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Locksmith Lockout - Pricing

Typical costs:
  • The cost of having a locksmith make a "house call" when you've locked yourself out of your home or vehicle varies considerably depending on location, type of lock and time of day, but starts with a minimum charge (also called a mobile fee) of $35-$150 for coming to you. Service on evenings, weekends or holidays can go as high as $150-$250, particularly in high-priced or remote areas and depending how much time and work is involved. Some locksmiths include most standard lock-out services in their house-call price; others charge a lower minimum but additional fees for specific services, such as drilling out the lock. Having the locksmith rekey or replace the locks adds to the total cost.
  • Locksmiths typically charge $1.50-$4 to copy a standard key, but they may charge $3-$20 or more for specialized keys, and it can be $50-$175 for vehicle keys with an electronic or transponder chip.
  • To come to your home and re-key your door locks, a locksmith will usually charge a minimum fee of $40-$100 plus anywhere from $5-$25 per lock cylinder.
  • To come to your home and install new door locks that you supply, a locksmith will usually charge a $40-$100 minimum fee plus labor charges of $20-$30 per lock.
What should be included:
  • Locksmith licensing requirements vary widely between states; in some states locksmiths have to pass an exam and in others, states they simply have to pay a licensing fee. Professional locksmiths should have insurance, plus a substantial investment in equipment and inventory. A locksmith hosts videos discussing how locks work and the standard types of locks.
Additional costs:
  • When getting estimates over the telephone, ask detailed questions about what is included or you may end up with a much higher bill than expected. A locked-out homeowner was quoted $55 on the phone for coming to her home, but ended up with a total bill of $200. In addition to the service charge of $55, she was billed $85.85 to break in (drilling the lock), $15.15 to uninstall the old lock, $5.55 for a new lock, and $15.15 to install the new lock, less a $25 discount both for paying cash and because the locksmith arrived later than promised.
Shopping for a locksmith:
  • If you're locked out of your car and have a roadside assistance service, call us we work with all of the insurance companies. Roadside assistance plans often have a list of companies pre-approved to unlock cars.
  • If possible, call us for rates. Try to give as many details as possible about what you need done (such as the brand of lock and whether it's a metal or wood door, or the make, model and year of the vehicle).
  • Ask about the locksmith's training and experience, whether the company is insured (in case your property is damaged during the process), and if there will be additional charges for after-hours work or other fees.
  • When the locksmith arrives, ask for identification, including a business card and, if applicable, a locksmith license (locksmith licenses are required in nine states -- Alabama, California, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas). The locksmith may ask to see your ID or the title of your car in order to verify your identity and that you are the property owner.

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