A few decades ago, car keys were made simply and were also cheap to duplicate. However, this simplicity made it easy for criminals to make copies of car keys and steal cars.
In the mid-1990s, car makers began using transponders or chip keys to reduce car theft. This had led to an increase in prices since duplicating these keys has become a more difficult task. The harder it is to duplicate a key, the more expensive your cost will be. For example, BMW and Mercedes use machinery made exclusively for their keys.
Car key replacement costs
Cutting the blades of your replacement car keys requires sophisticated and expensive machinery. The cost to program keys alone can be as high as $60. On top of paying for the key and programming of it, car owners will also have to pay labor costs.
The best way to avoid these high prices is to get an extra pair of keys made and store them in a safe place. Without spare keys, car owners will need to have their cars towed and wait until they obtain and program the replacement transponder key. If car owners have roadside assistance coverage, the cost of towing can be reimbursed, up to policy limits.