Why Do Locksmiths Costs Vary So Much?
When choosing someone to deal with your home security would you choose:
a) A qualified, experienced, approved locksmith?
b) A crook?
A trustworthy Locksmith will most likely cost less! The trick is knowing how to avoid the crooks and get excellent, good value security!
This is our guide to making smart, informed choices when choosing a locksmith and understanding different locksmiths pricing structures. For answers to the most frequently asked questions about the cost of a locksmith click here.
Unfortunately there are so many locksmiths in the UK trying to take advantage of vulnerable people in emergency security situations. This has become a serious problem in recent years. Sadly the extent to which people with low morals capitalise on peoples fears has been evident in recent weeks. You can read about how rogue locksmiths operate and how to avoid them here.
How Much do Locksmiths Charge?
It really depends on who you choose and on several other factors! 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!
Obviously it depends what the job is; out of hours emergency door repairs by a locksmith can cost a lot more than a lock change which is not an emergency.
What the Cost of a Locksmith Depends On
- Working Hours V Out of Hours
- Mobile Locksmith V Retail Locksmith
- Local Locksmith V Not Local Locksmith
- Genuine Locksmith V Rogue Locksmith
Read more about each of these points below. We also share our locksmith prices as MLA Approved Locksmiths.
1) 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 around 50% upwards extra for evenings, weekends and bank holidays and 100% or more for night time call outs.
2) Mobile Locksmith V Retail Locksmith
Retail premises in London 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. You can read more about choosing a mobile or retail locksmith here.
3) 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.
4) Genuine Locksmith V Rogue Locksmith
It is vital to be sure that you are dealing with a reliable and trustworthy locksmith. This is where so many people get caught out!
The UK Locksmith Industry is Unregulated by Law – Rogue Traders
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 is the main Governing Body for the Locksmith Industry. The Metropolitan Police Service Crime Prevention Advice recommends choosing an MLA approved Locksmith.
Why Choose a Master Locksmiths Association Approved Company
The Master Locksmiths 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.
You can read here about how to choose a reliable locksmith.
Rogue Locksmiths – Tricks of the Trade
You can read here about a locksmith in Islington fined for faking customer reviews and ripping people off. If you have been ripped off find out how to report a dodgy locksmith here.
These are the tricks to avoid falling for;
No CRB/DBS Check
If a locksmiths is not DBS checked 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
Rogue locksmiths quote low 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. Read about cheap locksmiths here. Here the Master Locksmiths Association explain bait and switch tactics used by so many rogue locksmiths.
Quoting a call out charge
Be wary of this, 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? Read more about call out charges here.
Ambiguity About the Cost of a New Lock
You should not be just quoted a price without giving information about your lock! 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!
I Get Many Calls to Correct Other Locksmiths Shoddy Work!
Diagnosing a job over the phone can be 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 other 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.
This is an example of an invoice from a dodgy locksmith;
Top Tip: If you have been ripped off read about how to report a Rogue Trader to Google here.
These are just some examples of locks that have been damaged by rogue locksmiths.
IKS Locksmiths Charges
We are a family run, mobile MLA Locksmiths in North London providing high quality products and services at highly competitive prices. Click here to find out our locksmith prices and how we calculate them.
As experienced, MLA approved specialists in home and commercial property security we install high quality Locks, Security Accessories, Grilles and Safes to suit a range of budgets.
At IKS locksmiths we quote a fixed price for labour and an accurate estimate of materials by asking the customer for detailed information. We are able 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.
So How Much Do Locksmiths Cost in Summary?
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 in your local area 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. For a free security in London survey and give us a call.