How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?
A locksmith is an often overlooked but highly essential part of your home’s security. So, how much does a locksmith cost? You’ll likely pay $156, with a range of $97 to $215 on average.
- Typical Range: $97 to $215
- National Average: $156
If your house has multiple keys for each entry into the home, it might be time to get your locks rekeyed so you don’t have to walk around with a full set of jingling keys anymore. Consolidating keys is undoubtedly the most convenient reason to call a locksmith. However, it’s far more frustrating to have to call a locksmith if your keys are irretrievably lost or your locks aren’t working. Thankfully, a reputable locksmith can get you back into your house—even after hours! You might be asking, “How much does a locksmith cost?” The average price range is $97 to $215, with $156 as the national average. The price depends on if you need a locksmith after hours and the kind of locksmithing you need. You can also hire a locksmith to install an electronic lock or new deadbolts. We’ve put together a complete breakdown so you can better understand how much a locksmith costs.
How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? Factors to Consider
Security is a critical aspect of living comfortably in a house. Having a sturdy set of locks is essential so your home and its belongings and inhabitants can stay safe. Locksmiths can do several specialized tasks, from repairing a worn-out lock or deadbolt to opening a locked safe. The average price of a locksmith depends on the service you need to have done, whether it’s an emergency, if you need to have a car unlocked, or if you live a significant distance away.
If you just moved into a new house, you may want to have a new lock installed or have the old one rekeyed so that no one else has access to an old key that may be floating around. You can also choose to have new deadbolts installed or switch to electronic locks. Some locksmiths can also help you get into a locked safe, shed, filing cabinet, or suitcase.
Old locks eventually wear out and need replacing, but sometimes the key wears out first. If a key happens to break off in the lock, call a locksmith to pull it out. This is especially helpful if the key breaks in the car’s ignition. A new car key with a transponder synced to your car’s security system will cost $75 to $400. If you’re locked out of the house, expect to pay around $150 for a locksmith to get you back inside. If your electronic keypad doesn’t seem to be responding, a locksmith can also repair or replace it.
Should you find yourself locked out of your house late at night, don’t stress. Locksmiths have after-hours numbers to call for emergencies, but it will cost more. Expect to pay $150 to $250 on average for an emergency visit. If you or someone in your house frequently locks themselves out, it may be worth updating to an electronic lock system that can be linked to your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth so you can control the locks from almost anywhere.
Locksmiths usually work during standard business hours, but most people notice they have a problem with their house or car locks as they’re leaving for work. That means from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., expect to pay a little more for a locksmith service fee. Instead of $50 to $100 per hour, you might pay $75 to $125 per hour. If you don’t have to get right back into your house or car, consider calling the locksmith just after peak hours or scheduling a service call later in the day if possible.
You may need to pay a trip charge to call a locksmith to your house or car. This is almost a certainty if you live in more rural areas. The average trip fees range from $50 to $100, but these can surge up to $150 during peak hours. Calling for a locksmith outside of peak hours can help save on trip fee costs.
Electronic lock costs vary depending on the service you need or the kind of installation you choose. For starters, new electronic keys to an existing system typically cost up to $150. Replacing a single electronic lock will cost $60. Electronic locks can have keypads or operate fully remotely. You can install an electronic lock that connects to your preferred smart home system or just to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth so you can control it remotely.
How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? Types of Services
Many variables go into how much a locksmith costs. Locksmith services cover the gamut from rekeying locks to opening filing cabinets in your grandpa’s basement. Whether you’re rekeying or replacing a lock, extracting keys, or installing deadbolts, here are the most common locksmith costs.
Cost to Rekey Locks for Homes
Rekeying a lock is cheaper than replacing a lock since the locksmith only repositions the pins in the lock. If you rent your house, you’ll need to check with the landlord about rekeying the lock so no previous renters can reaccess the house. If it’s new construction, keep former subcontractors out of your new home by rekeying the locks. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs $40 to $100 plus the cost of the new lock ($15 to $40) to rekey a lock. You’ll likely also pay a trip charge that’s $50 to $100.
Cost to Change Locks on a House
Sometimes you need to simply replace the locks on your house. They wear out over time, or perhaps they were damaged. If one lock has been compromised, you’ll need to replace any other locks that use the same key. Changing locks on your house usually costs $50 to $300, but a service call after hours or electronic locks will increase that price. If any drilling is required during replacement, or if the lock is integrated into a handle, it will cost more to replace the locks.
Electronic Home Lock Installation Cost
A few different costs are associated with installing an electronic security system, which usually costs between $100 and $400. Installing a complete smart-home electronic system will run from $400 to $1,800 on average, plus the cost of the unit itself. This is an excellent investment for anyone who loses their keys easily or prefers to control access to their house remotely.
Deadbolt Installation Cost
Deadbolts are a standard safety lock on most exterior house doors. A deadbolt costs $40 to $75 to install, plus the cost of the deadbolt. You can choose from three styles: cylindrical ($50 to $70), lever ($60 to $70), or mortise ($125 to $175). Installing a deadbolt will require the locksmith to drill out the holes for the deadbolt and its slot. If you’re already changing the regular keylock, changing the deadbolt at the same time typically only costs another $20 in service fees.
Emergency Locksmith Cost
Typical hourly locksmith rates run from $50 to $100, but after-hours emergency rates could be as high as $150 to $250. Fortunately, most locksmith jobs take only about half an hour to complete, but multiple or complex challenges will take longer. If you need a locksmith on a holiday or a weekend, you may pay an additional fee.
Be aware that some disreputable companies will state low fees up front, then overcharge after the job is done. Locksmithing is an industry that charges a premium for after-hours jobs since they don’t keep an office open all night. Thankfully, they’re willing to have emergency hotlines so you can get back in your home any time.
Though it’s rare, sometimes a key will actually break off inside the lock or ignition. This happens when the key is old and has been jammed and wiggled in the lock too many times. You’ll need a locksmith to extract the key so you don’t damage the lock and have to replace it, too. A key extraction can cost between $50 and $200. If you have a spare key, you won’t have to rekey the lock; you can just duplicate the spare.
For one reason or another, you might have received only a single key to your house or car. Whether you prefer to have a spare key or you have other family members who need their own key, getting a key duplicated is a reasonably straightforward process. A regular house key usually costs $1 to $10 to copy, but if you have a transponder key that’s coded to your car’s security system, expect to pay a car locksmith $75 to $400 to duplicate it.
Safe Locksmith Cost
You might be surprised at how often a locksmith is called to help open a locked safe. Locksmiths who specialize in safes can do several tasks, from changing the combination to switching a manual lock over to an electronic lock. These more straightforward tasks usually cost $50 to $150. A locksmith will charge at least $150 to open a safe manually. If a locksmith needs to use a drill to get into the safe, expect to pay between $200 and $400.
When Do You Need to Call a Locksmith?
Anytime you move into a new house, whether it’s new construction or just new to you, you should have the locks rekeyed or replaced. This ensures you are the sole owner of any keys to your property. Beyond moving into a new house, you should also call a locksmith when you’ve lost the keys to your house, are locked out of your car or house, or you’re looking to upgrade your home’s security.
Lost Keys or Forgotten Combination
Almost everyone has had the misfortune of losing or forgetting their keys. It’s an inconvenience that can upset the entire day. The best option is to call a locksmith since they are well equipped to restore access to your house or car. Rather than having duplicate keys made, it’s best to simply have the locksmith rekey the locks to ensure your house remains secure in case someone finds your keys and discovers where you live. On the off chance the lost key is a car key that has a chip in it, be sure to ask the locksmith to access the car’s immobilizer memory to disable that car key.
Moving Into a New Home
Most apartments will rekey the door for each new tenant, but it’s best to ask just to make sure. When you move into a new or existing house, don’t forget to call a locksmith even though the contractor or homeowner provided you with a set of keys. It’s still a good idea to have the locks rekeyed by a locksmith to make sure you’re the only one with access to your home. This is beneficial if several exterior doors have different locks. You can have the locksmith rekey them with the same key all at once.
Locking the keys in your house or your car is another common, yet unfortunate, mishap. Search for “pop a lock near me” to find a trustworthy locksmith who can come over and get you back into your house or car. Locksmiths can use a jimmy to unlock the car door, but in some cases, they’ll need to use a wedge to pry the door open wide enough to unlock it manually. If the car has electronic locks, they’ll be able to override the system and unlock the car for you.
In some cases, you may want to do a security upgrade on your locks. You could upgrade the deadbolts or do a complete upgrade from manual to electronic locks with an integrated smart- home security system. Find a locksmith familiar with the latest technology to update the exterior locks with electronic door locks that match the style you prefer.
How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
A stuck lock can make a homeowner think that if they jimmy the knob and key just right, it will finally let them in. Sadly, it doesn’t always work, and they still end up locked out. Even if you had a screwdriver handy, the screws on a door handle are on the inside of the door to keep it secure. And despite what we see in the movies, picking a lock on your own isn’t a wise idea. If done improperly or with the wrong tools, you can permanently damage your own door locks, which will cost you more money to replace in the long run. Though you can find tutorial videos on how to rekey a lock, without the right tools, you could damage the tumblers.
If you’re stuck outside your house or car, the best option is to hire a professional locksmith. Door locks have precision parts that should be handled by a pro who knows how they operate. If a lock is rekeyed just slightly incorrectly, you’ll struggle to get the door unlocked smoothly. A locksmith is trained to repair or replace locks of all kinds so homeowners can access their property without problems. If the problem is an electronic system, trying to solve it on your own could cause the alarm to go off without stopping—an aggravating situation for the whole neighborhood. Your money is well spent having a locksmith take a look at the problem so you can get back in your house in no time.
How to Save Money on Locksmith Services
Whether it’s your house or your car, both have value to them that you don’t want to give thieves easy access to. Spending the money on a reputable locksmith is a great way to make sure your locks operate correctly to secure your valuables. Repairing car locks can be more expensive than house locks since they’re more complex, but it’s still money well spent to avoid costly car theft. When this necessary cost comes around, there are several ways you can lower the total price. Consider these tips for how to save money on locksmith costs.
- Wait until after the peak morning hours to avoid extra fees if possible.
- Be clear about precisely what is broken so you can get the correct quote.
- Call more than one locksmith company to compare fees.
- Opt to rekey an existing lock rather than replace it.
- Duplicate an old key that’s showing signs of wear before it breaks in the lock.
- Keep a spare key in a secure location and have it duplicated in case you lose the original.
- If you lose your keys a lot, consider switching to a smart-lock system that you can unlock with your phone. You’ll make up the difference in repeated locksmith fees in no time though the up-front costs are a little higher.
- For traditional front doors, don’t let the locksmith drill a hole to get in. Reputable locksmiths can gain access to a front door without costing you extra by damaging your front door.
- Ask about move-in specials and military or senior discounts.
Safety Tips for Hiring a Locksmith
Since hiring a locksmith usually happens when people are in an emergency, scam businesses are abundant on the internet. Many people hurry to get back into their house or car and don’t take the time to check out the company’s reputation first. It’s recommended not to trust a company that significantly undercuts the normal costs, as it’s likely they will overcharge you after the job is done. Taking an extra few minutes to make sure you hire a reputable company you can trust with your money—and safety—is paramount. Here are our top tips to safely hire a locksmith.
- Check if your state has requirements for a locksmith to be licensed. Make sure to ask to see the locksmith’s license, if so.
- Check if the company has a legitimate online presence and what the reviews say.
- Never sign a blank invoice. Always ask for a line item invoice.
- Explain your situation in detail and ask if they’ve solved problems or installed systems like yours.
- Call roadside assistance or a local hardware store to ask for a locksmith company they recommend.
- Make sure the company carries insurance since they will be working with your valuable property.
- Ask the company for the name of the locksmith who will be sent to your house, then ask to see their I.D. when they arrive.
- Stay on the phone with a friend or family member while the locksmith is working on your lock.
- Plan by calling various locksmiths ahead of time to get familiar with the costs and experience they offer. Put your preferred locksmith in your phone for emergencies.
Questions to Ask About Locksmith Costs
Every service you need a locksmith to do will add to the total cost. Make sure you know exactly what you’re having trouble with so you can ask the right questions. This will help to avoid miscommunication as you hire the right professional. To feel more confident as you ask about locksmith costs, you can ask any of the following questions that apply.
- Are you licensed and insured?
- How long have you been in business?
- Do you complete regular background checks on your employees?
- What is your scope of services?
- How much do you charge on the weekend or holidays?
- What’s your trip fee for my location?
- Is it better to rekey or replace my lock?
- Are you qualified to repair my electronic lock system?
- If my key is stuck in the ignition, can you remove it and make a newly coded one on the spot?
- How much will this job cost?
- Do you have any discounts right now?
- Do you offer a warranty?
- Can you give me the name of the employee you’re sending?
Since there are many variables for how much a locksmith costs, you’ll want to have as much information at your fingertips as possible. Here are two of the most commonly asked questions about locksmith costs to help guide your decision.
Q. Is it cheaper to rekey or replace locks?
It’s cheaper to rekey a lock than replace it. Not only is it faster, but you’ll also save on having to pay for a brand-new lock. You’ll likely pay up to 50 percent less to rekey a lock.
Q. How much does it cost for a locksmith to change a lock?
The average cost for a locksmith is $156. This typically includes a service fee or hourly rate for changing the lock, plus the new lock and any associated trip fees. If you need the service after hours or on the weekend, you could pay more than the average price.