Independent vs National Locksmiths: Quick Guide to the Differences

The 4th and final part in a 4 part series comparing the way Independent Locksmiths and National Locksmiths operate.

My company is IKS Locksmiths in Barnet and we are independent emergency locksmiths with fixed prices. We are security specialists approved by the Master Locksmiths association.

In Part 4 of this series we summarise the differences between Independent and National Locksmith companies based on our experience of the business and how IKS Locksmiths operate as a company.

Independent V National Locksmiths – Quick Guide


You will get value for money from independent companies who rely on recommendations and good reviews as advertising rather than expensive forms of advertising such as pay per click and print.

Quotes on the phone

Choosing an independent Locksmith is more likely to mean that you have a direct line to the Locksmith who has all the information you require. This results in efficiency, accuracy and value for money.


Each job is different and a direct line to the locksmith will save time and you will know that you can trust the information you are being given.

Quotes on Site

Ensure that the person who visits your property to quote knows exactly what they are talking about.

Response Time

Beware. Quoting unrealistic response times is a dishonest method commonly used by some locksmiths to secure work. If you see 30 minute response, take it with a pinch of salt. Whilst this is possible it’s highly unlikely from a national.


Beware. Quoting unrealistic prices on the phone is another dishonest method commonly used by some locksmiths to secure work. An accurate quote / estimate cannot be given by anyone without seeing the job in question.

Experience and Expertise

It is important to be sure that the locksmith you use is employed directly by the company and is qualified, experienced and enthusiastic.


Accept a fixed labour cost and not an hourly rate. Fixed may seem more expensive at first but it will mean no nasty surprises.


All Locksmiths (ourselves included) will make a mark up on their materials. If you try and find the same product on the internet the chances are you will find it substantially cheaper. However what you must remember is that locksmiths hold a large amount of stock in their vans so that the majority of jobs can be completed in one visit. However this doesn’t mean that it is acceptable to over inflate your prices. If the locksmith does use locks you have bought yourself you warrantee would not be from the locksmith, it would be from the company you bought it from.


Only accept a fixed labour cost and ask if VAT is included in the Quote. The cost of parts is the only aspect that needs to be discussed on the job. Check the small print for the T&Cs.


Find out if you can contact the locksmith that carried out the work in the event of any issues in the future.

In Summary

When choosing a locksmith, don’t be sucked in by advertising. Check the reviews and recommendations in order to find a genuine, experienced locksmith offering excellent value for money.

Having done a little research of your own by calling a number of locksmiths we have been disappointed by the range of quotes we have been given. It is difficult for a small business to compete with this level of underhand tactics but we will stick to values of honesty and integrity and hope that honesty prevails!

Of course not all independent locksmiths are trustworthy and it is so important that you find a locksmith you can trust. If you want to find a local locksmith choosing a company approved by the Master Locksmith Association ensures that the locksmith will be qualified and CRB/DBS checked.

So if you ever Google “find a locksmith near me” to find a locksmith nearby your property remember to check;

  • Are they Independent?
  • Are they really local?
  • Are the MLA approved?
  • Do they have good reviews online?

IKS Locksmiths are MLA approved experienced specialists in all aspects of residential and commercial property security. As mobile locksmiths with low overheads we are able to offer high quality locks, bespoke security grilles and safes at very competitive prices. Our bespoke security grilles are some of the best on the market due to their multi point locking system. We have had many satisfied customers over the years as we provide not only a high quality product but also high standards of workmanship, attention to detail and excellent customer service. Our invoices are transparent and we offer a 5 year guarantee on security grilles and a 12 month guarantee when fitting locks.

Our business is built on quality, trust and excellent service. If you are looking for a locksmith based in North London and close to you  we would be delighted to hear from you.

For regular free security tips and advice as well as my Diary of a North London Locksmith follow us on Twitter .

How can we help you?

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

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Master Locksmiths Association

Master Locksmiths Association



Contact Us


  • 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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