Can You Trust a Locksmith? Questions a Reliable Locksmith Should Ask if You Are Locked Out

MLA Locksmith

Do you know how to tell if you can trust a locksmiths quote and if the locksmith is trustworthy? Here we explain the importance of calling an MLA approved emergency locksmith in London and how to avoid calling a locksmith who will rip you off.

Can you trust a locksmith?

If you find you are locked out be careful who you trust with your security.

The are in the region of 6500 locksmiths operating in the UK. Of those around 350 ( 5%) are approved by the MLA. We are one of only two emergency locksmiths in North London based in High Barnet. The Master Locksmiths Association is the UKs only licensing scheme where approved locksmith companies are;

  • Exam qualified
  • Vetted
  • Inspected
  • DBS checked

This is not to say that there aren’t genuine UK locksmiths that are reliable and trustworthy however there are a huge number of UK locksmiths operating in unethical ways and taking advantage of the lack of UK laws for the Locksmith industry.

Unbelievably anyone can legally set up as a locksmith and operate unethically and get away with it. Something it is important to be aware of and to protect yourself from.

MLA approved locksmith

How do I pick a good locksmith?

If you need to call a locksmith search on the MLA website using your postcode or take a recommendation for a local locksmith from someone you know. You can read more here about how to choose a reliable locksmith.

Locksmith Reviews

It is important to check online locksmith reviews on;

However be aware of fake reviews. You can read about how to spot a fake review here.

Questions Locksmiths Ask if You Are Locked Out to Give an Accurate Quote

If a locksmith quotes very low and doesn’t ask any questions alarm bells should ring. If it is a very cheap price such as £39 or even £59 you can expect that it is not a fixed price and that your final bill is likely to be much higher than is reasonable. This is an unethical trick know as switch and bait. You can read here about the problems with choosing the cheapest London Locksmith.

Cheap Locksmith London
Main Image Courtesy of katemangostar

A locksmith cannot give you an accurate quote without knowing the details of the job.

Information Required to Provide a Realistic Fixed Price Locksmith Quote

If you call a reliable emergency locksmith they may ask you;

  • Are you locked out of your property or in your property?
  • Are the keys inside the property?
  • Do you have a letter box?
  • Is the door UPVC or wood?
  • What type of lock do you have? (Read the brand name on the lock)

If there is any uncertainty they should also ask you to send them a photo of your lock. Only when they know all the details can they quote you a realistic fixed price. You can read about realistic locksmiths prices here. A quote should include any vat applicable. Vat should not be added later.

If a locksmith quote seems to good to be true then it probably is!

locksmith costs

How do I complain about a locksmith?

If you do get ripped off by a locksmith you should report them to Trading Standards. Also you can read here about how to report a dodgy locksmith to Google.

google reviews

How much does a locksmith cost in the UK?

Locksmiths costs can vary depending on the job and if the locksmith is trustworthy. It can get complicated! You can read in more detail about why locksmith costs vary here.

How much does it cost to call a locksmith?

Most reliable emergency locksmiths will only charge for work completed and will not charge a call out charge. You can read more about locksmiths call out charges here.

A trustworthy London Locksmith is unlikely to quote any less that £70 for a job. Any less is unrealistic and the locksmith is likely to be on the make and playing tricks. You can read more about how much a locksmith should cost here.

what does no call out charge mean?

How much does it cost to have a locksmith open your door?

The cost of locksmith opening a door when you are locked out will depend on the difficulty of the job and the time you need the door opened. A trustworthy emergency locksmith will open your door non destructively where possible. Rogue locksmiths, on the other hand, drill locks and replace them unnecessarily and charge much more!

Why are locksmiths so expensive?

What you get for your money when you pay a locksmith very much depends on the locksmith you choose. Many customers don’t know what to expect to pay a locksmith and pay over the odds.

fake reviews

Rogue Locksmiths – What You Get For Your Money

Rogue locksmiths are expensive because they are ripping customers off to cover the costs of expensive advertising campaigns aimed at hooking customers with low prices to later rip them off after carrying out shoddy work and using intimidation.

Genuine Locksmiths – What You Get For Your Money

When you pay a genuine locksmiths you will pay an agreed price and benefit from the locksmiths expertise and experience. The locksmith also has significant overheads to cover such as specialist tools, rent, van costs.

You can read more here about locksmiths charges here.

How long does it take a locksmith to unlock a door?

How long it takes a locksmith to open a door depends on;

  • The difficulty of the job – the type of lock and the possible ways of opening
  • The experience of the locksmith

There is a great difference between the time and skill required to open a 5 lever British Standard lock and a rim night latch that has been slammed shut. They are two completely different jobs. A night latch can be opened in very little time and some mortice locks take significantly longer.

Why it is Important to Trust a Locksmith

When it comes to security it is really important to choose some you can trust. After all they are dealing with the keys to your home.

Matt Allwright BBC Rogue Traders

If you want to know how to avoid calling a locksmith you can read about how to prevent getting locked out here.

Store the Number of Your MLA Approved Local Locksmith

You never know when you will need a locksmith in an emergency. When you are in an emergency situation you are more vulnerable. Search for the number of your local MLA approved locksmith and save the number on your phone.

We are 24 hour emergency locksmiths based in Barnet approved by the MLA. If you need an emergency locksmith in North London call us for a competitive realistic fixed price quote!

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



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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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