Getting a car key replacement can be frustrating and can be a bit expensive.. depending on your car’s model that is. Older cars which use traditional keys are easier and cheaper to replace than newer cars, but most cars nowadays use smart keys which let you lock and unlock your car and turn on the ignition with just a push of a button. Replacing car keys for those which use smart keys cost a lot more than traditional keys. If you lost your keys or if your key’s broken and you’re spare key’s went m.i.a. (a sort of event which happens once in a blue moon, or not, if you’re lucky), you must prepare your bank account and yourself from facing a lot of hassle. But it can be fun, and educational.
For Older Car Models:
First, You Must Know What Type of Key to Buy
Check the VIN or the chassis number which is usually located on the driver’s side dashboard. But it’s easier to view if you stand outside your car and look at the corner of the dashboard and the windshield. If the VIN is not there, open the driver’s side door and take a look at the door post, or take a look at this video below to show you where to find the VIN in your car:
How to Find the VIN in Your Car
Record the Make, Model, and Year of Your Car
Whether your car model is old or new, you need to take a record of your car’s information because this information will let you know the kind of key you would need to start the key cutting.
Second, Look For a Discounted Replacement Car Keys or Key Fobs Online
Search on eBay or Amazon for a discounted replacement car keys. Sometimes you would find a reliable dealer online for a much affordable price than what your car dealer might charge you. You may be able to program the key yourself if you have a car key programmer, and if you know how to do the programming, of course.. otherwise, call a local auto locksmith.
Third, Call a Local Auto Locksmith
Consult with a local auto locksmith first before calling your car dealer because you’d save a lot more money with an auto locksmith’s service than with the manufacturer or car dealer. A professional car locksmith will not only unlock your car in case you’re locked out because you’ve lost your car key or your key is not working anymore, but he may also give a great deal to cut and reprogram the replacement key for you.
For Newer Car Models:
Follow the First and Second Step Above
Getting your car’s information; make, model and year is important for you to know the kind of key you need to replace your car key. Then, scour every corner of eBay and/or Amazon to get the best deal. You may start your search with terms like “replacement car key”, or with a more specific search term like “Honda civic replacement car key” or “Chevrolet Impala smart key” to find the exact key you’re looking for.
Third, Check if Your Car Warranty or Car Insurance Covers Key Replacement
If you own a high-end car, chances are, only your car dealer can replace the car key and reprogram the key for you, but you might still want to consult a local auto locksmith for some of them have the know-how and the tools to program your new keys. Also, because you would save a lot more money with an auto locksmith than when you let your car dealer create a new set of keys for you.
Weigh your options. Leaving to your car dealers the job would be easier.. less hassle, actually no hassle at all, but expect it to be more expensive, than with an auto locksmith’s service.