Car Key Replacement can usually be done quickly if you choose a skilled locksmith. Expect it to take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes. The time it takes can vary depending on the type of car and some may need up to an hour for a Car key replacement and programming. Nowadays, many car keys and fobs contain transponder chips, which might need to be programmed into the specific vehicle. It’s important to note that most car keys and fobs are unique to each car manufacturer, model, variant, and year model, making it easy to accidentally buy the wrong key online. By selecting a professional and knowledgeable car locksmith, you can be assured of getting a functional key. Below, we outline the process for Car Key Replacement and the average time it takes.

car key replacement

Steps to Efficient Car Key Replacement:-

Step 1:

 The initial action in replacing a car key involves obtaining the key code, especially if all keys are lost. Acquiring a key code typically takes between 5 to 10 minutes, with the process being quicker if you consult a skilled car locksmith. A certified locksmith can retrieve the key code directly from the manufacturer (not the dealership). However, if you possess a functional key or the key’s cutting edge, this step may not be necessary, allowing you to proceed to the next step. In some instances, key codes can be bought directly from the car dealership using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) with proper documentation of ownership, including the title, registration, insurance, and driver’s license. 

Step 2:

 This step involves the crucial process of key cutting, which typically spans around 10 minutes. While it’s possible to expedite this process, a reliable locksmith will prioritize ensuring the key functions properly, dedicating ample time to the task. Should you possess a functional key or a key with pre-cut segments, a car locksmith can replicate or decipher the cuts to produce a new key capable of unlocking the doors and starting the engine? In many instances, the new key will still necessitate programming into the vehicle to facilitate starting. Generally, for Kia and Hyundai models, the key is mechanical and does not need programming. However, programming is essential for all fobs and remotes.

Step 3: 

We’ve reached step three, which involves the programming aspect. The duration of programming can range from just a couple of minutes to up to 30 minutes, depending on the make and model of the car. This task is typically handled by your local auto locksmith or dealership. Certain cars are designed to be programmed “on-board,” which means the process is accessible to anyone who adheres to a specific programming protocol. It’s crucial to thoroughly understand the programming process for your car before attempting this method. Some vehicles necessitate the use of multiple keys to program a new key that will start the car using this approach. Generally, transponder keys and fobs need to be programmed using a computer by a locksmith or dealership. These programming devices can be quite costly and are usually only available for purchase by professionals, such as locksmiths or car dealerships.

Typical Timeframes for Car Key Replacement

  • Same-Day Service:

      • For standard mechanical keys without electronic components, many locksmiths and automotive dealerships can provide same-day service. This typically involves cutting a new key based on the vehicle’s VIN or existing key.
  • Within 1-2 Days:

      • Transponder keys and key fobs that require programming may take slightly longer. Most reputable locksmiths and dealerships can complete the programming and provide the replacement key within 1-2 days, assuming the necessary key blanks are available.
  • Longer Timeframes:

    • In cases where specialized key blanks are required or if the vehicle’s programming system is complex, the replacement process may extend to several days. This could involve ordering specific parts or waiting for technical support from the vehicle manufacturer.

car key replacement


The time it takes to get a car key replacement can vary depending on several factors, including the type of key, the availability of key blanks, and the service provider’s efficiency. Generally, standard car key replacements at a dealership or locksmith can be completed within a few hours to a day. However, more complex keys with electronic components or specialized programming may take longer, sometimes requiring several days for ordering and programming. It’s advisable to inquire about the specific timeline with your chosen service provider to ensure minimal disruption to your daily routine or travel plans. Contact us for service.