The best time to shop around for a locksmith is probably before you need one. But we all know that hindsight is 20 20. If you happen to find yourself locked out of your car and in need of a locksmith, start by calling your roadside assistance first. They should be able to refer a good automotive locksmith. Car keys sometimes get suck in the ignition, break, or just get lost; leaving you stuck outside.
– Match the phone number and the address
Finding reliable automotive locksmith services can sometimes be as easy as looking through the phone book or an internet directory. Cross check the telephone number given against the address using a website that offers such a service. Sometimes unscrupulous business people will post a local telephone number when they are not local to your city. Your call will be received by a telephone operator.
As the locksmith if they have insurance against any damage that may occur during the repair job. If the locksmith does not have insurance, you could be left to cover any such losses. Professional locksmiths always have insurance.
A good locksmith should not immediately talk about drilling or taking out the lock. Any locksmith worth his salt should be able to open just about any door. If he whips out hammers and pliers, he is probably a quack.
– Get referrals
Calling your friends and family to ask for a referral is one great way to find a good locksmith. Someone you know can refer you to a service that they have used and found satisfactory in the past.
Good locksmiths are usually well identifiable. They have business cards, come in branded cars, and have official invoices. Usually the car should have the name of the car locksmith service on its side.
– Ask to see a license
Some states require that locksmiths be licensed. Be sure that a locksmith is licensed before taking on their services. They should also be bonded and insured.
Some people will call the car dealer when they realize they have locked themselves out of their car. Your car dealer can and will get you out of the mess but it will cost much more than a locksmith. More than likely you will have to pay for your car to be towed.
– Go local
Getting a local car locksmith service is key because the service is always cheaper. Depending on the time spent working on the lock and the distance covered by the car locksmith, you may spend anything from $60 to $200 to get the door opened. Later on you may want to get a replacement key. This can only be done if you present proof that the car is yours.
A decent professional locksmith will want proof of your identity whether you really are the owner of the car. Any automotive locksmith who is not interested in verifying that the car is yours is probably a crook and someone you do not want to associate with.
Companies that have a physical address – a real office or shop – are more likely to be legit. Be wary of any company that does not have a physical address.