When leaving the house, there is always that dreaded fear of, “have I closed the Yale locked door and left my keys inside?”. Thankfully, this is not a crisis most of us deal with on a regular occurrence but when an emergency strikes because keys are lost or worse our safety has been compromised and we have to call in a locksmith immediately, it can be daunting who to choose and trust to help us in one of our most vulnerable situations, that is why HaMuch is helping you with how to go about choosing the right locksmith and what price to expect to pay for their service.
Before beginning the search for a locksmith, decide which of the 3 main categories your necessity falls under, do you need a locksmith for your home, office or an auto locksmith for the car? A lot of companies will cover domestic and commercial locksmithing needs but a car / van / bike emergency (e.g., replacing damaged locks or rekey), needs a specialist to deal with automotive locks.
Next in your search is to ensure a safe repair, so you need to choose a locksmith who is affiliated to associations to ensure they follow secure guidelines, e.g., look for someone who is MLA (Master Locksmith Association) approved and a company who will only send out tradespeople that have been DBS Checked (this way you can be safe in the knowledge that you will not have a criminal changing your locks!). A lot of locksmiths will offer 24 hour emergency services but using their services out of normal operating hours does come at a higher cost, so if your emergency can wait for usual business hours, that is best for your budget and be sure to get comparison quotes so that you are not paying emergency call-out prices in non-emergency times of the day.
When receiving quotes from locksmiths for your home, ask what brand of door lock will be used as you want to know that you are paying for a leading brand such as Yale, Union, ERA, Chubb… and if you have an existing mortice lock, make sure that the quote is replacing like for like (or a more secure version of the lock you had) rather than paying to change a mortice for a rim cylinder lock. Ask to have the quote in writing, even if it is emailed to you from their smart phone while you both stand outside your front door waiting for it to be unlock, this will make any insurance claim easier having in writing the locks you are having replaced as well as avoid any disputes with the locksmith when it comes time to make payment for works. Study the quote to see if you are being charged for an ‘hour locksmith services’ or for the completion of the job. A job such as a jammed uPVC door might require more than one visit in a 24hr period, due to the replacement part needing to be order in so you would rather be quoted for the job than per hour. A simple key cutting job that takes a few minutes is also usually charged by the number of replacement keys you need cut (always be sure to use the master key for the key cutting because when it is constantly a replacement key being used the cut isn’t as perfect).
Automotive locksmiths can help with a range of lockout issues and lost car keys. Before you contact the auto locksmith, make sure you have the following details on hand; make and model of your car, van or motorbike as well as the registration and your full address. If you have locked the keys inside the car and require the locksmith to come and pick the vehicle lock, give as much detail as you can on your location for them to easily locate you. Try and free a parking space as close to your car as possible for them before they arrive so they can pull up and have quick access to all the tools needed. If the emergency is a broken key, explain beforehand where the key is broken and needing extraction, e.g., stuck in the ignition or broken in the door handle. Key programming normally needs an immobiliser code which the locksmith should be able to extract from the vehicle. If locks have been damaged and need replacing, provide details on which lock, e.g., boot lock or front passenger door lock.
If you have locked yourself out and need a locksmith to help you gain entry into your home, give clear details of your address and what time you will be meeting them at the front door. If you have lost your keys but do not want the lock replaced, ask the locksmith if they can make an impression of the lock to cut a new key for you or if they are able to disassemble the lock. If you are having a lock replaced, for your home insurance to be valid, do insist on a ‘British Standard’ lock which will come with a BS Kitemark identification logo. If you have just moved into a new home, it is safe practise to change the locks as you do not know how many people the old owner has left a spare key with. Before the locksmith arrives, inform them about the make of your door, plastic uPVC doors usually have a Euro Lock mechanism and wooden doors are normally fitted with a Mortice or Yale lock. Modern patio doors often fall under the uPVC category. The same applies for windows that need lock or key replacements, give details about what type of window frame you have and where the lock is situated on the window.
Commercial locksmiths can retain the security of the office, from replacing old locks with access control lock and digital locks to installing CCTV footage and a safe for securing high valuable items. When businesses need to close during a holiday period or a global pandemic, a commercial locksmith can also board up the office to make sure you are leaving it safe and secure.
|Replacement of lost car key||£200|
|Car key cutting from an existing key to create copies||£60|
|Pick a locked car to gain entry||£120|
|Broken key extraction from a door||£70|
|Broken key extraction from an ignition||£90|
|Car key programming||£30|
|Re-pinning of locks using existing locks||£40 per lock|
|Replacement of a damaged door / boot lock||£80|
|Replacement of a damaged ignition lock||£90|
|Emergency 24 hrs service for door opening access||£70|
|Emergency 24 hrs service removing broken key from lock||£70|
|Emergency 24 hrs service for wooden door lock change||£115|
|Emergency 24 hrs service for uPVC door lock change||£85|
|Emergency 24 hrs service for burglary repair and boarding up||£120|
|Replacement of front and door lock||£140|
|Key cutting from a master key||£10|
|Key cutting from an impression of the lock||£80|
|Window key cutting from a master key||£70|
|Window lock replacement||£55|
|Installing a wall safe||£300|
|Installing a fire-proof safe||£400|
|Opening a fire-proof safe||£250|
|Installing CCTV security||£2000|
|Installing access control locks||£300 per lock|
|Reprogramming digital locks||£20 per lock|
|Installing locks on multiple office doors||£30 per lock|
|Boarding up for closure||£300|