Car Keys Online
We’re at a point where Amazon drones are delivering within the hour, online shopping is still growing, and most things are available in the mail. So, can you buy Car Keys online that will work your car?
Yes and No
If we quickly look at how a car key works, then it’s simple to understand the problem of buying a car key by post.
How Does a Car Key Work?
Inside all car keys is a transponder chip. This chip is unique and acts like a fingerprint.
When you use your car key, a lot happens that you don’t see. When you put the key in the ignition, (or if you have a smart key, when you just get in the car), the car recognises the key and it lets the car start. It’s a simple idea but it uses very complicated, secure, electronics.
Before a new key can start a car, it needs to be programmed to it. Programming is a very simple idea, again using very complicated electronics. Programming is just a handshake between the key and the car, they are introduced to each other.
Once this introduction takes place, forever more they’re friends and thereafter, the car will start.
The Postal Problem
So here we have the postal problem. Yes, it’s possible to buy car keys online. There are a host of professional, dedicated sites that will sell you the raw, uncut key that is compatible with your car. At this stage, it’s much like buying an exhaust for your car in the mail
However, whereas an exhaust just needs fitting for it to work, a new car key through the mail has two more stages that it needs to go through for it to work.
Key Cutting by Post?
Firstly, the key needs to be cut to the shape of the lock. This can be very tricky, or it can be very simple. There are two ways that a key is cut to match the car.
Copying the key
The old-fashioned method of putting one key in the machine and having the pattern traced onto another car key. This is the way keys have been cut for over one hundreds years.
Cutting the Key to Code
This is how most new keys are cut to match the car. The car key factory will never see the car, or the owner. Therefore, each car is given a key code, or key number. This number is not stamped or marked on the key. It is help in a database and given to the owner when the car is brand new (or should be).
If you’re trying to get a key cut by mail, you will either must send them your old key to copy from, or you’ll have to send them the key number, if you have it. There are a few companies that will cut a key from a photo, which is very clever. This can work well if your key is in good condition, or it can be tricky if your key is very worn.
Other ways to Save Money buying a Car key.
Can I buy my own key and have cut and coded?
Yes. This is a common thing that happens at most independent car key shops. However, it’ll depend on who you talk to. The best advice we have is that before you buy your own car key, you should find a friendly car key company and have a chat with them. They should be happy to tell you everything you need to know, so you can buy a key online.
They may say NO, and this is good advice for some cars. For instance, most of the French cars, including Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, and Nissan, cannot re-use an old second-hand key. So, there’s little point spending your hard-earned money on a key that cannot be re-used.
Where can I buy a car keys online?
EBAY / Amazon etc
Independent Online Dealers
Online Key shops
We don’t use some of these less known suppliers, so you take a risk. Why not look at some of the reviews and see how you feel about them?
Can any Key Cutting Shop programme any key?
No. Not all key cutting shops are equal. For instance, we don’t cut and code BMW or Mercedes keys now, whereas many shops in Nottingham do. This is simply because we don’t have the equipment yet. So again, before buying a second-hand key, or one from an online shop, talk to a good shop and ask advice. When people come and see us we’re always happy to explain things and we know there are lots of good shops out there all over the country.
Having a problem with your car not starting? Click here to read more