Tuesday 22 January 2019

Lost your car key? Here's what it can cost to replace it. NB: Make sure to shop around

Replacing a lost key can be costly
Replacing a lost key can be costly
Car theft

Declan O'Byrne

We've heard a lot about keyless entry this past while and how criminals are exploiting the facility to steal people's cars from right under their noses.

But what happens when you need key entry for yourself and can't get in because you have lost it or the spare?

That is a different world and one that, while it won't cost you nearly as much as a stolen car or the attendant awful sense of intrusion, could end up leaving your wallet as much as €500 lighter.

As well as that, you could - stress could - be waiting for days or longer for your new key/fob.

Enquiries and research carried out for Independent Motors found that simply replacing a common-or-garden key for an older model will not break the bank.

Yet there can be extreme cases where the cost of a new one will still run to the considerable sum of €500.

Several key repair and replacement companies contacted by Motors mostly priced the job at between €50 and €300.

Alan Moss, parts advisor at Michael Grant Renault, Sandymount, Dublin, put the average cost of replacing a key on an older car at "around €50".

However, while the key can be sourced fairly quickly, delays can arise in shipping, for example.

He emphasised that such delays are rare, though in some instances cars may have to be left in the workshop for a day or two for re-programming.

In extreme cases - and they are extreme - drivers could face a wait of between five and 10 days.

"Normally it is much quicker than that," Alan stressed.

He also pointed out that new keys or fob programming in general terms could cost up to around the €280 mark.

Stressing that the dealership first has to establish proof of vehicle ownership, he emphasised: "Our primary concern is security."

Again, delays in shipping, though not common, can add up to a week or more for the key to arrive.

A spokesperson for LockDoctor.ie quoted around the same sums for similar key replacement/ programming.

The spokesperson added that a more involved scenario, such as a roadside call-out and key programming, could push the bill above €300.

Charges ranged from €50 upwards depending on the complexity involved.

A spokesman for Car Key Services in Ballymount, Dublin, was reluctant to mention prices because there are so many variants.

But, he said, where the customer did not have a key at all, the charge could amount to between €150 and €500, while the cost to a customer with a key would be between €50 and €250.

An experienced Dublin northside mechanic warned that, as in any walk of life, there are cowboys always ready to pounce for the extra cash.

He told of one unfortunate motorist who was quoted €50 for a key replacement, but the final bill added up to a whopping €600.

As always, he advised, where business is concerned, it pays to shop around.

Checking a few quotes and taking a few precautions can save you time, money and hassle.

Let us know of your experience at ecunningham@independent.ie

Indo Motoring

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