Nothing will ruin your day faster than losing the keys to your Honda. The sudden confusion is followed by a frantic search and tiny pauses as you try to remember where they were seen last. It happens to the best of us.
You’ve looked everywhere for that elusive key, but it’s nowhere to be found. So what do you do now? First, take a deep breath, and let’s take a look at the options.
Where Can I Get Replacement Honda Keys? And How Much Do They Cost?
The cost for replacement Honda keys depends entirely on the age of your vehicle and the type of key that is required. Prices start at around $40 for a traditional key up to $450 for the keyless entry remote or smart key.
Looking to a dealership for help is expensive, more expensive than other options that may be available. Spending a lot of money might be unavoidable, and the choices could seem a bit daunting, so let’s look at how to navigate them.
Options for Replacing Your Honda’s Keys: How to Decide
The good old days of popping into the hardware store to have a cup of coffee while getting a replacement key cut are mostly long gone. The technology in today’s vehicles is highly sophisticated and so are the keys. You’ll need some information before deciding on the route you should go.
Traditional Ignition Key (No Fob)
This style is the most basic of Honda keys. If your model is the mid-1990s and older, there is no need for any sort of technology. Remember the hardware store mentioned above? This is the only type of key that can be cut there. This is also the easiest and cheapest key to keep as a spare, so get two of them cut.
From 1998 and on, your lost key had an embedded chip that activated the ignition, which means the replacement will also require one.
If you need a traditional key without a fob, there is a good possibility that the hardware store will be able to cut the key for you. You can expect to pay between $10 and $25. While you’re there, make sure you get a spare!
Transponder Key (Fob)
The transponder key looks similar to its traditional cousin, but it also has a microchip and remote feature on the handle. When the key is inserted in the ignition, it sends a signal that acts like an electronic handshake that activates the transponder.
Transponder keys were improved to increase security and reduce theft. While they have done a good job, replacing them adds extra hoops to jump through. It’s also more expensive because you’re paying for the technology.
The transponder key requires programming, and the car will need to be onsite at a Honda dealer. Unfortunately, not only will you be paying for the cost of a replacement key, you’re going to need a tow truck to get your vehicle to the dealer.
If your insurance doesn’t cover the tow, ask the dealer if they have a relationship with a local tow company that would offer some discount. And of course, it’s not a bad idea to get a spare too!
As you can imagine, the more technology, the higher the replacement cost. Before getting your vehicle towed to the dealership, put in a few calls to local locksmiths. They may have the keys and the manufacturing programming codes. Their rates are generally much cheaper than at a dealership.
Be prepared, however, because the newer the car, the more likely it is that you will be relying on the dealership to help you out of your predicament.
The replacement cost for a transponder key can range from $60 to $180. Take the time to shop around to see who has the best prices.
An excellent way to save some money when replacing the key with the fob or getting a spare is to purchase a blank from a third-party seller and then have the dealership do the programming. The price will still rest somewhere around $100 for the new key, but a saving is a saving.
These are standard on most new vehicles. In this tech-driven world, one of the things that drivers love about their new cars is the smart key. When the key is in range, the smart key can unlock doors, open the trunk and start the Honda without pushing a single button. There is no need to insert it into the ignition.
There are antennas in your car’s bodywork, and the smart key sends out radio pulses to communicate with the car, even if the key is in your pocket. The anti-theft technology uses a system of rolling codes that are verified by the vehicle before it performs any task.
All car manufacturers have coined specific names for their smart keys. Honda calls theirs the Smart Entry System. This technology is highly sophisticated, and that means of all the keys, it is the most expensive to replace. An appointment is required, and your car will need to be on-site for the replacement and programming.
Replacing the smart key is the most expensive option because of the technology and the need to get your Honda to the dealership. The cost for replacing the smart key can start at $200 and run up to $450. It depends on the age and model of your vehicle.
How to Avoid High Key Costs
Losing your Honda keys is not only upsetting, but it is also time-consuming. Minutes or hours go by as you turn your home or office upside down, empty your pockets and toss the contents of your bag or purse onto the table in the desperate search.
Then, you need to figure out how to get your vehicle to the dealer or arrange your schedule to be at home to meet the locksmith. It quickly turns into an expense of time and money.
What Are Some Ways to Avoid Those High Costs?
- Always have a spare. This does sound obvious, but life gets busy. Those seemingly tiny chores can get pushed to the bottom of the list. There’s always tomorrow, right? Until tomorrow comes, and you’re in a panic trying to find the vehicle keys.
- Have a dedicated space for your keys. It only takes 30 days to develop a good habit, so create a routine around your keys. Have a spot where they go when you get home or arrive at the office. A zippered pouch inside a backpack or other bag keeps them secure.
- Use a tile tracker app that will help you find your keys. Small, electronic tiles attach to your key sets, and then an easy-to-use app will locate your misplaced keys.
- Before heading to a dealership to replace your keys, check other sources. Hardware stores, locksmiths, and online shopping may lead you to inexpensive solutions.
- Never buy two Honda keys from the dealer. Check out third-party options for that spare set to save money.
- If you’re a forgetful person, writing yourself a quick note or sending yourself a text about the location of your keys is very helpful.