How Much is a Spare Key

  • By: Jose Whitmore
  • Date: February 12, 2024
  • Time to read: 9 min.

A spare key can cost between $50 to $300, depending on the type of key and the vehicle model. Getting a spare key made for your car can range in price based on the complexity of the key.

Many modern cars use transponder keys, which can be more expensive to replicate than traditional keys. Having a spare key for your car can save you from a lot of trouble in case you lose your main key. It’s always a good idea to have a spare key made to avoid being locked out of your vehicle.

Whether it’s a traditional key or a transponder key, getting a spare made can provide you with peace of mind and save you from the hassle of dealing with a lost or damaged key.

Factors Influencing The Cost Of A Spare Key

When it comes to getting a spare key for your vehicle, several factors can influence the cost. Understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision and ensure you get the best value for your money. Let’s take a closer look at the key type, vehicle make and model, locksmith fees, dealer fees, and additional features that play a role in determining the cost of a spare key.

Key Type

The type of key you need will greatly impact the cost of your spare key. Traditional keys, also known as mechanical keys, are generally less expensive than electronic or transponder keys. Mechanical keys are the simplest type of key, operating by physically turning the ignition switch. On the other hand, electronic keys use advanced technology to communicate with the vehicle’s immobilizer system, and transponder keys have a microchip embedded in them for added security. The complexity of electronic and transponder keys contributes to their higher cost.

Vehicle Make And Model

The make and model of your vehicle also play a significant role in determining the cost of a spare key. Different vehicles have different key systems, and some may require more intricate programming or unique key blanks. Luxury or high-end vehicles often have sophisticated key systems, which can result in higher costs for spare keys. The availability of key blanks for older or less common vehicle models can also affect the price.

Locksmith Fees

When getting a spare key, you have the option to go to a locksmith instead of the dealership. Locksmith fees may vary depending on their expertise, location, and the complexity of your key. Locksmiths can often provide a more cost-effective solution for spare keys, especially for mechanical keys or older vehicle models. It’s worth researching trusted locksmiths in your area to compare prices and services.

Dealer Fees

If you choose to get your spare key from a dealership, you can expect the cost to be higher compared to a locksmith. Dealerships typically charge for the key itself, as well as additional fees for programming and labor. The brand reputation and dealership location can also influence the overall cost. While dealerships offer expertise and guarantee authentic keys, their prices may be steeper than other options.

Additional Features

Additional features can further impact the cost of a spare key. Some vehicles have keyless entry systems, remote start capabilities, or integrated alarm systems. If you desire these additional features on your spare key, be prepared to pay extra for their integration and programming. These features enhance convenience and security but come at an additional cost.

How Much is a Spare Key


Different Types Of Spare Keys

When it comes to spare keys, there are different types available to meet varying needs and functionalities. Understanding the different types of spare keys can help you make an informed decision when it comes to getting a replacement. Let’s take a look at the options available:

Traditional Spare Keys

Traditional spare keys are the standard keys that have been used for many years. They are made of metal and can be copied at a local hardware store for a relatively low cost.

Transponder Keys

Transponder keys are more advanced compared to traditional spare keys. They have a small microchip inside them that communicates with the vehicle’s immobilizer system. When the key is inserted into the ignition, the system reads the chip and allows the car to start if the correct code is received.

Remote Keys

Remote keys, also known as key fobs, have buttons that allow you to lock, unlock, and sometimes even start your vehicle remotely. They often come with a transponder chip and are more convenient than traditional spare keys.

Keyless Entry Fobs

Keyless entry fobs enable you to unlock or lock your car without physically using the key. They work through a signal from the fob to the car, allowing for hands-free operation.

Smart Keys

Smart keys are advanced keys that use a proximity sensor to automatically unlock the car when the key is within a certain range. They also typically feature a push-button ignition, eliminating the need for a traditional key.

Average Cost Of Spare Keys

The cost of getting a spare key made can vary depending on the type of key you need. Let’s break down the average costs for different types of spare keys:

Traditional Spare Keys

The average cost for a traditional spare key is between $1 to $15. These keys are the most basic type and do not contain any electronic components.

Transponder Keys

Transponder keys, which contain a chip programmed to a specific vehicle, typically cost between $50 to $200. This higher cost is due to the technology involved in their manufacturing.

Remote Keys

Remote keys, also known as key fobs, allow for keyless entry and can cost anywhere from $25 to $400. The price varies based on the make and model of the vehicle.

Keyless Entry Fobs

For vehicles equipped with keyless entry systems, the average cost of a spare fob ranges from $50 to $500. The advanced technology contributes to the higher price point.

Smart Keys

Smart keys, which enable keyless ignition and entry, often have an average cost of $200 to $600. These high-tech keys require specialized programming and are therefore more expensive.

Ways To Save Money On Spare Keys

Having a spare key is essential for every car owner. Misplacing or losing your keys can be a costly and frustrating experience. However, getting a spare key doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little bit of research and consideration, you can find ways to save money on spare keys. Here are some options to explore:

Comparison Shopping

One effective way to save money on spare keys is by comparison shopping. Instead of going to the nearest dealership or locksmith, take the time to reach out to various providers and get quotes. Compare the prices and ensure that you are getting the best deal possible. Keep in mind that price isn’t the only factor to consider. The reputation and reliability of the provider are also essential.

Diy Programming

Another option to save money on spare keys is by considering DIY programming. Many car models allow owners to program spare keys themselves, saving them the cost of professional programming. Consult your car’s manual or do a quick online search to check if your vehicle is compatible with DIY programming. You may need to purchase a key fob or programming tool, but in the long run, it can be a cost-effective solution.

Check With Insurance Company

Have you checked with your car insurance company? Some insurance providers offer coverage for key replacement or related expenses. It’s worth contacting your insurance company to see if they can provide any assistance or coverage for a spare key. This could potentially save you a significant amount of money, so it’s worth exploring this option.

Consider Aftermarket Options

When looking for spare keys, don’t limit yourself to original manufacturer options. Consider aftermarket options as well. These keys are often more affordable and can be just as reliable as original manufacturer keys. However, do your due diligence and research reputable aftermarket key providers to ensure you are getting a quality product.

Maintaining A Spare Key

Once you’ve obtained a spare key, it’s important to maintain and take care of it to avoid future expenses. Keep the spare key in a safe place, away from potential damage or loss. Regularly check the battery life of your spare key fob to ensure it’s functioning properly. Taking proactive measures to maintain your spare key can save you money in the long run.

Alternatives To Having A Spare Key

When it comes to keeping your home secure, having a spare key is a must. But what if you don’t want to worry about losing or misplacing it? Fortunately, there are several alternatives to traditional spare keys that offer convenience and peace of mind. From lockout services to digital key options, explore these alternatives to find the best fit for your needs.

Lockout Services

If you find yourself locked out of your house without a spare key, lockout services can be a lifesaver. These services specialize in helping individuals regain access to their homes when they are unable to get in on their own. With just a phone call, a professional locksmith will be dispatched to your location to assist you in entering your home safely and quickly. Lockout services can save you the hassle of worrying about a spare key and provide a reliable solution in an unexpected lockout situation.

Key Replacement Services

Another alternative to having a spare key is utilizing key replacement services. These services can provide you with a duplicate key when you need it most. Whether you’ve lost your key or need an extra copy, key replacement services can create a new key for your locks. These services are often available at hardware stores or locksmith shops, making it convenient to have a spare key made on the spot.

Digital Key Options

In today’s digital age, there are a variety of digital key options for securing your home. From smart locks to mobile apps, these technologies allow you to access your home without the need for a physical key. Smart locks can be controlled remotely using your smartphone, granting you the ability to unlock your door from anywhere. Mobile apps provide convenient digital key access by allowing you to create and share virtual keys with trusted individuals. These digital key options offer enhanced security and flexibility for those looking for an alternative to traditional spare keys.

Emergency Key Storage

If you still prefer to have a physical spare key, an alternative option is using emergency key storage devices. These devices provide a secure and discreet way to store a spare key outside your home. For example, a key lockbox can be mounted to an exterior wall and accessed using a combination code. This allows you to keep a spare key readily available for emergencies while ensuring it remains safe and hidden from prying eyes.

Mobile Locksmith Services

When all else fails, mobile locksmith services offer a convenient solution for obtaining a spare key. These locksmiths operate from mobile vans and can come directly to your location to create a new key on the spot. Whether you’ve lost your only key or need an additional one, mobile locksmith services can save you time and provide a quick resolution to your key-related issues.

How Much is a Spare Key


Frequently Asked Questions Of How Much Is A Spare Key

How Much Does A Spare Key Cost?

The cost of a spare key can vary depending on several factors such as the type of key, the make and model of your vehicle, and whether you go to a dealership or a locksmith. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a spare key.

Can I Get A Spare Key Made At A Hardware Store?

Yes, in some cases, you can get a spare key made at a hardware store. However, it’s important to note that not all hardware stores offer key-cutting services. It’s a good idea to call ahead and check if they have the equipment and expertise to make the type of key you need.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Spare Key Made?

The time it takes to get a spare key made can vary depending on several factors. If you go to a locksmith or a hardware store, it might only take a few minutes to cut the key. However, if you need a key programmed for a newer car with advanced security features, it could take longer, possibly up to an hour or more.


Getting a spare key can save you both time and money in the long run. The cost of a spare key may vary depending on factors such as the type of key and where you get it made. It’s essential to consider the value of having a backup in case of emergencies or lockouts.

Don’t wait until it’s too late—investing in a spare key is a smart decision to ensure peace of mind and avoid inconvenience.

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