How Much Should an Emergency Locksmith Cost? – Money Saving Tips

cut locksmith costs

I would like to share with you what you should expect to pay for an emergency locksmith and how you can cut costs without compromising on quality. This post on how to get the best value for money when you call an emergency locksmith is a follow up to our popular post How Much is a Locksmith. As a 24 hour emergency locksmith in Barnet we would like to explain exactly how emergency locksmith costs work. There seems to be a lack of clarity on the issue.

When you search for locksmith near me or 24 hour emergency locksmith in islington N1 or Barnet or any other area in London you will find that the prices vary massively with paid adverts from £49 and others £90 or maybe more. It can be confusing when trying to choose a cheap locksmith offering a fair price who you can actually trust.

How to Spend Less on an Emergency Locksmith – Top 5 Tips

These are my top 5 tips on how to save money on an emergency locksmith.

  1. Book Within Normal Working Hours if Possible
  2. Don’t pay a Call Out Charge – Call Out Should be Free!
  3. Confirm the Labour Charge and Get a Fixed Price Quote Before Going Ahead!
  4. Avoid Paying Over The Odds For the Cost of a Lock
  5. Check if VAT is included in the price

Read on for more detail on these points……

1) Book Within Normal Working Hours if Possible

Image courtesy of ciocci

An emergency locksmith out of hours will cost more than if you can wait and call them out within normal working hours. The time of day that a locksmith is needed will have a significant impact on the price.

What is Out of Hours?

Out of hours is anything outside regular 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday working hours.

This includes;

  • Evenings
  • Nights
  • Weekends
  • Bank holidays

If you need to get a locksmith at these times you will find that the same job will cost considerably less if you can find a way to wait until regular working hours. Of course this may not always be possible.

Most locksmiths charge 50% more out of hours and in some cases double. If the quote is low check that it is a fixed labour charge and not a call out charge!

2) Don’t pay a Call Out Charge – Call Out Should be Free!

what does no call out charge mean?

At IKS Locksmiths we do not charge a call out charge; we will provide a quote free of charge. You should not have to pay a  call out charge on top of a labour charge. A labour charge is a charge for work completed! Charging both is a trick to look out for with less ethical locksmiths! You can read more about Call Out Charges here.

At IKS Locksmiths the labour charge is the price you pay for actually having the work done. It will only be charged on completion of the work

3) Confirm the Labour Charge and Get a Fixed Price Quote Before Going Ahead!

Locksmith cost

The labour charge should not increase on the job. The locksmith should stick to the agreed labour charge. There are locksmiths who quote a low “Call Out Charge” giving the impression that the job will not cost more and then the costs escalate on the job. Don’t fall into the all too common trap. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!

An Example of IKS Labour Charges for a Local Call Out

This is an example for a local call out to do a straightforward locksmith job in Barnet. (*Please note that labour charges vary based on the factors detailed below)

  • Working hours – Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm – £70 +VAT
  • Out of hours calls – Weekend and Evening – £90 – £120 + VAT

*The labour charge will vary depending on;

  • Location – distance and ease to travel to the job
  • The job to be done and the expected amount of time it will take
  • The time of the day (as detailed above)

At IKS Locksmiths we are MLA approved emergency locksmiths on call 24/7 and charge very competitive rates if you are being quoted less than these rates for a locksmith in London alarm bells should be ringing!

4) Avoid Paying Over The Odds For the Cost of a Lock

high security lock

The cost of products such as locks will be added to the labour charge. At IKS Locksmiths the customer will be given an estimate of what the lock is likely to cost before going ahead with the job.

The cost of a lock will vary depending on;

  • The type of lock needed for the job
  • The type of lock chosen by the customer when options are offered

Make sure you are not paying over the odds for a lock. There are locksmiths who will provide substandard locks at ridiculous prices.

Unreasonable Lock Costs

This invoice is for a job (NOT IKS Locksmith job) where £185 was charged for a basic low quality lock with 5 keys that doesn’t even meet British Standards! Not to mention the other inflated charges. Leaving the home owner out of pocket and with a lock that doesn’t meet the requirements of a standard home contents policy.

locksmith quote

Reasonable Lock Costs

A basic lock should not cost more that £35. Always ensure the lock that is being installed meets British Standard to meet insurance policy requirements which you can read about here.

  • Basic locks – from £10 up to in the region of £30/£35
  • High Security or rare locks – can cost up to £250 and occasionally more (high security lock pictured above)

If you are being charged more than £35 for a basic lock question it. Ensure you get an estimate of the lock cost on the phone before agreeing to go ahead. There is no reason why you cannot be given an estimate. At IKS we always ask the customer to send us pictures so that we can give an accurate estimation.

5) Check if VAT is Included in the Price.


Image courtesy of Chris Potter

Always check if the price quoted is inclusive of VAT. This is a trick some locksmiths use to elevate prices on the job.

I hope this helps a few people avoid being ripped off . It is all too common and as much as I try to warn people when they call me for quotes it keeps happening. You may want to check out the Fraud Helpdesk. Please share this information to help educate people as to the potential pitfalls when choosing a locksmith and how to save money on an emergency locksmith.

Should you require a genuine locksmith in North London we would be delighted to hear from you.

Main image courtesy of Howard Lake

2 Replies to “How Much Should an Emergency Locksmith Cost? – Money Saving Tips”

    1. I’m afraid I can’t comment on prices in Scotland. £75 would be a reasonable price in London. It may depend where is Scotland you are based. City based locksmiths can be more expensive.

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  • IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    Unit E2,
    Queens Rd,
    Barnet EN5 4DJ
  • Our Totteridge Address:
    IKS Locksmiths Ltd
    44 Greenway
    North London
    N20 8ED
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