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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

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
2005 Toyota 4Runner FOB and Transponder Key Copy
Amount: $54.00
Posted by: Not Cheap in San Jose, CA.Posted: April 26th, 2020 10:04PM
Type: FOB and Transponder Key
Used OEM FOB cost was $25 on Ebay and new blank OEM transponder key was $14. Copying the transponder key at local Hardware store was $15. Youtube video instruction for programming both the transponder key and FOB myself $0. FOB locks/unlocks and transponder key starts the car. At $54, this semi-DIY project is on the cheap side. Expect to pay more if you need programming.
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2015 Prius FOB with Sidewinder Key Copy
Amount: $168.00
Posted by: Not Cheap in San Jose, CA.Posted: April 26th, 2020 10:04PM
Type: FOB with Sidewinder/Laser-Cut Key
Re-flashed/virgin used FOB with blank sidewinder key cost was $120 on Ebay and cost for the miniVCI cable for programming the FOB was $18. Copying a single new blank sidewinder key at local Hardware store was $30. Youtube video instruction and programming the FOB myself with my laptop $0. BTW, since Prius are key-less ignition models, you only need the sidewinder key to open the door in case your FOB battery dies. At $168, this is on the cheap side. Expect to pay $100 more if you need programming.
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1994 Buick LeSabre - VAT Ignition Key Lock
Amount: $45.00
Posted by: Shorty in Chicago, IL.Posted: May 12th, 2019 05:05PM
Type: Vehicle Anti Theft Key (VAT)
My ignition lock failed on my 94 LeSabre. So, I bought a new ignition lock ($40 - O'Reilley's) and a .680k ohm resistor ($4 - Fry's Electronics) and installed everything myself. The result, I now have a new ignition lock which doesn't have that PIA vehicle anti-theft system anymore which always activates when it should not.
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2001 Jeep Cherokee
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: Celeste Collier in Loganville, GA.Posted: March 3rd, 2019 11:03AM
Type: Ignition key
She quoted me $150 over the phone. He got here and said $350. Bait & switch? I feel like I got screwed and I didn't even get kissed. Live and learn but I'm retired living over a garage so until my retirement payday comes at the end of the month, I will have no food or medicine unless it's donated by someone.
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Honda Accord Car Key Copy Quotes
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: carshopper in San Jose, CA.Posted: July 5th, 2018 03:07AM
Type: 2010 Honda Accord
My car key finally snapped (the plastic got brittle) so I got some quotes.
Orchard Supply Hardware quoted me $90 because the key has a transponder. But I later learned this does NOT have the door open/close buttons. The transponder is just for the security measures.
My local locksmith would charge me $135 for this same kind of key. But at least they warned me in advance it wouldn't have the door buttons. They said they're planning to get the machine in a few months.
My local Honda dealer/parts dept. said they'd charge me $170 total, $95 for the key with transponder, plus a $75 fee to program the buttons. So it looks like this is the only way to get a car key with the door open/lock/trunk buttons, at least near me.
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04 Nissan Sentra
Amount: $120.00
Posted by: Mz Sentra in Palatka, FL.Posted: April 16th, 2018 11:04AM
Type: Code cut key
I had one key for the car I just bought a few months back, well... While I was closing the front door to my house my key was caught and severely bent, I tried to gently tap it back straight but needless to say it snapped in half. Called locksmith and he said as long as I had both pieces (which I did) he could make me a copy for $30. He was 30 minutes away so I drove to him he made a copy with the machine in the back of his van, he told me if that did not work to call him and we would try a different method called “code cutting”... DID NOT WORK, would unlock my door but not start my car, I then tried to call him that night and later the next day finally got ahold of him and he said he needed to see the car so the following day he came to my house & it took a whole three minutes and he had another key made (by code cutting) it cranked my car right up. I then paid $80 more. So I spent 30 on a copy that didn’t work the first time and 80 for the one. Was that too much for him to charge me?
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Car Key - $420
Amount: $420.00
Posted by: Matt Smith in San Jose, CA.Posted: September 7th, 2016 06:09AM
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Keys made
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: john D balser in Lancaster, TX.Posted: July 27th, 2016 12:07PM
Type: House safe car...
People actually get pissed about the price of key making? If it's too much for you go buy your own key machine, they go for 500 to 6000 dollars and that's just for regular keys without buy your own code cloner it'll be another 200 to 2000 dollars...don't be cheap, people who cut keys have knowledge about how to use the proper blank and do it correctly and how to keep their machines in proper working order! It takes allot of time and money to learn don't make them feel bad for charging you for their expertise...
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Getting a blank chip key cut.
Amount: $10.00
Posted by: MARC IV in PHOENIX, AZ.Posted: March 27th, 2016 02:03PM
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Toyota corola 2007
Amount: $86.00
Posted by: Home DiDot in Palm springs, FL.Posted: August 26th, 2015 11:08AM
Type: automotive
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Al Mayer Ford ripped us off
Amount: $209.86
Posted by: Maurice Peugh in Lufkin, TX.Posted: May 28th, 2015 06:05PM
Type: Ford Mariner
Car dealerships should not be allowed to gouge customers of their products on something like a key. We were not only gouged. The Ford dealership raped us having to pay over two hundred dollars to get a duplicate key.
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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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