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If You Lose Your Car Keys How Do You Replace Them?

Losing your car keys can be frustrating. Replacing them can be expensive if one of the “keys” you need to replace is the kind of sophisticated microchipped remote control device that is now common with new models. You have two basic alternatives for replacing your keys: your car dealer or a locksmith. The last options is cheaper than the first.

Car dealer

The dealer from which you bought your car can replace the ignition key and entry key (or keyless entry remote). They simply need the Vehicle Identification Number and your documentation for the car to confirm that you purchased the vehicle from them. Dealers often charge a steep price, however—anywhere between $150 to $350 to replace a remote control device. So going to the dealer should not be your first resort, unless your need is urgent and no alternative is readily available.

Locksmith

To avoid the cost of an expensive replacement from your car dealer, consult a locksmith. An ordinary key may be replaceable for a few dollars. Many locksmiths can also program a keyless remote for you, in which case the fee is likely to be tens of dollars rather than hundreds of dollars. The locksmith will need the VIN to cut a correct key or program a keyless remote. (Since the VIN number can be used to obtain a copy of your remote, it’s a good idea to keep it concealed with a bit of tape to help thwart thieves.)

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