How to Get a Replacement Car Key Without the Original in 2023

Have you ever been in a situation where you have forgotten your car keys or lost them while on a trip and then started wondering how to get a replacement car key without the original or how much does a replacement car key cost?

If your answer is “Yes”, then you already know the disastrous feeling that comes along with it.

Losing car keys becomes more pathetic when you do not have a spare key! If you have been in such situations and have scratched your head thinking about what to do if you lose your car keys, we are here to help you!

how to get a replacement car key without the original
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While most cars today have automatic digital locks, a few vehicles still have manual keys. The locksmiths might be able to create a manual car key with their expertise, but it is hard for them to make a duplicate digital car key replacement without original key if they do not possess the advanced tools.

As technology keeps improving with time, we also have to up our game when it comes to managing things around us. And thus, it is possible to make a new key even if you do not have access to your old car key, which is digital.

In this article, we will discuss how to get a replacement car key without the original, what is the cost associated, why choosing a locksmith is always suggested, and other relevant details of the same.

So, keep reading to get a clear idea about getting a new car key if you have lost the original one!

Can I Get a Car Key Made Without the Original?

Can a car key be made without the original? The straight answer to this question; is Yes! You can definitely make a new car key if you do not have access to the old one or have a spare one at home. But as easy as it may sound, the process is not that easier!

It is already stressful when you lose a car key, and it is more like a nightmare when you do not have a copy of it. Be it the locksmith or your car dealership; you will need to prove to them that the car belongs to you before getting access to the car keys.

We will learn everything about how to get a replacement car key without the original in the next section but before that, let us know whether and how it is possible!

The old model cars have manual keys that can be made easily by cutting from a standard key block by the locksmiths. The problem arises when the car is of a new model with digital or smart keys.

Though the locksmiths today are gathering expertise to get car key replacement without original even if it is a smart key, sometimes it might still not work!

In those situations, you have to get back to the dealer to get a new key and can have access to the key if you get the necessary papers or the VIN from your dealership. Wondering how? Well, let us know this in detail in the next section.

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How to Get a Replacement Car Key Without the Original

Many of us have encountered such frustrating situation where we have lost our car keys and don’t have a spare key. Isn’t it? But there is nothing to be worried about, because the car key replacement without original isn’t that difficult these days.

Here we are listing out everything you need to know about how to get a new car key made without the original and how much does it cost. So, waste no more time and read thoroughly to get the details about making a new car key without having an original spare key.

Figure Out What Type of Car Key You Need

Before you move on to know the lost car key replacement process, you must know what type of car key model you have. Knowing your key is the most important part of getting your car key replaced easily (pun intended)!

The car models that were manufactured before 1981 had manual metal keys. These types of keys can easily be made from the standard key blocks that almost all locksmiths have. But if you own a car manufactured after 1981, you must have advanced keys.

Some of them can have chips on their heads, while others can have transponders and fobs, which eventually depends on your car model. When you can identify the type of car or key you own, it will be easier for you to get a locksmith or get in touch with a dealership to get a new key.

Thus, to know how to make a car key copy without the original, you must first understand the type of key you need to make. The more advanced the keys are, the more expensive their replacement cost will be!

Gather Your Vehicle Information to Prove the Ownership

If you are thinking about what to do if you lose your car keys, you must know that the first thing you should be doing, even before approaching a locksmith or going to a dealership, is finding your car’s original papers.

Yes, it is a genuine requirement to prove that you are the actual owner of the vehicle. It is necessary because thieves or miscreants often try to steal a car and ask the locksmiths to make a new car key. And it’s evident that they will not have the required papers to prove ownership of their vehicle if they don’t own it.

That is why most locksmiths and dealerships ask for valid documents proving that you are the car owner you want to make keys for! And the most crucial document is your car registration number, car model, year of manufacture, key identification number, and VIN.

The VIN can be found on the engine bay, driver’s side door stop or dashboard, and the metal plate, and the key code can be found on the stamped interior door panel on the lock mechanism. So, once you have gathered all the necessary documents to prove the ownership of your vehicle, you can quickly get a car key replacement without original spare keys.

Call an Automotive Locksmith

After getting hold of the required documents and knowing your car key type, it’s time to replace your car key! And to get a spare car key made without having the original one, you must call an automotive locksmith.

The locksmith that you contact must have the knowledge of making advanced car keys if you have an advanced car model. Also, you must check prior information about the locksmith and whether they have all the necessary equipment to make you a new key without the old one.

It is always better to call locksmiths because it is genuinely cost-saving, plus they can reach you wherever you are! Like you can lose your keys in the middle of a road, maybe when you got out of your car to have a meal, or you may lose your car keys in the office, and you cannot really tow your car to dealerships for that matter.

That is why it’s also a better option to call a locksmith to make you new car keys than taking appointments from a dealership and waiting longer for the car key replacement process!

Contact Your Local Car Dealership

Are you still thinking about what to do if you lose your car keys and have no spare? Well, the last option to resort to is contacting your local dealership!

If at all you cannot get hold of a locksmith to make you the spare keys, you always have your local dealership to help you out! The cost of dealership key replacement might be a little more compared to the locksmiths, but you are always sure of the service you get there.

Most dealerships will ask for your documents first to prove your identity as the owner of the car, which is why it is essential to have all your documents settled before you reach out to them.

If you are reaching out to the dealership from where you got your car, it might also be that you get a new car key without the original.

Some dealerships keep spare car keys with them in case there is a need! But the only problem is that you have to tow your car to the dealership because you don’t know why and how you will lose the keys, and it may not always be that you are near a dealership.

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How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Car Key Without the Original?

There is no definite answer to the question- how much does it cost to replace a car key without the original. It can be as low as $10 if the car key is a basic metal key, while it can be as high as $500 if the key is advanced.

Let’s learn about the different types of car key replacement costs in detail:

  • Basic Keys: The lost car key replacement cost of a basic key is the lowest of all. While the basic metal keys can cost around $10 to replace, the ones with electric key fobs can cost you anything between $50 to $100 for the replacement.
  • Transponder Keys: The cars manufactured during the mid and late 90s had a transponder chip in place of the plastic head of the basic car keys. The car key replacement without original cost of such transponder keys can be around $200 if you go to a dealership and a little less if you go to a locksmith.
  • Laser-Cut Keys: The laser keys have distinct winding cuts and also have transponder chips on the head, which makes them a more advanced type. The locksmith car key replacement cost of the laser cut keys may range between $150 to $250 depending on your vehicle model!
  • Switchblade Keys: These kinds of keys have shanks that are folded into the key fob and opened by a button. If you need to buy the shank, it can cost you around $60 to $80, but how much to get a key made for your car if both the shank and fob are damaged? Then the price can vary between $200 to $300 depending upon your type of vehicle.
  • Smart Key: This is the most advanced type of key that is mainly remotely controlled. And if you wonder how much does it cost to get new car keys of such type, then you should know that it can cost anywhere between $220 and $500 depending upon higher car models.

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Why You Should Choose a Locksmith Over a Dealership for Your Car Key Replacement?

Many times, car owners remain confused about whether they should call a locksmith or go to a dealership to replace their car keys. Here are some of the most valid reasons why you should call a locksmith instead of a dealership for car key replacement. Take a look:

Low Price

In most cases, the dealership key replacement cost can literally make you regret your decision. They charge way too much for even smaller works. That is why it is always advised to go to the auto locksmith if you are looking for cheaper alternatives.

Availability of Equipment

The dealerships might have all the necessary equipment to deal with a lost key problem and help you in getting a new key.

But again, if it is a dealership vs automotive locksmith situation, then trusting the latter is fine because almost all modern-day locksmiths have the required equipment to make new car keys in case you lose the original.


This is one of the best reasons why you should choose an automotive locksmith over a dealership for your car key replacement. The mobile locksmiths can come to you wherever and whenever you want.

Also, getting an appointment in a dealership might take days, and thus getting the new keys might also be delayed. So, it is convenient to choose auto locksmiths over dealerships.


In today’s time, most modern cars have keys made with smart technologies. Some have transponder chips, while others have fobs.

So, if you wonder how to get a replacement car key without the original, you must know that locksmiths also possess such equipment that can make keys no matter how advanced they are!

What to Do If You Lose Your Car Keys and Have No Spare?

If you have read the whole article, it is because you already lost your original car key and now you’re looking for a replacement. After going through the article in detail, you have learned how to get a new car key made without the original and other relevant information about the same.

While it is suggested that you take the help of a car dealership for the purpose, blacksmiths are only good if you have a manual car key and not a digital lock. The process of lost car key replacement is almost the same for all types of cars and involves the steps mentioned here.

Although the steps are mentioned in detail here, it might not always be feasible for you to follow them all at once. Thus, it is necessary that you know which among the given steps are the best to follow! If you ask me, I would recommend the following steps:

  • Gather Your Vehicle Information to Prove the Ownership
  • Call an Automotive Locksmith

These two are the most important things to follow when you think about what to do if you lose your car keys without having an original spare key.

Nonetheless, all the other steps mentioned here are also trustworthy, and if you have the time and money to implement them, you must not step back. Hopefully, this article has helped you with the knowledge you were searching for!

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About Jace Cuban

I am an automotive enthusiast who loves to be around cars and pickup trucks. Applying innovative car care products and installing different latest car accessories are my hobbies. Also, I love sharing my adventurous experience with car lovers.

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