Cost to Unlock Car Door

Cost to Unlock a Car Door

Last Updated on December 29, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

At one point, everyone was faced with the situation where their car would be locked with the keys inside. Honestly, you surely understand why no one would want to be in this position, so some companies have thought of implementing this service to help you, regardless of the time of day.

The services offered are some of the most complex, which means that, regardless of the brand of car you own, they can fix this problem. Their technicians are equipped with special tools to unlock your car in minutes.

How Much Does it Cost to Unlock a Car Door?

There are some factors that will influence the cost of unlocking a car door, such as the complexity of the issue, the locksmith, the place where you are living, the type of the lock, and the time of the day. In general, you will have to pay anywhere between $60 and $80 just for the locksmith to be up on the scene. Though, in order to open the door, you will have to get another $15 to $25 out of your pocket, resulting in a total of $75 to $105.

You might also like our articles on the cost of remote starter installation, key fob programming, or car keyless entry installation.

On the other hand, it would cost you double if the call is made after midnight. Also, this is available in the situation where the key is broken and you need to make a new one because the costs will go higher. Be prepared to pay around $260 to unlock a car that uses keyless technology if you lost your key.

Usually, if the roadside assistance is included in your insurance policy or is part of a card premium, the cost of unlocking a car door will be greatly discounted or even free. For instance, according to AAA policy, a locksmith cost for Premium members is covered up to $160, while for Classic members is up to $55.

What are the extra costs?

The majority of the companies will travel only within certain areas and if they have to go outside of these, you will have to pay an extra fee.

A broken key may have to be extracted from inside the car in case of a car lockout where the key breaks off. This may add another $55 to $110 to the total.

The locksmith will not cover the costs if there is any damage done to your car like scratches from the lockpick. They may even tell you to sign an agreement in advance where this situation is stated.

If the call is made after certain hours a premium may be charged. For instance, you may have to pay double if the call is made after midnight.

Important things to consider

The more sophisticated a car is, the more anti-theft mechanisms there are to prevent unauthorized access. A steering lock, immobilization, alarm, and others might be included. But this does not mean that it would be impossible to unlock the car without a key. It’s just a matter of technique and expertise.

In such a situation, stop pulling the handle, it will not help. Instead, it will certainly start the alarm sooner or later, in order to make everyone aware that something is happening around your vehicle. Also, forget to try to force, turn the lock with a screwdriver, and do not think about trying other tricks.

How long does it take to unlock a car?

A traditional unlocking of the vehicle takes about 5 minutes. If your car has more complex security than a standard vehicle, then the time required to obtain the unlock will be adjusted according to the level of difficulty. However, there is no need to worry, as the locksmiths will help you get into the car as quickly as possible without affecting it.

Will unlocking the door damage the car?

Not necessarily. Careful efforts are made to ensure that no unlocking of the vehicle leads to unnecessary damage. There are very rare circumstances in some cars, where this operation may require drilling. Professionals understand that your car is precious and that is why they do their best to make sure that all the cars in their care are protected from damage.

How can I save money?

Locked Outside CarYou may be able to unlock your car door by yourself using just some simple tools. There are tutorials and online guides that will teach you how to do it.

In case you have a spare set at home, call a family member or a friend and ask them to bring it to you. When you buy a new car, the majority of the car companies will offer you a spare key. Usually, this key will only help you unlock the door, but not start the ignition.

There are insurance companies, like AAA, that offer roadside assistance as part of the insurance package. This may be available also if you pay a monthly fee for OnStar. Try to call them before even calling a locksmith and see what they will charge for unlocking your car door. According to their policy, the cost to unlock a car door is covered up to three times per year.

Try to call at least three tow truck companies or locksmiths before choosing one, in case you are stuck out of your car. You can check out Yelp or Google Reviews, or call 411 if you don’t know where to start.

Some police stations may help you to unlock your car door, depending on which city you are stuck in.

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