Guide to Typical Locksmith Costs
Locksmiths provide essential services for vehicle, home, and business owners—but if you’ve never hired one before, you might have concerns about how much they’re going to cost. How can you choose a locksmith whose prices will be fair and whose work you can trust?
As some of Calgary’s most established and trustworthy locksmiths, we know all about reasonable prices for different locksmithing jobs. Whether you need a home lock rekeyed or a car door opened, we’re here to tell you how the job should be done and what you can reasonably expect your locksmith to charge for their services.
Basic Labour Costs for Locksmiths
Several factors normally go into a locksmith’s prices. Remember, your contractor probably won’t just charge a flat rate per job. They’ll also bill for their time—and you’ll probably have to pay a callout fee (sometimes called a service charge) as well.
In major cities like Calgary, locksmith service calls normally range from $70-$90. That fee covers the time, fuel, and other resources that your locksmith will spend preparing for the job and getting to your location. Most locksmith labour costs (i.e. the hourly rate they charge while working) are between $80-$130.
If a locksmith offers significantly cheaper callout fees, beware—their labour costs will likely be much higher to make up for the difference, or they could even be running a locksmith scam. We’ll talk about how to avoid locksmith scams later in this article.
Common Costs for Locksmithing Jobs
On top of the callout fee and labour costs for your locksmith, you’ll also have to pay for the hardware or materials your specific job requires. Put all three of those together, and you’ll arrive at a reasonable estimate for any given locksmithing service. We’ve included a few examples for common jobs below.
Rekeying a Home Lock
Rekeying a lock involves changing its internal mechanism to make it compatible with new keys. This is considerably cheaper than replacing a lock outright, so it’s a good way to save money if you want to make sure no one can get into your home with missing or stolen keys.
Rekeying a typical deadbolt or cylinder lock in Calgary is fairly quick and easy for an experienced locksmith. This service usually costs around $100.
Reprogramming a Car Fob
Not all locksmithing jobs are easy, even for experienced practitioners. Digital car fobs have made it more convenient for many people to access their vehicles, but reprogramming these devices can require advanced diagnostic equipment—which drives up the cost of this service.
The good news is that older car fobs (from around 2000-2012) were more standardized, so reprogramming these models is usually much more straightforward and predictable. Expect to pay around $150 for reprogramming an older fob (though some newer ones can cost up to almost $700).
Opening a Seized or Stuck Lock
Opening a seized or stuck lock isn’t normally a big deal for locksmiths—in fact, it’s probably one of the most common jobs we do. Locks often get stuck when debris accumulates in the keyhole and causes the tumblers to jam, or when part of a key breaks off inside the lock during use. Your locksmith will most likely solve the problem by cleaning and lubricating the keyhole, then using a tool called an extractor to remove any material stuck inside.
Since the parts and labour for these jobs are pretty minimal, prices are mostly determined by your locksmith’s callout fee and when you need their help. Most locksmiths charge more for after-hours let-in services (an extra $20-$50) than they do to unjam a lock during regular business hours ($70-$90).
Opening a Car Door
The costs of opening a car door should be similar to the costs of opening the door on your home. But before you go and hire the first locksmith you find on Google, check your insurance or roadside assistance policy to see if this service is covered by your membership.
If you aren’t a member of an organization that covers car locksmithing services, you’ll have to hire a locksmith out of pocket—but don’t worry! A licensed locksmith with experience opening car doors can do the job quickly and efficiently, saving you money in the process.
Final Thoughts: Avoiding Locksmith Scams
Now that you know more about standard locksmith rates in Calgary, you should be able to avoid common locksmithing scams. Basically, whenever you encounter a locksmith offering ridiculously low callout fees or flat rates for any service, it’s time to be suspicious. Many unlicensed and inexperienced locksmiths use this strategy to attract customers, then end up damaging their locks and charging insane fees to replace them.
Other red flags include contractors who show up in unmarked vehicles, don’t display ID, or can’t provide their credentials upon request. Just remember: hiring a licensed professional with decades of experience is almost always the best way to get a good deal in the long run.