How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? The Ultimate Hiring Guide
There are over 128 million homes across America, which provide safety and shelter for the people who live in them.
Unfortunately, this means there are loads of homes for burglars to target. In fact, there are approximately three burglaries every minute in the US. These put your home and everything in it at risk, so what can you do to protect yourself against them?
Well, ensuring that your locks are properly secured is a good place to start when it comes to home safety. Whether you’ve lost your house keys or unable to get into your property completely, this is something a locksmith can help with.
So how much does a locksmith cost and what can they do for you? If you’re wondering about this, then you’ve come to the right place! Read on to find out everything you need to know about locksmith costs.
What Does a Locksmith Do?
Locksmiths deliver a huge range of services to clients across the country. All of them have to do with the locking systems that you use.
One of the most common call-out services they provide is lock replacements. This involves removing the whole locking mechanism for your home or car and replacing it with a new one. People often need this if they’ve lost their key or haven’t had a key returned by a previous resident.
Locksmiths can also cut new keys for you without replacing the locks on your property. Or, if you know that your keys are locked inside your home or car, they can simply open it up for you.
Sounds useful right? In that case, let’s take a look at how much locksmiths charge.
How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?
Locksmiths charge different prices depending on their personal rates and depending on the work needed.
Most low-end locksmiths will charge around $85 for their services and high-end providers charge $175. This means that people usually spend an average of $129 on locksmiths’ services.
The minimum you could spend on a locksmith is about $50. More complex jobs can cost up to $350 a go. So if a locksmith quotes you higher or lower than these prices, you should definitely look elsewhere!
As you can imagine, getting let into your house requires a lot less work than changing the locks. Because of this, it is much cheaper than getting the locks replaced completely.
The cost of a locksmith will also depend on their hourly rates and the standard call-out fee that they charge. Let’s take a closer look at these.
Call-Out Rates and Hourly Fees
All locksmiths will charge a basic call-out fee to come to a job. This doesn’t change depending on the complexity of a job.
These call-out fees are there to ensure that the locksmith will always get paid. For example, if they arrive at a job and nothing needs doing, they’ll still get paid for coming out. This means they won’t have wasted their time completely.
This is always why it’s a good idea to check a situation out thoroughly before you call a locksmith. The last thing you want is to pay a call-out fee for a job you could have done yourself!
Call-out fees vary depending on the locksmith and can range from $30 to $85. Generally, most locksmiths have a call-out fee of around $75.
This can depend a little on the radius that a locksmith works within. If they serve a larger area, they’ll probably have a higher call-out fee.
These fees usually cover the first hour of a locksmith’s job. After this, a locksmith generally charges between $75 and $95 an hour for this work.
This might sound like a lot, but most locksmiths will complete a job within 25 or 30 minutes. This means you won’t have to worry too much about their call-out fee. And if you’re worried that they’re taking too long, you can simply ask them to leave it to avoid additional costs.
However, to really understand how much a locksmith charges, you need to take a closer look at the cost of different jobs.
Car Lock Costs
Problems with your car locks can be very expensive depending on what type of car you have. In some cases, this may cost more than changing the locks on your family home!
To unlock your car for you, a locksmith will charge between $60 and $85. Unlocking the doors costs around $75, while unlocking the trunk is more expensive. This usually costs $85.
If you need new keys making, then this can cost you anything between $65 and $145. But unlocking and replacing keys is only the tail-end of locksmith services for your car.
A professional locksmith will be able to get a stuck key out of a car door lock without much difficulty. They’ll also be able to replace any damage that the key has caused and make you a new key immediately.
If the key breaks in the door, this can be much more expensive. Removing the key can cost between $80 and $140.
However, if you don’t have a spare key on you then you’ll need to make a new one. This could set you back more than $145.
If you don’t need to use your car immediately, it may be worth leaving it locked where it is. Your car’s dealership may be able to make you a new key at a better rate if you can afford to wait for one.
Some people use transponder keys instead of traditional car keys. A locksmith will be able to re-program your transponder if you lock it in your car. This will cost around $145.
It costs between $75 and $180 to rekey locks on a car.
Lock Changing Service Costs for Houses
Some locksmith prices for home services are a lot cheaper than car lock services. This depends a lot on what needs doing.
For example, if you need a locksmith to let you into your home, this can cost between $65 and $185. This is much more expensive than getting let into your car, however, getting a new key cut will cost you a lot less. Most locksmiths charge between $50 and $100 for a new house key.
Replacing your home’s locks can cost anything between $60 and $200. This is usually a straight forward job but can become complicated if your lock is particularly old. If you want a more advanced lock fitting in your home, this will also cost you more.
Rekeying your home will generally cost between $50 and $130 plus around a labor charge of $30 per lock. The rekey locks cost can vary a lot depending on the type of lock you have.
For example, a key-in-knob lock costs around $19 for one lock. This is then added to labor costs for fitting the lock and the call-out fee.
In contrast, safe deposit locks are some of the most expensive locks around. These come in at around $37 per lock. Tubular locks and best type IC cylinder locks will also cost you over $30 each.
Exterior door locks will cost a lot more to replace. For example, a garage door lock change can cost $299.
If you aren’t sure which kind of lock you have, a locksmith will be able to let you know.
Deciding Between Rekeying vs. Changing the Locks
Sometimes it can be difficult to choose between whether you should rekey your locks or change them completely. To help you decide, let’s take a look at how these two services compare.
The call-out fee for both services will be around $30 to $50, so there’s no difference there. However, getting the locks changed will cost roughly four times more than rekeying. You can save yourself some money when changing your locks by buying the locks yourself from a hardware store.
If you are changing the locks, you may also have to make adjustments to your door in order to accommodate the new lock. This can also increase the price of this service.
That said, if you have just moved into a new property, it’s always a good idea to change the locks. That way you know that no one else could possibly have a key to your home. If you’ve simply lost your key, then you should be fine simply rekeying your property.
In some circumstances, you may not have a choice. For example, if someone breaks into your home or you damage the lock it will need replacing completely.
Emergency Call-Out Fees and Additional Rates
Before you hire a locksmith, it’s important to keep in mind any additional costs that they may charge.
For example, most locksmiths will charge an emergency call-out rate if you need their help urgently. This is usually around $20 extra on top of their standard call-out rate.
This rate will apply if you choose to call them out during their off-hours. So it’s always worth checking which rate you’ll be charged before you hire them.
If you’re in a dire emergency situation that requires you to open your vehicle or home, then you should call 911. In this situation, the police will unlock your home or vehicle for free. Emergency situations like this include if a baby is locked in your car or if a vulnerable person is locked in a building.
Commercial locksmiths will also charge a lot more for a job. Their service fees are usually the same but a lockout fee could cost you up to $200. Lock installation for commercial properties is also much more expensive than domestic lock installation.
Locksmiths also tend to charge a lot more for safe unlocking. This can cost up to $160. However, if they have to drill into a safe, this can cost up to $375!
Smart and electronic lock replacements or repairs will also cost more than standard locks. This is because they often involve a much more complex repair. Electronic door locks will cost $400 to change, while smart door locks cost up to $360.
It’s worth keeping these things in mind when you are getting a new lock installed. Opting for a more simple lock could save you a lot of money in the future.
Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Locksmith
There are several things you should keep in mind if you want to get a good price from a locksmith.
Make sure that you shop around for a good deal from a locksmith, even in an emergency. Try to get a quote from at least three locksmiths in your area before hiring one. If you have specific needs, such as ‘how much does pop a locking charge?’, make sure you ask about these before getting a quote.
When calling around, make sure you keep a note of everyone you speak to and what they offer. This will help you remember who was who so you can get back in touch with them quickly.
You also shouldn’t just think about the price of a locksmith in isolation. You want someone who is going to deliver a quality service, like Pros On Call. This is why you should also check out a locksmith’s rating and feedback from previous customers before you hire them.
When you do get in touch with a locksmith, make sure you ask about any special offers they might have. Some offer deals for people moving into a new home, for ex-military, or for multiple installation jobs. Asking about these won’t cost you a thing but it could save you a lot!
Finally, think carefully before you attempt DIY on your property’s locks. The last thing you want to do if cause more damage to your locks. This will inevitably be a lot more expensive to repair.
If you are going to try repairing your own locks, make sure you have a spare key lined up and a door to your home open in case it goes wrong!
Get the Best Price from Your Locksmith Today!
As you can see, there’s no quick answer to the question ‘how much does a locksmith cost?’ A lot of things can affect the cost of your lock repair. But keep these price ranges in mind, stick to our top tips and you’re sure to find the best price around!
For more help keeping your property safe, check out the rest of our tech blog.