What do you do when you need to replace your car keys? There are different options to choose from. The most obvious option recommended by manufacturers is contacting your car dealer. Car dealers have the resources to cut you a new key and program it for your car. They may however, require you to tow the car to their nearest warehouse.

If you find this time consuming, hiring a local automotive locksmith professional to offer an on-site key replacement service would be a faster solution. One advantage of hiring an on-site locksmith is that most locksmiths operate round the clock, guaranteeing car key replacement in a matter of minutes. But what about buying your auto key online? What are the implications of going online to replace your car keys?

What going the online way means for you?

Replacing auto keys is more technical than it seems. Locksmiths and car dealers have the technical know-how of dealing with different types of car keys. Ordering your auto keys online is however a totally different story. You first need to know the type of key that needs replacement otherwise you’ll end up purchasing a wrong key. It could be a key fob, a transponder key, a metal key blade, a PAT/VAT key or a proximity key. Furthermore, many online auto key replacement platforms sell key blanks as opposed to cut keys. Reason being, car keys are designed and programmed to only work on a specific car. This makes it difficult to replace a car key without its duplicate or its FCC ID.

Locksmiths, on the other hand, can cut different keys from the key blanks. For instance, while blank transponder keys can be cut into ignition locks, skeleton key blanks are used to make the traditional types of keys.

Going the online way also means that you have to wait for the key to be delivered. It therefore only works for you if you have the luxury of waiting. The time it takes to deliver the key varies depending on your location. Giving the wrong information when ordering your car keys will not only result in loss of money, but it will further inconvenience you as it may take the online retailer a further day or two to deliver the right set of car keys.

How to go about it

Most online retailers display the total price of the key blanks, including delivery. You can compare the prices with a quote from your local locksmith and decide if it is worth it. Additionally, always remember to have your vehicle identification number (VIN) when ordering your auto keys. Some online retailers are able to cut the key blanks to the right specifications given the VIN.

If you decide to replace our keys from a local locksmith, ensure you have proof of car ownership. Have your identification and a copy of your log books with you. Ensure to provide your local locksmith with the VIN as well. The VIN provides important information about the car and its keys, which in turn guides the locksmiths in carrying the right tools needed to cut and program your blank keys.

So, is it okay to buy your auto keys online? It totally is, if you don’t mind waiting for the blanks to be delivered to your location and the additional costs of hiring auto locksmith services to have the key blanks cut and programmed to your car’s specifications. But how about you hire an onsite locksmith and just cut the whole process?