A spare key can save you time, money, and stress.

When buying a used car, an important thing people often overlook is to ask for the spare key. Having a spare key can save you time, money, and stress.
 
Modern car keys aren’t cheap. Most people are shocked when they discover a replacement could cost thousands of rands. On top of that, if you lose your car key you could be stranded without your car for a few days if you don’t have a spare.
 
Replacing a lost car key used to be a simple task of taking the spare to a key cutter and having a copy made for about R250. These days, it’s a different story. Modern keys equipped with transponders that communicate with a car’s immobiliser unit and engine control unit (ECU) to allow the car to start. It can also be a keyless entry and start function.
 
The cost of a replacement key ranges from R2,000 to R4,500 and the price for keys for exotic cars can be higher. A new key needs to be ordered, cut and coded which could mean up to a full day or more off the road.
 
Here’s a few reasons why you should always ask for the spare key when purchasing a used car.
 

Cost

 
The cost of gaining entry to the car by picking the lock and then replacing the door locks, can be very expensive. It is much cheaper to have a key copied instead of incurring those extra expenses. Having a spare will save you the cost of having to break into your own car or call a locksmith.
 

Peace of Mind

 
Having a spare key gives you the peace of mind you need when you do lock your keys in your car. You have the ability to get into your car with a friend’s help by retrieving the spare key.
 

Ease of Use for Two Drivers

 
Having a spare key is also great when two drivers drive the same car. Sharing a key can be quite difficult if you are not able to be in the same place when one of you needs to use the car.
 

Ease of Key Replacement

 
The fact that you have a spare key makes it much easier to get a replacement. Most car keys can be cloned just like a house key. Locksmiths have a machine that can do this in a matter of seconds. You must make sure that yours is one that can be cloned though.
 

Security

 
If you lose your car keys, you will have your spare key to take your car to the dealership to replace the door locks. This avoids giving thieves time to locate your car and steal it. Take advantage of this by taking your car to the dealership the second you realize you lost your keys.
 
The bottom line is, when buying a used car, always check that you have two working keys, and check that the spare matches the car. Hopefully our reasons for getting a spare car key has convinced you just how important it is to have a second key. If you only have one car key do not wait until it’s too late, get a replacement car key today!