Professional locksmith services install or replace current lock systems, re-key locks for new homes, repair broken door locks, add new locks, let in residents who are locked out, copy keys or issue new keys, and more. Professional locksmiths can tackle deadbolts, doorknobs, mailboxes, lock changes, office furniture (such as filing cabinets), electronic combination pads, keyless remotes and more. The lock may be in a car, home, business or commercial space, and most professional locksmiths are available for after-hours emergencies or roadside assistance. Several factors affect the average cost of locksmith services, but the average cost ranges from about $100 to $200.
Top 5 tips for hiring a locksmith
Although you may be locked out of your home or car, you want to take similar precautions when hiring a locksmith as you would for any service provider. Follow these top 5 tips:
- Make sure your local locksmith has professional training and is licensed and insured. If you're not sure what their qualifications are, ask about their background or previous jobs.
- Call several locksmiths to make sure you're getting the best rate. Give details for the problem you're facing and what you'd like the locksmith to do. Ask, too, about additional fees they may charge in addition to their hourly rate.
- If you're locked out of your home, make sure the locksmith can pick your lock; one who simply wants to drill and replace your existing lock may be looking for a way to raise prices. A good locksmith will be able to unlock almost any door.
- If you're locked out of your car, call roadside assistance first if you have it. It's probably less expensive than hiring a locksmith.
- Make sure the locksmith is familiar with modern technology. Their skills should go beyond installing door locks and picking them to include biometric security and other advanced systems.
Minimum service fee
By necessity, most professional locksmith services are done on location — at the client's home, office, business or car. The cost of specific professional locksmith services varies, depending on what needs to be done, but professional locksmiths often have a minimum service call fee to cover their time, labor, transportation expenses and associated overhead costs, even if the job itself is a $15 task. The average cost for a locksmith to come to your home ranges from $30 to $150, but expect it to cost more in the evening or on a holiday.
For example, a locksmith in Carrollton, Texas, charges a $75 minimum for all standard residential service calls and $85 for commercial service calls. There may be additional fees for new keys or for replacing doorknobs or deadbolts. Some professional locksmiths specialize in certain kinds of door locks or services. If you have a very specialized type of lock, be sure to ask about these services before you request a service call.
In addition to standard service fees, professional locksmiths may charge additional fees for service calls outside their designated service area, or for roadside assistance. The additional fee covers time spent in traffic and the cost of gas and other expenses required to arrive at the destination. Technicians may charge $10 or more extra for service calls beyond their standard service area.
Many professional locksmiths can re-key locks, which involves removing and replacing existing springs and pins so that old lock keys no longer work and new keys will. Many people re-key locks when they buy a new home, if they lose all the keys to a lock or if they are concerned that unauthorized copies of their keys exist. Many customers opt to re-key locks because it can be more affordable than an entire lock change. On average, the cost of having locks re-keyed ranges from $40 to $100, plus $5 to $25 for each lock cylinder.
For example, a typical locksmith charges an average of $18 per keyhole to re-key locks, and $25 when there are circumstances that require more work such as an electronic lock installation or deadbolt. There may also be additional fees for extra new keys, depending on the type of lock or car lock that needs re-keying.
Lockouts are one of the most common reasons people call professional locksmiths. They've locked their car keys inside the car, lost their house keys or misplaced the office keys.
In general, having a locksmith open your car door for you ranges from $30 to $50. Skilled technicians can do it in just a few minutes — usually you'll wait longer for the locksmith to reach you than for him to unlock your car! — and without damaging the lock or scratching your car's paint. Replacing the lock and key set costs more, of course, usually ranging from $25 to $150, on average, depending on the make, model and age of your car.
Reputable locksmiths have set prices for various standard types of lockouts. Here are some average rates for lockouts:
- Most car lockouts and roadside assistance: $65
- Residential lockout: $75
- Commercial lockout: $85
There may be an additional fee for emergency services, extreme winter conditions, or particularly challenging locking mechanisms or damaged car doors. A reputable locksmith will give you an exact price before they begin work.
Lock change or lock installation costs vary based on whether the professional locksmith provides the lock, what is required for lock installation, how many components are involved and how long it takes to install the lock. Locks include deadbolts, simple doorknob locks, electronic keypads, garage doors, high-security locksets and any locking mechanism. New door locks range in average price from about $60 to $150 or more, depending on the lock and the complexity of the installation.
When you have a new lock installed, you may want the locksmith to make extra copies of your new keys (or even old ones for existing locks). This service is relatively inexpensive — just $1 to $4 on average per regular key — but can cost $3 to $20 on average for special keys.
Advanced lock systems
If you often find yourself — or your children — locked out of the house, an easy solution is installing a high-tech lock system that uses Bluetooth, a passcode or biometrics to unlock a door. Installing an advanced lock system usually costs anywhere from $100 to $500, on average, depending on the type of system, the complexity of the technology, and the time it takes to install.
Some professional locksmiths charge an additional fee for emergency services such as late-night, weekend or holiday calls. There are also reputable locksmiths that specialize in emergency locksmith services. They typically charge a bit more but provide quality service on very short notice, whether you need to quickly re-key locks, update your garage door lock, add a new deadbolt, or request other emergency services. Emergency services usually cost between $150 and $250, on average, but that can be worth it if you're locked out of your house in the middle of the night.
Because being locked out of your car or even your home can be a dangerous situation, make sure you're aware of your surroundings, know your location, and follow these general precautions, especially if you're stuck in a remote area or on the side of a highway:
- Stay in a well-lit area and avoid the dark.
- Alert a friend or family member to your situation and location. Stay on the phone with that person until the locksmith has arrived and you've confirmed his identity.
- Don't accept help from anyone other than the locksmith after he's shown you his I.D. and credentials.
- Maximize the value of a minimum service fee by incorporating as many tasks as possible into a single visit, such as having existing keys copied.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.