring. These must be programmed to the vehicle in order to start it up.

What About Push-to-Start Vehicles?

If your vehicle has keyless ignition, it comes with a smart key that connects to the vehicle’s proximity sensor before allowing you to start it up. You’ll need a tow to the dealership to have a new one programmed for you. These are usually the most expensive to replace.

No matter how you slice it, losing your car keys is a hassle and can cost you a good chunk of change. But it’s not the end of the world. At least you still have a car, and you know what to do next. Once you’re able to get rolling again, follow BestRide for more great advice!