Why are car keys so expensive

by | Oct 4, 2016 | Latest News

Why are car keys so expensive

I am often asked why car keys are so expensive there are multiple reason and I will try to explain. The normal comparison people make is between a car key and a house key. A house key will normally only have 5/6 cuts on both a flat key and a mortice key and can be cut on a relatively cheap key cutting machine.

The blanks are relatively cheap as well and there are 100’s of makes and designs but only a handful of common shapes and sizes. With Car keys every manufacturer has their own key blanks, Vauxhall for example have 4 different types of key currently in use and this does not include certain keys that crossover to other manufacturers.

Car key blanks cost approximately 20 times that of a house key, specialist key cutting machines vary from £5000 to £15000 these machines cut both standard double bitted keys to the newer laser cut keys. But the main difference is that all European Spec car keys after 1996 are fitted with a Transponder chip. These chip’s need to be programmed into the vehicle using specialist programming equipment, what is also required is a vehicle specific immobiliser code which will allow the chip to be programmed into the vehicle.

In the event you require a remote key these sometimes also require programming into the vehicle. Occasionally the immobiliser and key codes need to be purchased. So basic differences are clear,

A House cut= cut key then use (Time Taken 1 Mins)

A Car key= select correct key, cut key, fit transponder, source code and Programme, start vehicle (Time Taken up to 1 day)

Hope this answers your question? – Andy Bowley

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