If you are like most of us, at some point you will have lost your keys. We’ll make an assumption, in fact, two assumptions that you are a BMW owner and that you lost your key.
What is the BMW key replacement cost? BMW uses the key fobs as an anti-theft and anti-hijacking measure for their vehicles. However, the keys like any other set of keys can be easily forgotten, misplaced, or lost. When this happens, you will need a replacement.
In short, you can expect to spend anywhere from $400 to as much as $1,000 to replace your BMW keys. How much you pay for a replacement key depends largely on the value of the BMW you are replacing the key for.
The BMW Display Key and Replacement Costs
From the G11 7 Series, BMW has been making display keys for some of their vehicles. This would include some aftermarket keys for all the current F and G series models.
The quality of these display keys does vary with the source of purchase. Generally, the display key replacement cost is higher because it is more high-tech and a lot more goes into making it work.
The display has to be able to check whether the doors and window are closed; check the fuel range and brake fluid level; see what the battery voltages are; track your upcoming service requirements.
This key, unlike the others, packs a lot of features and so the cost is generally high. However, the value of a replacement, like with all BMWs, depends on the version of the vehicle. And contrary to the $250 you’ll find on some platforms the price for a proper key will be higher.
Things to Consider When Replacing Your BMW Keys
There are a lot of factors that are at play when drawing up the replacement cost for the key. Unlike the keys of old, the current key systems are chipped and programmed.
Meaning replacing a damaged key is cheaper than a lost one. The price of around $400 – $650 is commonly charged by BMW dealerships for a new key fob programmed to your car.
The higher value vehicles in the BMW line will cost you as much as $1000 though. But unlike most other dealers the pricing for BMW is somewhat consistent.
How to Get a Replacement Key for Your BMW
The BMW keys are laser cut at their factory corresponding with the vehicle’s VIN. When ordering a replacement it has to be through an authorized service center or dealership.
You have to be the vehicles registered owner in possession of the car’s registration, identification, and names matching on all the paperwork.
After the dealership presents all the particulars to BMW, the key is made for your specific vehicle and programmed. To safeguard their customers the programming process is limited to a trusted few partners. It will take about two weeks for you to receive the replacement key.
Why BMW Key Replacement is So Expensive
BMW has an expensive replacement key cost compared to other similar brands. But that is to be expected as the process of making the key is about ensuring the security of the vehicle.
They program the car such that, even in the case of many copies being used, the car recognizes the distinct profiles of each key. These keys are not mass-produced.
In the case of a replacement, you would need to have the dealership request one be made. The cost of production becomes higher and as each key is made for a specific VIN, the process is not going to be cheap even for the manufacturer as well.
To keep the programming of the keys from the hands of unscrupulous people BMW only works with a few trusted parties. The chipping and programming cost add on to the cost but you are also buying into the exclusivity and safety of the security system.
Can I Get Cheaper BMW Key Alternatives?
Checking eBay or Craigslist and similar platforms, you will find BMW key fobs on offer for way less than the standard replacements.
The problem with these alternatives is that for them to be useful to you, it would mean disabling a lot of the security features BMW puts in. The trade-off of saving a few hundred dollars at the cost of increasing the vulnerabilities in your car is not worth it if you look at it objectively.
Final Thoughts on BMW key replacement cost
A key fob for a BMW will cost you generally upwards of $400 depending on the version of the car, with display keys costing more. For a trusted key replacement you need to go to an authorized service centre or dealership and it can take you up to two weeks to get a replacement key.