How Much Does a Locksmith Cost In London? – Average Hourly and Daily Rates
Are you moving home and want to replace the existing locks? Or perhaps you’ve lost your spare front door key and want another before you lose the original too? Then again, maybe you have a broken key…whatever the reason, the tradesperson you require is a locksmith.
But not any old locksmith, of course. You’ll want one that lives reasonably local to you, is accredited with a recognisable trade body and is available when you want them.
Next, you’ll want to know – how much does a locksmith cost? We can answer this, as well as a whole lot of other questions you might have, in this article. So, read on, to find out everything you need to know about the costs of hiring a locksmith in London.
Average Hourly and Day Rates for London Locksmiths
How much a locksmith costs depends on what you want done, the time of day, and how far they have had to travel to get to you.
Because it doesn’t take long to change a lock, the majority of locksmiths charge per hour. Very rarely will you get a member of this profession charging by the day.
A typical average hourly rate for a locksmith is anything from £65 to £85 per hour. This is for between ‘normal’ daytime working hours ie 8 am to 6 pm. You may be charged less for every hour after that (up to 50 per cent less in some cases).
Call Out Fees
A call-out fee would be the cost for just turning up to your property – that’s before any work is done. This is quite common in other trades, such as a plumber or heating engineer. But most locksmiths don’t charge this (unless they’re travelling from quite a distance – and which is why it’s always best to get someone local).
Emergency Call Out Fees
If you have to call Out of Hours then you’ll be charged more than the normal ‘daytime’ rate. That’s because this will be classed as an emergency locksmith’s call-out charge, meaning you’ll need to see your locksmith as fast as possible because, for instance, you’ve locked yourself out of your home.
This is when a call-out charge does apply.
Average emergency locksmith costs can be anything from £50 up to £200 an hour depending on where you are, the nature of the job, the time of day and the date. Bank holidays and work after midnight will always be far more expensive per hourly rate.
Factors That Affect Costs
How big the job is, what type of lock you’re having fitted, and when – these are all factors that will affect how much a locksmith costs.
Size of Job
Naturally, the type of job you ask the locksmith to do will affect how much it costs. Removing a broken key to gain entry will cost you a lot less than if you want them to replace all the locks on the new house you’ve just moved into, for instance.
Type of Lock
The quality and the type of lock will affect the cost of the job. It will also have a bearing on how long it takes your locksmith to fit it. If the lock is unusual your locksmith may not have a version in their van and have to order another in. You’ll then have to pay for them to return to fit it.
Date and Time
As we mentioned previously, when you call out the locksmith matters. You’ll always be charged more for an emergency locksmith’s call out ie one out of ‘normal’ working hours, or for an appointment on a public holiday.
Costs for Common Jobs
There are certain jobs that locksmiths are called out to on a regular basis. We’ve outlined some of them here:
One of the most common call-outs for a locksmith (of the emergency variety) must be to gain entry to your property.
You’ll pay an average cost of £80 if it’s a typical mortice lock on the door. However, you may pay even more if your locksmith is having problems as mortice locks can be tricky. Certainly, a mortice lock is a lot more difficult to open than a euro cylinder lock or a rim lock. You’ll typically find a cylinder lock on a uPVC door. A high-security anti-snap lock is often used in commercial premises and requires specialist tools as well as know-how to get it open.
Replacing a Lock
If your keys have to be replaced because you’ve lost them or they’ve been stolen then you’ll have to change the lock. The cost of this will be in addition to the call-out fee to regain entry to the property.
Retrieving a Broken Key
It’s quite common to get a key stuck in the lock and then for it to break as you try to remove it. Getting a locksmith out to remove a broken key will cost around £90. Although it’ll be more if they have to replace the cylinder because it’s damaged, or the broken key is wedged stuck.
Another emergency is when a window has been broken (either because the property has been accessed by burglars, or it’s down to sheer vandalism). Either way, you’ll want the property secured as soon as possible. You can expect to pay around £200 for this.
Again, the price for a lock repair – whether it’s for a door or window – will depend on the type of lock and how long it takes to repair. Any additional parts will also be added to the bill.
A faulty window lock can cost from £50 upwards while an internal door lock costs around £65 on average to fix. Here is a brief summary of the locks you can expect to have fixed, and their cost to repair:
- Front or Back Door Lock from £70
- Internal Door Lock from £50
- uPVC Door Lock from £70
- uPVC Window Lock from £60
- Patio Door Lock from £70
- Repair Garage Door Lock from £60
New Lock & Keys Costs
The price of a new lock and keys varies, depending on the size, quality and, by definition, the brand. In the case of the latter, like most products, you’ll get your top brands and budget buys. The more popular makes and models are, of course, Yale, as well as Mul-T-lock, DOM and ERA.
These are all British Standard approved to BS3621 certification and, as such, are recognised as being secure and sturdy. It also means they are insurance compliant should you ever need to make a claim.
In terms of euro cylinders, an SS312 Diamond-approved version costs more than a basic TS007 version. Here’s a brief run-down of locks and their average cost to change:
- Mortice lock (five lever) £125
- Mortice lock (three lever) £145
- uPVC lock – £125
- Anti-snap uPVC lock £150
- Yale lock (cylinder) £100
- Yale lock (everything) £140
- Multi-point lock £220 +
- Rim lock cylinder £70
- Patio door lock £90
- Garage door lock £80
- Nightlatch £90
- All locks (based on front/back door and windows) £350
The majority of homeowners here in the UK now have uPVC doors fitted. This means the lock itself should be easy to source and replace.
Certainly, uPVC door euro locks are much less expensive to replace or change than a mortice lock or even a rim lock cylinder. This means it will turn out to be less expensive when you call out a locksmith.
To save you even more money, if possible, you could try just getting your tradesman to change the cylinder, rather than the entire lock mechanism.
That way you’re getting a full repair, but only paying for half of the mechanism that’s broken. This is usually the case if it’s a Yale door lock that’s broken and needs to be fixed.
DIY Vs Hiring a Professional
Wondering about changing your own door locks? If you think you have the skills and know-how then certainly you will save yourself money on locksmith costs. But, really, is saving a couple of hundred pounds at most really worth it? Especially, if you aren’t trained in lock replacement and have no knowledge of British Standards in this respect.
Unintentionally fitting a lock badly, so that your home can easily be accessed by a burglar means you lose all your possessions. And, when you come to claim for that break-in, you may get a nasty surprise from your insurance company when they refuse to pay out.
The reason for this is that fitting the lock yourself, instead of getting in a professional, may very well invalidate your home contents insurance policy. And that’s for the very obvious reason that we mentioned at the start of this paragraph ie you may fit it badly.
How to Find Out What Type of Door & Lock You Have
Ask any locksmith and they’ll tell you that the majority of homeowners have no idea what type of lock they have. That’s fair enough – until, that is, it comes to getting home insurance (for their insurance company will certainly want to know the make and model). Or, it may be that, as a homeowner you want to check your external doors are secure enough.
Well, first of, the type of lock you have is often dictated by what the door is made of. Certain types of locks are better on particular door materials than others. We’ve listed the different types of external door locks available in this detailed guide below to help you identify exactly what types of locks may be best on your front or back doors:
5 Lever Mortice Deadlock
A multi-point lock, this should comply to BS3621 standards and is often fitted to external front and back wooden doors. It can be locked both from inside and outside with a key and the lock barrell is fitted into the wood of the door (rather than on the surface of the door).
A big advantage of this type of lock is that if you have one on both the front and back door then you can use the same key for both.
To check the types of locks are compliant you should see ‘5 levers’ written on the lock itself, as well as the kitemark symbol. This confirms it’s a secure lock which has even been tested against a burglar drilling into it. The most popular manufacturers of the 5 Lever Mortice Deadlock in the UK are Yale, Chubb, ERA, Union, ASEC and Legge.
Multi-Point Locking System
With a minimum of three points and up to five or even seven, a multi-point locking system is operated with a euro cylinder. The key goes into the cylinder directly. The lock system fits into the body of the door and locks into the door frame. The door is doubled locked when the handle is lifted up.
You’ll mostly find these locks on external composite or uPVC doors, patio doors, aluminium doors and sometimes even timber doors. When changing or upgrading the lock it’s only the cylinder that has to be swapped out.
It’s important to ensure the cylinder is tested and complies with SS312 Diamond certification or the TS 007 3-star kitemark. That way you’ll know it’s been tested against not just drilling but also snapping.
Rim Automatic Deadlatch with Key-Locking Handle
Fitted on the inside of the door, with the cylinder sitting on the surface of the door (rather than ‘in’ it), the rim automatic deadlatch is also known as a Yale lock or a nightlatch.
If you have this then there’s probably also a mortice lock on the door for increased security. You’ll usually find this ‘handle’ lock on glass panel doors or wooden doors.
Euro Cylinder Lock
You’ll usually find this type of lock on a uPVC or composite door. That’s because it’s the most popular type of lock for New Build and contemporary homes.
For top security, it should be SS312 diamond approved or TS007 3 Star certified. This means it has been tested against ‘lock snapping.’ It can be fitted to a multi-point locking system, mortice lock or a sash lock. You’ll also find it used internally in large public buildings, such as schools, hospitals, libraries and offices.
There are a number of cylinder locks in use today but the most common is the euro cylinder. This typically comes in three different types. There is the single cylinder, the double cylinder (where it’s possible to lock both sides) and the key plus thumb turn option. The latter is self-explanatory in that it locks on one side, and the inside uses a thumb turn.
One other type of lock that fits into this category is the oval cylinder. It’s rarely used and when it is, it’s used with a mortice lock.
Cylinder locks have been toughened up in years, in order to prevent lock snapping. This was a technique used by burglars to access a euro cylinder lock.
Using a particular tool this was achieved in seconds. That’s all changed today, however, with ‘snap safe’ versions of cylinder locks now being produced.
The result is that when the tool is used, only the end of the cylinder lock snaps off and not the central part, meaning the technique is no longer effective.
Finding a Locksmith
There are a number of different avenues you can go down to find a good locksmith.
Here at The Page we have personally verified the locksmiths we feature by face to face inspections and a review of previous work. Just let us know what type of job you want done and where. We will then send you a curated list of expert tradesmen you can get in touch with. It really is that easy.
It’s always best to hire a locksmith who is a member of a recognised membership association. The Master Locksmiths Association (MLA), for instance, ensures all members are who they claim to be, and competent at the job.
When looking for a locksmith you can always ask around if any friends, neighbours or colleagues etc can recommend someone. That way you’ll know whether or not the locksmith in question is at least reliable.