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How Much Does A Locksmith Cost? A Complete Guide To Locksmith Prices

Locksmith Pricing

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Finally! This is the post so many of you have been waiting for, whether you know it or not. (I assume that many of you have, in fact, not been waiting for this, but I believe it will be beneficial to you all the same.) How many times have you found yourself wondering “how much does a locksmith cost”? Chances are, you do not think about how much a locksmith costs on a regular basis. After all, most of us are preoccupied with the more mundane and routine aspects of everyday life. If you are anything like most people, you probably only think about locksmith pricing when you are at a point of need. For instance, if you are stranded in a lockout, it is only then that your mind will wander to the price that a locksmith is going to charge you.

As with most service based things, there is not one blanket price that a locksmith will charge you when they are called to help you out. The pricing of the service depends greatly on the particular service that is being rendered, as well as a few other factors. In order to properly answer the question of how much does a locksmith cost, I will take a look at the type of services that locksmiths provide and the factors that determine locksmith pricing. After this, I will leave you with a guideline that answers ‘how much does a locksmith cost’. Let’s get started!

What services does a locksmith offer?

In order to effectively answer the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, you need to understand the services that a locksmith offers. The skillset of a locksmith is very diverse and they often deal with jobs you might not even have considered. The main services that a locksmith offers can be placed under 3 main categories. These categories are automotive, residential, and commercial.

Automotive Locksmith – As the name suggests, an automotive locksmith will handle all services that are auto related. Auto locksmiths only deal with lock and key related issues etc. So make sure you do not call up an automotive locksmith when you need help with a broken fan belt because they will not be able to help you with that. However, if you are stuck in a car lockout, or if you need help with an ignition cylinder replacement, then an automotive locksmith is the person that you need to call. The services that an auto locksmith provides ranges from rekeying ignitions to helping you get locked keys out of your trunk.

Residential Locksmith – A residential locksmith is primarily responsible for lock and key related issues that are centered within residential properties. This means that they will be the person to call if you lock yourself out of your apartment, or if you break a key in your door lock etc. If you ask the average person what they think a locksmith does, they will most likely begin to list services that mostly pertain to residential locksmiths. Their services range from helping people in house lockouts to rekeying locks on doors. Residential locksmiths (and other locksmiths as well) are the equivalent of real life superheroes. Many of them work tirelessly, day in and day out, to help save stranded customers and meet them at their point of need.

Commercial Locksmith – Commercial locksmiths do not sell commercial goods or vie for spots in advertisements. The word commercial is meant to symbolize the nature of the service that they provide. A commercial locksmith usually deals with businesses or buildings that have commercial grade locks, among other things. Their services are similar to residential locksmiths, but they tend to work on a much larger (commercial) scale. Some examples of the services offered by a commercial locksmith include the installation of new commercial grade locks or helping establishments repair their commercial safes.

What factors influence locksmith pricing?

For some reason, as humans, we like to think that most things are set in stone. We often forget that there are many different factors that come together to influence the price of a product or a service. As I mentioned earlier, when you are considering the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, you have to factor in several things. Let’s scale this down to a real world example.

If you have been a frequent patron of McDonald’s, you will know that the price of their chicken nuggets has not stayed the same since it was introduced to the world. Some of the factors that change the price of this product are the state of the economy, the cost of production, demand, etc. The same basic concept applies to locksmith pricing. If the chicken nugget example didn’t help, leave a comment below and I will give you a different example.

It is important to be aware of the fact that most locksmiths have a fee that they charge for service calls. This should be viewed as a base fee if a locksmith has to travel to meet you. If you end up going to a locksmith shop, then there will be no need to factor in the service call fee. This is always important to remember, but I will address it in more detail as I outline the prices later on. Here are some of the factors that will help answer the query ‘how much does a locksmith cost’:

Travel Distance

Do not read travel distance and be fooled into thinking that a locksmith automatically gets to travel to extremely exotic locations. The distance the locksmith has to travel to the job plays a huge factor in the price of the service they will provide. In most cases, there is a standard fee for service calls, but this is not immune to change.

There are times where the price of the service call will change because the locksmith might have to travel farther than they normally do to reach you. In most lockout scenarios, you will be able to find a nearby local locksmith to help you out. However, due to the nature of lockouts, there is always a possibility that you might be stranded somewhere without a locksmith close by. There is also the chance that your lockout will occur outside of normal business hours, which is where a 24 hour locksmith comes into play. Keep in mind that not all jobs will dictate travel on the locksmiths part. For instance, if you merely need to have some keys copied, you might be better suited to go to a locksmith’s shop.

Complexity Of The Service

In determining how much a locksmiths costs, you will need to factor in the complexity of the service that you need from them. This goes with just about anything because if you need someone to do more work, or more difficult work, there is always the possibility that it will cost much more. As a customer, it might be hard for you to be able to determine which services are more complex than others. This is why it helps to take the time to call a locksmith and explain what you need and talk the service over with a locksmith beforehand.

Due to the varying nature of the many services that locksmiths can provide, the complexity of the job is integral to the final cost. Some jobs are relatively easy and have a very low degree of difficulty. For instance, the installation of one new door lock will be far easier than rekeying multiple door locks. Another simple example can be seen by comparing a regular house lockout to a residential safe lockout. The latter tends to be a much more complex endeavor that will most likely demand a different cost. Luckily enough, customers will not be flying blind into the service because a locksmith will give you a quote that will help you estimate the final cost. However, you should always remember the the final answer to ‘how much does a locksmith cost’ is never certain until the job is done.

Parts Needed For The Job

How much does a locksmith cost? Well, in order to derive that answer you will also need to play close attention to what might be necessary to complete the job. Not all locksmiths jobs require the use of additional or new parts, so it all depends on the nature of the job. For instance, if you call a residential locksmith because there is a broken key stuck in a lock, there is a possibility that you will have to replace both the lock and the key.

Another example is when you have to call a locksmith to repair a damaged lock. In some instances, the lock might be damaged beyond repair, so it will have to be replaced instead. In a scenario like this, the new door locks that will be used should be factored into locksmith pricing. However, it is not always the case that you will have to rely on a locksmith for parts. If you know the necessary parts that you need, you can always buy them from a local hardware store or get the parts online.

Cost Of Labor

Many people tend to overlook the cost of labor but it is an important factor to consider when you are trying, to sum up how much a locksmith costs. Usually, the cost of labor goes hand in hand with the complexity of the job and the length of the job. It is important to realize that the type of labor necessary, and its cost, will change depending on which service is needed.

In case that was not clear, I mean that labor changes depending on whether or not you need an automotive, residential or commercial locksmith to help you. This is the more general way of looking at it, but once you start to get into the nitty gritty of it, you will see that the cost differs between services because each service has different requirements. This means that when you answer ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, the answers will be different depending on the service rendered.

Length Of Service

Locksmith pricing is a majority of the time, directly proportional to the amount of time that it takes to complete a particular job. The time that it takes to finish a job is the length of service. If there is a job that takes up to 4 or 5 hours, it will be much more costly than a job that takes only a matter of minutes to complete. It is rare that you will find a locksmith job that takes longer than 5 hours to complete, but it is possible. If a locksmith had to install commercial grade locks on multiple doors in a commercial complex, it will take them much longer to complete than the average job.

Locksmith Experience

The experience of the locksmith often gets overlooked as a determinant of the cost, but in my opinion, it is one of the most important factors to consider. The experience of the locksmith should always be considered when answering ‘how much does a locksmith cost’. I say this because many of the other factors that were discussed above are dependent on the experience of the locksmith. Allow me to explain this further. If you give an experienced locksmith and an inexperienced locksmith the same job, it is more likely that the experienced locksmith will be able to complete it faster and more reliably, regardless of the complexity.

However, experience often equates to higher costs. There are some people who will decide to go with a much more inexperienced locksmith who might be able to get the job done for much less, but who can potentially cost you more money down the line. If this inexperienced locksmith does a poor job that ends up damaging your property, leaving your home vulnerable to burglars, you should realize that it is also costly. Do not make the mistake of thinking of cost in only a monetary sense.

How much does a locksmith cost?

As I mentioned up above, a locksmith can offer a pretty diverse amount number of services to their customers. This is the reason why the services are usually grouped under the blanket terms of automotive, residential, and commercial. If you require the services of a locksmith, you need to consider the base price before you get into the finer details.

When I say the base price I am referring to the minimum amount that you will have pay no matter what. If you walk into a locksmith shop, the price you pay will depend on the service you need. However, if you call the locksmith out to a location, then you will be looking for a service call of $15 or more, depending on the locksmith. Let’s break down the service costs.

Automotive Locksmith Cost

  • Car Lockout Services – As I mentioned above, you should always start with the base price. On a general basis, the locksmith cost for a car lockout starts at $35 and can go up from there. This price usually depends on the locksmith and the nature of the lockout. Car lockout services are the general term for people who need assistance when they are locked out of their vehicles. This could be because they locked their keys in their trunk, or simply lost their car keys.
  • Car Key ReplacementReplacing a car key usually means that the original key you have is lost or broken. Car key replacement should not be confused with car key duplication. Essentially, for car key replacement you need to have a new key made. The locksmith cost of making a new car key starts at $120 for most locksmiths, and can increase depending on if there are additional services required.
  • Car Key CuttingCutting a car key can be done in several different ways, and the method used is what determines the final cost. Car cutting can be done through the use of an existing key or by cutting the key to code. The latter takes much longer, but can still be done expediently by an experienced locksmith. Car key cutting is similar to car key replacement and will start at roughly $120 depending on whether you have an existing key or not.
  • Car Key DuplicationThe cost of duplicating a car key has a wider range than the services listed above. I say this because the cost of duplicating a key can either be as low as $2 or upwards of $120. This all depends on the type of key that you need to have duplicated. If you have a traditional car key that merely requires a basic duplication, then you will be within the $2 price range. However, if you have a transponder key, your car key duplication costs from a locksmith will start at $120.
  • Key Fob ReplacementReplacing a key fob is similar to car key replacement, except for the fact that you might have to do some additional programming. This is done to ensure that your key fob replacement is compatible and properly functioning with your vehicle. Some locksmiths charge between $90 and $120 for a key fob replacement. Keep in mind that these costs do not include programming costs. Once you begin to talk about programming the key, you should understand that the locksmith cost will increase slightly.
  • Transponder Key Programming – Most cars these days make use of transponder keys. It serves as an additional security method to protect your vehicle. Essentially, a transponder key is paired to a specific vehicle. This is the reason why some duplicate keys or replacement keys need to be programmed before they function properly. The total locksmith cost to program a transponder key normally runs up to $120 because of the additional services that usually come with. There are some locksmiths who charge between $30 and $75 for the programming only. However, since this service rarely happens on its own, the cost is usually upwards of $120.
  • Car Key Extraction – A car key extraction is normally needed when a car key breaks off in a lock or within the ignition of a vehicle. This sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is, but in the hands of an experienced locksmith, it is quite a simple task to accomplish. The car key extraction costs typically start at $65 and go up from there depending on the complexity of the extraction. Every extraction varies in severity. There might be some occasions where the broken piece of the car key can be removed easily, and some might take a bit more work.
  • Ignition Replacement and Repair – Ignition replacement/repair is the blanket term for the services of ignition cylinder replacement and ignition switch replacement. Jobs that deal with the ignition of a vehicle are typically very complicated and it is not suggested that you attempt to DIY your way out of this (unless you are confident in your abilities). The locksmith cost of ignition repair or replacement starts at $95 depending on how much work you need to be done and your vehicle model.

Residential Locksmith Costs

  • House Lockout Services – There is a chance you know someone who has been locked out of their house before, or maybe it has happened to you. A house lockout is a very common occurrence and one that locksmiths deal with on a regular basis. A house lockout typically starts at $35 on the low end. There will be times when the price for this service increases, and this normally depends on whether the lockout calls for additional work to be done.
  • Lock Changes – The process of changing locks usually happens when a homeowner wants to replace a damaged lock that cannot be repaired, or when they want to upgrade their locks. This is a common occurrence and essentially costs about the same as a new lock installation. However, there is the possibility that it can cost more if there is additional labor to make the door compatible with new locks. A typical lock change starts at $35.
  • New Lock Installation – A new lock installation is usually requested by homeowners that want to secure some new doors. This usually involves ensuring that the door and the lock to be used are compatible. A new lock installation begins at $35, but can sometimes end up being more. This usually occurs when the homeowner decides to purchase the new locks from the locksmith as well.
  • Smart Lock Installation – Smart locks have become very popular among many homeowners and they are used in a wide array of homes these days. Smart lock installation is similar to new lock installation but usually, requires some additional work to be done in regards to the door that it is being installed on. Many smart locks have specific requirements that might lead the price to be a little more costly than a regular lock installation. However, the price usually starts at $35.
  • Rekeying Locks – The term lock rekeying sounds slightly complicated, but it is also revealing. The lock is essentially being retrofitted to work with a different key or sets of keys. In the hands of an experienced locksmith, this can be handled expediently, but it might take much longer if it is handled by someone who is not as skilled. The rekeying process generally starts at $19.
  • Damaged Lock Repair – In some cases, a lock will not need to be replaced because it can be repaired and salvaged. This is usually a very cost-effective method that allows homeowners to still make use of their old locks. It is important to realize that not every damaged lock can be repaired. Locks are prone to damage over time, or when they are exposed to excessive force. The price of damaged lock repair can start anywhere between $19 and $35 depending on the extent of the damage that the locksmith will have to rectify.
  • Broken Key ExtractionExtracting a broken key can sometimes be viewed as two jobs in one. This is because sometimes a broken key extraction implies a lockout as well as the need to have new keys made, as well as a lock fixed. Some people get lucky and the only service that they need is the extraction. A broken key extraction starts at $35, but can sometimes work its way upwards to $75 and above. This happens because of the additional cost of other services.
  • Repair Window Locks – Window locks are another facet of locks that locksmiths deal with on a regular basis. The process of repairing window locks is the counterpart to damaged lock repair and usually, takes about the same amount of time to complete (depending on the complexity of the lock). This usually ranges between $19 and $35.
  • Residential Safe Lockouts – Safes have become very consistent in homes and they are used to guard and secure a variety of valuables. Unfortunately, similar to anything that can be locked, people tend to have a problem getting back in. This could be because the locking mechanism is damaged or because they have lost the key. Safes are no different, which is why residential locksmiths are well versed in helping homeowners gain access to their residential safes. The cost of servicing a safe lockout starts at $65 and increases depending on the model of the safe and the nature of the lockout.

Commercial Locksmith Services

  • Office LockoutsOffice lockouts are a common occurrence, as are their counterparts (auto lockouts and home lockouts). People tend to forget their keys, or locks simply end up damaged. No matter what the reason is, a locksmith should be able to help you regain entry into your office without any hassle. The cost for office lockouts starts at $35. The starting price will vary based on the number of locks that have to be opened, as well as the overall complexity of the job.
  • Installing New Commercial Door Locks – The process of installing new commercial door locks is usually requested when a business wants to upgrade their locks or repair damaged ones. This is also a necessary process to carry out for new business complexes that need locks on their offices and units. The starting cost for new commercial door locks installation is $35.The price will increase depending on whether or not the customer wants to acquire the door locks from the locksmith or from a 3rd party.
  • Commercial Safe Lockout – Commercial safes are similar to residential safes, but they have some inherent differences that set them apart. This is the reason why commercial safes exist and the reason why there is a locksmith service that caters to safe lockouts and other related problems. In addition to the service call fee of $15, a commercial safe lockout begins at $65.


Always try to keep an open mind when you are dealing with locksmiths. The nature of the business dictates that the prices will never be set in stone, unless you iron out every aspect of the job beforehand. Even then there is a chance that things could change. The article above is meant to serve as a guideline to answer the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost’, and it should give you some insight into locksmith pricing. In order to save your time, and that of the locksmith, make sure you are absolutely certain that you need a locksmiths services before you call for one.

Category: Automotive, Commercial, Residential

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