How to Get a Replacement Car Key Without the Original

So, you lost your original car key, and you need to get a replacement immediately. Can you get a replacement key even without the original key? How?

You can go to a locksmith to replace your original car key. This is more cost-efficient than going to a car dealer for the same service. However, you will need to provide the locksmith with some details to make the process easier. These include the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Title of the Vehicle
  • Car Registration
  • Year
  • Model of the Car
  • Make of the Car

Here’s how to get a replacement car key without the original:

  1. Identify the Exact Type of Car
  2. Figure out the Type of Car Key You Need
  3. Provide Information on Car Ownership

Read on to learn more about getting a replacement car key, including the possibility of getting one even without the original key.

How to Get a Replacement Car Key Without the Original

how to get a replacement car key without the original

A locksmith can efficiently replace your original car key. This is more cost-efficient than going to a car dealer for the same service. But you will need to provide some details to make the process easier, which include the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Title of the Vehicle
  • Car Registration
  • Year
  • Model of the Car
  • Make of the Car

The information mentioned above makes it easier for the locksmith to identify your vehicle’s exact key type.

If you are not sure of your car’s VIN, you can find the details somewhere on the driver’s door. Or, it can be somewhere on the dashboard on the driver’s side. Your VIN also allows the locksmith to accurately verify if you are the rightful owner of the car or not.

Car Key Replacement Cost

Depends on How Old or New the Car Is

The cost of a replacement car key depends on how old or new your car is. If you have an older vehicle, a car key replacement can cost about $3 to $7.

More Expensive Replacement Keys for Modern or Newer Vehicles

Replacement keys for modern or newer vehicles are more costly. Newer vehicles have electronic or specialized keys. This means that there are chips, fobs, and transponders to replace, costing about $250. However, the exact cost depends on several factors, including the location and labor costs.

Key Services and the Corresponding Costs

There are different key services that you can get, and their costs range between $50 and $400:

  • Car Door Unlock Replacement Service: $50
  • Basic Car Key Replacement Without a Chip Service: $95 to $145.
  • Transponder Chip Key Replacement Service: $145 and $195.
  • New Fobik Key Replacement Service: $165 and $225.
  • New Key Fob Replacement for Push to Start Cars: $235 and $385.
  • Fix Ignition Services: $185 to $325
  • Car Key or Fob Programming Services: $75 to $125
ServicePrice
Car Door Unlock Key Replacement Service$50 FLAT RATE
Basic Car Key Replacement Without a Chip$95-$145
Transponder Chip Key Replacement$145 – $195
New Fobik Key Replacement$165 – $225
New Key Fob Replacement for Push to Start Cars$235 – $385
Fix Ignition$185 – $325
Program Only (Car Key or Fob)$75 – $125
Car Key Replacement Cost

Car Key Types

Let’s talk about two types of car keys, namely, the Remote Fob Key and the Remote Entry Fob with Integrated Key:

1. Remote Fob Car Key

The Remote Fob Car Key initiates the remote opening and closing of car doors. It features a wireless system that you can control by pressing a button or two on the remote. 

What to Do If the Keyless Remote Battery Is Low

2. Remote Entry Fob with Integrated Key

The Remote Entry Fob with Integrated Key has features beyond locking or unlocking car doors. It can also ignite the engine without inserting the key into the ignition. This means that 

Aside from these two, there are other types of car keys. There’s, of course, the traditional key which is for older car models. There’s the remote key, remote head key, intelligent key, proximity key, and laser-cut key for the modern ones.

Vehicle Key Duplication and Programming

how to get a new car key without the original

Car Key Duplication Creates the Same Copy of the Original Car Key

Car key duplication refers to creating the same copy of the original car key. In general, we request a car key duplicate so we can lock and unlock car doors in case we lose the original key.

The duplicate key can even turn the engine on for older car models. This is not possible with some modern cars, and this restriction forms part of the advanced safety features of newer vehicles.

Key Programming Is More Than Locking and Unlocking Car Doors

However, when we say key programming, it is more than just locking and unlocking car doors. It is linked to other features of your car. These include your car alarm and your ability to turn on the engine even if the key is in your pocket.

It also alerts you to bring your key with you as you leave the car. That way, there will be no way that you will leave your key inside the car.

Car key programming costs way higher than simply replicating a traditional car key. Besides, not all locksmiths know how to do this unless they have upskilled too. Only a trained expert can program car keys.

Can You Have a Car Key Made Without the Original

So, let’s say you need your electronic car key replacement. Is this possible even if you don’t have the original key?

Yes, it is possible with these three easy steps:

  1. Identify the Exact Type of Car
  2. Figure out the Type of Car Key You Need
  3. Provide Information on Car Ownership

Let’s briefly discuss each step:

1. Identify the Exact Type of Car

When you go to a locksmith or a car dealer to request a car key replacement, you have to be able to identify the exact type of vehicle that needs key replacement. This is because there is a specific key design for every vehicle.

It is not even enough to merely mention the car model. You have to be able to identify its make and model, and even its exact variant. That way, the locksmith would know what to do and what other things they will require of you.

2. Figure Out the Type of Car Key You Need

Vehicles are not the only ones that come in different models. Their keys come in different types too. Vehicle keys are designed distinctly and unique from each other.

At the same time, you have to identify if the car key replacement you need is a remote key or an intelligent key. Identify if it is a proximity key or a laser-cut key.

This factor is important in providing the locksmith a clear picture of the type of replacement key that you want them to produce. Also, they will be able to tell you how much it will exactly cost. That way, you can allot a budget for it.

3. Provide Information on Car Ownership

Last but not least, you have to provide information that will prove that the vehicle rightfully belongs to you. Those details include the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Title of the Vehicle
  • Car Registration
  • Year
  • Model of the Car
  • Make of the Car

This information will not only prove car ownership. It will also provide the locksmith with a clearer idea of the type of vehicle that needs key replacement.

Again, how to get a replacement car key without the original? if you do not have the original key, your best option is to go to a locksmith. This option is more cost-effective than going to your car dealer.

Where to Get Car Key Replacement – Locksmith or Car Dealer?

There are two ways you can get a car key replacement. One is through a car dealer, and the other is through a locksmith.

With a locksmith, you will most likely pay less. It is even possible to get your car key replacement in an hour. However, with the low price and fast service, do not expect the quality to be state-of-the-art.

If you want to ensure a high-quality car key replacement, it is best to go to a car dealer. They have the exact information about your original car key and, therefore, it is guaranteed authentic. The downside of this is that it will most likely be very costly.

How to Replace Car Key Using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Method

Provide the Car’s VIN

A car key replacement is possible even without the original key. You don’t even need any spare key at all. Instead, all you have to provide is your car’s VIN.

VIN Refers to the Identifying Code for a Specific Vehicle

The VIN refers to the identifying code for a specific vehicle. It can be considered the vehicle’s fingerprint because no two vehicles have a similar VIN. The VIN consists of 17 characters, a combination of digits and letters.

Information from VIN

Here are the details you can unveil about your car using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN):

  • The first character refers to where the vehicle was built
  • The second and third characters identify the manufacturer
  • The fourth to eighth characters refer to the vehicle brand, engine size, and type
  • The ninth character refers to the security code confirming that the manufacturer authorizes the VIN
  • The tenth character refers to the model of the vehicle
  • The eleventh character identifies the exact manufacturing plant
  • The last six characters refer to the vehicle’s serial number

How to Find a Vehicle’s VIN

Find the Vehicle’s VIN on the Dashboard

You can typically find your vehicle’s VIN on the dashboard on the driver’s side. It is more convenient to find it by standing outside your vehicle facing the driver’s side. Then, look at the corner of the dashboard where it meets the windshield.

Check the Driver’s Side Door or Door Jamb

It is also possible to find it in the driver’s side door or door jamb. The VIN is most likely printed on a sticker somewhere in that area.

Check the Vehicle’s Insurance Card or Insurance Policy

If you still can’t find it, there are other ways to know your vehicle’s VIN. It is written on your vehicle’s insurance card or insurance policy. It is also written on the Vehicle Title and Registration.

Providing your car’s VIN is probably the best information you can provide to the locksmith or the car dealer.

That way, they can get a complete vehicle history report that will confirm your ownership of the car. Aside from that, they will completely understand the type of car key you want them to produce.

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Get a Duplicate Car Key Without the Original?

how to make a duplicate car key without the original

Here are frequently asked questions on how to get a duplicate car key without the original:

How Can I Get a Duplicate Car Key Without the Original?

Expert locksmiths can reproduce a replacement car key even without presenting to them the original key. However, when you go to a locksmith, you need to be able to give complete information about the key.

They will be the ones to gather sufficient data that will lead them to the exact type of key that you want to be reproduced.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Key Made Without the Original?

There are different key services that you can get, and their costs range between $50 and $400:

  • Car Door Unlock Replacement Service: $50
  • Basic Car Key Replacement Without a Chip Service: $95 to $145
  • Transponder Chip Key Replacement Service: $145 and $195.
  • New Fobik Key Replacement Service: $165 and $225
  • New Key Fob Replacement for Push to Start Cars: $235 to $385
  • Fix Ignition services cost: $185 to $325
  • Car Key or Fob Programming Services: $75 to $125.

Can I Get a Key Made from the VIN Number?

Yes, you can get a key made by simply presenting your car’s VIN. However, you have to prove ownership of your vehicle.

You will most likely be asked to present valid IDs, particularly your driver’s license. If you have your car’s Official Receipt and Vehicle Title, you might have to present them too.

The locksmith or the car dealer needs to validate first that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle. Once they have confirmed this, they will gather enough data using the VIN to give them a clear idea of what the key looks like.

Can I Copy My Car Key at Home Depot?

The Key Copy Machines at Home Depot can efficiently copy padlock keys, house keys, and even car keys. However, they are not capable of reproducing key fobs or transponder keys.

Home Depot’s automatic key copying machine works by laser scanning your key. That way, it can determine the exact key type, including its bitting.

What Do You Do If You Lose Your Car Keys?

You can call a locksmith if you lose your car keys. Some locksmiths are available for emergencies. They can come to you immediately and reproduce your car key on the spot.

However, there are cases when locksmiths can’t be of help even if they are available. This happens when you need to buy a specific ignition lock and key, which you can only get from the car dealer or an independent car care shop.

Can Walmart Make Car Keys?

Walmart has Car Key Copying Services located at their MinuteKey kiosks. However, it is only for a limited range of vehicle keys. They can only duplicate metal car keys that do not have electronic transponders or RFID chips. 

The cost of Walmart’s car key copying services ranges between $2 and $6. It all depends on the type of key to be replaced.

How Do You Duplicate a Car Key with Chips?

There are automotive stores that have the expertise for cutting chip keys. Find one and take your chip key to them. Then, request a duplicate copy.

Typically, this can be done as long as you provide them with the original keys. If not, you have to give them accurate information that can lead them to reproduce the exact car key for you. In which case, you have to give them the VIN.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Car Key?

The cost of car key replacement ranges between $50 and $600. It all depends on the type of key you want to be replaced and the store where you will have it replaced.

Basic key replacement is the least expensive of all. Keyless entry remote key replacement is most likely expensive, mainly if it is intended for a luxury vehicle.

In Closing: Can You Get a Replacement Car Key Without the Original?

To sum it up, you can go to a locksmith to replace your original car key. This is more cost-efficient than going to a car dealer for the same service. However, you will need to provide the locksmith with some details to make the process easier. These include the following:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Title of the Vehicle
  • Car Registration
  • Year
  • Model of the Car
  • Make of the Car

The steps to get a replacement car key without the original are as follows:

  1. Identify the Exact Type of Car
  2. Figure out the Type of Car Key You Need
  3. Provide Information on Car Ownership

There is always an available car key replacement service for you, regardless of key type. However, the main concern lies in the fact that there is no fixed price for this service. It can be as low as $50, but it can also be as high as $600.

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