Top 10 Things to Remember Before Hiring an Auto Locksmith: A Wise Car Owner’s Checklist

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Article

Choosing the right auto locksmith is crucial, not just for immediate access to your vehicle, but also to protect its future security. What are the key things to remember before hiring an auto locksmith? From verifying credentials to assessing their range of services, this article delivers a concise checklist that prepares you to make the best decision, ensuring that quality and value are locked in.

Key Takeaways

  • Before hiring an auto locksmith, confirm they have the necessary credentials and insurance, plus experience and positive customer reviews.

  • Opt for a local auto locksmith with verifiable locality and contact details, as they’re quicker to respond and often more affordable than national companies.

  • Ensure to get estimates and compare prices. Choose a locksmith that offers a comprehensive range of services, including emergency assistance and is familiar with modern security systems.

Verify the Auto Locksmith’s Professionalism

Highly Advanced Professional Auto Locksmith Soldering to a PCB board.

Imagine locking your car keys inside or dealing with a broken ignition; it’s not just about finding any locksmith, it’s about finding the best auto locksmith. The one who slides through the narrowest of openings with professional lock picking skills, and whose reputation precedes them like the roar of a well-tuned engine.

The first step is to ascertain their professionalism – ensure they aren’t just a good auto locksmith, but an exceptional at that. What criteria should you look for when hiring a locksmith capable of handling your car lockout situation like a seasoned professional? Let’s unlock these qualifications one by one.

Check for Credentials and DBS

Right off the bat, years of experience is the badge of honour for auto locksmiths. In the United Kingdom there is no licencing or governing body, although there are associations which people can pay to be a member of, it doesn’t prove skill or credibility. Adequate experience longer than 3 years and being part of networks of other skilled locksmiths around the country is a strong signal of knowledge. As auto locksmiths deal with sensitive information surrounding your vehicles security, including key codes and immobiliser data, it is a good idea to check whether the locksmith is stated to be DBS checked. Considering there is no licencing in the UK, a DBS Checked locksmith can provide an extra sense of relief and additional signs of trustworthiness.

Before giving the green light, do your homework: take the time to check their training/years of experience and confirm their DBS status.

Look for Experience and Portfolio

Now, let’s talk experience. An experienced locksmith doesn’t just show up with a set of tools; they arrive with a wealth of know-how tucked under their belt. They’re the ones who have seen it all, from antique car locks to the latest in keyless entry systems. Their portfolio? It’s akin to a gallery of victories, each photo or testimonial a testament to their prowess with even the most stubborn of car immobiliser systems. When you’re anxiously looking for your lost car keys and cannot find them, believe us, you’ll desire a locksmith with skills akin to a concert pianist’s.

Read Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Finally, let public opinion be your guide. Customer reviews serve as a trail leading you to a trustworthy locksmith. Check out Google, Yell, Checkatrade and hunt for the locksmiths who have consistently positive reviews. These are the folks whose service sparkles so brightly, their customers can’t help but shout their praises from the rooftops.

Keep in mind that a positive customer service experience is similar in value to discovering a rare coin in your couch – completely delightful and worth sharing for others to hear about. Read about the importance of leaving customer reviews in this article:

Also check out this blog we found highlighting the importance of always checking customer reviews:

Choose a Local and Reputable Auto Locksmith

Local and Reputable Auto Locksmith

Ever heard the saying, ‘the best things in life are local’? Okay, maybe we just made that up, but when it comes to locksmith services, it’s spot on. Opting for a local and reputable auto locksmith is similar to relying on a dependable neighbour for a tool, however, in this instance, it’s for regaining access to your car and making you a new set of car keys. They’re the ones who know the area like the back of their hand and can reach you faster than you can say “car lockout situation”.

Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of supporting local businesses, keeping your hard-earned money circulating right where your heart is – in your community.

Importance of Local Address and Contact Details

A local locksmith with a physical address is like a beacon of reliability; it’s proof they’re rooted in and familiar with your area. And let’s not forget the practicality of it all – a local locksmith’s proximity means they can get to you a lot quicker, often times that very same day.

Therefore, verify their contact details, ensure they’re within close proximity, and rest assured knowing they’re merely a quick phone call away.

Deal with Local Service Providers, Not National Companies

Now, you might be wondering, why not just ring up one of those big national chains? Here’s the scoop: local reputable locksmiths are like the local baker of security solutions – they care about their craft and their customers. National companies? They will take your money without a backward glance, they often ask for up-front fees which are non-refundable and the small print means that under no circumstance will there be a refund, whether you wish to cancel, they don’t turn up or they are unable to do the job.

Plus, those local experts often have sweeter deals and fewer overheads, which means more savings for you without skimping on quality. So, choose local, and choose wisely.

Get Estimates and Compare Prices

Man Comparing Prices

People are often surprised by the cost of car keys, typically if they have not yet called their car manufactures main dealer. The costs incurred by going through the main dealer can be astronomical in comparison to locksmiths. Going to the main dealer will set you back on average £350 but with some dealers and high-end manufacturers, these costs can climb all the way up £2000 for a car key. What many fail to mention is that their method is to replace all the locks and the computer system in the car, which is the lazy and costly way of doing things. However, for some of the latest cars, unfortunately, this is the only way.

Check out this blog we found by checkatrade of average car key costs in the uk:

Don’t just accept the estimate you receive from the main dealer; explore other options, compare prices, and make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

Compare Pricing Among Different Auto Locksmiths

Think of comparing prices like a treasure hunt for value. Different locksmiths will have varying rates based on a number of factors, including the complexity of your car’s immobiliser system and the time of day you need them. But remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. It’s about finding that sweet spot where quality and cost meet and shake hands.

So, take the time to gather quotes and check customers reviews. Often, lower costs mean inexperienced amateurs who could easily damage your vehicles system and take no responsibility. Weigh the quotes gathered against the services offered, and make a choice that’s right for your car and your budget.

We found this blog about aquring estimates and quotes:

Assess the Range of Locksmith Services Offered

Car Key Programming Services

A great auto locksmith comes with an arsenal of services, ready for whatever curveball your car throws your way. The right locksmith is a specialised in all aspects of car locks and keys and offers a range of services, including:

  • Car lockout assistance

  • Transponder key programming

  • Key duplication

  • Ignition repair and replacement

  • Broken key extraction

  • Remote key programming

  • Car key cutting

  • Emergency lockout services

They have a deep understanding of your car’s security system and are equipped to tackle it and keep its integrity.

So, while searching for a locksmith, don’t just choose one who can help you today; select one who’s equipped for future challenges.

Emergency Lockout Services

Imagine it’s late in the evening, and you’re staring at your car keys lying on the passengers seat. This is when 24/7 emergency lockout services become your new best friend. A great auto locksmith is always ready to swoop in and save the day (or night) with swift car lockout services.

This service means whenever misfortunate happenings occur, assistance is merely a phone call away.

Car Key Services

But let’s not forget about the keys themselves. A locksmith worth their salt offers a symphony of car key services. They’re the maestros of making replacement car keys, fixing the down trodden key fobs, and even handling the high notes of high-security vehicles.

Whether it’s a quick fix or a complete replacement car key makeover, the right professional locksmith will have your automotive locksmith services and auto locksmith service needs covered.

Modern Security Systems

And as cars evolve, so do their immobiliser systems. That’s why it’s crucial to choose an auto locksmith who’s well-versed in the various types of modern vehicle security systems that are designed to keep your car or van safe from unauthorised persons. These virtuosos can handle everything from smart keys to advanced ECU programming, ensuring your car’s security system stays in harmony with its design.

Ensure your car locksmith is as adept with high-tech systems as they are with basic ones.

Ask for Recommendations and Credentials

Background Checks and Recommendations

Ever had a friend suggest a hidden gem of a restaurant that became your all-time favourite? Personal recommendations for a locksmith can hold the same value. They’re the trusted endorsements that can guide you to a service provider who’s already proven their worth.

But don’t stop at recommendations – credential checks serve as a magnifying glass on the details, ensuring your locksmith can deliver on their promises. A comprehensive background check can further strengthen this process.

Seek Personal Recommendations

Dive into your social pool and ask around. Friends, family, and colleagues can provide first-hand accounts of their experiences with local locksmiths. These personal recommendations come with stories of punctuality, skill, and service that you won’t find scrolling through the Google search bar. They’re the pre-approved list of locksmiths who’ve already passed the test of customer satisfaction, which can make your job easy.

Perform Background Checks

But the due diligence doesn’t end there. A thorough background check is your line of defence, ensuring that the locksmith you invite to handle your car has a clean record and sound knowledge. Look for memberships in trade associations like ALOA, and scour local business registries for a better business bureau rating that shines.

In the end, it’s about handing over your car to someone whose qualifications have been scrutinised as meticulously as a diamond.


As we pull into the final stop of our journey, let’s recap the road map for hiring a locksmith that’s worth their weight in gold. From verifying their professionalism with credentials and insurance to ensuring they’re local and reputable, we’ve covered the full checklist. We’ve discussed the importance of getting estimates and comparing prices, and explored the vast range of services a skilled locksmith should offer. Plus, we’ve underscored the value of personal recommendations and the necessity of conducting background checks.

Choosing the right auto locksmith is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s about more than just getting back into your car – it’s about finding a service provider you can trust, come rain or shine. So, take these tips, tuck them in your glove box, and remember: when it comes to the security of your vehicle, you’re in the driver’s seat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are three responsible practices that locksmiths should always follow?

Locksmiths should always be honest, trustworthy, and of good character to maintain the confidence of their customers, who trust them with the security of their homes and belongings.

What are the tips for hiring a locksmith?

When hiring a locksmith, look for local, established, and certified professionals, and consider getting a referral from someone you trust. Also, check for insurance and affiliations with professional associations to ensure reliability. Be sure to inquire about estimates and verify their business reputation.

What to expect when you call a locksmith?

When you call a locksmith, you can expect them to follow a series of steps including submitting a service request, dispatch, a technician contacting you, evaluation, locksmith work, and payment. So, it’s a straightforward process that will help you get the service you need.

What should I do since the UK doesn’t require locksmith licensing?

You should make sure that the locksmith has a local business listings with solid ratings and proper insurance. This will help protect you in case of any issues.

Can local locksmiths provide services as advanced as national companies?

Yes, local locksmiths can provide advanced services more often they are able to provide services that are far more advanced than national companies, offering a wide range of solutions with the added benefits of personalised, quick, and cost-effective assistance.