How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? – Locksmith Prices 2020

locksmith costs

The cost of a locksmith in London varies widely depending on who you call. It can be hard to know what a reasonable price is to pay for a good locksmith. Here we shed some light on realistic and reasonable locksmith prices. We aim to explain everything about Locksmiths prices and what costs are realistic.

When it comes to choosing a locksmith if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is! You should expect fixed emergency locksmith prices when calling for a quote You can read our guide to choosing a trustworthy locksmith here.

Why Choose an MLA Approved Locksmith?

mla approved lockmith

Choosing an MLA Approved locksmith provides assurances on;

  • The Price of a Locksmith
  • A Locksmiths Experience
  • Reliability and Trust
DBS checked locksmith

Here we share advice on what you should expect to pay for a locksmith service and material and what to if you have been ripped off by a locksmith.

How Much Does it Cost to Call a Locksmith?

Assuming you are calling a reputable London Locksmith labour costs should be in the region of £70+ (increasing to £90 – £120 for out of hours calls).

If you are quoted locksmith rates less than this (e.g. £59) then be wary as you could be on the verge of being ripped off by one of London’s many rogue locksmiths. Always choose a locksmith with care and check their credentials.

Trusted locksmith

Choose an MLA (Master Locksmiths Association) approved locksmith or a genuine locksmith recommended by someone you know and trust. Picking the Cheapest locksmith you find on Google could prove to be an expensive mistake. You can read more about the dangers of choosing a seemingly cheap locksmith here.

Do I Have to Pay a Locksmith Upfront?

A locksmith should only charge work completed. You should expect to pay a Labour fee for the work completed, we advise that you ask if there is an additional “call out charge”. You can read more about locksmith call out charged here.

How Much Does a Locksmith Cost – Final Bill?

Locksmith costs should be comprised of;

  • A labour charge (which is usually fixed and agreed at the time of quoting) +
  • The cost of any parts (there may be a few options for the customer to choose from) +
  • Parking or congestion charges that apply in your area +
  • VAT

NB: You should ask the Locksmith prior to any works completed if there is a call out charge. You can read more about the meaning of no call out charge here.

what does no call out charge mean?

This should all be discussed and agreed at the time of the quoting. The only variable should be parts that are to be chosen by the customer based on options presented by the customer. The locksmith should be able to give a ballpark figure for parts to ensure the customer is fully informed before going ahead.

If these details are not discussed on the phone this is a red-light warning sign. It is not uncommon for rogue locksmiths to quote low and invoice high on completion of a job.

What is the Cost to Change Locks?

The cost to replace door locks depends on the lock used for the job. Lock prices vary depending on the type and quality of a lock. These are price ranges to expect for quality branded locks;

  • Mortice locks can cost between £30.00 to £120.00
  • Rim cylinders can cost between £15.00 to £120.00
cheap locksmith

It will depend on the lock required for the job and the option that the customer chooses from the suitable options available.

How Much do Security Grilles & Shutters Cost?

We are MLA approved security grilles and roller shutters installation specialists. Grilles cost in the region of £180 per square metre. You can read more detailed information about how much security grilles cost here.

security grilles cost

How Much Does a Locksmith Charge Per Hour?

A locksmith may quote an hourly rate, we however will give a fixed rate that will be fair to both parties, we will only quote an hourly rate in exceptional circumstances.

The average price for a locksmith is expected to be as follows;

  • Standard 6am -6pm £70+ for working hours
  • Evening 6pm – 10pm £75 – £120 (the same applies for bank holidays)
  • Night time 10pm – 6am £90 – £120

Locksmith services prices quoted on the phone to be much less that these are suspicious.

Cheap Locksmith London
Image Courtesy of katemangostar

Also if call a locksmith and ask, “How much does it cost for a locksmith?” and you are just quoted a cheap price on the phone with no questions about the job and the type of lock this is a bad sign.

How Much Does an Emergency Locksmith Cost?

Emergency locksmith prices and emergency burglary repairs should be charged at the same as the general locksmith charges listed above. The cost to call a locksmith when you are locked out of your house during the day should be the same as the cost to have a lock changed during the day.

24 hour locksmith

Out of Hours Locksmith Charges

The main influencing factor is the time of day you need an emergency locksmith. If you need a locksmith in an emergency at night-time it will cost much more than if you can wait until the morning.

You can read more about emergency locksmith prices here.

What to Do if I am Overcharged by a Locksmith?

This has become very common and please do not be embarrassed if this has happened to you.

The problem is that there are no laws in place regulating the Locksmith industry, allowing anyone at all to operate as a locksmith and to charge and do whatever they want! An ex convict could even set up a locksmith business with no DBS check. It’s shocking really.

reporting fake locksmiths to google

Overcharged by a Locksmith Who Can I Report it To?

When overcharged by a locksmith, you can report the incident to;

  • Trading Standards
  • Citizens Advice
  • Advertising Standards Agency
  • Google – you can read here about how to report a locksmith to Google
  • The Master Locksmiths Association – they take complaints about MLA members very seriously, there is not much they can do about complaints about non MLA members.

It is hard to say if any action will be taken following a report made about a locksmith to the organisations above, but it is worth doing. Please do warn family and friends about the problems associated with calling a locksmith that you don’t know anything about. Unfortunately many people are reluctant to share their bad experiences which is why so many people continue to get caught out.

Master Locksmiths Association

The Master Locksmiths Association are the leading locksmith organisation in the UK and are the preferred choice for police. However there is no obligation for a locksmith to become an MLA member. In fact it takes time and dedication to become MLA approved which is why only a small percentage of UK locksmiths choose to take the MLA exam and become MLA approved.

Have I been Overcharged by a Locksmith?

If you have been landed with locksmith charges on the final bill which are much higher than you were originally quoted, then you have been overcharged.

On the other hand if you have agreed a price and the locksmith does the job in seconds and you decide it is not worth the amount you agreed, then you have not been over charged. If a locksmith carries out a job quickly and efficiently then you are paying for their skill and experience and not their time. There is great value in having the job completed quickly so that you can get back to your day. You can read more here about customers thinking they are being overcharged by a locksmith when access is gained quickly.

Overcharged by a locksmith?

At IKS we are experienced MLA approved locksmiths and property security specialists based in North London. If there are any questions we haven’t answered here let us know and we will add the answer to this post. Follow us on social media for more advice on locksmiths’ costs and general security tips and advice in our security blog.

This post was updated in April 2020.

How can we help you?

For professional security advice and information call to speak directly to Martin, our Master Locksmith and security specialist.

15 Replies to “How Much Does a Locksmith Cost? – Locksmith Prices 2020”

  1. I was just charged £560 for a weekend callout at 10:30pm and as he could not open the door, the lock got broke that he then replaced with one in his car – a maxwell cylinder lock! Is this a normal charge, seems too steep!!!!

    1. Thanks for your comment. You would expect to pay a higher premium over the weekend at 10.30pm but this seems to be extreme. Unfortunately there are a few locksmiths practicing some unethical behaviour. If you don’t mind sending me a picture of the bill I would like to see the itemised materials that were used.
      Many thanks.

  2. I had to call out a locksmith as my key was stuck in the lock. He arrived about 5.15 pm This is a pvc door he charge me £125 for the lock and then £99 for labour. He was only here 30 mins. Does this sound a bit steep??

    1. Did he replace the mechanism or just the cylinder? If he replaced only the cylinder this sounds expensive. If he replaced the mechanism it may be reasonable. It can also depend on where you are based. Prices in central London will be higher than in North London.

  3. I’ve just had my door lock completely replaced for over £300. I’ve asked for an itemised bill and still not been given it . Locksmith came in at 10am and went out to get the lock although his company said they’d normally have locks in their vans. Came back after two hours and fixed it in 5 minutes although he said it would take 2-3 hours . Euro upvc lock . Is this price correct ? Replaced whole mechanism. He sounded very ambiguous though .

    1. Sorry for the delayed reply. If they replaced the whole mechanism this could be the correct price. If it’s just a cylinder then it seems expensive.

  4. Hi,
    I don’t have a question but felt I had to say something.
    I’ve just retrained as a Locksmith, now that the offspring is older and I can go back out to work. I’ve decided to stay small and local. I’m not “big” enough to be VAT registered so I charge a fixed fee for labour (£65 7am-10pm, £95 10pm-7am) unless I cannot complete the job. If this is the case, I charge nothing.
    I have a small range of different locks etc in my van with prices on the packaging so customers can see straight away what extras there may be before I change any locks or mechanisms.
    I’ve had a couple of issues with customers attempting to haggle the price after I’ve completed a job. So my point is this, I suppose – although there are some unscrupulous “locksmiths” out there, there are customers who will try to rip us off also. All I can do I work hard and honestly to do a good job at all times in my area (many elderly and single women who are vulnerable anyway).
    I am based in Birmingham.

    1. Hi I experience similar myself. We always agree a price in advance so I try to stick to my guns, otherwise my business wouldn’t survive. All the best and thanks for your comment.

  5. If you get called out to a job and you quote an hourly rate, and then it only takes 30 mins, would you charge the full hour or just half the rate quoted?

    1. Personally I don’t charge by the hour as I quote a fixed price. If you have chosen a locksmith with an hourly rate you would expect to pay the full hour. There are locksmiths out there who charge by the hour and take longer than needed and not necessarily do a good job. That’s why it’s so important to choose a locksmith carefully.

  6. I had a locksmith to see my back door where to the door is locked the mechanism needs changing. he came around 4:30 PM today (Thursday) checked it & told me it will cost around £300 for mechanism at side of the door & that it will take over 2 hours to fix & they charge £45 per hour. The fact is he charged £45 just for the call out & told me it’s on their web site. I told him that it said £45 for the work. Anyhow I did pay the charge for spending less then £5 minutes. I checked for the pricesof the whole UPVC back doors & these come to £300.

    1. Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delayed response. Have you sorted the problem? We always advise choosing an MLA approved locksmith in your area who will not charge to quote and who will give a fixed price for the job. Please let me know if we can be of further assistance.

    2. Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delayed response. Have you sorted the problem? We always advise choosing an MLA approved locksmith in your area who will not charge to quote and who will give a fixed price for the job. Please le me know if we can be of further assistance.

  7. I have just been charged £1518.00 ….£175 for an emergency gate opening, £265 replace gate lock, £825 replace Ingersoll set (rim and night latch), £49 Labour and £253 vat. This seems excessive but we had no choice, we were locked in the house having lost the keys and my phone died before I had a chance to call other companies

    1. I’m really sorry to hear about this, unfortunately it’s all to common an highlights the need to choose an approved locksmith. If you could send me the invoice so I can prewarn others that would be great. I advise anyone who is overcharged by a locksmith to report it to Trading standards.

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Master Locksmiths Association

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