The answer is – it depends! Alone this answer is not really helpful. When I’m asked how much do locksmiths charge, I think to myself, I know what I charge and what they should charge but there can be a great variation between what different locksmiths quote on the phone and charge for the same job! I would like to share with you exactly what the cost of a Locksmith depends on.
- Genuine Locksmith V Rogue Locksmith
- Working Hours V Out of Hours
- Local Locksmith V Not Local Locksmith
- Mobile Locksmith V Retail Locksmith
- IKS Locksmiths Charges
Genuine Locksmith V Rogue Locksmith
First and foremost it is important to be sure that you are dealing with a reliable and trustworthy locksmith.
Did you know that the UK Locksmith industry is unregulated! It is quite unbelievable that an area as sensitive as security is unregulated by the law. This means that anyone can legally operate as a Locksmith regardless of age, experience or criminal record!
Without this awareness there is potential to be unfortunate enough to choose a locksmith who is taking advantage of the lack of laws surrounding security. They could be;
- Unqualified – could do a botched job on your property and overcharge you for the pleasure.
- Not CRB/DBS checked – could be a professional burglar!
How to find a Genuine Locksmith
The Master Locksmith Association has a strict vetting process for members. Only locksmiths who are genuinely committed to their trade will become Master Locksmiths. As a result a small percentage of total UK locksmiths are MLA approved.
An MLA Approved Locksmith is:
- CRB/DBS Checked
- Regularly inspected
- Up to speed on the latest industry developments
IKS Locksmiths are MLA Approved Locksmiths in North London and proudly display the MLA logo reserved for approved MLA members. We also display the CRB/DBS check logo and carry proof of these at all times.
I have also written a post on how to choose a Locksmith which is really worth checking! click here.
Rogue Locksmiths – Tricks of the Trade
You may have heard of Mark Makowski, operating from Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, who featured on watchdog a number of times before being convicted in 2010. This is the type of dishonest individual to beware of.
If they have No CRB/DBS check logo – alarm bells should ring. Always ask to see proof of company, MLA and CRB/DBS check. A legitimate locksmith will carry these at all times. It is not uncommon for individuals to misrepresent themselves. This article by the MLA explains why asking for company ID is so important.
Quoting prices by the hour despite stating fixed prices on the website could be suspicious.
No mention of VAT. You should be made aware upfront if the quote is inclusive or exclusive of VAT. It is not uncommon for the rogue locksmith to quote including VAT and if the customer doesn’t mention it they will say it’s not including VAT on completion of the job and then they add it again.
Quoting really low labour costs to secure a job ahead of the competition – could mean plans to drill your lock unnecessarily and make money by selling you a new lock at an over inflated price! If you ask how much is a locksmith and you are given a quote without questions about the job, you should be wary.
If they are quoting a call out charge be wary, they could charge for attending the site and charge further for labour. Ask – If you cannot do the job will I still have to pay? This is how I personally define the meaning of a call out charge. It has happened only a handful of times over the past few years but if for any reason I cannot do a job I do not believe the customer should have to pay for it, ultimately the responsibility should be with the Locksmith…..after all you wouldn’t pay someone to do absolutely nothing would you?
Ambiguity about the cost of a new lock should they need to destroy it – you should be asked for information about the lock and if necessary you may be asked to send an image to enable an estimate.
No mention of Parking and congestion charges. These should be added at the time of the quote where relevant and not after arrival at the job.
In summary there should be no hidden costs revealed on completion of the job. If the cost of changing locks sounds too good to be true it probably is!
Diagnosing a job over the phone can be very tricky and nine times out of ten we will know what to do but occasionally there is more to it. Last week I received a phone call from a customer recommended to me, but what they failed to tell me was that a Locksmith had already been there to try to do the job. It was a very tricky situation, where a UPVC door was jammed and the mechanism was in the locked position, something I have seen dozens and dozens of times. However on this occasion it was more difficult than usual!
The problem was that another North London Locksmith who had been on the scene before me had charged the customer for attending the site and for breaking the cylinder on their front door! This left the customer in a very unfortunate position, out of pocket with no resolution to the problem. We opened the door and had to fit a new mechanism and a new euro profile cylinder. Had we attended the job initially this wouldn’t have been necessary. Choosing the wrong locksmith cost this customer way in excess of what they should have paid and caused unnecessary stress and inconvenience.
These are just some examples of locks that have been damaged by rogue locksmiths.
IKS locksmiths quote a fixed price for labour and an accurate estimate of materials by asking the customer for detailed information. We are in a position to offer very competitive prices in North London because we are a mobile specialist locksmith focusing on quality materials and workmanship. It isn’t uncommon for us to receive calls from customers asking us to match unrealistic prices. Despite sometimes losing business to less honest Locksmiths we maintain our policy of honesty and transparency and aim to highlight the risks to potential victims of the rogue locksmith.
Working Hours V Out of Hours
The time of day is another very significant factor to consider when calling a locksmith.
A locksmith job completed “Out of Hours” will cost more.
What is Out of Hours???
- Night time
- Bank holidays
So before calling for a quote consider the urgency. If it can wait then this could save you significant amounts of money.
Locksmiths commonly charge anywhere between 50% upwards extra for evenings, weekends and bank holidays and 100% or more for night time call outs.
Local Locksmith V Non Local Locksmith
It stands to reason that if a locksmith has to travel a long distance to a job they will not only charge more but they will take longer to reach you in an emergency.
When choosing a locksmith choose one local to your area. If you are based in Barnet, for example, search for a specialist locksmith in Barnet on the MLA website using your postcode.
For more information on How to choose a genuine local Locksmith click here. There are situations where rogue locksmiths give the impression they are local when they are not.
Mobile Locksmith V Retail Locksmith
Retail premises in London in particular are costly. Having a mobile locksmith business rather than running retail based locksmiths keeps overheads down and the benefits can be passed to the customer in the form of more competitive quotes.
IKS Locksmith Charges
IKS Locksmiths are a family run mobile MLA Locksmiths in North London. We specialise in Locks, Grilles and Safes. We give an accurate estimate at the time of confirming a job. IKS Locksmiths prices consist of 4 elements as follows;
- Fixed Labour Charge – No Call Out Charge
- Parking or congestion charges
All 4 elements will be discussed and agreed at the time of the quote.
- Fixed Labour Charge: – we only charge for work completed, not for attending the site.
Prices are quoted within a range based on how long a job will take. If you are locked out and the locks that need opened are known by the locksmith to be particularly awkward it is possible that an hourly rate may be issued.
Labour Charges exclusive of VAT:
- Standard 6am – 6pm £50 – £90
- Evening 6pm – 10pm £75 – £120
- Night time 10pm – 6am £100 – £180
- Bank holidays £75 – £120
These labour charges apply to North London. Whether you are looking for locksmiths in the Islington area, in Barnet or another North London location the price remains the same. Emergency rates for central London are higher. The fixed labour charge quoted will not change dependant on the length of time at the job.
When asked how much does it cost to change a lock we need to gain as much information as possible from the customer to give an accurate estimate.
The cost of a lock will depend on;
- The lock required for the job
- The quality requested by the customer
We stock high quality locks to cater for a range of budgets. The quote will include an estimate of possible lock costs.
- Mortice locks (sometimes referred to as Chubb locks) range from £30.00 to £120.00
- Rim cylinders (sometimes referred to as Yale locks) range from £15.00 to £120.00
The cost of grilles will depend on;
- The size
- The style and quality requested by the customer
Grilles range from £140.00 per square metre upwards
The cost of a safe will depend on;
- The size
- Features – fireproof, level of cash rating
Safes range from £120.00 upwards
- Parking or congestion charges
These will be discussed and agreed at the time of the quote.
This is always mentioned at the time of the quote.
This way of quoting ensures that the customer is fully aware of the costs involved before booking the job.
Really there isn’t much information available on how much you should expect to pay for a locksmith, so it can be hard to know if you are getting a good deal and paying a reasonable price. It is also worth noting that, as with many services, prices in different areas of the country vary. You can expect to pay the highest rates in Central London, particularly if the locksmiths you choose have a Central London retail premises. You will also pay more for well known brands such as Banham. Banham locks are commonly used in London.
So How Much Do Locksmiths Cost?
The answer is that choosing the wrong one could cost you too much money and your security!
My advice is to choose a local MLA approved locksmith to avoid putting your security at risk and to ensure you are paying a reasonable rate. When you pay a locksmith you are not only paying for the materials, you are paying for the expertise and experience of the locksmith and putting your trust in their ability to secure your property.
I hope this helps you to choose a genuine locksmith in your area. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have. IKS Locksmiths provide a free security survey, and would welcome the opportunity to provide you with a quote.