How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?

Last Updated on January 19, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Whether you’ve lost your keys or have an emergency lock issue, you may eventually need to call a professional locksmith. But how much does it really cost to hire a locksmith?

Locksmith service fees can vary widely based on the type of service, level of urgency, and other factors. This article breaks down average locksmith costs, pricing structures, and tips for finding an affordable locksmith you can trust.

How Much Does a Locksmith Cost?

The cost of hiring a locksmith typically ranges from $3 to $500+, with several factors influencing the price, including the type of service (such as unlocking doors, rekeying, or changing locks), time of day (with after-hours or emergency services often costing more), the specific locksmith’s rates, and any additional trip fees.

While exact locksmith costs vary, here are some typical average price ranges:

  • Key cutting – $3-$15 per key
  • House lockout – $15-$100 depending on time required
  • Residential lock rekeying – $50-$100 per lock
  • Car lockout – $50-$100 on average
  • Commercial rekeying – $25-$50 per lock
  • Safe opening – $100-$500+ depending on complexity
  • New lock installation – $60-$250 per lock

Keep in mind that specialized or high-security lock services will be more expensive. Luxury automotive brands or custom-safe installations can cost several hundred dollars even for basic services.

According to Thumbtack, hiring an emergency locksmith usually costs between $150-$250. They also say that on average, it costs $104 to hire a locksmith to rekey locks, change locks, and provide other services in the U.S. The national average price range for locksmith services is $99-$125 according to the same article. High-to-low prices range from $50-$250.

This Old House notes that locksmiths typically charge $50–$75 per hour, or they charge per lock with a flat fee for the visit. A locksmithing job may cost as little as $50 or as much as $400 depending on various factors such as emergencies, lock type, service, and trip fees.

HomeGuide notes that the average cost to hire a locksmith is $85 to $175 with most spending $129. Locksmith prices range from $75 to $250 for a car and $75 to $200 for a house, depending on the specific service needed.

According to Locksmith Near Me, the average locksmith cost is $120, which includes the cost to rekey, lock replacement, or lockout service. Locksmith services can range between $75-$140, with the lowest price at $50 and the highest price at $250.

Popular Locksmith Services

It helps to understand the range of services locksmiths provide. These can include:

  • Emergency services for lockouts, lost keys, or break-ins
  • Lock repairs like fixing jammed locks or broken key cylinders
  • Lock rekeying to reset locks to new key codes
  • New lock installation for homes, businesses, or vehicles
  • Safe opening for lost combinations or keys
  • Key cutting and key duplication
  • High-security lock systems and smart lock programming

Residential, commercial, and automotive locksmiths each offer specialized services tailored to their clients’ needs. Most locksmiths are mobile and can reach you anywhere at any time for on-site support.

What Impacts the Cost of Locksmith Services?

Like many service-based businesses, several factors go into locksmith costs including:

  • Service type – Simple services like house key duplication cost less than extensive lock repairs or full lock replacement. Emergency services are typically more expensive than standard offerings.
  • Time and materials – The time a job takes, the cost of parts if needed, and mileage costs all add up. Complex jobs or extensive drilling/lock disassembly cost more.
  • Vehicle outfits – Fully outfitted vans used by mobile locksmiths represent a business cost that’s passed on through service fees.
  • Certifications and training – Highly certified locksmiths or those with specialized skill sets often charge more.
  • Urgency – Emergency lockout services or after-hours calls command higher rates and rush fees.
  • Location – Locksmith rates in urban areas are usually higher than rural rates simply due to higher business overhead costs.
  • Insurance – Locksmithing can involve working on high-value items like luxury cars and safes. Insured locksmiths pass some costs to consumers.

Emergency vs Standard Locksmith Rates

One of the biggest cost factors is whether you need emergency or standard locksmith services. Standard rates apply during normal business hours or with several days lead time. Emergency rates apply anytime outside typical schedules when you need urgent response.

Some locksmiths charge flat emergency fees of $100 or more regardless of the actual service needed. Others simply double their standard rates for after-hours or rush jobs.

You’ll also pay a premium for late night, weekend, and holiday calls since these represent overtime pay for locksmiths. If possible, avoid emergency calls by planning ahead when you can.

Other Locksmith Fees to Look For

In addition to base service charges, watch out for these other common locksmith fees:

  • Service call or trip fees – Ranging from $10-$50, these cover dispatch and transportation costs.
  • Mileage fees – For long distances, a per-mile charge of around $1-5 may apply.
  • After hours fees – Late night or weekend calls command higher hourly rates in many cases.
  • Re-keying per lock – Each additional lock costs extra beyond the initial re-key service fee.
  • Master key systems – More complex commercial systems with multiple hierarchy key levels will cost more.
  • Security or drilling fees – If forced entry is required for a lockout, added fees of $25 or more often apply.

Get a clear estimate ahead of service calls so you aren’t surprised by add-on costs after the fact. Many locksmiths offer free quotes to allow you to budget for your project.

You might also like our articles about the cost of key fob programming, lock rekeying, or car door unlocking for when you are locked out of your car.

Locksmith Costs: Residential vs Commercial vs Automotive

While locksmiths can provide a wide range of services, most specialize in residential, commercial, or automotive work. Cost structures may be different for each specialty.

Residential: Simple home lockouts average just $50-$100 during regular hours. But more complex smart lock installation, full door lock replacement, or master re-key projects can cost $200 or more. High-security locks and associated labor will increase costs as well.

Commercial: Storefront lockouts are similarly priced to residential, but re-keying or lock replacement for multiple doors gets expensive fast. Expect to pay around $50 per lock as a starting point. Commercial locksmiths may also charge trip or assessment fees on top of base rates.

Automotive: Like residential, car lockouts average $50-$100 depending on the vehicle. High-end brands often require special tools and expertise to be able to unlock your car, so costs may start around $150+. Lost car key replacement can be $200+.

Choosing an Affordable, Reputable Locksmith

Locksmith ToolsTo maximize value and minimize unnecessary fees, keep this advice in mind:

  • Shop around and compare rates. Costs can vary widely.
  • Ask about common fees so they aren’t a surprise. Get a detailed estimate.
  • Whenever possible, opt for standard service rates to avoid premium emergency pricing.
  • Pick a local locksmith to minimize travel costs. Check reviews and ratings.
  • Consider registered or certified locksmiths who undergo background checks.
  • Ask if they have experience with your specific lock type or vehicle make if relevant.
  • Avoid locksmith scams and unethical bill padding. Get references and reviews first.

Finding the right locksmith for your needs shouldn’t break the bank. With smart research and cost comparisons, you can certainly access professional lock services while sticking to a reasonable budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to rekey or replace locks?

In most cases, a professional lock rekey is cheaper than full replacement, costing $50-100 rather than $200+ per lock. Exceptions include older worn locks or switches to higher-security systems.

How much does it cost to change a door lock?

For standard Grade 2 deadbolts, expect to pay around $60-$120 for new lock installation. Higher-security Grade 1 locks, smart locks, and specialty doors may cost $150-$250 or more including labor.

Do you tip a locksmith?

Tipping your locksmith is appreciated but not strictly required. For exceptional service, a 10-20% tip is appropriate. Include cash tips in your cost budgeting.

Final Words

While nobody wants to overpay, recognize that experienced locksmiths provide time-sensitive assistance and security in urgent situations. The convenience and peace of mind are worth the cost when faced with the alternatives.

With average locksmith prices now in the $50-$250 range for common services, costs are quite reasonable given the specialized skills required. Do your homework, compare provider rates, and don’t hesitate to use a professional locksmith when the need arises.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *