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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Doors & Locks > Key Copy

Key Copy Cost


How Much Does a Key Copy Cost?

 
low costBasic Key Copy: $1.25-$2average costHigh Security Key Copy: $8-$20high costHigh: Car Keys Can Run $50-$175 with Activation
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Typically keys are copied by a machine that traces the outline of the original key and cuts that pattern into a key blank of the same brand and model number. However, duplicating some modern keys can mean cutting an entirely new key based on recorded information (rather than tracing an existing key), or may require a special key blank embedded with an electronic/transponder chip.

Typical costs:

  • For $1.25-$2 you can get a basic door or car key copied at most local hardware stores. The copying is done by a store employee who may or may not have training on how to copy keys.
  • A local locksmith may charge $1.50-$4 for a standard key, but will have a much larger inventory of key blanks than chain or hardware stores, and the employees are usually well-trained on how to copy keys. Costs will vary based on the wholesale price of the specific type of key blank needed, the prevailing local rates and the amount of competition in the area. Copying a luggage key starts around $5-$7 and goes up depending on the brand (and there's often a discount for additional copies of the same key). Duplicating a safe or skeleton key starts around $5-$7 each and goes up, depending on the brand of key blank needed.
  • Having a standard key copied onto a distinctive and colorful key blank printed with anything from flowers or rainbows to sports team logos or cartoon characters runs around $3-$6. These brightly printed key blanks are usually available at both chain stores and locksmiths.
  • Duplicating a key for a high-security lock such as a Medeco lock runs about $8-$20 or more, and usually can only be done with proper documentation at the authorized dealer who installed the lock. Medeco locks have a patented key which can't be copied by tracing it. Instead, each duplicate key is cut individually, using a series of numbers recorded at the time the lock was installed.
  • Many new cars now come with a key embedded with an electronic or transponder chip, which makes it harder to steal the car but increases the cost for copying the key. Just the key blank for this type of key averages about $30-$50, but can run anywhere from $20-$100 or more depending on brand and whether you buy the blank from a locksmith (usually less expensive) or the auto dealership. The additional charge for the required programming to activate the key blank runs around $30-$75, bringing the total cost to about $50-$175 or more.
Related articles: Door Lock, Interior Door, Exterior Door

What should be included:
  • Generally locksmiths will not duplicate a key that is stamped "Do Not Duplicate."
  • Many locksmiths now have specialized computer equipment to program transponder chip keys, but a single locksmith will not necessarily be equipped to program all brands. And a few brands require two copies of the original key in order to program a duplicate key -- if you don't have two keys available, you'll have to get the duplicate key from the car dealership. Note: Copying an embedded car key onto a standard key blank will produce a key that will let you unlock the car doors but not start the engine -- and some locksmiths are unwilling to make this type of copy.
Shopping for a key copy:
  • All Wal-Mart[1] stores offer key copying services, and Home Depot[2] and Lowe's[3] will copy keys and re-key lock cylinders.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Car Key Duplicate
Amount: $80.00
Posted by: Calvin Cottingham in Indpls, IN.Posted: January 22nd, 2014 07:01PM
Type: Automotive
And they call this progress. This is the world we livem in. $80.00 F_ _ _ ing bucks for a 20 cent key. BS!
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2001 Ford Ranger
Amount: $40.00
Posted by: Chuck E in Long Beach, CA.Posted: June 18th, 2013 04:06PM
Type: Transponder Key
I purchase my blank transponder from Ebay for 10.00 and got it programmed from a locksmith. I work delivering auto parts and told the locksmith. He said the lowest he could cut and program the key was 30.00 (after calling the dealer and hearing that they charge 130.00 for programming only) 30.00 was just a drop in the bucket.
Thanks Alex's Keys in Artesia Ca.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.walmart.com/cservice/ca_storefinder.gsp
  2.  www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreFinderView?langId=-1&storeId=10051&cat...
  3.  stores.lowes.com/lowes/cgi/index?design=default&lang=en&mapid=US&svv=true&fname=&snum=1...
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