Locksmith cost guide

How frustrating it must be to suddenly realize you've left the key to your car in the lock and incidentally shut the door of your vehicle. Now, stuck in the middle of a deserted country road, your only option is to dial the number of a locksmith service and ask them to come to your rescue. It could be the first time something like that has occurred in your life. So, you may wonder how much professionals will charge you for this type of work.

Here you will learn about:

Locksmiths are professionals responsible for tackling all kinds of lock-related tasks. Those can be such basic jobs as re-keying locks, installing new locks in homes and commercial buildings, making copies of keys, and fixing locks that are not working properly. In addition locksmiths are called by car owners who have locked out of their vehicle and by homeowners who have locked themselves out of their house. The range of locksmith services also extends to modern equipment such as electronic combination pads and biometric lock systems. Several factors may affect how much you'll have to pay a locksmith: how urgently you need the service, whether you live in a large city or rural area, what type of lock you have, what tasks need to be performed, how far the pro has to travel to your place, whether a new lock is required, and others. On average, customers report spending between $100 and $215 for having their lock problems solved. The highest price is $360, while the lowest is $55.

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Price-related questions

How much can I expect to pay for re-keying my lock? Is it much cheaper than having a new lock installed?

Having your lock re-keyed is certainly cheaper than putting a new lock in. Re-keying means taking the pins and springs out of the lock and installing new ones. As a result, a person with a set of old keys will no longer be able to unlock the door. This service is commonly required when the property owner has lost their keys or needs to change the lock after moving in. The average cost ranges from $45 to $105. In addition, prepare to spend $6-$26 for having one lock cylinder change its individuality.

What's the average cost of having a new lock installed?

If you prefer a completely different lock over re-keying the existing one, expect to pay from $35 to $310. Such a wide range can be explained by a great variety of lock types, the amount of time and labor needed for their installation, and the desired level of security. Examples:

  • Keyless lock: $80 to $210
  • Deadbolt: $12 to $55
  • Keyed entry lockset: $60 to $210
  • Padlock: $6 to $26
  • Privacy lock: $9 to $17

Note that you'll also be asked to pay $1-$5 for an ordinary key or between $4 and $22 for a non-standard one.

How much will I pay in the case of a lockout?

Locking oneself out of a home, garage, or car is quite a frequent occurrence. Rather than trying to retrieve the key on your own, call a professional locksmith. While you'll have to pay the specialist, it may actually cost you less down the line if you consider that you may inadvertently damage the door or vehicle.

How much do pros normally charge?


From $40 to $145 for responding to your call. Besides, be prepared to spend $160-$260 if the job is done in the after-hours, on Saturday or Sunday, or during a holiday period. Also, note that getting assistance with a commercial lockout will cost you more in comparison with a residential lockout. For example, $90 and $80 correspondingly.


From $40 to $60 for unlocking the door. Changing the lock will cost you more: between $30 and $135. The exact figure will be determined based on how elaborate the locking mechanism is and how long ago your vehicle was manufactured.

Is there a higher fee for immediate assistance?

Like in any emergency situation, the cost of locksmith services when they're urgently required is higher. Many companies provide round-the-clock assistance with any lock-associated issues. Their prices vary tremendously: from $60 to $620. The more densely populated area you reside in, the higher the fee is. That's because the number of locksmiths is limited, while the number of customers who need their services can be great. Apart from that, you should factor in the time when the call is received (3 a.m., for instance), the distance to the customer's place the professional has to cover, and the complexity of the problem. Among the most typical impossible-to-postpone locksmith services are repairing remote keys, urgent making of new keys, retrieving a broken car key, expert lock picking, and others.

I'm thinking of installing a state-of-the-art biometric lock? How much may it cost?

Even though biometric locks can't guarantee you absolute security, they're still a huge step ahead and are especially valuable in combination with standard locks. Expect the lower price for installing this kind of lock to be around $120 and the upper limit to be somewhere like $550. The more sophisticated the mechanism is and the more features it includes, the higher is the cost to purchase and install it.

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Information to check


Unfortunately, the market of locksmith services is not free of con artists and scams. So, finding a respectable provider is of utmost importance if you wish to ensure your home security. Before you hire a contractor, make sure they satisfy these essential requirements:

  • They are experienced in all types of tasks. Search for reviews or complaints online. Ask the provider to give you the contact details of their previous customers.
  • They are licensed and insured. Every locksmith service provider must have a copy of their business license on hand. Requirements for obtaining a license are not the same in different states. While one state may hold an exam, another simply takes a fee for issuing a license. Currently, a locksmith license is a must in nine states. Check if yours mandates it.
  • They are certified. A certificate ensures the professional is trained according to the accepted standards.
  • They are well versed in modern equipment and technologies. This is important since the new lock systems are becoming increasingly complex.

During your phone conversation with the contractor, discuss every detail of the job and associated costs. Ask the locksmith to prepare an itemized estimate in the written form. If the professional gives you different prices after arriving at the place, never allow him/her to begin the work.

Other frequently asked questions

What are the most common signs of a locksmith scam?

Here are the most suspicious indications you may be dealing with a dishonest individual:

  • Refuses to accept credit cards and wants cash only.
  • Arrives at the place in an unmarked car or even in a taxi.
  • Insists on drilling the lock. Any professional locksmith worthy of this name can expertly open the lock without resorting to extreme measures.
  • Offers prices far below the average. It may mean the provider uses non-standard or obsolete equipment. Besides, they may ask for astronomical fees once they arrive at your home.

Upon the pro's arrival, ask them to show you a document (ID) that proves they're who they claim to be and are employed by the company you've contacted. Also, be prepared to show your own passport or driving license as the provider must be certain you really own the home.

Do I have to cover the professional's travel expenses?

It depends on the specific provider and the distance from their base to your place. Taking money for gas and mileage is quite common. You may also be asked for a fixed amount of up to $35 as a travel fee. Clarify this over the phone.

Bottom line

The locksmith cost depends on a number of factors such as the urgency and complexity of the problem, type of the locking mechanism, distance to home, time when the work is performed, and a few others. On average, expect to spend between $100 and $215.

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