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What Is The Cost Of Car Key Replacement In Boston?

Losing your car keys is easy. Hence, understanding the cost of car key replacement ahead of time is vital. Nobody plans to lock their car keys in the car. Neither does anybody plan on losing their keys. But it may happen. And when it does, you need all the information you can get.

Due to advances in tech, car key usage has gotten sophisticated. Gone are the days of using the traditional metal key for insertion and ignition. Most recent car models operate with hi-tech to combat vehicular theft.

However, with a more complex system comes a more expensive overall service. This is why sometimes, losing your car keys can lead to a hefty price for car key replacement. This article will understand the relative cost of car key replacement in Boston, Belmont, and the Cambridge area. Here’s what you need to pay to get your car keys again.

Why You Need Car Key Replacement Services in Boston

The need for car key replacement stems from their design. If you lose your car keys, you can’t find just jimmy it open. Neither can you open your car with a set of similar keys? An average smart car in this current period comes with a key and a fob. The key is the traditional metallic part that is inserted to start the engine. The fob is a small box containing circuitry that unlocks the car and performs other functions.

A fob comes equipped with a transponder. This transponder emits a signal which the car receives and responds to. If the wrong signal is sent from a different transponder, the car will not open.

As a result, there’s a need for professional car key replacement services in Boston. They can help you program new keys for your cars, even after you lose them. For instance, here at Mobile Locksmith Squad, we offer key fob replacement and car key replacement for all types of cars except German brands and Tesla.

Cost of Car Key Replacement in Boston: Types of Keys

Since there are different car keys, it only makes sense that the cost of car key replacement will vary. You see, car keys vary in design and function. And this has an impact on how much you will have to pay for car key replacement.

Standard Key and Fob

An electronic key fob is an important part of the key package for most modern vehicles. It is also known as a controller or transmitter. The cost of car key replacement differs based on the vehicle manufacturer and design sophistication.

For a standard key and fob, car key replacement’s price will vary from $120 to over $180. Most key fobs are programmed with a particular combination of button presses. Some owner’s manuals will teach you how to activate it yourself. Alternatively, this knowledge can be found online, as well.

Laser-cut Keys

Laser-cut keys differ from standard car keys. Their shank is a bit thicker and has a lesser amount of ridges. Also, the machines used for cutting these keys tend to be a tad more expensive than those for normal key-cutting.

Also, there are built-in transponder chips for laser-cut keys. These need to be programmed at the dealer or by a car key replacement expert in Boston.  All-in-one, laser-cut keys are becoming more common. However, this type of car key’s replacement cost will range from $149 to $229.

Transponder Keys

Manufacturers started inserting transponder chips in the plastic head of car keys. In the ignition, the chip sends a signal to a receiver. The engine will not start if the transponder detects the incorrect signal. This means the incorrect key is in the ignition.

There is a major difference between a standard car key and a transponder key. Firstly, the transponder key must be programmed before it can start the car.

Dealerships typically have the machines available for the key to be configured. Some can arrange it free of charge, but some may charge up to an hour of labor. The majority of auto locksmiths will have these machines as well. It’s best to work with car key replacement experts (they tend to be faster!)

The transponder key and the fob come in one unit in some cars. This can add to the cost of car key replacement. It can also limit the locations where you can get a working replacement.

Ordering a simple car key without the transmitter is a possible low-cost option. If you leave your keys inside the car, this key can do all but start the engine. This can come in handy and reduce the overall price you have to pay for car key replacement. However, if you lose the keys, you may end up stranded.

The transponder key will range from $129 to $249.

Smart Keys

In the conventional context, a smart key isn’t a car key. It is a key fob that is either placed near the dash or remains in the pocket. With the push of a button, the driver can then start the engine.

The security that a smart key offers is its ability to use rotating security codes. The device randomizes the right code and stops it from being compromised by criminals. Before starting the motor, the vehicle’s computer verifies the code emitted by the smart key. This makes smart keys one of the highly secure options.

The restriction that surrounds these kinds of car keys is a contributing factor to the pricing. The price of car key replacement for certain luxury cars will vary from $229 to over $399.

Switchblade Keys

These have parts that fold into the key fob and spring out with the click of a button. This type of key may have a basic cut or a laser cut. One bonus that comes with the switchblade key fob is that its components can be purchased separately. This can make the cost of the car key replacement easier and cheaper.

In this case, both the key and the fob it folds into will need replacement. This will cost between $120 and $180 if you take in the programming for both components.

Factors that Determine the Pricing for Car Key Replacement

Apart from the key type, other key factors determine the cost of car key replacement in Boston. They are:

  • Availability of an auto locksmith
  • Proximity to a car key replacement service
  • Inclusion in your car insurance
  • Car key design
  • Workforce and expertise required.

When it comes to replacing your car keys, an auto locksmith is the best. It is the cheapest and fastest option. Most of the other options will often revert to the use of an auto locksmith. Hence, it’s better to go right to the source when considering the cost of car key replacement.

Also, your location will determine how much you have to pay to replace your car keys. Car key replacement prices in Boston, Brookline, and Cambridge will differ from Somerville, Belmont, Newton, and Chestnut hill.


In this article, we have been able to help you answer a critical question. The one of “how much should I pay to get a new car key?”. A car key is such a delicate item to lose in this day and age. Therefore, it is best to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

If it does happen, the Mobile Locksmith Squad is happy to help. With our dedication to getting you back on the road quickly, we can help you quickly replace your car keys. From standard keys to fobs and transponder for more luxury vehicles, we are your one-stop.

Our car key replacement services are available to residents in Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Belmont, Medford, Newton, chestnut hill, Wellesley, Quincy, Watertown, Needham, Dedham, and more. Contact us today for same-day services!



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