Key Fob

How Much Does A Locksmith Charge To Program A Key Fob?

How much does a locksmith charge to program a key fob?

With a key fob, entering and exiting your vehicle is a breeze. Today’s key fobs are packed with cool extras, like remote ignition and built-in alarm systems. Your key fob is specific to your car, just like a regular key would be. A locksmith will be needed to program any replacement key fobs. There are key fobs that cost substantially more to program than the average of $50 to $100.

First, let’s break down the major components that go into programming your car’s key fob and the associated expenditures.

The Definition of a Key Chain or Fob

You may know a key fob by its other name—a remote fob. Latest-generation automobile keys typically feature a remote fob, which isn’t present on classic keys.

Newer types of cars have the remote fob built into the key. This allows you to remotely secure or unlocks your vehicle. Similar functionality is also available for the trunk or rear door. This is a time-saver for both motorists and pedestrians, especially in bad weather or when they need to be somewhere quickly.

There are also keyless entry variants available. A keyless entry fob can also be used to lock and unlock doors. The impressive feature of having your ignition turned on with the touch of a button is not lost on anyone.

All the key fob’s capabilities are helpful, but it’s a pain to replace it if you lose it or break it. You should contact an expert if it ever malfunctions, goes missing, or loses power.

It is necessary to reprogram a new key fob. That way, it’ll work in tandem with your car’s characteristics. Your key fob replacement options are either of two different types of shops. You can either go to a certified auto service center or a professional automotive locksmith.

To decide whether to contact a locksmith or a vehicle dealership, you need to determine what the deciding factors are. Consider how much you are willing to spend on a new key fob.

You undoubtedly seek a lower price. You can’t do this at a dealership, but you can do it at a locksmith’s shop. Cheaper than at a dealership, locksmith services are of great value.

car replacement

Types of key-fobs

As far as locksmithing is concerned, there are a few distinct sorts of key fobs available. The cost of making fobs will vary depending on their complexity and the tools needed to make them.

The most typical key chains our blacksmiths make:

• The primary key is the simplest form of a key fob, and it may be used to secure and unlock your vehicle and set off an alarm.

• Transponder key: a microchip embedded in a transponder key is required for the vehicle to start. Your vehicle’s transponder could be included in the actual key or housed in a separate fob; this would depend on the make and type of your car. One key fob may be programmed for about $75, while a key and fob set would set you back at least $150.

• Laser-cut key: Tickets cut with this sophisticated equipment are thicker and safer than standard keys, thanks to a hidden transponder. Prices range from $150 to $250 to replace and reprogram a key that was cut with a laser cutter.

• The switchblade key, as its name suggests, can be stowed away inside its fob if not in use. Since the fob’s hinge eventually wears down, it has to be replaced entirely. The price range is $200-$300.

• A smart key, often known as a keyless entry remote, is one sort of key. As the most cutting-edge key fob system, it’s also the most expensive to replace a car’s original keys with. Costs range from $220 to $500 per remote for smart-key programming.

The pricing may also vary depending on other factors, not just the key fob type. Your car’s make and model will also play a role, as will the smith’s programming time. 

Key-Fob Programming Must-Dos

Many blacksmiths charge by the hour, which raises or lowers the overall cost of a job. A typical hourly rate for a smith is $50, plus any additional costs incurred for materials and labor. It takes more time to make a key than it does to make a standard key because of the additional wiring, laser cutting, and keyless entry features. That is to say, longer tasks will likely result in a higher rate. Car key replacement may get expensive fast when you include emergency fees. In extreme cases, such as being locked from your vehicle during the night or losing your key fob and needing a replacement very away, you may be charged a premium on top of the regular price.

When Do You Need to Get a Key Fob Programmed?

In certain cases, it’s important to program your key fob:

• The Remote Keyless Entry Device Has Disappeared

• Key Chain Device Was Damaged

• Battery Drain on Key Chain Remote

Let’s have a quick discussion of each of these:

1) The disappearance of the Key Chain Transmitter

If you lose your key fob, you can replace it with a generic model and have it reprogrammed by a locksmith. You should probably just have locksmiths make you a new one. The best keyless entry remote for your vehicle is one that they can recommend.

In addition, you can utilize an existing key fob from another vehicle with this one. To have it re-programmed, simply take it to a locksmith. And if the key fob is compatible with your car’s system, the locksmith will let you know that, too.

2) Dysfunctional Keychain

There appears to be a need for reprogramming if your key fob stops operating properly. Key fobs can be broken if they are dropped frequently or if they are immersed in water.

If the damage is minor, it can be fixed and reprogrammed. The need to replace a key fob, however, does arise.

Key fobs are durable and won’t break easily. The high-quality construction ensures that they will survive for many years without showing any signs of wear. That’s why you should always treat it gently and carefully.

3) The battery on the remote keyless entry device has expired.

You may need to replace the battery in your key fob if it suddenly stops working. Unfortunately, just switching out the battery might not solve the problem.

Having a dead battery in your keychain remote is a common cause of memory loss. Therefore, changing the battery is not the sole solution. You’ll also need to get it re-programmed.

Do Locksmiths Charge Much to Have a Key Fob Programmed?

Cost to have a key fob programmed by a locksmith varies, but expect to pay between $50 and $200. How much it will set you back is determined by some variables, including the type of key fob you have, the vehicle makes and model of your vehicle, the degree of difficulty involved in programming the key fob, and the going rate for locksmith services in your area.

In reality, the locksmith fee to replace a lost key fob will vary depending on some factors. Some examples are as follows:

1. Type of Keychain Remotes 

2. Brand and Model of Vehicle

3. How Much You Can Expect to Pay for Locksmith Services Typically

So, let’s break them down individually:

1. Type of Key Fob

Keychains might include a sensor key or remote ignition for convenience. If that’s the case, it’ll probably cost you a lot to have it reprogrammed. The expense of having your key fob reprogrammed drops significantly if its only function is to lock and unlock your vehicle’s doors.

Transponder keys contain microprocessors that activate the vehicle’s ignition system. Unfortunately, this will not sync properly with a key fob from a separate vehicle. The reason for this is that the car’s computer chip isn’t compatible with the one in the fob.

2. Make and Model of Car

Each automaker has different requirements for the functionality of key fobs. This is a huge plus from a safety standpoint. However, there is a hefty fee associated with getting a new key fob or having the one you have reset.

Thus, you should be financially prepared if you want the greatest options for your car.

3. What Does It Typically Cost To Get A Locksmith Service In Your Area?

Locksmith services may be more or less expensive in your location compared to others. The price of programming your key fobs is something else to think about.

The services are, without a doubt, quite pricey. Nonetheless, keep in mind that hiring a locksmith is much more cost-effective than going to a dealership.


Locksmith services to program a key fob typically cost between $50 and $200. Several variables will affect the final price, such as the type of key fob, the make and model of the vehicle, the level of difficulty involved in programming the key fob, and the going rate for locksmith services in the area.

Hiring a locksmith is a wise financial and time-saving move. The majority of locksmiths will come to you to inspect your keys and vehicle. They plan to have the work done as quickly as they can. All of this activity can be attributed to their desire to win customers.

If you need help or have any other questions, just use the button below to reach out to our team:

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