7 Places to Get Car Keys Made: Your Comprehensive Guide

Places to get car keys made is the first thing to come to mind when you’ve lost or broken your keys and need to make a trip. Contrary to what you might expect, there are actually several places where you can get a replacement for your keys.

Places to Get Car Keys Made ~ Ran When Parked

However, before you dash out to these outlets, you’ll need to carry some documents or information to help them serve you better. In this blog post, we’ll not only show you where to replace your keys but also what documents to carry along.

The List of Places to Get Car Keys Made

The best places to get car keys made are car dealerships, online key replacement services, hardware stores, automotive shops, mobile locksmiths and key vendors. However, you need to ensure that you have the right information if you hope to get the perfect key replacement.

1. Car Key Replacement By Dealerships

Car Key Replacement By Dealerships ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Best place for modern cars
  • Access to car databases
Cons
  • Can’t cut older car keys
  • Services are expensive
Price point Pricey
Types of keys All types of modern car keys e.g transponders, key fobs, smart keys, etc.

 

Car dealerships are the best place to replace your car key if your car is newer, as they have access to the car manufacturer’s databases. With the right description and documents, the car dealerships can get into these databases and retrieve the necessary information to replace the key.

They can then use this information to cut and program a replacement that’ll perfectly fit your misplaced key.

Moreover, the dealerships are equipped with the tools to cut and program modern keys such as transponders, fobs and smart keys. These modern car keys are programmed to work with specific cars and perform more functions than conventional car keys.

Thus, they require specialized equipment to program them to match your car locks and ensure a smooth operation.

Car dealerships also adhere to strict security protocols to avoid unauthorized key duplication, which protects your vehicle from theft. They also use genuine OEM parts to ensure the key durability and compatibility with your vehicle.

Replacing the keys at dealerships helps avoid warranty issues, as they can provide accurate documents to comply with warranty terms. Most importantly, dealerships employ the services of experts to do a perfect job.

2. Making Car Keys With Online Key Replacement Services

Making Car Keys With Online Key Replacement Services ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Convenient
  • Competitive pricing
Cons
  • Slow service
  • Low security
Price Economical
Types of keys All types of keys

 

Online key replacement services specialize in making keys and sending them to customers via mail. You just hop onto their website and fill out a form detailing the features of your key and the car to give them an idea of what you’re looking for.

Usually, they ask for information such as the make and model of your vehicle, as well as the year it was manufactured and its VIN. They’ll also ask the type of key you were using, whether it was a smart, transponder, or a key fob.

Before processing your request, the online service will ask you for proof of ownership. This step is a security protocol to ensure that you’re the rightful owner of the vehicle and not just some imposter trying to steal it.

The documents that are commonly requested are vehicle registration and a copy of your driver’s license. Once you provide these documents, the next step is to make payment to begin the process of replacement.

The key-cutting process can be simple or complicated, depending on the type of key you’re requesting. Once the process is completed, the service will mail the key to you.

Remember to test the key to ensure it matches with your vehicle. Note that though online key replacement is a convenient option, you’ll need to do background checks before engaging them.

3. A Hardware Store

A Hardware Store ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Quick service
  • In-person assistance
Cons
  • Limited key varieties
  • Waiting inline for your turn
Price point Economical
Types of keys Traditional keys

 

Hardware stores are your go-to outlets to replace traditional car keys that don’t need programming or don’t feature electronic components. These stores make use of cutting machines designed to mimic the characteristics of your car key.

The key-cutting machines can copy the exact grooves and notches in the original key to match your car locks. However, they’ll need the original key before they can make copies of it.

Hardware stores also ask for proof of ownership before they can render any service to ensure you’re the owner of the vehicle. They usually request your driver’s license and a copy of the vehicle registration.

These stores are easy to run and are cost-effective compared to dealerships and other outlets on this list. They are also quite common and can offer online services, but you’ll have to send them the original through mail.

Note that hardware stores may not be able to replace transponder keys, key fobs or smart keys because they might not have the equipment for that. Some hardware stores may have a section that replaces such keys, but you’ll have to make your inquiries to be certain.

4. Replacing Car Keys at the Locksmith

Replacing Car Keys at the Locksmith ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Wider varities of keys
  • Removes broken stuck keys
Cons
  • Waiting inline for your turn
  • Elaborate security checks
Price point Expensive
Types of keys All types of keys

 

Locksmith services can replace all kinds of keys, including traditional keys, transponder keys, and programmable keys. Even if you’re dealing with a broken key stuck inside the car door or ignition, the key locksmith can be of immense help.

The car locksmith service is equipped with key-cutting machines that can mimic the exact design of your traditional key.

They can also help you open your car door when you’re locked out without breaking or damaging the lock. If you’re missing a transponder key, the auto locksmith has the equipment to program a new transponder key to replace the missing one.

They do this by using a diagnostic tool to match your new key’s code with the car’s computer, ensuring a smooth operation. Also, a locksmith can replace keyless entry remotes and program them to suit your vehicle.

If you’re using a programmable car key fob, the locksmith has the necessary tools to synchronize it with the car’s computer. Interestingly, some locksmiths offer mobile service; thus, you can call them to your home for express service.

However, ensure you employ the services of reputable and licensed locksmiths to avoid falling prey to fraud schemes. Also, have your proof of ownership documents on hand to ensure a smooth service.

5. Making Your Car Keys at Automotive Shops

Making Car Keys at Automotive Shops ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Provides emergency services
  • Rekeying of vehicle
Cons
  • Limited key varieties
  • Lacks sophisticated equipment
Price points Economical
Types of keys Standard and laser cut keys

 

Automotive shops also have the equipment to cut and replace lost or broken car keys. Whether it’s standard or laser-cut keys, these shops have the requisite tools to do a good job. They have special machines that can copy the unique designs of any traditional car key and cut it.

Automotive shops also provide emergency services for patrons who are locked out of their cars.

If your car key is broken and stuck in the car door, the experts at the automotive shops can help you out. Some automotive shops may have equipment that can program smart keys and operate keyless entries to ensure a smooth function.

They can also rekey your vehicle and change the ignition if they’re faulty. However, they’ll need to check your details to avoid illegal duplication of car keys.

6. Car Key Replacement by Key Vendors

Car Key Replacement by Key Vendors ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Replaces modern car keys
  • Quick service
Cons
  • Limited variety of keys
  • Waiting inline for your turn
Price points Pricey
Types of keys Modern keys

 

Key vendors are usually located in automotive centers, shopping malls, or hardware stores, where they offer their services in small kiosks. Their services often include the replacement of standard keys, key fobs and transponder keys, which they display in their kiosks.

Once you approach them, they’ll request your vehicle information and a copy of the original key (if you have it). Armed with the information you provide them, the vendors will then duplicate the key you want.

Some key vendors offer car key programming services for key fobs and transponder keys. Usually, you’re made to follow preset on-screen instructions to help the vendor program your keys.

Payment is then made via credit card or any of the specified options and then the key is dispensed or you may have to return at the specified time. Always remember to test the key before driving off to ensure it complies perfectly with your vehicle.

To avoid theft, car key vendors would authenticate your documents to ensure you’re the owner of the vehicle. They would ask for your driver’s license and vehicle registration documents for proof of ownership.

The vendor may ask you to provide specific information about your vehicle, such as the VIN and crosscheck it with other databases. When they are certain the vehicle belongs to you, you can then proceed to make payment and verify before dispensing the key.

7. Roadside Assistant Services

Roadside Assistant Services ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  1. Quick Service
  2. Affordable
Cons
  1. It may not cut programmable keys.
  2. Quality isn’t assured
Price Point Economical
Recommendation Use only in emergencies

 

If you’ve locked your car keys in the car, one service that can help you get a new one is roadside assistance services. However, it depends on the type of car key that has to be replaced. The traditional car keys shouldn’t pose much of a problem for these companies, but the programmable ones could be quite challenging.

Some companies may offer to only replace traditional car keys, while others may have the equipment to replace both.

Some towing companies may have key-cutting services as well, but note that they won’t need your keys to tow your vehicle. Thus, even if they don’t have any key-cutting equipment, you shouldn’t be worried; your car can still be towed.

Towing companies and road assistance services offer key cutting as a separate service, which comes at an extra cost to you.

Conclusion

Knowing places to get your car keys made comes in handy when you’ve either broken, misplaced, or locked your keys in and need help urgently. Here’s a summary of all that we’ve discussed in this article:

  • You can count on car dealerships to help you get a key replacement because they have the databases of several car manufacturers and can identify the right key.
  • However, using online key-cutting services is more convenient as all you have to do is describe the exact key you want, pay for the service, and have it mailed to you.
  • Otherwise, you can visit a hardware store near you, but note that these stores are usually equipped to replace traditional keys and not programmable ones.
  • If you’re looking for a place that offers both traditional and programmable car key replacements, your best bet is an automotive locksmith because they have the tools and expertise to do a good job.
  • Automotive shops don’t only do a great job of replacing car keys; they also rekey your vehicle and change the ignition if they have developed some faults.

Some roadside assistance services offer key replacement as a “side-hustle,” which comes at an extra cost; however, they can still move your vehicle without a key. However, all these companies would require documents that prove that you’re the owner of the vehicle before cutting duplicate car keys.

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