what is the cheapest car key duplication? 

Generally, the cheapest way to get a key duplicated is to go to your local hardware store. These stores have the tools to cut and program keys in just a few minutes. However, their employees may not have the necessary expertise to give you the best service. 

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If you’re looking to duplicate a simple door or car key, this will usually cost you between $1 and $4. Alternatively, you can have a locksmith copy the key for you for less than $50. 

There are many factors that affect the cost of key duplication. These include the type of key blank, the machine used to make the duplicate, and the location where the key is being copied. 

Basic Door and Car Keys

For most people, a basic door or car key can be copied for less than $20 at a hardware store. This is a great option for those who are looking to save some money on key duplication and don’t want to invest in an expensive machine. 

High-Security Keys

Some lock manufacturers have security features built into their locks that make it more difficult to copy a key. If your lock is a high-security model, you’ll have to call a locksmith to make a key copy for you. 

If you do find a locksmith that can make you a key, it will likely cost $8 to $20 for the key. This is because of the extra labor required to make a high-security key. 

Transponder Chips

In the 1990s, many car manufacturers began to use transponder chips on their keys. These chips are designed to make it harder to steal your vehicle and also to prevent the wrong key from starting your vehicle. 

Typically, the key must be programmed in order for your car to recognize the new key and start your vehicle. You can program the key yourself, or you can take it to a car dealership and have them do the programming for you. 

It’s a good idea to have a spare set of basic keys around for emergencies and for when you don’t need a fully working key. Often, these are the most inexpensive keys to copy and can save you a lot of time and headaches when you need a replacement key. 


There are some older models of cars that still use old-fashioned mechanical keys, but most modern cars now use key fobs or transponder chips to secure the ignition. These newer keys are more complex to copy and need to be programmed by a professional in order to work with the rest of the car’s electronics. 

This is why it’s so important to be sure you have a spare set of basic car keys around in case of emergencies or when your key is lost. 

Another way to save money on key duplication is to purchase a spare shell for the key. These shells are essentially a key/remote combo unit that does not have the electronics. They’re available in most big-box stores and hardware shops.