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How to Find a Trustworthy Auto Locksmith Company Online

Updated on March 10, 2014

Beware of The Bait & Switch!

All over the internet you will find promises of 15$, 17$, 25$ locksmith services from scam companies. Don't fall into their trap! They will quote you one price over the phone and then charge you an arm and a leg for a simple 5 min car lockout. The horror stories are all over the internet.

Most reputable companies will charge a service call fee, but they will be able to give you a quote over the phone, and some will offer flat rate pricing for car lockouts. Oftentimes it will be hard for the locksmith company to tell you exactly how much the service of your choice will cost, depending on what service you need performed on your vehicle.

Auto Locksmiths are Not Created Equal!

There are many horror stories that have surfaced over the years involving the locksmith industry in the US. With many states not requiring licensing to perform work, it is easy for non-professional individuals and companies to lure customers into their trap, and with the proliferation of the internet is has become even easier to set up a front that looks legitimate. If you need automotive locksmith work please read on in order to find out the best way to choose a legitimate company that will not damage your vehicle or charge you an arm and a leg for service.

Scams Happen Everyday
Scams Happen Everyday

Warning Signs of a Bad Locksmith:

So what are some things to look out for when looking for a locksmith company?

1. Generic Company Names

This isn't necessarily a sign of a bad locksmith company, but many scammers will have listings in online or print directories that have names such as: (AAA locksmith, A New York Locksmiths, A-1 Locksmiths). The A or 1 at the beginning of a company name helps in some directories to rank ahead of their competition, and they names are not necessarily correlated with a real business that you can find or file a complaint against.

2. Very Low Pricing

Service industries are expensive, and mobile services especially must charge a certain amount to make money. No locksmith company can keep their doors open by providing 19$ lockout services, its just not possible. With the price of gas, having to pay employees, parts and time, you can see why these prices are just a way of duping customers. Most lockout services will cost at least 60$, with extra service charges for emergency services in most cases.

3. Foreign sounding Dispatchers:

Again this is not necessarily a sign of a bad locksmith company, but just be weary. Many scammer companies use VOIP (voice over ip numbers) to forward calls to a dispatch center that is not in this country, and then they dispatch the locksmith in your city that they work with.

Car Locksmiths Cut Keys on Site!

Good car key locksmiths will carry a wide selection of keys.
Good car key locksmiths will carry a wide selection of keys.

Services of the Automotive Locksmith:

  • 24 Hour Lockouts
  • Car Lock Changes
  • Broken Car Key Removal
  • Car Lock Repair
  • Ignition Switch Repair/Replace
  • Replacement Car Keys
  • Key-less Entry (Key Fobs)
  • Glove Box Locks
  • Car Door Lock Re-keying
  • Motorcycle Keys
  • Car Key Programming
  • Trunk Lock Repair

Most good car locksmith companies will be able to provide mobile service, and some are on call 24 hours a day for emergency service. If you have a car that is still in production (within the past 20 years) and isn't a custom ignition assembly it will be easier to find a company to program you new car keys or help you with OEM or aftermarket part replacements.

Locksmith Scam Videos

Does Your State Require Licensing?

Locksmiths are only required to hold a license in 14 states, so if you are in one of these states it will be easy to rule out a company that does not hold the proper license number. Here are the 14 states that require proper licensing.

  • Alabama
    New Jersey
    North Carolina
    Washington D.C.

Car Locksmiths

Program Transponder & Car Key Fobs
Program Transponder & Car Key Fobs

What Service do you need?

What car lock service do you need?

See results

3 Tips:

1. Read Online Reviews - good places include, Superpages & Citysearch, or Angie's List if you are a member.

2. Ask for upfront pricing & make sure you know how much a service call will be.

3. If a locksmith will not take credit cards and want cash - then be very weary of that company.

Good luck with your search!

I hope these tips help you find a great locksmith company near you that will provide effective service for your vehicle. Thanks for reading, and please leave a comment if you have any stories that pertain to finding a car locksmith. Got a great company to recommend? Leave a comment below!

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    • JamesLewis16 profile image

      James Lewis 18 months ago from 1263 Seagrape Circle Weston Florida 33326

      Thanks for sharing such informative article !!! It's a great tips for those who don't know how to find a trustworthy Auto Locksmith company online.

    • profile image

      Jeff Curtis 20 months ago

      Thanks for this helpful post on finding a trustworthy locksmith online. I really need to find a locksmith that I can trust. Thanks for the tip on watching out for the bait and switch issue where they originally say they will only charge 15 dollars but will end up charging you a lot more. I will make sure to avoid those signs you have in here of a bad locksmith. Thanks for the help!

    • John Albu profile image

      John Albu 2 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87102

      Thanks for the information, it's good to know for the next time I get locked out of my house, which will most certainly happen. I don't know why it so easy to lose track of my keys, just happens sometimes, I get pretty busy. I know a lot of people use edmonton lock, their fast and have great employees. They are also very professional and helpful.

    • profile image

      Amit Mehra 3 years ago

      We provide complete local locksmith services to Connecticut for commercial, residential, automotive and emergency purposes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our highly trained, licensed, insured, and bonded locksmiths travel throughout Stamford, New Haven, and all of Southeastern Connecticut.

      Visit us at:

    • profile image

      Locksmith in Aventura FL 3 years ago

      Aventura Locksmith Services

      High-Quality Residential, Commercial, Automotive Locksmith Services in Aventura!

      We are professional, reliable and have the best training and tools to get every locksmith job completed quickly and efficiently.

      24/7 Emergency locksmith services! Call (305) 949-9270

    • profile image

      Candice Harding 3 years ago

      It can be tricky to find the right locksmith, but it's well worth the effort. You are putting the security of your vehicle in their hands, it's worth it be to be sure they are properly licensed and experienced. If you don't feel comfortable with the technician and their services, then you should keep shopping.

      Candice Harding

    • brainspike profile image

      Brian Williams 3 years ago from Phoenix, USA

      A great resource for the people of Las Vegas. Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      Las Vegas Locksmith Pros 3 years ago

      My company, Las Vegas Locksmith Pros offers car key cutting, 24 hour lockouts, lock repairs, rekeying ignitions and more. If you are locked out in Las Vegas give us a call! visit our website here!

    • brainspike profile image

      Brian Williams 3 years ago from Phoenix, USA

      Also, check out this directory at, they have a search feature and have a pretty thorough directory of car locksmiths.

    • profile image

      A Tempe AZ Guy 3 years ago

      Also you can find auto locksmiths on the BBB website for your area. They have very stringent process for reviews so you can really trust the reviews on the website.

    • profile image

      TheTempeGuide 4 years ago

      If your looking for the best auto locksmith in Tempe AZ, check out, I have had good experiences with them in the past!

    • profile image

      Happy Custimer 4 years ago

      I just found a company using the resource you provided,! East Valley Lock and Key came to my house and made me new car keys for my 09 Nissan Maxima.

    • profile image

      Rhonda Jensil 4 years ago

      My friend emailied this hub to me since I have gotten burned by so many rotten locksmith companies. I'm glad she forwarded this to me because it has really opened my eyes and sharpened my hiring decisions. Thanks for the information

    • profile image

      Edie 4 years ago

      Finding a Locksmith is easy. Finding a Trustworthy Locksmith is not so easy. Good thing we have web reporters like you who make our search easier. Keep up the great work!

    • profile image

      Carl 4 years ago

      That was a Great vid and article about avoiding Locksmith scams. Thanks for alerting us..

    • profile image

      Erin Grant 4 years ago

      Whoaaa I got a brain spike on this one, a lotta great info to absorb.!

    • profile image

      Mavis 4 years ago

      I found your hub in Google thanks for sharing your tips!

    • profile image

      Fred D. 4 years ago

      I thought Locksmith service is automatically included with auto insurance these it not?

    • profile image

      Darren 4 years ago

      I'm actually training to be a Locksmith so your writeup really points out some things to help me be more professional. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Reece 4 years ago

      Brainspike, I follow your wor all the time and you always have something good to share.Keep up the great work!

    • profile image

      Dan L. 4 years ago

      Hey, that is a great resource, thanks for sharing!...

    • profile image

      Mike 4 years ago

      Nice article, wellwritten.. Bookmarked & shared on Twitter.

    • profile image

      Brenda 4 years ago

      Im always losing my keys so I need to keep a locksmith on speed dial lol...

    • profile image

      Liliane Barr 4 years ago

      I really llike the way you've laid out the information in this article. It really highlights some great points to consider when searching for a professional locksmith.

    • profile image

      Greg 4 years ago

      Nice hub dude you shedding a lotta knowledge.

    • profile image

      Carol 4 years ago

      Thanks for informing me which States require licensing for locksmiths. I live in North Carolina and never knew that. Learn something new everyday!

    • profile image

      Ben 4 years ago

      Thanks for calling out that bait & switch tactic! My sister caught with that one a little while back but she learned from that and I did too. Great article!