The cost of hiring a locksmith for opening a door lock can vary wildly depending on your location, the time of day and apart of unlocking your door, what the other issues (like repairing or changing the lock) you may need them to resolve.
All of these factors should be taken into account and will be covered in this article.
Let’s have a look at some estimates of how much a service for simply opening your door is likely to cost you in London, UK.
Generally, the cost of opening a door starts from around £60, but the price can change depending on the type of lock, the type of door and all of the other factors that are motioned above.
In addition to this, sometimes a locksmith has multiple locks to open on the one door. In this case each opening of a lock might cost you extra and the higher security locks are, the more it can add to the final charge.
Typically, a London locksmith would charge you around £120 for opening a door that has 1 simple lock and 1 high security lock.
Here are ballpark figures of how much unlocking a door in London should cost you.
• Prices are exclusive of VAT.
If your lock had to be destroyed during the process of opening your door or if for any reason you need the lock to be changed, the labour for replacing the lock and price of a new lock might be added to the bill.
Opening a door and changing lock
The basic cost for opening and changing a simple lock cylinder starts at around £85 and could rise to around £120 depending on branding and type of lock.
Listed below are the ballpark figure prices that you could expect to pay for a locksmith to provide you with door opening and replacement of different locks.
* The prices are exclusive of VAT and referring to standard locks and lock-out situations.
In the event of high security locks or unexpected issues, prices might change to reflect the scope of work.
Most often the locksmith will simply change your lock rather than trying to repair it (just isn’t cost effective). However, if for some reason lock is going to be repaired after opening the door, the lock repair will add to the cost as well.
The cost of opening a door and repairing the lock/s
The cost of opening a door and having its lock/s repaired starts at around £90 for simple door locks and £120 for more complex ones. During working hours.
After hours it could be hard to find a locksmith that will provide you with a repair as most locksmiths would prefer to replace your lock.
What else affects the price?
Reasons to why prices may vary:
• The brand. Some brands are just more expensive than others whether that’s a straight up quality thing or just because they are a “popular” brand name.
• The standard of lock. This is about quality and recognition; recognition that the lock conforms to British Standard or not. BS3621 Locks and other British standard locks are relatively more expensive.
• Location. In some areas locksmiths services are more expensive than in others. And London is just very expensive (sorry Londoners!).
• Work Time. The longer it takes to complete the job the more it’s going to cost you.
• Distance. If you’ve chosen a locksmith who need to travel far away to reach you, it comes with a cost. So always choose local.
• VAT. If the locksmith you reach out to charges VAT this would add to the price as well. Verify with the locksmith whether they charge VAT on your call to him.
Things that effect the price to watch out for
Hourly rates vary with London and rural areas being at the top end of prices. A good ballpark figure is £65 per hour (£75 in London). Many locksmiths will charge less from the second hour onwards however; they may say the first hour is £65 and then £35 per hour thereafter. This is pretty common practice. That said most jobs can be completed inside the hour.
Night Time Emergency Locksmiths
You should expect to get no change out of £80 per hour when calling out a locksmith out of hours (£95 per hour in London); in fact, the rate may be higher again after midnight and on the weekends. In some cases you might want to try and get hold of a key or even sleep the night at a cheap hostel and call a locksmith the next morning to save on cost.
In cities like London, you may incur increased charges because of the congestion charge and cost of travel too.
Mortice locks can incur a higher charge because they are trickier to open than a standard euro/rim cylinder. If you have a deadlock installed take into consideration in advance that the price you’ll pay will be relatively high.
uPVC and Composite doors
If your door has a basic cylinder these can be quick and easy jobs to get done. In cases of high security locks and doors however, the work can become complex and incur higher costs. Make sure to explain to the locksmith the exact type of locking system that you have and agree on a fixed price in advance.
Multiple locks on the doors
Most doors are simple to unlock but invariably they will have two locks or more, which takes more of the time and expertise. If the locks have to be damaged that will be double the replacement costs too. So again, discuss and agree with the locksmith on a fixed quote in advance based on your situation.
The cost of replacement keys is depended on how many locks are being replaced and also how many copies of each key that you need. When a lock is going to be replaced it is wise to let the locksmith know how many keys you’ll need before they come as the majority of locksmiths won’t have the ability of duplicating keys on site.
The Price of Different Locks
We’ve spoken about how the type of lock can affect the price of the job; here’s there a little more about the actual locks prices.
How to keep the costs under control
Firstly, remember that you’re dealing with a highly skilled tradesman and often during unsociable hours, so be realistic when negotiating. Beyond that:
• Get three different quotes where possible.
• Provide the most accurate information that you can upfront so a realistic estimate can be produced; don’t underplay the issue.
• Check online for price comparisons and recommendations.
• Ask if VAT is included.
And remember that you aren’t necessarily paying for the time taken to complete a job; you’re paying for the years of experience, expertise and sometimes the circumstances (e.g. if you’re locked out a 2am).
If you’re locked out and need a door opening service in London contact London 24 Hour Locksmiths right now.