ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Getting Spare Car Keys

Updated on October 15, 2018

So you lost your car keys? Be prepared to pay good money for a replacement.

15 years ago when I knew nothing about car keys I thought these items cost, well $1, $2 perhaps? And I was partially right. First, the implementation of security systems like transponder, chip, RFID, was not widely spread through all car makes and models. Secondly, I already had a key, so getting a spare key was only a matter of going to any locksmith with the capabilities of coping keys. It did in fact cost me about a buck to get a spare key back then. That was no longer the case 4 years later when I lost my Ford F-250 key.

The replacement of this car key cost me an outstanding $253. This is when my research on the matter begun.

Through my work as a mechanic, I have established good relationships with reputable locksmith companies. Here is some good information I have learned and hope helps you find the best solution that works for you:

It is better to prevent than cure

The cost of a replacement car key is usually way higher than a spare car key (when you actually have one working key and you just need a copy).

Get a second key now. If you lose the only one you have, a new car key costs in average about double because it is more difficult for a locksmith to get the bitting or cutting specs for your vehicle.

A good place to get spare car keys is by calling your local auto locksmith. Specialized locksmiths have a greater selection of transponder, VATS, PATS, and laser car keys. They use the VIN# or key code to make the car keys.

Know your key code

What is a key code? A key code is a number or string of characters that tells special machinery how to cut a key. Each car key has its own unique key code. Having the key code will save you money when using the services of a locksmith because it facilitates their job.

Save the number now as all car makers have limits of how far back in years they have key codes saved in their systems making it impossible for you to find it once your car reaches certain age.

Having a key code will typically save you between $15 and $30 per spare key but it can save you more than that.

Cut Transponder Car Key

Spare car key made
Spare car key made

Not all keys are made the same

The world of spare car keys is full of variety. Getting keys made for 2 cars of the same year and of the same make does not necessarily mean they will cost the same. Ask a locksmith or a dealership on-line or on the phone if the key for your auto needs to be programmed, if it uses VATS, transponder, PATS, chip, etc. and how much it costs. Buying on-line or with a local locksmith is usually the way to go, you get the same key and is usually cheaper.

Computer issues

Another aspect of replacing car keys that has changed the business in the past decade is computers that have to be programmed for the new keys to work or even when they have no keys at all. If your vehicle is in need of reprogramming, get quotes from both dealers and locksmiths. Only some specialized locksmiths can re-program auto computers but they tend to be cheaper if they can do it. Some autos can only be programmed by the dealer unfortunately.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      What? I had no idea it could cost so much to have new car keys made. Your tips are highly valued and I am going to take your advice about jotting down my key code just in case I need it.

    • C_Pinto profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from USA

      Yes, you could save so much just by having a spare...

    • wrenfrost56 profile image


      10 years ago from U.K.

      $253! Thats astrinomical! Thank's for sharing this, good advise and a warning worth heeding. :)

    • Part-time Writer profile image

      Part-time Writer 

      10 years ago from Way Up North (USA)

      Locking your keys in the car can be expensive too, especially if you don't have a handy spare set. Great advice.

    • Steve R McDowell profile image

      Steve R McDowell 

      10 years ago from Atlanta

      I had no idea you could order spare car keys online! That's great to know!

    • C_Pinto profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from USA

      You're welcome. Glad it helped you

    • profile image

      Ryan H 

      10 years ago

      Thanks for the great info man. I'll make sure to get my spare key very soon!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)