A car key isn’t made to be immortal, and there are a hundred different things that could happen to your car key including theft or loss. Sometimes, the key just breaks off in a lock or stops working – and it’s up to you to find a replacement for it so that you can get back into your car and on the road. But where can you get a replacement car key if you’ve damaged or can’t find your keys, and what’s the fastest way to get new car keys in an emergency?
Where Can I Get a Replacement Car Key?
*It’s only legal to purchase replacement car keys if you are the legal owner of the vehicle, with the registered papers. Any other reason(s) for procuring replacement car keys if you are not the original owner, might be illegal according to Federal law.
Lost, stolen, or damaged car keys need to be replaced. If you find yourself in need of replacement car keys in a hurry, here are some steps you can take and places to look:
1. Car Dealership
A car dealership is often your best bet for finding a replacement car key, especially for many newer vehicles and models. Car dealerships can issue new keys and replacement parts quickly. They are usually subject to terms that might be included in your Service Plan or Purchase Contract.
Car dealerships guarantee an original key, made specifically for your car make and model. They might also be faster than most other methods on the list as well. Unfortunately, they might also charge a premium price. The cost to replace a smart key at a car dealership can be expensive depending on the type.
The car key fob is essential even in keyless entry systems. Losing or damaging it can complicate the replacement process compared to traditional metal keys. Replacement involves reprogramming the vehicle’s computer and this procedure may need to be done by a dealership.
2. Vehicle Insurance Plan
Damage, theft, or a lost car key can sometimes be covered under your vehicle insurance plan. Some insurance policies include a clause for vehicle parts, which might also include your car key if it needs replacement.
Before paying too much for a key replacement, check with your insurance plan to find out if it’s covered here. Insurance plans might, however, take longer to claim for.
3. Automotive Locksmith
A professional auto locksmith can help you to find a replacement key for your vehicle. They might even be able to do so faster than your insurance company. Especially when you consider the amount of paperwork.
Professional locksmiths can issue a key in minutes depending on the type of car key. Licensed, local locksmiths guarantee high-quality service.
The ability to get a replacement car key without the original depends on the type of key and the policies of the replacement service. There are many different types of keys including transponder keys, metal keys, switchblade keys, and standard spare keys that a locksmith can handle. They will need the year make and model of your car to accurately get your car key replacement.
The drawback could be the price. Many locksmiths charge by the hour, and lost or stolen keys tend to be one of those after-hours emergencies that can result in an additional expense.
4. Buy Online
Replacement keys are also available online. The owner of the car must program them – and this can be a process you might not be prepared for. If you don’t mind the technology knowledge needed, order a replacement key online and find out how to set it to open your car.
It’s like a universal remote, but for vehicles… Kind of.
5. (Your Own) Used Keys
If you have an old set of keys from the same manufacturer (or at least the same era of a car), you can often program them to your new vehicle – with some tech know-how and access to the car’s original paperwork.
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