Every now and then, we deal with small problems with our cars that call for the expertise of an auto locksmith. For example, when our keys get stuck in the ignition or, worse, when we leave them inside with all the doors locked. Under these circumstances, it’s obvious that only a professional knows the best and safest solutions.
Take note, however, that while you will find so many auto locksmiths these days, each of them is unique. And if you want to decide wisely, you have to be ready for some homework.
Here are steps you can take to ensure that you hire a competent and sincere auto locksmith:
Before you proceed, ask the locksmith if they have insurance – you don’t want to be responsible in case an accident occurs. But don’t stop there; if they claim to be insured, ask for proof. Definitely, you should ask for an ID, and make it a point that the business name you see is consistent, whether on their ID or their business cards and so on.
Asking for Estimates
Before bringing in a car locksmith, request for a complete estimate of your probable expenses, from parts to services and all other costs. A good tradesman or company should be able to give you a reasonable estimate on the phone as soon as you have laid out the details of your situation. Very importantly, know whether or not they will be charging added fees, how much and for what exactly.
When considering cost, watch out for very cheap deals as this often indicates substandard service quality. On the other hand, remember that a higher price doesn’t necessary mean a better locksmith.
Asking for Referrals
If you have no idea where or how to begin looking for a good locksmith, just ask your friends or family members who might be able to help. This is usually your best bet (people you know are unlikely to mislead you). Or just check online to read customer reviews. However, make sure to choose your sources, sticking to reputable third-party websites (Angie’s List, The Yellow Pages, etc.) instead of marketing websites, which are plain unreliable with their given biases.
Selecting a Licensed Auto Locksmith
Finally, consider a locksmith only if he is licensed to begin with. Although a license doesn’t mean that a locksmith is right for you, it does show that they have been properly screened by the government for their knowledge and skills. A license is also evidence that all laws and regulations of the auto industry are being followed by the license holder. But do verify whether such license is valid or expired.