Some time back, losing or misplacing a key wasn’t a big deal. Many people we knew used to have a key tucked away in a little magnetic box, which would be hidden under the bumper. As vehicles became more complex and technologically advanced, the keys used to unlock them have also become increasingly expensive to replace.

Depending on the model and year of the vehicle, replacing a key can cost you several hundred dollars and could have many steps involved. We strongly advise that all vehicle owners should always have a second or backup car key handy. If you don’t have one, A Car Locksmith should be able to make one for you.

What To Do If Your Traditional Car Key is Lost?

A standard key is purely mechanical but also very rare in modern vehicles. All you do is insert them into the ignition cylinder to start the car.

It is easiest to replace because most locksmiths make these keys and can rekey them too, and they aren’t expensive either. Many locksmiths like us could make one on the spot for you if you happened to get locked out in the middle of the night.

If You Lost A Car Key Fob

The very first fobs were introduced as add-ons and as a form of convenience. They make unlocking and locking the car easier, but a traditional key is still used to start the car. Furthermore, the key can still unlock the doors if the fob runs low on battery or is damaged.

If you happen to lose the key fob, that’s not a big deal since the car is still usable. Most aftermarket key fobs are cheap and easily programmable without any special tools. A professional Locksmith Can Replace Your Key Fob for under $30.

A Key Fob with a Switchblade Key

A few years after the detached key fob was introduced, many auto manufacturers combined both the key and the fob into a spring-loaded mechanism that appears to be a switchblade.

Replacing it is far pricier than just a key fob. An aftermarket one can cost upwards of $100, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Though most dealerships have them, and they have the tools to cut and program one if needed.

Lost A Transponder Key

The Transponder Key was meant to be an improved anti-theft device back in the 90s for mainly luxury vehicles. The ignition keys had a plastic head in them, with a computer chip that would wirelessly pair with the vehicle authorizing ignition.

Losing a transponder key can be a nightmare if you don’t have one as a backup. A new key will need to be electronically paired with the vehicle by a car dealer. The vehicle will have to be towed to the dealership in addition to the key costing around $200.

Lost A Smart Key?

Some people refer to it as “keyless ignition” a smart key is directly associated with the vehicle, which has a push to start button on the dash. The technology uses a proximity sensor within the vehicle, which knows when the smart key is near it and authorizes ignition. It also unlocks the vehicle without pushing any buttons.

Losing a transponder key means that the vehicle will have to be towed to a car dealership if you don’t have a backup. There a new key will need to be paired with the vehicle. It is costly, with some ending up costing up to $500 to replace.


Losing a key can be a disaster if you own a modern vehicle. Fortunately, well-equipped professional locksmiths like us can help you.