Call center locksmiths typically quote prices between $15 and $40 to start. They bait-and-switch customers by advertising low prices, then price gouging after they arrive, claiming the job is more complicated and will cost more.
The average locksmith service call costs at least $60, says Robert Vallelunga, owner of ACME Locksmith in Scottsdale, Arizona, adding that prices in the $15 to $40 range are typically signs of a scam. “What the customer has to realize is, you’re paying to get a locksmith shop at your home. And with that, there’s a bit of overhead,” Vallelunga says.
A locksmith’s fee pays for tools, any licensing costs, continued training and transportation to and from a job. No skilled or reputable locksmith that charges $15 for a job could remain in business, Vallelunga says.
Get an estimate before any work begins, including emergency service. Don't hire a locksmith who refuses to provide an estimate.