Another key loss, after our home keys, was a car key with remote control for a French car. It was a simple credit card size key, but thicker. Simply buy a new one in the garage, we thought. And yes, it was that simple. But what we had never imagined is that a car key, that couldn’t cost more than 10€ in production, would be sold by the garage for a shocking 230€!
In the good old days, a car key was a piece of metal which could be copied easily and cheaply. In more recent times, keys with remote control appeared on the market (comfort, you know), followed by even more sophisticated systems with transponder and immobilizer. Consequence of the rat race between car manufacturers, the latest generation can even be left in your pocket or purse, allowing the car to recognize automatically that the right key is nearby.
Technologically very nice, but this comfort has a price tag. Because all keys now have built-in chips, programmed by the car manufacturer, this means that in most cases only the manufacturer can sell you a fully functional spare. Allowing that same manufacturer to charge you whatever he pleases for that replacement key – you don’t have a choice anyway. As a consequence, a replacement key will easily cost you 200€. Some brands manage to charge you even a lot more, as you can read it this article in the Telegraph. To this you have to add the cost of the breakdown service, if you didn’t have a spare key at hand when losing yours.
The best you can do is not losing your key, obviously. But if you do lose it, you’d better have a Spotty sticker or a Spotty keytag attached to it, allowing the finder to notify you immediately and anonymously (and fast!), on the spot where he found it. Replacing your key is at least a hundred times more expensive!