How to Replace Your Car Key: A Comprehensive Guide

If you don't have an additional key, you'll likely need a replacement key at a dealership and provide proof of ownership, according to Carfax. The dealer will then program a new key to work with your car. This may take a few days, during which they will have to keep the car. If you can't find your key and you don't have a replacement one, start looking for replacement options right away and don't worry, most places that replace car keys don't need the original one to perform this task.

If your car is more than five years old, you may be able to buy an aftermarket key fob at a locksmith or online. The loss of car keys is common, but the price of losing the keys goes beyond a few dollars and a trip to the hardware store. On top of that, an automotive locksmith can program your replacement key fob if that's the problem. If you have lost all copies of the original key, an automotive locksmith may make you a new one if you can provide them with the model and year and prove that you are the owner of the car (the registration or the title should be enough).

The loss of a key is particularly frustrating because of the constant concern that, halfway through the process of getting a new key, the owner will find the initial key somewhere obvious, such as the pocket of a jacket that has been lost. If you have a new car or the original car key was a key fob, you may need a replacement smart key. To replace your car key, you must contact a locksmith or the dealer where you purchased your vehicle. Other high-tech keys may be laser-engraved or have wireless codes that the car scans to make sure they are the correct keys.

Technology has improved the safety and capabilities of car keys today, but these improvements come with an increased cost. Some locksmiths are able to digitally program replacement keys, but many cannot imitate a laser-etched code on the key. In addition, many used car buyers (especially car dealers) will pay more for a vehicle that has at least two sets of keys or key rings that work. If you lost your car key and don't have the original one, visiting an automotive locksmith can be an economical option.

Most insurance companies with comprehensive coverage will provide some coverage if your car keys are stolen. Getting a replacement key from your car dealership can work, but it could cost more than if you had gone to a car locksmith. In addition, there is always a chance of finding a lost key unless it was lost in the ocean or during travel. If this happens, it's best to act quickly and start looking for replacement options right away.

This way, you can avoid any additional costs or delays in getting back on the road.

Sophie Boucher Girard
Sophie Boucher Girard

Student. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Hardcore zombie nerd. Infuriatingly humble bacon buff. Typical zombie scholar.

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