Maybe you’ve locked your keys in your car? Perhaps you need new car keys? In any case, you’re on the search for an automotive locksmith.
The trouble is: you don’t know how to find the right one. Fortunately, we can help you with the task. Without further ado, here are the top 8 tips for choosing a local automotive locksmith.
1. Ask Around
First, you have to find viable locksmithing candidates. To do this, start by asking around with your friends and your family. You might have a relation who has used automotive locksmith services in the past, and who had a good experience with those services.
A recommendation from a close friend or family member can be very helpful, as friends and family are the ones we trust the most. As such, it can beat getting recommendations online.
2. Take to Google
Another way to find viable candidates is to search for them on Google. Type “automotive locksmith [name of your city]” and see who pops up. There should be a variety of options.
From there, you can use star ratings to determine which locksmiths are worth further examination. We recommend perusing locksmiths with 4 stars or more.
To get a better feel for each locksmith, read the customer reviews under the locksmith’s name. These should help to give you the good, the bad, and the average of each locksmith.
After reading the reviews for a few different locksmiths, write down your favorites, and research them further. Focus on the following characteristics.
3. Make Sure the Locksmith Has Experience
Once you’ve rounded up a pool of viable candidates, you need to start taking a closer look at their characteristics. Start with experience. Generally speaking, the more experience a locksmith has, the higher quality of service he or she will provide.
At a minimum, your locksmith should have two years of experience under his or her belt – but the more experience, the better.
Experience is important, as it gives a locksmith the opportunity to hone his or her skills and shake off his or her mistakes. Without ample experience, a locksmith is essentially using his or her clients as guinea pigs.
4. Ask About Licensure
In the state of Texas (and in most other states), professional locksmiths are required to have a locksmith license. This license indicates that a locksmith has acquired the necessary skills and knowledge and that he or she knows how to apply them in a real-life setting.
If a locksmith doesn’t have a license, you shouldn’t utilize his or her services. It’s really as simple as that.
To check on whether a Texas locksmith has a license, utilize this license lookup tool. Just enter the locksmith’s name and see what pops up. If a locksmith license is there, that locksmith will be good to go.
5. Ensure Insurance
Not only should your locksmith be properly licensed but he or she should also have insurance. Insurance not only monetarily protects your vehicle in the event of damage but it also protects you in the event that a locksmith employee gets injured on your property.
If your locksmith doesn’t have insurance and something goes, you could find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit. That’s the last thing you want.
As such, you need to see proof of both general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. These two insurances should cover you completely.
6. Inquire About Services
As such, when searching for the appropriate locksmith, you have to receive a full rundown of the services available. Never assume that a locksmith provides a certain type of service.
Oftentimes, locksmiths will list their services on their website (ie. auto key replacement or car lockouts), along with information pertaining to those services. Check there first. If that information isn’t available on a specific locksmith’s website, you’ll have to make a call and ask.
7. Check the Location
There are locksmiths located all over the world. And while most of these locksmiths are very good at what they do, they aren’t necessarily the right locksmith for you. Why? Because they’re located too far away from you.
It’s important to choose a locksmith who’s in your general proximity. That way, the locksmith can get to you in a hurry in the event of an emergency situation. Not to mention, you’ll be able to check for a physical location to determine whether a locksmith is, indeed, legitimate.
8. Obtain Estimates
There’s no regulation on how much an automotive locksmith can charge. As such, locksmiths have the ability to charge radically different rates. For this reason, when searching for locksmiths, you need to obtain estimates.
Any reputable locksmith will give you an estimate gladly. If a locksmith is hesitant to give you an estimate, avoid him or her like the plague. Only an unscrupulous individual would want to keep his or her customers in the dark about the cost of his or her services.
Once you’ve obtained a few estimates, compare them against one another. Be particularly wary of any estimates that are on the extremely low side. If an estimate is much lower than the others, it likely indicates poor service of some kind.
Looking for a Local Automotive Locksmith in Austin?
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably, indeed, looking for a local automotive locksmith. If so, and if you need a professional automotive locksmith in Austin, we here at Austin Car Key Pros are the people to see.
We provide a range of automotive locksmith services, from key making to vehicle entry services and more. Sporting a team of highly skilled locksmiths, we’re always prepared to help.
Contact us now to discuss your needs!