What is the cheapest way to replace a Volvo key?

If you have lost or damaged your Volvo key, there are many ways you can get a new key, but most are pretty expensive. So, what is the cheapest way to replace a Volvo key?

The cheapest way to replace a Volvo key is to buy an aftermarket key, order one from Volvo, or purchase one from eBay. Then have a dealer or an automobile locksmith program it for you (if needed). Or you can contact a locksmith directly to make a new key for you.

Replacing a Volvo key

After getting the key, whether or not you will need the services of a dealer or a locksmith depends on the type of key you have, which is determined the vehicle’s model and year. The type of key will also determine the amount you will spend. Replacing Volvo keys isn’t uniform.

There are basically two classes of keys. There are keys with a transponder chip, which after purchase, must be programmed to your car. This helps your vehicle recognize the key. The other type is a non-transponder key. These keys do not require special coding, meaning you can use it immediately you get them.

Getting an aftermarket key

While the best way to replace a Volvo key is through a dealer, it’s pretty expensive. An aftermarket key costs around $60. You can buy one and then take it to a dealer or auto locksmith to have the key programmed.

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The aftermath key should have a barcode and serial number, which will be needed for programming. Without programming, the car won’t recognize the key, and the key won’t work. If you, however, use a non-transponder key, you can start using your key immediately.

Ordering a replacement key from Volvo using VIN

The VIN gives Volvo dealers or auto locksmiths access to your key code. This helps make a replacement key quickly and is always exact. However, if it doesn’t fit your ignition or lock, you won’t have to pay and can return it.

If all looks good, take the pre-cut key to a dealer or locksmith (if the locksmith has the right tools) and get the key programmed to your car. Ensure you have your vehicle proof of ownership. If you, however, use a non-transponder chip key, you won’t need to program the key.

Getting a blank key from eBay

Keys from eBay are usually cheap, costing around $30. After buying one, you can take it to a locksmith to cut the key using your key code. Then take the cut key to a dealer to program it. If the locksmith has all the necessary tools, he can do the programming as well.

Contacting an auto locksmith

A locksmith can get you a new key in minutes. All you need to do is provide your key code. This makes the cutting process fast and key exact. Not having the code could pop up the price and even take more time. Regular and laser-cut keys will require a different machine, which all auto locksmiths may not have.

So, ensure the locksmith has the required tool to cut the key. In addition, some Volvo keys, especially those made after 2000, may require coding. The locksmith can program the key if he has the right tools; otherwise, take the cut key to a dealer. But if the key does not need special coding, just start using it immediately.

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Contacting a dealer

If you contact a dealer to get your key replaced, you may end up spending up to $600 or more, depending on your key type. You can, however, contact a dealer if your key needs special programming and you already have:

  • an aftermarket key
  • a precut key ordered from Volvo
  • a key cut by a locksmith

In this case, all you do is pay for the programming. This should be around $150 for about 1 to 2-hour job. The key itself shouldn’t be more than $100, no matter how you got it.

It’s important to note, the car and the key must be together to be programmed; as such, you must take the vehicle to the dealership.

Essential things needed to replace Volvo keys

Before you go ahead and replace your key, whether you’re buying yourself or programming at a dealership, make sure you have the following information readily available:

  • Make, model, and year of your car
  • VIN
  • Keycode
  • Proof of ownership
  • Condition of your ignition (changed or not)

Types of car keys

Your key type usually influences the cost of getting a replacement key

  • Key integrated remote: Keys bolted to a remote. They are generally expensive because you will be paying for the key and a fob
  • Fobs: Keyless entries keys. With a push of a button, you get into your cat or turn on the ignition.
  • Key with plastic handle
  • Key with rubber handle
  • Handless keys


Which Volvo keys need programming?

Most Volvos manufactured after the year 2000 come with a transponder chip key. These keys must be programmed during replacement for the vehicle to recognize them. So, make sure you have a dealer or locksmith who can program it before buying the key.

How much does Volvo key replacement cost?

Volvo key replacement starts from $60 and can go up to $600 or even higher, depending on your key. A non-transponder key doesn’t need programming. So, you can get it for between $65 to $100 and use it right away. A transponder key requires special coding, so it will cost about $300 and up.

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Want it cheaper? Get the key yourself. This should cost about $65. Then take it to a locksmith (if they have the tools) or a dealer to have the key programmed to your vehicle. Programming should be around $150, totaling to less than $300 to replace a transponder key.

Who should program my key? Locksmith or dealer?

A locksmith should program the key if he has the right tools. To program a key, the key and the vehicle must be at the same place for it to work. Most locksmiths offer mobile services, so you won’t need to take the car to them. Instead, they come to you. But for a dealership, you must get the vehicle to them. This can be tricky if you don’t have a key.

How much does it cost to cut a car key?

A locksmith will charge around $40 to cut a regular or transponder car key. If the key code is not available, you may be looking at up to $80. Laser-cut keys should be around $90. Without the code, you may pay up to $230. This is without programming.

What other ways can I cut expenses on key replacement?

Making spare keys reduces replacement costs by 50%.  If you misplace or damage your key, you don’t have to create a new key from scratch. And no code is required. The spare will be used to duplicate another. So, all you typically pay for is programming (for transponder chip keys).

Osuagwu Solomon

When I am not writing about cars, I’m in a mechanic garage troubleshooting and fixing cars. I started writing automotive articles to provide accurate information to car owners and fellow mechanics.

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