Locksmith Prices: Average UK Cost
Locksmith prices can vary depending on the services required.
- The cost of locksmith services in the UK can vary widely, depending on the type of service required, the time of day, the location, and the locksmith company.
- The average cost of hiring a locksmith in the UK is typically around £70 to £130 for their most frequently used services, which are emergency lockouts and changing locks.
- The cost of labour is the biggest factor that affects the price of locksmith services. Skilled labour from a qualified locksmith normally costs around £65 per hour for the first hour of labour, followed by around £30 for every additional hour required.
- The cost of parts can also vary depending on the type of part required. The approximate prices of replacement locks are:
- UPVC door locks: £100-£200
- Wooden door locks: £150-£300
- Mortice locks: £200-£400
Let's break down everything you need to know.
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Table of contents:
- Locksmith licensing and regulation in the UK
- How much does it cost to hire a locksmith in the UK?
- Locksmith prices explained
- Why do locksmith prices in the UK vary so much?
- How to avoid dealing with rogue traders
- Cheap locksmith prices: How to reduce locksmith costs
- Locksmith service pricing UK: Frequently asked questions
- Get no-obligation quotes with Rated Locksmiths
Locksmith licensing and regulation in the UK
Before listing the estimated prices for locksmith services in the UK, it's important to keep in mind that the locksmithing industry remains unregulated in the UK.
Although there have been attempts to enact more regulation and standardisation in 2019, anyone can call themselves a locksmith today whether or not they possess accreditations or qualifications.
For this reason, the price of locksmith services can vary widely, as can the quality.
This is why it is always recommended to check the reputation of a locksmith before calling them over, to ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate and trustworthy locksmith and not a rogue trader.
How much does it cost to hire a locksmith in the UK?
The cost of hiring a locksmith in the UK is typically around £70 to £130 for their most frequently used services, which are emergency lockouts and changing locks.
This approximate figure should be taken with a pinch of salt since the prices can vary significantly depending on the service requested as well as other factors which will be explained below.
Locksmith prices explained
Labour & call out fees
Typically, the biggest factor that will affect the cost of locksmithing services is the labour itself.
Skilled labour from a qualified locksmith normally costs around £65 per hour for the first hour of labour, followed by around £30 for every additional hour required.
The most common locksmith services take about half an hour to an hour to complete, so normally the cost of labour will just be for the first hour (around £65).
Add in the cost of parts and you'll have a reasonable idea of how much it will likely cost.
One big caveat to this is the additional cost for emergency call out services late at night or on bank holidays, for example.
24/7 locksmiths in the UK may charge £95 to £120 for emergency call outs. Non-emergency call outs late at night may cost around £85.
Many locksmiths do not charge a separate fee for call out services and instead will simply quote their labour costs (estimated) and parts.
In fact, locksmiths that advertise low call out fees are often rogue traders masquerading as legitimate, trustworthy locksmiths (but not always). More information on this can be found at the bottom of this page.
The cost of parts (excluding labour) can vary widely depending on the type of part required, i.e. door locks and window locks, mortice and cylinder locks, etc.
It is possible to purchase quality locks online or from a reputable hardware shop or at a brick and mortar locksmith shop.
When purchased from a locksmith performing services on your property, they may charge a marginal markup for the convenience of supplying the part.
One big benefit of purchasing from the locksmith instead of buying it yourself is that the locksmith will supply quality parts from brands they trust.
Here is a pricing breakdown for replacement locks:
Emergency lockout prices
One of the most common services provided by locksmiths is emergency lockout services for homes and businesses. If ever you've lost or misplaced your keys and need to get back into your home or business, a locksmith can help with quick and effective services.
The average cost of hiring a locksmith for an emergency lockout is around £70 and should take around half an hour, depending on the complexity of the lock.
The average cost for key extraction (your key snapped inside of the lock) is also around £70 and takes around half an hour to remove the broken key pieces.
The average cost to replace keys for your home or business in an emergency is about £80 and can take up to an hour.
Boarding up and burglary response services
Many homeowners and business owners may not be aware that many locksmiths provide boarding up services for windows/doors.
Whether your property has sustained damage from a burglary or vandalism or you need to board up your windows/doors whilst remodelling your home or business, a locksmith can help board it up.
The average cost of boarding up services are around £200, depending on the size of the property and how many doors/windows need to be boarded up.
In addition to emergency lockout services, lock changing is one of the most popular services offered by domestic and commercial locksmiths in the UK.
For this reason, we have outlined the estimated prices of changing locks for UPVC and wooden doors separately below:
Price to Change Locks (UPVC)
Price to Change Locks (Wooden)
Since locksmiths specialise in all things to do with locks, it stands to reason that they tend to be quite proficient at key cutting and key duplication as well.
Key cutting is normally an ancillary service, e.g. you need to have your locks replaced and need new keys for the new locks.
Many common keys such as Yale keys and Chubb keys can be duplicated at fairly low and affordable prices at many hardware and DIY shops, but a locksmith can duplicate more complex keys and ensure that the key is appropriate for your locks.
Key Cutting (excl. labour)
Door and window lock repairs
When your door or window locks need repairing, it is often best to first verify that the problem is not the key itself that needs to be replaced.
If indeed the locks are damaged, a qualified locksmith can repair them.
Note that sometimes it is simply more affordable to replace locks than it is to have them repaired. Consult with your locksmith about your alternatives and weigh out the costs for yourself before deciding how to proceed.
Some locksmiths provide additional services that are specialised in various disciplines of locksmithing. Automotive locksmithing, safe and vault relocation and opening, electronic access control, and digital key programming services are all examples of services that some locksmiths provide in addition to the above.
The prices for these services can vary and as such it is best to obtain a quote from a reputable locksmith before proceeding.
Additional costs to consider
Some locksmiths provide additional services that are specialised in various disciplines of locksmithing.
Automotive locksmithing, safe and vault relocation and opening, electronic access control, and digital key programming services are all examples of services that some locksmiths provide in addition to the above.
The prices for these services can vary and as such it is best to obtain a quote from a reputable locksmith before proceeding.
Why do locksmith prices in the UK vary so much?
Locksmith prices vary in the UK because the industry is largely unregulated and locksmiths are free to set their own prices for labour and parts.
The main factors that affect the price between locksmiths are:
Lock brand and type
Some lock brands cost more than others.
For example, Ultion locks and other high-end locks will cost more than others.
Similarly, 5 lever mortice sashlocks usually cost more than simple latch locks used on a bathroom door, for example.
If the lock needs to be compliant with standards such as BS3621, the cost of labour and replacement locks will normally be higher for locks that are not British Standards compliant.
Time of day and emergency call out fees
Normally, the price of locksmith call out services are for normal trading hours. Out of hours call outs (e.g. late at night) or emergency call outs tend to cost more.
Customers located in major urban centres such as London can expect to pay more for labour. Congestion fees and the higher cost of living drive up operating costs, which must be passed onto the customer.
Every locksmith has set their own hourly labour cost which accounts for their skill, experience, and other factors.
Generally, locksmiths charge around £65 per hour for the first hour of labour and £30 for every hour afterwards, but this can be substantially higher as well.
As one of the main factors affecting the total quoted price, it is essential that you ask your locksmith their labour fees in a quote before calling them over.
Similarly, every locksmith company has prices that can vary depending on their operating costs. Generally, medium-sized and franchised locksmiths cost more because they have higher overhead costs (e.g. marketing, administration, etc.).
Small, independent locksmiths tend to be far more competitive in their prices.
How to avoid dealing with rogue traders
Since the locksmith industry is unregulated in the UK, there are many rogue traders that engage in scams on unprepared customers.
This was highlighted on the BBC Watchdog 'Rogue Traders' programme in 2019 and garnered so much attention that attempts were made to standardise and regulate locksmithing with an official OfQual certification.
The most common tactic of a rogue trader is the classic 'bait and switch' scheme, whereby the cowboy 'locksmith' advertises one price, then charges an outrageously large sum after doing the 'job'.
In order to spot a potential scammer, keep an eye on the following:
If the locksmith's first instinct is to drill through the lock, chances are quite high that they're a scammer.
Drilling is sometimes required, but if the locksmith first reaches for their drill without inspecting the lock, they are looking to tack on high fees for lock replacement when it may not be necessary.
Most of these cowboys quote rock bottom prices that sound too good to be true -- because they are!
Normally, these companies advertise call out fees of £39 or £59.
No respectable locksmith can afford to work at these prices, and neither do the scammers, which is why they bait you with these prices and rack it up much higher after the job's done.
For example, one customer on BBC Watchdog paid £319 to a scammer after being quoted £59!
Police do not recommend any individual locksmiths, so be wary of locksmiths that advertise badges of "Police Recommended" or that have a "partnership" with Met Police, for example.
Here are some additional tips for avoiding rogue traders:
- Get multiple quotes from different locksmiths.
- Check the locksmith's credentials and reputation.
- Make sure the locksmith is insured.
- Get everything in writing, including the price, the work to be done, and the guarantee.
Scammers almost always operate a scheme whereby they subcontract locksmithing jobs to others.
Many have been known to arrive in their personal vehicles and not wearing a uniform.
Ask your locksmith if they subcontract to other locksmiths.
If they are hesitant to reveal information about their business, they are most likely a scammer.
Similarly, a reputable locksmith should have no problem giving you a quote that is generally accurate.
If the locksmith instead keeps insisting on their low call out fee and/or is unwilling to give a more reasonable quote, they are most likely trying a bait and switch scam.
Cheap locksmith prices: How to reduce locksmith costs
There are a few ways to reduce the cost of hiring a locksmith, or at least to make sure that you pay what you anticipated rather than getting an unpleasant surprise after the job's done.
Hire a locksmith vs DIY
One way to potentially save a lot of money is to change your locks yourself.
This can sometimes be complex, however, and may take a lot longer than anticipated.
DIY locksmithing could invalidate your insurance policy. Although you cut out the cost of labour and can obtain locks at-cost from retailers, the downsides often simply aren't worth it unless you are yourself a skilled locksmith.
Get an accurate quote
One of the best ways to keep costs manageable is to always ensure that your locksmith is willing to give you a quote that is reasonable and agreeable.
You should always provide as much detail as possible, including the type of lock, door material, etc.
This enables the locksmith to give a much more accurate quote. Although some locksmiths may give fixed quotes (you will pay exactly what was quoted), most give estimates based on the anticipated labour requirements.
Choose local, independent locksmiths near you
By calling a locksmith near you, you have much better chances of keeping costs low due to shorter driving distances.
Independent locksmiths tend to offer more competitive prices that franchises often cannot match or beat, in addition to more personalised and genuine service.
As with many other trade services, it's generally a good idea to shop around first.
Try to get quotes from a handful of nearby locksmiths rather than choosing the first one you see advertised.
Rated Locksmiths makes it quick and easy to find nearby locksmiths in the UK that offer no-obligation quotes.
Locksmith service pricing UK: Frequently asked questions
What is the average cost of hiring a locksmith in the UK?
The average cost of hiring a locksmith in the UK for their most commonly requested services can vary from around £70 to £130.
These are typically the total prices charged to the customer for door unlocking and lock replacement, respectively.
How much does it cost to open a locked door?
The cost of unlocking a door for your home or business in the UK can vary by a wide margin, but the average cost is around £70 during normal trading hours.
Emergency lockout assistance can cost more, especially after hours and/or in major urban centres such as London.
Do locksmiths in the UK charge a call out fee?
Some locksmiths charge customers a call out fee in order to cover travel expenses and time spent performing the job.
During normal trading hours, a call out fee can vary from around £30 to £50. After hours and emergency call outs may cost £85 or more.
Are there any additional costs to consider when hiring a locksmith?
Yes, the locksmith may charge more for their services if it is determined that your locks need to be replaced or if the job is more complex than originally anticipated.
In order to avoid incurring these types of costs, it is best to communicate clearly with your locksmith beforehand and to obtain a quote before agreeing to any work.
Can I get a quote for the cost before hiring a locksmith?
Yes. Indeed, you should always endeavour to get a fair and accurate quote before agreeing to any work.
Most locksmiths are fully willing to provide quotes over the phone, and those that do not may have something to hide.
All locksmiths listed on Rated Locksmiths give no-obligation quotes before engaging in any job.
Do I need to provide any information to the locksmith in order to get a quote?
In order to receive a fair and accurate quote from a locksmith, it is generally good advice to provide them with as much detail about the problem you're facing, including the type of lock, key, and where on the property it is located.
This will give the locksmith a much better idea of what to expect in terms of labour and thus will enable them to provide you with a far more accurate quote.
Get no-obligation quotes with Rated Locksmiths
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We also recommend reading through the service-specific pages for more information on how to find the best locksmith for specific service requirements.